By Mike Appelstein
By Daniel Hill
By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
A Day in the Life
Last month our town's favorite rapper, Nelly, inked a deal to star in his very own reality series. While the show's storyboard is being kept under tight wraps, B-Sides recently obtained a copy of the pilot episode, complete with minute-by-minute accounts of the megastar's fascinating life. A few of the more exciting scene synopses follow.
11:32 a.m.: Nelly wakes up groggy after staying up till 5 a.m. discussing upcoming collaboration project with Barry Manilow. Reaches for can of Pimp Juice.
12:52-1:13 p.m.: Flips through dictionary looking for words that could use a good "erre" up in therre. Comes up with the following: debonerre, underwerre, vinegerre.
1:50 p.m.: Finishes daily primping by applying superfluous facial Band-Aid.
1:55-1:57 p.m.: Realizes Band-Aid looks incredibly stupid. Re-applies in more stylish fashion.
2:15-2:19 p.m.: Calls Ashanti on cell phone. Asks if she's still his "boo." Receives this inconclusive answer: "Baby, baby, baby....baaaby."
3:00-3:40 p.m.: Attends meeting with the board of directors for his wildly successful brand of women's hip-hop apparel, Apple Bottoms. Proposes introducing a line of men's bikini briefs, tentatively called "Fruit Basketz." 4:15-5:50 p.m.:Reads through script for his upcoming role in a remake of the 2004 film You Got Served. Wonders aloud whether anyone can possibly improve upon J-Boog's interpretation of savvy street-dancer Rico.
6:03-7:20 p.m.: Feeling unsure of himself, calls members of St. Lunatics. Asks if they want to get the group back together. Laughs ass off.
7:30 p.m.: Realizes he's running late for a charity event to benefit disabled children.
7:30-8:29 p.m.: Parks his ass on living room couch. Stares at clock for 59 minutes.
8:34 p.m.: Hops in the diamond-encrusted Bling Mobile for the one-minute, twenty-second commute from his manse in West West Buttfuck, Missouri, to downtown St. Louis.
10:05-10:08 p.m.: Arrives in hotel ballroom where benefit ended 45 minutes earlier. Performs acoustic version of "Hot in Herre" for three paraplegic grade-schoolers whose ride has yet to pick them up.
10:15-11:30 p.m.: High on philanthropic juju, cruises over to J. Buck's for a celebratory Caesar salad (sans lettuce, extra croutons).
11:35 p.m.: Exhausted from a hard day's work, steers the Bling Mobile to Highway 40 and heads home for some much-needed Zs. Tomorrow is another action-packed day, when Nelly must decide which Cardinals jersey to wear: Pujols or Sanders? Stay tuned. -- Chad Garrison
The Anniversary Party
When the dark, demonic overlords of GWAR arrive in town this week on Halloween, it will mark two solid decades of death, destruction and ridiculously abrasive necrophiliac thrash. On such a festive occasion, B-Sides, like the rest of you, is wondering: What do you get GWAR for its twentieth anniversary? Conventional etiquette says that this is the year to give the lovely lads china, but when you're buying for discerning gents like Oderus Urungus, Balsac the Jaws of Death and Jizmak Da Gusha, even Miss Manners would suggest you "think outside the box." Here are a few gift-giving tips:
Get your friends to chip in and buy GWAR a romantic evening. Nothing keeps the home fires burning after twenty beautiful years of onstage pagan rituals, celebrity executions and demon-disemboweling like a nice weekend at a country cottage or bed and breakfast. You can just tell the boys are romantics at heart -- check out these poignant lyrics from "Ragnarok": "It all gets rather naughty, when we get backstage/Everybody take a load off, I hope you're underage/Whip out your bologna, you're feeling mighty horny." That, my friends, is what we call poetry.
Buy personalized, embroidered, cold-weather gear. You might think that with their massive, spiky exoskeletons and all that fire-dancing, GWAR wouldn't have any need for things like earmuffs, mittens or warm winter parkas. But the average temperature in Antarctica, the group's headquarters, is, like, 80 bazillion degrees below zero. Keep GWAR warm and toasty with their own stylish, customized set of brrrrrr-beating outerwear. If that doesn't work, consider knitting them an afghan. Who doesn't love an afghan?
Donate blood. On a budget this year? With the high price of gas, who isn't? No one says you have to spend money to let GWAR know you care. We suggest making your way to the local blood bank, where trained nurses will pull a pint of life-giving fluid out of your arm in the name of GWAR. When you've had your fill of the free juice and cookies, grab your blood and run like hell. GWAR's gonna need that for their show. I mean, damn, have you seen how much blood they spray at their audience? We're talking buckets, man. Buckets. -- Rich Sharp
The Children's Hour
For many bands, the recent explosion of dance-rock was more about innovation than about dancing. Not so for Men, Women and Children, whose live show includes synchronized dance moves, bass solos, a vocoder and a light show that shut down the power in a New York club three times during a recent show. Founded by Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock during that band's ongoing hiatus, MWC have earned significant buzz by filling the niche market of unabashedly fun dance-rock, a buzz that landed them an opening spot on Gang of Four's recent national tour. Their as-yet untitled album is produced by Saddle Creek pal Mike Mogis and drops in February on Reprise Records. But best of all, the band has a hometown connection: St. Louis' own Nick Conceller provides the keyboards and beats. (In the interest of full disclosure, Conceller was B-Sides' landlord from August '04 to August '05.) In between rehearsing Parliament's "Flashlight" with Gang of Four for future encores and trying to get his wallet mailed to him from Baltimore, Conceller found time for an interview.