Bachelor Brad: “I shouldn’t have done that.”

Do I blog these Bachelor(ettes) Tell All episodes? It’s the same thing every season – I can’t remember for sure, so I have to go back through the old entries until the ol’ memory is jogged. Ah yes, it would appear that I do. ‘Kay well, let’s get this show on the road.

Hey look! It’s a bunch of women that all used to live in the same house as each tried to convince herself (and Brad) that she (and Brad) were perfectly suited for one another and they should get married forthwith! Hey, there’s…uh…whatsername, and oh, isn’t that, um, that other one? Well well, I haven’t seen that one since…have I ever seen that one? Wow, there’s those two that fought a lot. Who would have ever thought that they’d both sit on the same stage together again, and by that I mean, shown their faces in public ever again, eh? Oooo, that’s a good one when one accuses the other, “You ruined my chances with the Bachelor!” – a charge which the other denies, of course – and seeing as neither is quite likable enough to warrant the actual taking of her side, we’ll call it a draw. Yes, she did, and also no, she didn’t. And vice versa. Fair enough?

Quote of the night, in its place of honour right up there on the title line, goes to Michelle, who apparently showed up in order to put her new sensitive (some say crybaby) side on display and take her lumps from the other also-rans. You know that saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”? So not true. Michelle owes Chris Harrison her life for how he stepped in to protect her from Stacey, a bartender, who claims to imagine that she’s probably been raised better (than Michelle), and Jackie, an artist, who compared her (Michelle) to a spider. Regarding that quote, what Michelle felt she shouldn’t have done was leave her daughter for so long in an ultimately futile effort to find love, but she could have kept it on the more general level of going on The Bachelor. Or going on The Bachelorettes Tell All. But definitely going on The Bachelor.

Here’s a funny story about somebody else who shouldn’t have gone on The Bachelor. Cute lil’ Ashley S., in tears in the car after Brad turfed her, in tears up on the stage with Chris Harrison as she recounts the bad relationships she’s been in, the cheating and rejection she’s endured, leading to the hope she felt when she got that first impression rose in this season’s first episode, leading to the shitty feelings after Brad tells her she wouldn’t make a good wife…for him. She’s so sweet and so cute and you feel so bad for her that just for a second, you think they should book her as the next bachelorette…until you realize what you’re wishing on her when you wish for things like that. So be careful.

And speaking of being careful, last episode of the season next week. Will Brad choose someone? Who will Brad choose? Got a bad feeling yet? That’s what happens when you’re not careful.

P.S. Hey! Why didn’t Shawntel get to say anything?

As Promised

Mark Allen Stamaty is freaking brilliant. Decades ago, he wrote one of our family’s all-time favourite books, Who Needs Donuts? We love him. On the show last week, I mentioned this cartoon that Stamaty drew about Bob Dylan that I thought was hilarious, said we would post it, then didn’t. Luckily, Stompin’ Jon reminded us of our responsibility to occasionally do the things we say we will, and so…

68Comeback’s Required Listening

This is the list of songs we played on the March 3, 2011 show. They are mandatory, not voluntary, listening for anyone who thinks they’re cool. So get to work.

Icky Joey  –  Total Catharsis

Hey Predator!  –  Things They Don’t Teach You In Flight School

Christine Fellows  –  Femmes de Chez Nous

Tommy Guerrero  –  Yerba Buena Bump

The Insane Warrior  –  Then You Hear Footsteps

Beans  –  Deathsweater

Old Sins  –  Had My Share of Fistfights

Bright Eyes  –  Firewall

Swell  –  Sick Half of a Church

The Rural Alberta Advantage  –  Muscle Relaxants

Shotgun Jimmie  –  Stereo and the Stove

The Japonize Elephants  –  B.E.V. the Magic Robot

Geoff Berner  –  Wealthy Poet

Dad Rocks  –  Kids

Whitey Morgan and the 78s – Meanest Jukebox in Town

Kirby – My Date With Lady Gaga

City Streets – Goddess of Wine

Sonic Youth – Chez Yves (Alice et Clara)

La Sera – Beating Hearts

Fort Wilson Riot – Forgotten Language

Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 – No One Ever Drowns

Ben Weaver – City Girl

Makeout Videotape – Future Boy

Pizzarhea – Catamites

Bachelor Brad: “Trust Me, I Really Mean It”

"I want my Ashley back."

You might think that this is sort of a funny question for me to be asking at this point. It’s, like, week whatever of this season’s The Bachelor with Brad Womack as the focal point, the center of attention, the one upon whom love will most assuredly be bestowed* in the form of one of the three remaining women on the roster after weeks of cuts: Emily, Chantal or Ashley. But, as he jets toward South Africa for one on one dates in the African wilderness and says stupid shit like, “I’m freaking out right now because I have no idea what I’m doing,” and “I hope that coming to South Africa with these three women will give me the clarity I need,” I need to ask, have you ever really stopped to consider Brad?

Everybody else has been dissected, put under the microsope, judged according to some half-baked analysis of their general suitability for marriage to Brad, but hey – just what the hell makes Brad suitable for marriage to anyone? We know he brings an endearing deer-caught-in-headlights expression to just about any given situation, which lends a certain truth to his claims that he has no idea what he’s doing. His stock repertoire of phrases will come in extremely handy in many marriage-related situations. He works “I’m happy to be here,” and its derivation, “I’m really happy you’re here,” to good effect; also, he’s quite adept with beginning many of his statements with, “I can’t believe that…,” and letting it go from there. But his best work is to be found in the “Trust me,” and “I really mean it,” departments, highly valued as they are among married couples for their utility in allaying fears and convincing others that one is serious about whatever it is they have just said.

And if it’s Chantal that Brad winds up with, I’ve gotta say, based on her own appropriation of his phrases – “I just have to trust him,” for example – and her ability to take his more general example and riff on it – “He is amazing. He is an amazing, amazing man,” I like their chances. Also, it helps, when the Chris “Pimp” Harrison’s card arrives, featuring an invitation to partake of a night together in the Fantasy Suite**, that she pretty well throws down her fork and napkin and starts hunting for it.

That’s not something Emily, a proper Southern lady, is about to do. When she gets the invitation, she reminds him right off that she’s a mother with an example to set. But things have gone well so far on the date; Emily has ridden an elephant and asked Brad if he realized and was prepared to deal with the fact that, if they wind up together, he would be playing the role of a father figure to a five-year old girl, and Brad kept his wits about him well enough to give a passably affirmative answer***.  So she says she’ll spend the night in the Fantasy Suite with him, but they’re just going to talk, so as to get better acquainted. Once they’re in there, she tells him in a roundabout, unconvincing way that she’s falling in love with him. Brad, on a bit of a roll by now with the reflecting words back to their source, comes through on this occasion, offering that he, too, is falling in love with her, and they consummate these revelations with a tentative hug. Ahhh, romance!

But then comes the Ashley date. I almost wanted to say that never has a helicopter gone so wrong, but  this was not the helicopter’s fault. This was all Brad and his shortcomings as a potential spouse. First of all, that stock repertoire of phrases that works so well for him when everyone else is following the script? Doesn’t work as well when nobody else is following the script. Brad is not by a long shot the only person in the world who finds himself ill-equipped to deal with the emotional demands of others**** when the others persist with their emotional demands, and Ashley is persistent with her emotional demands. It’s important to say, though, that the point at which this date truly becomes unsalvageable is when Brad is the one who gets needy and Ashley turns one of his best lines against him. All Brad wants is a little reassurance that she would sacrifice most of her life to be with him, and she answers, “I know what I want and I just hope you can have faith.” You can’t come back from that, man.

Not that Brad didn’t try. They still wound up in the Fantasy Suite***** , but their quest for love was clearly over. When it came time for Brad to watch video messages from all the ladies the next day in advance of the rose ceremony, Ashley’s should have said, “I’m already on a plane back to the States. Nice knowing you.” It didn’t. Then, Brad should have pulled her out of the rose ceremony to discreetly and gentlemanly cut her loose, which he almost did, until he started arguing with her some more. Weird. He’s gotta cut somebody loose anyway, is he saying he’d rather send one of the other two home? Because if he is, THEN FUCKING DO IT AND GIVE HER THE ROSE, BUDDY, OR LET HER GET IN THE FUCKING CAR ALREADY! I must say, the fact that he’s so willing to start stalking someone he hasn’t even sent away yet doesn’t bode well for the inevitable breakup with the one he eventually chooses, does it?

And speaking of the one he eventually chooses, there are now only two for him to choose from, and there they are, Chantal and Emily, out on the patio, patiently waiting for Brad to return from walking Ashley out…and waiting…and waiting…  “Soooo…uh…you think he’s coming back?”

“I dunno, but hey, I’ve still got my key…wanna hit the Fantasy Suite?”



*Might not go that way. We cross our fingers until they ache.

**Seriously, why do they need an invitation from that guy?

***Therapy really has worked wonders.


*****Those things got TVs?

All That and a Bag of 68Comeback

Here’s hoping that your February 24, 2011 edition of the 68 Comeback Special was as good as ours. Here’s a list of the songs we played, check for yourself!

Slow  –  Have Not Been the Same

Akron/Family  –  So It Goes

The Guest Bedroom  –  Tough Luck

Unrest  –  91st Century Schizoid Man

The Flying Burrito Brothers  –  High Fashion Queen

Caity Fisher  –  Sweet Gypsy

Wanda Jackson  –  You Know I’m No Good

40 Watt Hype  –  Can You Dig?

Matthew Shipp String Trio  –  Release

the Vertical Struts  –  Stab Stab Stab

the Vacant Lot  –  You Were On My Mind

Kisses  –  People Can Do the Most Amazing Things

Devo  –  Girl U Want

Friends Electric  –  The Sun The Moon The Future

Couples  –  Scar Teens

Ugly Casanova  –  Spilled Milk Factory

Anagram  –  I’ve Been Wrong Before

Ray Davies/The Crouch End Festival Chorus  –  All Day and All of the Night

Junk Culture  –  Weird Teenage Vibes

Deadhorse  –  I’m a Lawyer

Dinosaur Bones  –  Ice Hotels

Tankhog  –  I Woke Up in Love This Morning

Twilight Singers  –  Waves



Bachelor Brad: Not Ashley, Not This Time

"Second time isn't really a charm, is it?"


That was my fearless prediction for who, heading into an episode full of Brad making the rounds of the four remaining women’s hometowns, meeting their families and seeing who and what he would force them to move away from to live with him in his tiny bachelor’s loft in Austin TX, needn’t so worry. Sure I was wrong, but not for all time.

Also, heading into the episode, everyone familiar with the footage of Emily’s daughter* running up the stairs, away from the grownups at the bottom, was keen to see what actually transpired there, as opposed to what was offered up in the edited footage.

But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We need to talk about what happens when one person who’s dating another person, or four other people, goes to where that person, or those people, live to meet their families for the first time. What does everyone hope for at a bare minimum? What makes for a good experience? What keeps a person awake the night before, praying?

If there’s one thing that all the ladies say outright, it’s that they hope that meeting their families will give Brad the insight he needs into why they are the way they are. Wait – I don’t think Emily said that, though it hardly matters what Emily says or does anyway because Brad already looooooves her so much, she could pull down her pants and show him her penis and it wouldn’t matter. Or actually, probably it would, though it also reminds me that they didn’t make one mention this week of how this is the most controversial season of The Bachelor, ever.

Obviously enough, seeing as they’re all falling in love with this fellow, the women are also really hoping their families like Brad as much as they do. Chantal’s family in Seattle certain seems to like him, whether it’s her sleeping-on-the-counters pet menagerie or her human relatives. Her dad especially seems to like Brad, to the point where he takes him to where he keeps his favourite statue and tells him all about it and then they snuggle together on a love seat while Chantal’s dad reads Ayn Rand to his new favourite guy who’ll ultimately disappoint his daughter** and practically offers up his daughter for marriage before he’s even asked. For his part, Brad really appears to enjoy the fact that he’s got a new person to tell about his bad dad and he’s probably also fairly happy to see that Chantal’s mom has kept her looks.

In Madawaska, Brad gets to eat poutine (not a euphemism; he eats poutine) for the first time in the restaurant where Ashley had her first job. Then they go and buy gigantic lobsters for supper and then they go and buy some fruits and vegetables from a roadside produce stand that doesn’t seem to have anyone watching over it. They do it on the honour system in Maine, the morons! If ever there was a time to spend the whole night before a date awake, praying, it would have involved Ashley praying that Brad didn’t find setups like this too weird. Or the fact that the show has been saying she’s a dentist when, according to her family, she’s still got some school to finish before she actually is a dentist, and they expect her to finish school. Grrr, families are always so embarrassing!

But expectations like theirs are nothing compared to those of Shawntel’s family, who are all pretty convinced that she will carry on the family undertaking business after her father retires. Man, who didn’t feel for her at the dinner table when, after a lovely date of showing Brad the cremation oven and laying him down on the embalming table and showing him ‘how it’s done’ (not a euphemism; actually explaining the embalming process) when the first truly awkward moment of the episode comes up, where Shawntel has to reassure her whole family that if she leaves Chico CA, it would be for love, and if that’s how things went, she’s taking a leap of faith and everything would ultimately work out. Her dad says “succession” a lot while pointing to his chest. It probably means more than we really know. So, did anyone else think that, when they were saying goodbye at the end of the date, Brad suddenly seemed a little cooler to the overall idea of Shawntel?

Which leaves the date with Emily, who he loooooooves so much that he needs to make a good impression on her daughter, er, Little Rickie, which makes us susceptible to any blatant lie of a story the producers want to present to us in advance, such as Little Rickie running from her mom and her mom’s friend. To go to her room to play like any Little Rickie might do, as in, no story here. Not to say the date didn’t start out awkward, though. Overburdened by the weirdness of being reunited with her mother in front of the cameras and then introduced to Mommy’s “friend” in front of the cameras and Mommy’s obvious need for her daughter to come across well in front of the cameras, Little Rickie came across as excruciatingly shy. She got better as the day went on, then she went to bed and Brad and Emily got to act shy and awkward with one another for no reason at all, partly because Brad is a 38 year old man who has apparently no experience whatsoever with dating women who even know children. So he tells Emily he wants to kiss her but he’s not going to because Little Rickie is upstairs, asleep, and she just kind of smiles and looks at him like he’s an idiot which, of course, he is.

No bones about it, Brad and Emily make a very weird couple. I staunchly believe that Brad likes her way more than she likes him, and at least part of the reason why he likes Emily so much is because of how obvious it is that she likes him but she doesn’t like him. All this is going to have to eventually come to a head, but not tonight. Tonight, it is Shawntel’s turn to get her heart broken. And so she does, and then Chris tells her to say her goodbyes and she hugs all the other ladies, all of whom lean in and whisper something to her as they’re saying goodbye. My guess: “He’s a stupid prick. You’re better off,” but if that’s it, it doesn’t stop her from being way too complimentary things about Brad after he makes it abundantly clear that it wasn’t her family, it was just her and the way she didn’t make him feel when she told him she loved him that’s driven him away. She’s never been treated as well by someone she’s dated before***, etc, etc? Yeesh.

And, I didn’t think this would happen, but I sort of miss Michelle.

*We’ll call her “Little Rickie” from now on, each and every time we have the opportunity.

**Partly true.

***Brad or no Brad, considering this, maybe she OUGHT to move away from Chico.

68Comeback, Deinterrupted

After a week of vacation-imposed separation, the 68 Comeback Special renuites on this, the 17th day of February, 2011, and now we’re stronger than ever! See?

Andrew Bird  –  Fiery Crash

M  –  Pop Muzik

Isaiah Ceccarelli  –  J’existe de Moins en Moins

Christine Fellows  –  Fevrier

The James T. Kirks  –  Deadwood

The James T. Kirks  –  Twilight Living Room

Connoiseurs of Porn  –  Chicken

Negativland  –  A Most Successful Formula

Tommy Guerrero  –  Bullfights on Broadway

Twilight Singers  –  Be Invited

Wire  –  Bad Worn Thing

Dr. Ew  –  Bitter Fruit

Colin Stetson  –  From No Part of Me Could I Summon a Voice

Delicate Steve  –  Wondervisions

The Radio Department –  Pulling Our Weight

The Von Zippers  –   SGWTF

Makeout Videotape – Yin Yang

Old Sins – I’ve Had My Share of Fistfights

Service Fair – I Can’t Wake Up

Corvid Lorax – Art Thief

Carolina Chocolate Drops and Luminescent Orchestra – Hit ’em Up Style

Black Pistol Fire – Suffocation Blues

Les Jupes – One Solemn Oath

The Flying Lizards  –  Money

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