Meta or Not? AMG’s Chavez Bio Screams Nick Sylvester

(thanks to Frank for the tip).  

Before the days of monkeys peeing into their mouths, Nick Sylvester would treat us to quasi-more-thoughtful meta-reviews of albums none of us should otherwise notice. So, this one has our meta-radars on full alert.

AMG on Chavez:  Betters Days Are NOW With NBC's New Must See Monday!!!

Just in case an editor actually decides to show up today, the full article is after the jump…  


by Jason Ankeny & Andy Kellman

Ah, the fall TV season is upon us, filling our empty lives with Heroes, Survivors, and Carters. It's a time of joy, reflection, and supplication to the network gods as we're forced to ask ourselves the tough questions, like who will be America's Next Top Model and, the eternal conundrum, Deal or No Deal? In honor of our love for and deep-seeded addiction to the great media eye in our living rooms, we've compiled a playlist inspired by our favorite TV shows.

Ugly Betty

Naturally, she has brains and a heart of gold. But since Ugly Betty (who really should be called "Just Wait 'Til She Gets Those Braces and Glasses Off Betty") works as an assistant at one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world — and was in fact hired because she's, shall we say, appearance-challenged — she's made to feel so damn unpretty every day. TLC understands. – Heather PharesSpeaking of one of the world's biggest fashion magazines, Mode, Betty's place of employment, is clearly patterned after the definitive fashion magazine, Vogue. Madonna's song of the same name wasn't just a runaway hit, but a runway hit as well — its slinky beat and synth-strings still conjure up visions of style heaven, where it's always Fashion Week and the catwalks go on forever. – Heather PharesBased on the two episodes of the American version of Ugly Betty that have aired so far, the show hasn't lost much of its campiness in translation from its telenovela roots. Roots of an entirely different kind were on display in last week's episode, when two characters got into a catfight so hissy that the insults — and hair extensions — were flying. The musical equivalent is Blondie's brilliantly trash-talking "Rip Her to Shreds." (See also Julie Brown's equally catty "Girl Fight Tonight!") – Heather Phares


We could be heroes, if just for one season. – Matt Collar

For a song about people with super powers, Rick Springfield's paean to his childhood heroes is surprisingly vulnerable. – Matt Collar

So you've got super powers all of a sudden. Nice! Saving the world is required, of course, but as the Clique spell out in "Superman," super powers are best used in the name of scoring. What's the point of stopping time or hearing people's thoughts if you can't get any action? And you'll get plenty. Think about it, Who could compete with a guy who flies to a girl's apartment to pick her up for a date? What could be hotter than a girl who can walk through fire and not get burned? That's hottt! So, save the world — you gotta do that, right? — then get out there and score, hero! – Tim Sendra


It's nice to see that despite the few clues and tidbits of information that the third-season premiere offered — the Others' living conditions are more like an island version of Wisteria Lane, complete with a sinister book club, than they are a shanty town; the real name of the man formerly known as Henry Gale is Ben (or is it?) — confusion still reigns supreme. The Byrds' cryptically jangly lament applies to Jack, Sawyer, and Kate's condition upon waking up in the Hydra Station, or to viewers still trying to piece everything together. – Heather Phares

Feeling mysterious is just the daily condition for Lost's collection of misfit souls, who may or may not be in purgatory, already dead, or the last people left alive in the world. Short of Driveshaft's "You All Everybody" or that elusive Geronimo Jackson album, this song captures Lost's clever mix of wit and paranoia perfectly. – Heather Phares

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

It was used in the actual show and for good reason: since it's a dramatic look at life behind the scenes at a Saturday Night Live-type show, Studio 60 is all about delivering the funny under pressure. – Matt Collar

30 Rock

If Studio 60 is the dramatic look at life behind the scenes at a Saturday Night Live-type show, 30 Rock is the straight-up comedic version and hence Vanilla Ice's infamous repurposing of the classic bassline from "Under Pressure." Now, if we could only get Tina Fey to pull a Madonna and pose nude hitchhiking with Alec Baldwin…. – Matt Collar


Technically, Jericho is a small town in dust, but Siouxsie and the Banshees' classic single has the same feelings of paranoia, isolation, dread, and destruction that the show plans to explore — and it's only four minutes long! – Heather Phares

"In the seaside town they forgot to bomb…."


A group of friends helping each other get through the day, pairing off, and making with the funny; seems "like we've been there before…." – Matt Collar

House of Carters

While the rest of the Carter family may grow on us (like an infestation of chiggers), it's the always golden, recently bloated brothers who keep our hearts so firmly lodged in our collective throats. "The road is long" indeed, as each episode would benefit greatly from a slow-motion montage of the puffy-eyed siblings slap-fighting to this universal ode to the trials and tribulations of brotherhood. – James Christopher Monger

Yeah, the nonstop train wreck that is House of Carters is "dishy, dysfunctional gold," as the US Weekly pull-quote on the series' website states. Nevertheless, the show seems to downplay the creepiness and sadness lurking in the rift between the Carter kids and their parents. Peter Gabriel's character sketch of an emotionally neglected, would-be assassin more than fits the bill. Even though the Carters probably won't go completely postal on every episode, each of the kids gets way too close to a nervous breakdown for comfort. – Heather Phares

Not only is it sung by a Carter, but it's all about being there for those you love when they need you most and stuff. – Matt Collar

The Rachael Ray Show

Love her or hate her (and there are plenty of folks in both camps), you have to admit Rachael Ray has moxie. She's spun the girl-next-door bit into an empire of Stewart-esque proportions without any discernible skills whatsoever. She's not a cook, not particularly adept at being a hostess, kind of gawky onscreen, and a wee bit shouty. She might turn out to be a great chat show host, though the early reports are mixed on that front. How can you explain her rise to power then? You could say it's because of Oprah's patronage if you were feeling cynical, or you could say it's down to RR's unswervingly sunny disposition and her ever-present giddy smile if you want to give the girl herself some credit. Maybe it's her general gee-whiz-itude or because her dog's name is Isaboo. Isn't that cute?! Anyhow, Ray's superhero theme song has got to be "Walking on Sunshine." Probably not the Eddy Grant song, because the girl-next-door in her neighborhood wouldn't be wise to Mr. Grant; more likely the Katrina & the Waves version, because no one could escape that one. Much like RR herself. (Just to be difficult, here's the original K & the Ws version before it got all prettied up for U.S. release.) – Tim Sendra


Survivor: Cook Islands' racially segregated tribes were an attention-getting ratings gambit for the show's first few episodes, but now that the four tribelets have merged into two bigger, more blended tribes, it's all peace, love, and harmony. Well, not really, but Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People" conveys the feeling of the new, more integrated teams pretty well. – Heather Phares

CBS could undo some of the damage it accrued from racially segregating its current contestants by inserting the five members of the kickass AOR band Survivor onto the island to jump out of the bushes during challenges and sing their mammoth 1982 hit to the winners. After all, "Eye of the Tiger" was what helped bring the Italian Stallion and Apollo Creed together in Rocky III. – James Christopher Monger

Curb Your Enthusiasm

He may not be as chemically dependant as the guy Randy Newman portrays in this woozy love ballad, but with lines like "How come I never do what I'm supposed to do?/How come everything I try to do never comes out right?" and "You know/You know how it is with me, baby/You know I just can't help myself," the sentiment is dead-on for the self-inflicted awkwardness of HBO's resident tactless hero, Larry David. Like David, Newman's character stumbles about with the best of romantic intentions but ultimately just digs himself deeper and deeper into a delightfully uncomfortable hole. Both Newman and David have the uncanny ability to make you want to hug them — despite the fact that they've just deeply insulted you. Charmingly reprehensible. ~ J. Scott McClintock

The angular indie rock unit Chavez was led by singer/guitarist Matt Sweeney, the former frontman of New Jersey's Skunk. Following the group's demise, Sweeney joined the New York band Wider, which included onetime Live Skull drummer James Lo; when Wider dissolved in 1992, Sweeney began playing with ex-Bullet Lavolta guitarist Clay Tarver. Lo joined not long after, and with bassist Davey Hoskins, Chavez cut its first demo recordings in late 1993. Following Hoskins' exit and the recruitment of bassist Scott Masciarelli (also known as Scott Marshall, the son of Happy Days creator Garry Marshall), the band made its live debut; soon, the anthemic 1994 debut single "Repeat the Ending" and a reputation for stunning live sets made Chavez a hot commodity on the New York … Read More.

4 thoughts on “Meta or Not? AMG’s Chavez Bio Screams Nick Sylvester”

  1. For better or worse, uh worse, this kind of thing is Nick Sylvester-lite which is Dave Queen-lite which is etc, etc, etc. I blame the editors who shop for this shit.

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