Hard News by Russell Brown

Profoundly Unimportant

I have a serious post in mind, but for now, let us wallow in the unimportant. I'm talking Rockstar: Supernova. PA reader Dave Burns has given Rockstar judge Dave Navarro a stern telling-off on his own website (you'll have to scroll down to find the comment), declaring among other things that: "I am trying to articulate why these talented young souls doing this thing bothers me so much Dave, and it comes down to this:-the whole putrid thing stinks, reeks, of $$$$, yet again."

Me? Not so much. My interest in watching the fat old bastards from INXS get themselves a new singer in the first series was somewhere south of zero, but I do find myself watching the current version.

Basically, Tommy Lee's funny, Dilana (the freaky South African girl) is an extremely talented artist and should be signed and forthwith made the new Pink, and the house band is extraordinary and arguably the star of the show in its own right. The rest of it? Who cares? People liked the serious guy doing 'Losing My Religion', but I did not. He performed a song riven with ambiguity, without ambiguity. Still, points for not grinding on anyone.

Dave - whilst agreeing with me about Dilana and the house band - went so far as to recommend to Mr Navarro Straightjacket Fits as an example of the "real rock" missing from Rockstar. He even took it up with Shayne Carter, formerly out of Straitjacket Fits, who replied, in his MySpacey, no-caps style:

i don't think dave n. will be rushing to reply to your letter cos he's a....you know... real busy guy..

yeah i liked early janes addiction but these days dave seems to be just another shameless L.A hussy. it has absolutely no taste that town. spend that long in it and you end up with, well, no taste.

but i wouldn't get too upset about that programme. i mean no ones gonna be talking about the next inxs album in 20 years time are they ? these things get their karmic reward. basically no one cares once the programme stops being on t.v. i don't think the true order of rock n roll is ever gonna be seriously threatened by these kinds of things.

as for the 'show' ? when i see it i find it repulsively entertaining. all that human desperation and greed. everyone is so awful. i think the standard of the performers is pretty much at the level of your average pub rock covers band. they all pretty much suck - tho' sometimes, entertainingly so.

I think matters of taste are indeed fairly central here. Photographer Laura Domela perceives art in her photographs of Rockstar contender Storm Large ("Storm was creative, dynamic, and playful in front of the camera …") where you and I would see tits-n-ass.

But hey, Rockstar is looking quite a lot better than NZ Idol at the moment. Perhaps it's too harsh calling it on the Christchurch round, but NZ Idolhas the whiff of tragedy. The talent's woeful, the presenter and celebrity judges don't seem to like each other and there's an unspoken gloom in Dominic Bowden's production diary in the Woman's Weekly. Iain Stables (one medical emergency so far) is not a loveable rogue and Megan Alatini is just annoying. And there's the Georgina Patea business. Even the punters on IdolBlog have mixed feelings ("Who in their right mind is going to watch a singing competition that the people in it cant sing?"). And I think everyone has now given up the pretence that winning the thing is some sort of path to a pop career. Still, there's always the chance that the show will jump the shark and become unintentionally compelling.

What's next in the search for spectacle? Porn stars parading down Queen Street? Oh. Yes, actually.

Funniest bit of writing on local TV lately: Jay and Maia's authentically lesbian conversation on last night's Shortland Street about what sort of bloke would be worth "jumping the fence" for. Doug Howlett? Or something more husky and hairy? My advice, ladies? Avoid the pretty boys.

I was trying to get my yoof points up by actually doing something on MySpace yesterday, when I noticed in a thread on the Dimmer band blog a link to the "guilty secret" Top 10 of slightly ropey songs it's okay to like. Well, I'm glad it's okay, because I like FIVE of them.

1. ELO - Livin' Thing
2. Boston - More Than A Feeling
3. S Club 7 - Don't Stop Movin'
4. 10cc - I'm Not In Love
5. Gary Glitter - Rock'n'Roll Part 2
6. Foreigner - Cold As Ice
7. Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
8. Status Quo - Whatever You Want
9. Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
10. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive

That'll be numbers 2, 4, 5, 9 and 10.

PS: Several readers pointed out to me the import of Jeanette Fitzsimons' comments about her former MP Ian Ewen-Street and GE issues. Apparently it was a farmer's perspective on GE that wooed Ewen-Street to the Greens in the first place, and it became clear that there wasn't a hell of a lot else on which he agreed with his fellow Green MPs. He wasn't Mr Popularity with the party organisation either: check this for a diss.