I apologize for anyone who is friends with me on The Facebook and saw this already, but I have to share an idea I had for the 30 Rock finale:
Tina Fey wakes up on the set of Saturday Night Live as Lorne Michaels shocks her back to consciousness with a cattle prod and tells her to get back to work. Alec Baldwin is guest starring and is rehearsing the voice for a CEO character he's playing in a sketch with Will Arnett, while Keenan Thompson is in costume as Tracy Morgan.
She gets up to walk back down the hall, where she bumps into Jane Krakowski, who is playing a dim-witted singer and the wife of Dean Winters's structural engineer/private detective character in NBC's new country drama, "Nashville Bridges." She asks herself if it was all just a dream just as she runs into newly-hired SNL writer Judah Friedlander, who wears a hat that says "IT WAS A DREAM." The camera pans up toward the ceiling, where we see Lutz in the shadows, a Phantom of the Opera mask covering his face, as he says, "Or was it?" before taking a bite of a Blimpie sub.
I am really going to miss that show. I will not spoil the finale, which was very good, except to say that there was a rant from Lutz that caused The Lovely Becky and I to pause the DVR and spend five minutes trying to stop laughing. I also enjoyed this good piece on race in 30 Rock that ran on Grantland. The slapstick and rapid-fire silliness on 30 Rock could make it easy to overlook the bite of some of the gags, but watching the show in reruns now, it’s easier to see just how cutting the punchlines could be. Oh, how I will miss things like Alec Baldwin playing Thomas Jefferson as Tracy Morgan’s father or Tina Fey’s youth flashbacks or anything involving Lutz.
1) “Communication Breakdown,” Led Zeppelin. We had a power outage here a couple days ago, and every time the power goes out, I immediately think What the fuck am I going to do now? I can’t work. I can’t cook. Approximately 95 percent of my entertainment options are erased, 100 percent if it happens at night and I can’t read. And the stupid Revolution show that I watched for three bulimic Hunger Games episodes now makes me take stock of how well I could survive a world without power, which I would say would be seventeen minutes past sundown. My daughter is better equipped to deal with a power outage because at least she’d think it was neat instead of the beginning of a new age of feudalism. Luckily the power came back on after five minutes and I was safe again.
2) “2 Late 4 Love,” Tesla. I can forgive and even enjoy a lot of social media abbreviations and illiterate LOLCATtery. In fact, TLB loves to give me a kthxbai on text messages just to annoy me. But I cannot trunk numbers substituted for words. It’s cat nails on a LOLboard, and even Prince doing it drives me nuts.
3) “Foolin’,” Def Leppard. iTunes has got the T-top open in the Firebird today. Goddamn I love every song on Pyromania, and this one in particular has it all: super thick drum fills, cowbell, an acoustic guitar that gives it a ballad-fake out before the rocking commences, and an apostrophe’d ‘g. Yes, I hate numerical word substitution, but I love to drop my ‘g’s, because that’s fuckin’ rock and roll.
4) “Hemispheres,” Rush. No other song makes it more difficult to be a Rush fan. This is eighteen minutes of the proggiest of the proggy, a story of Dionysius and Apollo fighting for control of mankind, with the debate moderated by a mortal who arrives via a black hole from a song on the previous Rush album. I have explained this to TLB on several occasions, and each time she stops what she’s doing and does a laughing facepalm while shaking her head in a fashion that says I can’t believe I have sex with this. I would love to have a competition where Rush fans play this for their significant others and then attempt to have sex before the song ends. I guarantee if it doesn’t happen during the first three minutes of “I: Prelude,” before Geddy sings, When our weary world was young / The stuggle of the ancients first began / the gods of love and reason / sought to rule the fate of man, it's over. In fact, by the time you reach the lines The cities were abandoned / And the forests echoed song / They danced and lived as brothers / They knew love could not be wrong during “III: Dionysius, Bringer of Love,” there’s a pretty good chance a woman will become instantly menopausal.
And still I love every 20-sided minute of it. No other song puts me in touch with my inner geek the way this one does. I was ecstatic to find the album not only being discussed during the Rush documentary, but also to discover additional footage about this discussion stuck in the extras, because prolonged exposure to Hemispheres can kill mere mortals who have not been properly conditioned to handle it. If they played this in concert, there is no doubt that Becky would be bailing me out of jail after I was arrested for rushing (ha!) the stage and hugging Geddy’s Taurus pedals.
5) “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House,” LCD Soundsystem. Okay, all systems returned to normal. Oxygen levels stabilizing after overinhaling of Geddium. Gauges slowly shifting from freaky to funky. Booties now shaking impulsively rather than shitting uncontrollably.
6) “Night,” Zola Jesus. I love a good, freaky album cover, and I got this EP precisely because the woman on it (presumably Ms. Jesus) looks like she just tried to break up with the thing from Stephen King’s “The Raft” and he responded by getting extra clingy. My God, this relationship is so suffocating!
7) “Shine Like It Does,” INXS. They just called it quits, but I don’t know how they could have kept it going after Michael Hutchence died. Sometimes a band can pull off the singer switch (AC/DC comes to mind), but usually they should just pack it in, especially with a band like INXS where the singer was the identity of the band. No disrespect to the other members, who wrote fine music, but INXS doesn’t grab you because of Kirk Pengilly’s multi-instrumental talents. If you get another singer, have the courtesy to change the name to something like CHIN-XS.
8) “Amazing Journey/Sparks, (Live)” The Who. Tuesday nights, TLB takes the Libster up to her parents’ to spend the night because my mother-in-law watches her on Wednesdays. I have been using those Tuesday nights to get out and work on my novel, which usually goes very well. However, it was colder than a Hemispheres coitus session last week, so I decided to stay home and write. I grabbed my laptop, sat on the couch, and threw Live at Leeds in the big stereo, getting the proper Entwistling I can only get when I’m home alone with the subwoofer cranked. I also decided to pour a glass of Scotch, because that’s what writers do, right? Well, halfway through The Who’s seminal show, I was grooving and air drumming more than typing, which I think had more to do with fueling up the rock-it ship than with being at home and enjoying the best rock show ever recorded. I will be returning to my regularly scheduled Starbucks-at-7PM writing.
9) “I Might,” Wilco. One of the great 30 Rock lines is when Queen Latifah (as a Congresswoman) asks Alec Baldwin why NBC, “looks as diverse as a Wilco concert?” Hey now, I saw old and young white people of both genders at that show.
10) “Heartbreaker,” Alabama Shakes. I really like these guys, they play great, soulful rock with a ton of heart. But I always feel ten years older when I hear this album, as if I should be in The Big Chill 2: #iStalgia where we put our first-generation iPods on shuffle and reminisce about how we used to be able to check in for our flights at the gate and have affairs without somebody talking about it on Facebook.
11) “Search and Destroy,” Iggy and the Stooges. This song makes me want to be in a Huey screaming over the treetops of a war zone. I don’t want to actually kill anyone, but maybe shoot them with a Gatling version of a T-shirt cannon. Tell me that wouldn’t win some hearts and minds, if a big ass Huey appeared over some mountaintop and rained down a hail of shirts that said "Osama Don’t Surf" and included a free two-month gold subscription to Xbox Live and 10% off a footlong Jihadistrami sandwich at Subway. We’d solve terrorism by next Tuesday.
Have a good weekend, and here’s hoping Ray Lewis can play in a Super Bowl without killing someone.