Monday, August 06, 2007


So second-tier they required two pans (one for each tier).

Not this.

But the original, pretentious 'fork version wisely left unpublished.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What the Hell Do I Know
Ace Fu Records

Cast of characters:

Charlie, the voiceover guy (played by the guy with the moustache who did those early 90s Micro Machines ads. You remember, right, the guy who talked really fast?)

Mike Wowzeroni, game-show host (played by Fred Willard)

Isaac Brock, singer of Modest Mouse (played by a 60 pounds heavier Tobey Maguire)

Ultragrrl (played by Amy Poehler)

* * *

Charlie: Up next, on tonight’s edition of “What the Hell Do I Know?”…

Mike: One lucky contestant will have to spin the dreaded “Wheel of Shorthand Referents,” in a race against the clock. If the contestant can guess at least five of the six obvious influences on the new EP by our in-house band Illinois, what do we have for them, Charlie?

Charlie: A supporting slot on tour for the Hoooooooold Steady, Mike!

Mike (after whistling a couple bars of “Barfruit Blues,”): That’s right, Charlie. Now ask yourselves: who’s ready to Spot! The! Influence!

(audience cheers, leaks silicone)

Mike (drawing a name from a propane drum flanked by beautiful pan-European women): And the lucky contender is…Mister Isaac Brock from lovely Seattle, Washington! Isaac, come on down!

Isaac: Thanks, Mike, it’s great to be here in this building that is definitely not burning down. (laughs, slaps Wowzeroni on the back)

Mike (wiping hand sanitizer on his sport jacket): That’s one hell of an esoteric self-reference, Mr. Brock. Now are you ready to spin the “Wheel of Shorthand Referents?”

Isaac: Oh yes, I am quite up to the task. I spent some time producing Wolf Parade to sharpen my influence-spotting skills.

Mike: I don’t know who that is but he sounds just lovely, Ike. Can I call you Ike? Hey, we could do a routine together…Mike & Ike! You can be the lemon one, though…I haven’t trusted anyone yellow since we dropped the chuds on Nagasaki. That’s a JOKE, everyone!

Isaac: ….

Mike: Spin the thing, Ikey boy!

Isaac: I think they’re called scuds—


(with a tear glinting in his eye, Isaac spins the fateful wheel, which lands on the category “Onomatopoeia? Schnomatopoeia!”)

Mike: Let’s put 20 seconds on the clock…the Illinois song “Alone Again” starts with a bored ba-ba-ba-ba chorus dryly catchy enough to recall which band’s 2007 sleeper-pop tune “Fire It Up?”

Isaac: Hrrrm…A-ha! Is it my band Modest Mouse, Mike?

(annoying buzzer is heard)

Mike: Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuch. I’m sorry, Mr. Brock, but you did not phrase your answer in the form of a pie-eyed press release! Now let’s spin the wheel again for question #2.

(The audience boos while Isaac spins the fateful wheel)

Mike: And it lands onnnnn…yes! “Forgotten, Lightly Experimental UK Hypes!” The Illinois tune “Screendoor” has burbly synths, woo-woos and shambolic acoustic guitar reminiscent of which once promising winner of the Mercury Music Prize?

Isaac: I’ve never actually heard this band, because I didn’t do anything in 1998 except hitchhiking and speedballs, but is the answer Gomez?

Mike: That is corrrrrrrrrrrrect! You are just one question away from the golden credibility tour, Isaac! The final question will be under the category, “Reasons Bands Scoff That Journalists Are Lazy.” Are you ready, Isaac?

Isaac: Fire it up, fire it up.

Mike: Which of the following bands will be a signifier in every review Illinois will receive over the next decade: Wilco, Wilco, or Wilco?

Isaac: …They’re all the same band.

(buzzer sounds)

Mike: I’m sorry, but the answer was Wilco. Pronounced with a "wuh." You’ll be going home without the prestigious opening slot for a band with the credibility you no longer possess, but a copy of the pretty good but identity-lacking Illinois CD itself so you may work on your name-dropping skills! Maybe you’ll win next time on “What the Hell Do I Know?” where we do what, everybody?

Audience (including Ultragrrl): Spot! The! Influence!

Isaac (muttering into a BlackBerry): At least we had a #1 album and we got to tour with Clipse and Man Man.

Ultragrrl (running up to Isaac, braless): I’m like, your total biggest fan of all time, Mr. Brock!

Isaac (with inexplicable cowboy accent): Thanks, little lady! Would you like to see my Micro Machines collection?


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