Thursday, August 28, 2008

Places To See Before I Die: King's Walk - Spain

I've been a little obsessed with Spain lately, for a number of reasons. Most prominent is my desperation to regain my fluency in Spanish and my obsession with the Spanish dramedy 'Los Hombres De Paco'.

But another reason, as a semi-avid hiker, is the King's Walk (El Camino Del Rey), the most dangerous trail for hikers in the world. It's gone years without maintainences, and entire sections of walkway are collasped, leaving only the beam. But, wow! Look at that view?

I'd go in a second, if I didn't know that my extreme clumsiness would manifest itself in a pitch forward into that beautiful chasm that I would probably be gawking at.

Luckily, in 2006, a renovation plan was introduced.

Who knows? Maybe I can go and not die. That would be nice.

This may fall into the realm of too much information...

But you know those little things that happen to you that would make a great sitcom moment? I have those a lot.

Like yesterday, when I was happily sitting in the bathroom, taking care of business, casually turned my head and OW. A twinge in neck. From not doing anything. Other than... you know... sitting on my porcelain throne.

Can that be any more lame?

This ranks up there with the time I jumped off the roof, fractured an ankle, and then sprained the other one hopping down the stairs on one leg to get to the hospital.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Body Worlds 3 at the California Science Center

You know what's morbid and fascinating? Looking at bodies that have been dissected and preserved.

Yeah. That's science.

Awkward joking aside, there is something truly fascinating about the Bodyworlds 3 Exhibit, now in it's final weeks at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The project has caused quite a bit of controversy in it's unique approach to exploring human anatomy, because the figures that are presented in acrobatic poses, with skin stripped away, and muscles peeled back, were once living breathing human figures.

The result is a sobering type of reverant quiet in the crowd. These modern mummies, humans who have donated themselves for the right to live forever in their display cases, bring the human body to life in a way that I haven't quite experienced since my half hearted foray into anatomy in high school.

There are milimeter thick translucent slices of entire human bodies, bloated black lungs putrified with smoke and cancer, still born fetuses who, even in death, stretch out tiny fingers to the awed audience. A flayed acrobat displays his organs proudly, lifted over his head on one hand.

It's both morbid and celebratory, this in-your-face exploration of the body, and definately worth seeing.

Random fact - did you know that dying of a broken heart isn't just a phrase, but an actual medical marvel? It is actually possible to die of a broken heart.

I know. It scared the hell out of me too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Golden Girls Twice Over: Misty and Kerri Take Gold

"You have bags under your eyes," my mother politely informed me last night, looking grave and concerned.

"It's the Olympics," I replied matter-of-factly, because it's a well-known fact that I get little-to-no sleep during the Olympics. A moment, and suddenly my mother began to chuckle, because what else can you say to that?

"Maybe you should try to go to sleep earlier tonight," she said helpfully.

"Can't," I said immediately, shaking my head in a somber no. "Misty and Kerri are playing for the Gold tonight."

"Oh," she said, and waved her hand in my direction, giving up. "I get it."

Of course she does.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh proved they were insurmountable when they won the Gold medal in two sets against China, in a packed but wet stadium in Beijing. The match was a nailbiter- the Chinese are GOOD, and had shut out the always dependable Brazilians and the medal hungry Americans Elaine Youngs and Natalie Branagh from medal contention on their home turf. The sudden downpour of rain (3 inches that day) did not help with wet balls and slippery fingers, and the matches were hard won. But Misty May and Kerri Walsh, who have dropped no sets in this year, dug in and played hard, and the result? Their long-awaited gold medal, which has been their goal since winning the first in Athens four years ago.

These girls have been my heroes. I've follwed them on the AVP tour, I even ran a website about them for a while (RL committments forced me to give that up), but my giddiness could not be contained when at midnight last night, I was squishing my poor chihuahua and jumping around the room, celebrating with the Golden Girls as they went on a hugging spree after their win, hugging fans and husbands and cheerleaders alike.

And proving that the other women's Olympic teams are no slackers, USA's indoor volleyball beat the team who had beaten them in the tournament, CUBA, to advance to the gold medal match againts Brazil, and USA's Women's Soccer team also took Gold, beating their old rivals Brazil. The US Softball team and Water Polo team lost in an upset in their gold medal games against Japan and the Netherlands, but Silver ain't nothing to snigger at.

Congratulations, girls! You're truly made of legend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gemini Division Episode 1: Undercover Lover

Gemini Division has officially premiered, and the first episode was already five minutes of really, really intriguing stuff.

In a series of video-calls to an unnamed contact, Anna Diaz (Rosario Dawson) tells her story. First, she gleefully explains that she has been surprised by her boyfriend (Justin Hartley) with a romantic vacation, her very first. The second video finds her glee maximized because she has been proposed to, but has yet to say yes.

Things take a serious, dark turn when she reveals that she suspects they were being tailed, and suddenly there are larger things at work here, than just a romantic getaway.

The ending is a punch in the gut, and it's just made me gasp. Please, go watch NOW. The second episode is also online. New episodes every weekday.

Watch the Pilot and the Second episode, and download for free.

Money doesn't grow on trees, but Wishes Do: The Pasadena Wishing Trees

Last weekend my sister came up from Dallas for the weekend. She's getting married, you see, and she's having it down here in LA. Which is great, honestly, but I'm not really the best ... planner.

Nor am I all that into frilly girly stuff. To ask me to go with you to meet with Photographers, look at wedding favors, and try on bridesmaid dresses that all look the same? Worse than Chinese water torture. I'm just saying.

That said, I still sucked it up and joined my sister for a weekend in Pasadena, looking at hotel rooms, limping through Downtown LA's fashion district and flower markets, and running screaming from over enthusiastic booth hosts at the Queen Mary's Bridal Expo, chanting rapidly, "I'M NOT THE BRIDE! LEAMMEALONE!"

It was a nice suprise however, early on Saturday, to wander into a courtyard in Old Town Pasadena and discover a dozen or so trees covered with little paper tags. Closer inspection revealed them to be Yoko Ono's wishing trees. It's a project she's put together in which there are tags and pencils provided, and you can write your own wish and place it on the trees with the others. Feeling sentimental, I grabbed a few and conned my family into writing their own wishes and placing them on the trees.

There just so happened to be a photographer there from the local paper, who snapped me snapping my sister placing her wish on the tree.

We're so famous, yo. ;-)

Joking aside, it was a sweet, quiet moment in a weekend of insanity, and I was grateful for it.

The Pasadena Wishing Tree

Idina Menzel @ The Wiltern Theatre

Apparently my friends REALLY like Idina Menzel.

Though we already went to see her in San Diego, Sam found out she was going to be coming to Los Angeles, and immediately decided to buy tickets. The problem is, her usual concernt buddies were unavailable, and well, that left me.

Despite the fact that I seem to be attending concerts a lot lately, let me just come out right now and say: I don't like concerts.

Well, honestly, I don't like sitting in on place for too long in any capacity, but I tend to do much better in musicals (because I'm a sucker for story and music) than I do for long plays or concerts. A lot of it is because I'm hyperactive, a lot of it is becasue I just tend to bore easily. And also because I just HATE crowds (seriously. I'm not kidding. I can be in front of them just find, but do NOT put me IN one. K, thx).

Regardless, it was my duty to be a good friend once again accompany Sam to see Idina Menzel. Honestly, I was kinda curious to go. I wanted to see if there would be a different crowd than the mellower venue in San Diego, if Taye Diggs would show up, and if her set would change any.

Apparently Idina fans are crazy devoted no matter what city you're in. Before Sam and I went to the concert, we went to Taylor's Steakhouse for some grub, and on the way out, I joked to her, "Are you ready to get your Idina on?"

Behind us, there was a sudden gasp, and I hear a choked happy, "That's where WE'RE GOING!"

Two fabulous gay boys and their female friend looked positively delighted to see us, and began to immediately quiz us on our Idina knowledge.

Have you seen Wicked? Me: Yes. (I went to London! Ha!)
Have you seen Rent! Sam: Yes, original cast, baby!
Do you own both her albums? Sam: She has three.

Sam won that, in case you didn't already guess. She loves Idina like mad.

Twenty minutes later, a casually curious Mel sat on some really odd looking bar stoolly type of chair brought in for the occasion, flipping through my T-Mobile sidekick and casting amused glances at the big screen on the stage, which displayed text messages sent from the audience. I very quickly discovered that the fastest way to irritate me at an Idina Menzel concert is to text the lyrics to every Wicked song Idina's ever sung on the teleprompter. Seriously. I mean, I like Wicked as much as the next Idina fan. Hell, I even went to London to see Menzel open as Elphaba. But dude, we ALL KNOW THE L YRICS. You don't need to remind me.

Also, another way to irritate me is to randomly moo. It's a Rent thing. And LORD does it bug me. I HATE THE MOO.

*ahem* Moving on. We had a better opening act this time. This cute guy with a guitar who talked a lot about pain as he strummed. Don't they all? Then Idina made us wait for like, an hour before she showed up, and boy was it to some serious fan fare. The crowd itself wasn't as eclectic as the group in San Diego, but as I said before, they were just as devoted. Little pockets of gay boys, elderly broadway fans, screaming teenage fan girls, and pre-teen girls wearing Wicked t-shirts littered the hipster crowd, and when Idina showed up, the 17 year old girl beside me nearly started sobbing with relief. I'm serious. It was mad frightening and amusing.

Taye did show up, for those who were curious. Also causing the girl beside me to hyperventilate. He tried to sit in the crowd, but it was increasingly clear that he was going to get mobbed, and rather than suffer through that, he disapeared backstage. Good for you, Taye.

Idina herself seemed verklempt. It was the last stage of her tour and the manifestation of a dream, and as a result, she kept getting choked up, sentimental and nostalgic. Which led to a lot of cursing, because tears breeds embarrasment, and when your audience laughs at you, apparently lovingly telling them to fuck off is the right thing to do (they loved her for it).

Highlights this time were a cover to Pat Benatar's 'Heartbreaker', which required Idina a full five minutes to recover from her spastic headbanging ("I'm 37, you guys," she complained), and once again screaming at the audience that she was NOT going to ask Taye Diggs to sing with her ("and let him upstage me?! Please!" she sniffed).

The usual 'Defying Gravity' and Rent melody 'No Day But Today' were sung with amazing feeling, but my favorites are the little known 'Brave' and 'Gorgeous' from her new album 'I Stand'. They're just beautifully written songs.

Below is the music video for 'Brave'. It's weird. She strips down to jeans. It's supposed to be artful and insightful.

I'm just shallow and in it for the pretty.

Go with it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Imaginary Bitches Episode 12: Ego Overload

On one hand, the latest episode of the Imaginary Bitches webseries provided some deep satisfaction on a continuity level, because finally, there is payoff for continuity. On the other hand, there appears to be a plot twist that is so twisty it didn't just ... twist like a Twizzler, it careened offside and slammed you in the face.

The last episode before the conclusion of the series' first season features Eden making a new imaginary friend. On the surface, Jen seems perfect. She appeals to Eden's ego and encourages Eden to take steps to find a man (apparently the only thing that could make Eden complete). Of course, nothing is what it seems, and it's soon revealed that Jen has ulterior motives: banging Eden herself.

Overall, this episode (and the episode before it), fell a little flat. While the bitches are imaginary, it gets a little clumsy for Eden to have to repeat everything they say. The punch of the joke is sometimes lost, and the premise of the series itself seems to have gone from 'lonely girl struggles with her identity as a single girl when all her friends assimiliate into relationship and copes by inventing imaginary bitches' to 'Eden is not complete without a man' which (feminism aside) isn't as funny. With the bitches being so posessive of Eden, I expected more of a catfight for Eden's attentions. Jen seemed to swoop in pretty easily. And the 'Eden may like the ladies' angle did seem to come out of nowhere.

Well, okay, that's not true. Honestly, a few episodes back I did have the amusing thought that a future funny episode could be on the of the bitches getting an insane crush on a girl and having poor Eden have to explain to the woman that she herself was not a lesbian, but her imaginary friend wanted to bang her silly.

But I was joking. Then again, where can you really go after queefing?

Upside: the continuity fairy hath blessed us with her presence, and we finally see a conversation taking place among Eden's friends in which they seem to be functioning normal intelligent women who finally bring up the fact that A) Eden is not getting better, but seems to be GAINING imaginary friends, which can't be a good thing, B) they are all dickwhipped, and C) Brooke really needs to stop seeing that creepy shrink.

The finale airs in three days, and our questions might possibly be answered. Sorta. Maybe?

Meanwhile, I'll be on my couch watching Dancing with the Stars, making fun of Cameron Mathison with the bitches.

OCD In a Bad Way: Stephen King's N

I've been on a webside kick as late, and my latest obsession is Stephen King's 'N', a 25 episode webisode that describes the downfall of a pyschiatrist who becomes too invested in a patient. It's like unraveling a very creepy, very alive mystery, and comic book like animation only makes it more brilliant. New episodes every day, but catch up with this widget:

I never get any sleep during the Olympics.

I don't. I LOVE sports. I LOVE the Olympics. When I was a kid, it was my dream to be on the Olympic Volleyball Team. In junior high, I think I was on my way. I was the captain of my team, a regular setter and hitter, and even though it was a small school, and the other schools I played with (mostly private schools) had coaches actively recruiting me to come play for them in high school.

I ended up choosing academics and going to the California Academy of Math & Science. They had a water polo team, a tennis team, and a cross country team. That was it. None of the sports I excelled at: basketball, softball, volleyball, badminton. Despite the fact that I'm a horrible runner (ADD crosscountry runner=Melissa stopping ever other second to look at something shiny), I joined cross-country. It wasn't the same. I'm a team player sort of girl, but CAMS only had what they had, and all my time was either swallowed up by homeowrk or my afterschool job anyway.
I did join Tae Kwon Do in my junior year and went pretty far in that. I got my little competitive spirit assuaged there, and for the bumps and bruises to prove it. I have a dent in my shin from a brown belt hammering me with the side of his foot. And even if I'm out of shape, I can surprise the hell out of people with my flexibility. But I know that I'll never again be the young star athlete who had Olympic aspirations.

But even though my dream was over before it ever really began, it doesn't stop the utter ache I feel when I watch those athletes. Because I still remember that feeling. The push through exhaustion, the way you become a team, and win or lose, nothing matters but how you play. The way you're just an ATHLETE. That's it.

Of course what that's done is ruined me for casual play. You can't just play a casual game of volleyball with me. I want there to be rules. I want side outs and points and penalties for carrying. I want teams and colors and I want to win. Dammit. You should have seen me at Sam's softball game.

It gets especially bad during the Olympics, but i didn't realize HOW bad it was until I popped in WiiSports last night and started playing the Tennis game. Without realizing what I was doing,suddenly I was jumping up and down, shouting to myself (Don't just give it to them! Make them work for it!). I was sweaty, clutching my wiimote maniacly, and swinging wildy with a sore arm because I was GOING to win this doubles match. Dammit.

I miss competeting, but I also realized that Competition!Mel is a scary, scary girl.

Still, I've missed her.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Get BITCHSLAPed! In a B-Movie Kinda Way

Quietly (or not so quietly) making a splash on the internet is the grandchild of Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez' experimental flicks that morphed into 'Grindhouse'. Remember them? They were called 'Deathproof' and 'Planet Terror' and the original plan by the film mavericks was to release them together in a back to black block that would be connected together with some fake gory trailers.

The experience itself was meant to bring to life the old 'grindhouse' movie events. You know, the drive-ins, and the carnage, and the exploitation. The films themselves, in their original incarnation had scratches and 'missing reels', over the top violence, and empowered woman who weren't afraid to pick up a gun in a slinky dress or drive a car off a cliff and ram it into a jerk who would dare mess with their sexual liberation.

Unfortunately for Quentin and Robert, the mass audience didn't quite catch the 'GRINDHOUSE' appeal. The movies flopped at the box office, and rather than try to market them as a pair, the movies were then split up and sold as two different DVDs, and overseas, released as individual pictures, sans trailers. It's a shame, because I was able to catch the entire thing on STARZ one night, and it made for an interesting experience. On their own, the movies are kitchy and fun, but together, they made a powerful pair.

All is not lost for fans of the genre, however. Ready to take their place as the cult b-movie exploitation classic of the new millineum if the brand new BITCHSLAP. Featuring hot girls and hot cars, and hot guns and ... hot weather, the storyline is delightfully noir-ish. Three bad girls get together to attempt to extort money from a ruthless kingpin (Because that's always a GREAT idea), and things go typically to hell.

The cast is full of B-Movie superstars in the making, not limited too campy cult stars Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Conner from Xena and Hercules fame, and Zoe Bell, action stunt woman turned actress, who subbed for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and then went on to dangle from a car in Deathproof (You know... that Quentin Grindhouse flick).

The website advertises it as destined to be a cult classic. You be the judge of that when you watch the trailer, and visit the official website. Sounds like they're on their way.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gemini Division: Rosario Dawson + Guns = WIN

Not that I'm the least bit shallow when it comes to things like this, but how cool does Gemini Division look? It's Rosario Dawson's new webseries, and it looks like the makers, sponsored by and, spared no expense:

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for 'lady-cop hell-bent on revenge' stories, and this one looks particularly cool, with special effects and Smallville cutie Justin Hartley playing the poor doomed boyfriend. Smacks a little of Alias with some Sin City for inspiration.

Heck, I'm all for that.

Premieres August 18th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

American Gladiators: 5 Ways to Save This Show from Swallowing It's Own Head

The American Gladiators finale aired Monday Night with a bit of a whimper. While it was great to see the 'Runaway Bride' and the Really, Really Fast Tim Guy win the whole thing, the entire thing felt almost anticlimatic, after a bloated, long season that felt confusing and glittery.

Let's face it, we watch American Gladiators for the cheese. Because it's fun, and we like seeing big guys take on the little guys. We like rooting for the underdog and we've grown attached to the Gladiators (witness my completely blind devotion to Crush).

I love my Gladiators. It's the one show my family can get together and watch. My sister roots for the Gladiators, my grandmother roots for the competitors, and my mother lusts quite obviously over Militia. But there is a limit, and there is only so much fat we can stand before we want to toss away the steak.

Because I don't want to see my gladiators (namely Crush) go away, I've got a couple suggestions (okay, five) for the producers that might tighten up the show, and actually instill some emotion.

A general note? Take a page from the original. It's a classic for a reason. And it's currently airing on ESPN Classic. What American Gladiators was in it's earlier incarnation was a clean, quick sports show that featured sane, viable athletes who were pitted against longtime veteran gladiators who took their job seriously but also were allowed to be themselves. And you know... then there was Malibu.

  1. Less filler, more events: why on earth do we have to sit through a ten minute recap of what happened the week before, and endless interviews of contestants blathering on spewing cringe inducing crap, and then watch a thirty second recap of the two events that weren't aired? What is the point? Don't we watch for the events? I mean, really, to watch some 5'2" girl on top of the joust scream that she's going to dunk Crush in the water just makes me roll my eyes when three seconds later, Crush pounds her to a pulp. It's not cute. It's annoying. And you know what happens to all those interviews? We have tivo. We fastfoward them. I'm just saying. There's no point.
  2. Enough with the 'theme contestants': Let's discuss the contestants. I'm sure it's truly awe inspiring to have a 52 year old lady get on the show and get her ass kicked by crush, but does she really have a chance in hell of winning? Or how about the really inspiring guy with one leg who could only make it up the travelator when they actually stopped it? Yes, yes, it was super inspiring and all that, but really? Did either of those contestants have a chance in hell of taking the big prize? No. Taking a 'theme' each week (cops! the biggest loser! old versus young! twins!) and running with 'stories' instead of actual contenders made for weak contestants with over inflated egos. It wasn't interesting.
  3. Get into the Gladiators! (and cut some): Okay, so I get that last season, there were many, many injuries (Siren, Stealth, Hellga, Militia) and the result was some gladiators having to work harder than others, but did we REALLY need eight more this season? There was so many that they didn't even BOTHER with the promo titles. And what was with the cheesy 'characters'. Like poor Steel, who is NOT a mute, but apparently isn't allowed to speak. Or Panther who... has curly black hair? I don't get it! We expected Rocket and Jet, as first season champions, but honestly, the only truly great Gladiator we got out of the newbies was Phoenix, because she was just awesome and kick ass all around. Having gladiators with specialties just results in us never seeing them, and honestly? If we're going to be stuck with stupid themed contestants, maybe we should focus on the Gladiators as well. Show a little behind the scenes action. SHOW Wolf singing Happy Birthday to Crush. It gives us moments of real depth in all that over inflated sugar rush. We need that. Dentists agree.
  4. Rehaul the Eliminator (and some events): We get it. The eliminator is super dooper tough. It's the hardest thing ever. And only those with proportional armstrength and super fast legs and stamina can make it through. Blah blah blah. You know what? We get all that. Drench them and everything gets harder, but honestly, it makes the previous events meaningless. It doesn't matter what the head start is because the little, lean guy is always going to be faster. Even the contestants have figured it out. And let's cut out skytrack. The old skytrak was awesome. Yours? Sucks. As does your hit and run. Just saying. It's silly. And why on earth do we need so much rocket ball?
  5. Cut the awesome Hulk (and the canned announcer): The Hulk may be an awesome athlete, but as an announcer he knows like, three words: Awesome, Mania, and 'Let's Hear It' for the Awesome anythingMania. He's wince inducing. And so is the canned announcer, who speaks like a bad cartoon. How about tossing them both and pairing up Laila with a real life commentator who can actually DO interviews and play by plays?

Was I judgy? Perhaps, but it's only because I love you show. I want you to get better. Because spandex makes everything better.

Monday, August 4, 2008

While I'm in this country music kick -

Is there any song more depressing than Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man'? I mean, look at these lyrics:

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Givin' all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand

But if you love him, then you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him, oh, be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man

Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to
And somethin' warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely

Stand by your man
And show the world you love him
Keep givin' all the love you can
Stand by your man

REALLY? I mean, people sing this song all the time, but do they really listen to it? This like, the abused woman's anthem.

On a happier note, if you're in Los Angeles, please consider checking out a musical in which the women actually EMPOWER themselves : 9 to 5 the musical! Starring Alison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block! Scored by Dolly Parton and written by Patricia Resnick, who wrote the actual screenplay of the movie! It's playing at the Ahmanson Theatre September and October of this year.

And if you're in NY? It's going your way next.

I'm going to flip through this playlist for some more uplifting female country songs... OOH! SheDaisy!

Gina Carano to Fight In October

Gina Carano (63), originally uploaded by The Funky Buddha.

Looks like the partner fight has been set up for the upcoming Gina Carano fight to take place in October for EliteXC. According to, sources are NOT scouting South American 'Cyborg' Chris Santos, as indicated in the last broadcast fight, but rather Kelly Kobold-Gavin, who is 16-2, but coming off a loss.

Either way, the real question will be if the American Gladiator will be able to cut the weight she needs to silence the dissenters in the MMA community.

Still, any Gina Carano on my television is a blessing, particularly since American Gladiator's finale airs TONIGHT on NBC, and then she'll be off our screens for that weekly fix.

Oh Crush - what will we do without you?

Dolly Parton At the Greek Theatre

Even though my mother fiercely denies it, I fully blame her for my country music addiction. She was born in Texas, after all!
I honestly think my mother is just paranoid, because unlike her, I tend to fiercely obsess when I get involved in something, and if I fully embrace her country roots I might play that music all the time, and then I might drive her to full annoyance and hatred of all things country, much like what I did to her Abba love. Apparently she can no longer even tolerate the opening strains to 'Fernando' without bursting into hives.

Fight it as she must, she can never deny her love for Dolly Parton. So when the opportunity came up to buy tickets to see the legendary boobtacular legend at the Greek Theatre, Mom could hardly say no to the opportunity to see a living legend. Even if she had to risk me over playing Dolly to within an inch of her life afterwards.

At the Theatre, the crowd was buzzing, and boy, what a crowd! It was the most eclectic bunch I've ever seen at a country concert. I remember going with my aunt a few years back to see Lee Ann Womack, and we were literally the only people in the room without gray hair. And afterwards, as we were leaving, we heard a little old lady complaining to a security guard that the music was 'JUST TOO LOUD!'. At the concert. Right. Not so much a problem with this crowd. There were the cowboys, and the cowgirls, and the dapper men and woman. And then there were the kids (who cooed 'Aunt Dolly' thanks to her Hannah Montana appearances), and the gay couples (who shrieked with laughter when she mentioned all the men in dresses and sighed, 'It is LA after all!'), and the rabid fans who would not stop screaming 'Dolly For President!' 'We Love you Dolly!' 'You're so BEAUTIFUL, DOLLY!'

Quite a mix, and it made for quite an awesome and receptive crowd when, unexpectedly on time and without an opening act, Miss Parton herself came out and started the concert with a snappy 'Two Doors Down', then went straight into 'Why You Come In Here'. The evening never slowed down. What's great about Dolly is that she is a natural born comedianne and storyteller, and so the laughter never stopped, and the great music just kept coming. Her boobs were of course big points of reference, as well as her smoky mountain roots, but it was self-aware and insightful enough to create just a living texture of the woman on stage.

A lot of her numbers came from her new album, Backwoods Barbie (definately worth getting, in my opinion), but she was unafraid to play the classics, and she played them with ablomb. My absolute favorite number, however, just after her 'Coat of Many Colors' rendition, was when she decided to 'rock out'. Her words, not mine. Apparently, she heard the Fine Young Cannibals song 'She Drives Me Crazy' and decided, "I could really mess that up."
And so she did. With an electric guitar and a huge house band and that great voice of hers. And of course, she killed it.

Why wouldn't she? She's Dolly.

Check out her cover version from a recent concert below: