Archive for September, 2006

The Lost Music Videos of Jan Terri

Sep 29, 2006 in Music

One consequence of the Internet is that embarrassing moments – even those created 15 years ago and circulated on nth-generation VHS cassettes – can be rediscovered and preserved for posterity.

Such is the case with Jan Terri, a Chicago-area musician who will be remembered for a trove of low-budget music videos, circa 1991-94, that rank among the best (or worst) moments in outsider pop culture.

Online music magazine Jammed has written what is, for now, the definitive profile of Jan’s brief career. The short version is that she peddled a VHS collection of her videos while working as a limo driver. Copies of the videos began circulating and Jan Terri became an underground sensation.

In 1998, Marilyn Manson invited her to play his birthday party and open for his band on tour (documented on Manson’s God is in the TV DVD). Yo La Tengo began covering her song “Rock ‘N Roll Santa” in 2000, and she was featured on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show that year.

Now that her videos have made their way onto YouTube, more people are discovering and even appreciating Jan’s musical talents. “Losing You” is her most popular video, which features Jan badly lip-syncing to her own song.

A MySpace profile exists, although it’s dubious whether it actually belongs to her. (Nevertheless, you can hear “Journey to Mars” and “Rock ‘n Roll Santa”). Jan’s website, now defunct, is mirrored at the Wayback Machine.

If “Losing You” has whet your appetite, here are the remainder of Jan Terri’s videos on YouTube:

Bart Durham’s “Nashville Soap Opera”

Sep 27, 2006 in Pop Culture

Those of you who live in Nashville are probably well aware of Bart Durham, a personal injury lawyer/ambulance chaser whose commercials are frequently seen on local TV. Durham’s commercials have previously focused on feel-good themes and personal injury stories of “real clients” who have received big settlements from tractor-trailer accidents (a specialty of Durham’s).

But recently, Bart Durham’s commercials have become increasingly bizarre and cheesy, relying on the use of bikini-clad models and now a 20-part Nashville Soap Opera (aka “Coach Foster Fights Back”) to catch viewers’ attention.

The plot revolves around a little league baseball coach who becomes paralyzed from the waist-down after a tractor-trailer accident (sound familiar?), and a risky surgical procedure that might allow him to walk again. There’s also a side plot that takes place in Malibu, CA involving a handsome, egotistical movie mogul, a beautiful Russian neurosurgeon, and a lot of bikini clad babes. Oh, and boats.

If the idea of a 20-part mini-soap opera/quasi-softcore porn sounds like a strange way to promote a law firm, then you’d probably be right. The reaction from local viewers has been overwhelmingly negative. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:

“All I can say it I would never use your law office due to the use of sex to sell yourselves. It seems as if Bart Durham has no moral dignity due to his consistent use of scantily clad females in all of his commercials.”

“By the way, does Mr. Durham own that boat in the opening seconds of these commercials? If so, he really needs to tone it down. Such a blatant display of material wealth (albeit earned rightfully through the successful practice of the law) seems to be somewhat of a slap in the face to all of his clients.”

“I’m sure you’re a fine man that works hard for your clients. Having said that…FIRE YOUR ADVERTISING TEAM! I’m stuck at home recovering from brain surgery… but because of this, I’m forced to see your terrible commercials over and over again.”

“This is horrible. Even for an ambulance chaser, MAKING UP a story is terrible.”

And yes, you can see the commercials online.

EDIT: Several weeks after I published this, I received an email from Bart Durham himself, commenting on this post:


Even though your article was critical it was extremely well written.
You nailed it. Congratulations on very professional work.

Best wishes,

See, he’s not such a bad guy. I’ll keep him in mind if I ever get hit by an 18-wheeler.

Three years of b*** **bs

Sep 24, 2006 in Humor

Just to prove that anything can be sold on eBay, man puts well-used, 15-year-old Seattle Supersonics shaving bag up for auction. Fiancee mocks him, saying that it will never sell, and agrees to give him one blow job for every dollar of the final bid. She even puts it in writing.

The final bid was $1050.00 (The money is going to charity, to benefit Celiac disease research.) Congratulations, and I hope your future wife has a strong jaw! [via Digg]

Rachael Ray, stop making the rest of us look bad!

Sep 21, 2006 in Humor

She has 4 shows on the Food network, 12 cookbooks, a line of knives and cookware, as well as a magazine and now a daily talk show! On top of that, she’s also releasing a series of mix CDs with titles like the Too Cool for School Mixtape for Kids.

She admittedly sleeps only four hours a night, while nearly everyone who writes about her admits that just watching her is exhausting. Rachael Ray is everywhere, and she’s making Martha Stewart look lazy in comparison.

Soon she’ll star in her first motion picture and perhaps make her singing debut. You’ll be able to buy Rachael Ray® 30-Minute microwave meals in your grocers’ freezer. She’ll become a fixture on tabloid covers — “Rachael Ray’s secret struggle with bulimia!” In other words, she’ll be like Paris Hilton, but not as slutty (with the FHM pictorial as stand-in for the sex tape.)

Despite her increasing ubiquity and enduring popularity, it’s no secret that many people find her perkiness annoying (myself included). Therefore, it’s fun to imagine that behind the happy-go-lucky facade is the face of a media empire that snaps at subordinates, makes ludicrous demands and kicks puppies (ala Martha Stewart…except for the puppy kicking part. I made that up.)

I’m waiting for the inevitable headline, “Rachael Ray collapses from exhaustion.” Or the revelation that she’s addicted to cocaine, espresso and methamphetamines. I’ll leave you with a quote from a recent Time article:

“Admittedly, a little bit of the fun of watching her is hoping that you’re there the moment she cracks–when she finally knifes the stage manager with a Wüsthof or wails into her peppers and eggs. She’s like the popular girl in high school who is impressively nice to everyone but everyone secretly kind of hates. She’s too perfect, too in control, and just has to be at least a little bit phony.”