Lady GaGa Likes THE BOSS

Lady GaGa’s enthralling Monster Ball Tour stopped at the Prudential Center in Newark on April 22nd, 2011 and The Sexy Armpit was there to witness the spectacle. Since I previously saw GaGa in Atlantic City, I wasn’t surprised when I saw her dramatic Monster Ballads type performance of “You and I,” during which she pounded away on the keys of her flaming piano, even occasionally foregoing her fingers to use her stiletto heel. She usually dedicates “You and I” to someone and this night it went out to her grandfather, a New Jersey native. I’m glad that YouTube member music4life324 captured GaGa’s intro to this song because here GaGa elaborates on her other associations with New Jersey. GaGa always makes it well known that she’s from New York, but it’s interesting to see how many New Yorkers have plenty Jersey connections as well.
Even several years after her debut, GaGa is still winning fans over. Recently, HBO premiered their presentation of The Monster Ball Tour taped at Madison Square Garden. Even the queen of glam rock on the Internet, Allyson from Bring Back Glam recently described GaGa’s latest video for “Judas” as “Metal,” and I fully agree. Of course there was a barrage of comments left on her post, many of which took exception to putting the pop icon in this category. Unfortunately, there aren’t many rock or metal bands who are badass enough to be called METAL nowadays! Isn’t it sad when our pop icons have more metal attitude in their petite 5’1 firecracker of a body than most actual metal bands today? I’ll take GaGa’s stiletto heels, pyro, and exposed butt cheeks any day.
It’s also pretty cool to know that GaGa knows who the BOSS is and I’m not talking about Judith Light. Many of the tracks on GaGa’s latest album “Born This Way” (available today) are influenced by Bruce Springsteen. She even had “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons do a guest spot on “Edge of Glory.” The following GaGa quote from an article on is taken from an upcoming MTV documentary, Inside the Outside, airing 5/26:

“Springsteen had such an influence on our home,” she says. “My father gave me, I believe it was for Christmas, a Bruce Springsteen songbook for the piano and on it was ‘Thunder Road,’ which is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song. My dad said, ‘If you learn how to play this song we will take out a loan for a grand piano, a baby grand.’ So I remember it was the hardest thing for me. I was playing these huge (classical) pieces, like 15 pages long, … and then there was this Bruce Springsteen song. I opened up the book and there was like chords, guitar chords. I was so confused. I didn’t understand it, so I just started to read it and eventually, eventually I got it down.” – Lady Gaga Reflects on Springsteen Influence for ‘Inside the Outside’ Doc by Phil Gallo 5/18/2011

What I Got For Christmas – 2010 Edition

Xmas 2010!

I’m not going to sit here and pout about how old I feel or how Christmas doesn’t effect me anymore. OK, so, I admit I can’t watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas if it’s past 8 PM or I will fall asleep on the couch. Naturally, Christmas time has become more hectic as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still one of the most fun times of the year. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting presents (of course there’s always some jackass who says they hate getting gifts), but giving gifts is even more fun. Some of the gifts I gave this year included a custom sculpted Dean Martin statue, an iPod, and a Kitchen Aid mixer. Those items may not intrigue you, but they delighted their receipients. Now it’s time to show you some of the stuff that I got for Christmas. It was impossible to fit every gift into the picture so some of the items are not shown, but I’ll tell you all about them.

My girlfriend knows how I feel about snuggies. But she went out on a limb anyway and bought me the Superman snuggie as a goof thinking that I would get a kick out of it. I think it’s actually really cool. See how the super hero/fanboy aspect changes the perspective of everything? For example, my reaction if you gave me a package of napkins for Christmas: “Oh great…napkins,” but if they had the Bat symbol on them look at how quickly the reaction changes: “OH THESE ARE SOME F*CKING COOL NAPKINS! THANK YOU!!!” Something tells me that those napkins are never coming out of the cellophane! In the end, the Superman snuggie was a fun gift, but not because it’s a snuggie, there’s more to it than that. Donning this snuggie actually transforms you into a comfy, cozy Superman because it has Superman’s costume on the front of it! The only problem is, when I put it on, I don’t feel like saving the good citizens of Metropolis from a disaster, I really feel like zonking out on my couch. It’s a little couterproductive, but at least I’ll be Superman in my dreams.

It’s nearly impossible to buy me a DVD or Blu-ray disc that I don’t already have. There are so many movies that I enjoy but I don’t see myself ever watching again. For me to own a movie it has to have a high rewatchability factor. Such is the case of Scott Pilgrim on Blu-ray because it kicks ass and it’s visually exciting. This was one of the only things I really had on my imaginary wish list. The vintage record album drink coaster set was a really cool gift too. I do have several coasters at home, but these are unique and look exactly like their original vinyl counterpart. (If you have really keen eyesight, you noticed that the one visible in the picture is a RUN DMC album.) There was also STAR WARS Mad Libs! which are even more fun if you fill them in with fellow Star Wars fans. *Here’s an example of what my friends and I came up with: “The Force is an energy field created by all living FECES” (plural noun), and “A Jedi can also use the Force to move objects with his or her TONGUE” (part of the body).

A couple of weeks before reading about it on X-E, I saw the Christmas Smurf plush at Macy’s with my girlfriend and I wanted one to add to my Christmas condo decorations. I was always a big Smurfs fan as a kid, but I have yet to buy any of the new Smurf collectibles. Once the movie comes out there will be Smurfs everywhere, so this is just the Smurf of the iceberg. What makes this Christmas Smurf different from the other ones in the store was that he had a ticket for Lady Gaga at the Prudential Center in Newark attached to his scarf! I don’t care if you want to disown me now that you know that I am a Gaga fan. After seeing Lady Gaga live in concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this past July, I rank her show just below a KISS concert. It’s a huge production that has a storyline, elaborate choreography, and music that she pours her heart and soul into.

As you can see, I was very fortunate and Santa Claus treated me well this year. I also received plenty of nice shirts, ties, a scarf, tea tree shampoo, money, and gift cards. Thank you to everyone for the AWESOME gifts! What were some of the gifts you received this year?

Bamboozle Roadshow 2010 Review

If the temperature is pushing 90 degrees with a threat of severe thunderstorms would you want to stand outside for 6 hours? The last thing I wanted to do on an oppressively hot and humid day was to go to an all day outdoor music festival. Even with dark clouds and flashes of lightning looming in the sky, the Jackson, NJ stop of The Bamboozle Roadshow pushed ahead. All the bands I was able to catch remained positive and enthusiastic regardless of the fact the stages looked like their grandmothers houses in the ’80s, with speakers and equipment covered in plastic. Fading in and out in the atmosphere were faint screams of the legions of park and concert goers, mostly young teenagers, whipping around on roller coasters and other thrill rides. There was also the sweet scent of churros creeping up my nostrils as Six Flags Great Adventure set the perfect scene for a sweltering day of music and rides.

The bands featured on The Bamboozle Roadshow were divided onto 2 stages. The first 8 bands played on a stage by The Dark Knight Coaster while the headlining acts got an actual arena (The Northern Star Arena), which felt like it was 17 miles away. Considering the park takes up 2200 acres of land, I would have loved to have traveled back and forth in a climate controlled motorized cart. Did they want me to pass out from heat exhaustion while traversing the vast theme park? Luckily Coca-Cola was a sponsor of the event and they had a huge Igloo shaped tent set up where people could go in, cool off in the frosty air, drink some free Coca-Cola, and listen to some music before heading back out into the heat.

six flags,bamboozle,new jersey

By the time I parked and walked 2 miles to the entrance, the first band I caught was Mercy Mercedes. They were playing a song with a summer vibe that rhymed FM station with good vibration so I knew what I was in for. Songs like “Shiver Me Timbers” incorporated great vocal melodies that had the whole crowd singing and clapping along. After their set I saw a security guard sneaking the band onto Nitro to beat the lines. I then referenced the list in my pocket notebook. Number #972 of why it would kick ass to be in a band: “because you can get on any ride whenever the hell you want regardless of your popularity.”

The minute Cady Groves stepped on stage, a good portion of the crowd began to flock to rides, and for food. Grove’s loyal tween fanbase remained attentive. Like an Avril without the annoying angst, Groves’ set only ran about 25 minutes. It’s a good thing too because many of her tracks weren’t very exciting and even had a bit of twang, which sounded out of place crammed in between Mercy Mercedes and Great Big Planes. On tracks like “The Life of a Pirate,” Groves proved she’s just a mellow non-threatening role model for your young daughter, which isn’t a bad thing when you consider that Miley Cyrus is already parading around pantsless and making out with anyone’s mouth that’s available. Groves definitely needs to fine tune her stage presence as one of the only unintentionally amusing things she said in her set was “You guys are awesome at clapping.”

six flags,great adventure,new jersey,vita chambers

Vita Chambers was more my speed. With her effervescent voice and upbeat vibe it seems Vita is a disciple of Gwen Stefani. Her whole band was lively and eager to rock the crowd. During their set, songs such as “The Get Go” and “Get Out My Head” easily stuck in my head. I won’t lie, I downloaded their EP on iTunes when I got home. There’s actually a huge difference between the live version and studio recordings. After seeing their balls out performance, it’s obvious that the band and Chambers herself are more in their element when in front of an audience with their music blasting loud. Their EP doesn’t do them justice because it sounds like the producers were trying to angle her as the next Pink rather than the next Gwen Stefani or Hayley Williams. In a curious tone Vita asked the crowd “Can New Jersey Dance?” during their cover of Lady Gaga‘s “Telephone.” The exuberant band ended their set on a high note with their best track, “Like Boom.” Watch out parents – she’ll be opening up for Justin Bieber at The Prudential Center in Newark on 8/28/10.

stereo skyline,new jersey,six flags,bamboozle,great adventure

For a group out of Long Island, NY, Stereo Skyline looks more like beach bums from Southern California. They are like a Nelson or Trixter for a new generation of kids. Their set was filled with pop rock saturated with Hanson-esque melodies, all of which will be featured on their first full length album that will be released this month. Although many of their tracks come off as something you’d hear on Kidz Bop, “Downtown” on the other hand stood out. Lead singer Kevin Bard yelled “I love New Jersey” and the girls went nuts. Bard was wearing a vintage Coke shirt. Their first album isn’t even out yet and he already knows all about product placement! Record Company darlings.

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They hail from Texas and they’ve been around for a few years, but this was the first I was hearing of Forever The Sickest Kids. I didn’t expect much for a band with such a long and intricate name. Haven’t they heard of the KISS principle? It was apparent why they were one of the headlining acts once I observed their knack for charging up the crowd. According to lead singer Jonathan Cook’s mic stand, the abbreviation of the bands name is FTSK and they are sort of like a more power pop oriented Blink 182. I enjoyed their fast paced, hook filled, microphone launching extravaganza. The track that proved most engaging to the audience was “Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)” which had the audience fist pumping like pros when it dawned on Cook, “I didn’t realize when we were fist pumping that we were in New Jersey!”

Then a dance beat introduced, “Hey Brittany,” but it luckily turned into a full on rock song complete with keyboards and a sweet chorus of “So where do we go?” Cook also gauged the crowd as to whether they wanted to see Justin Bieber or N Sync, and the resounding ear drum shattering response for Bieber made it obvious that artists don’t stick around for long in young people’s eyes. I’d hate to know what they think about New Kids on the Block, and shit, they most definitely don’t even know who Debbie Gibson is. The crowd went completely apeshit when Cook asked if they were ready for LMFAO. Those guys are responsible for the Jersey Shore theme song. Even though they were the headlining act, I didn’t stick around for their set. FTSK is finishing up a new album “The Weekend: Saturday” which is slated for a September release.

six flags,simple plan,bamboozle,new jersey

For a band that I projected would be a flash in the pan, Simple Plan has enjoyed a fairly long successful career compared to other bands that emerged during the same time they did. They give it their all on stage and many of their songs seem to have aged pretty well. I was never a huge fan of theirs but over the years songs like “Addicted” and “I’d Do Anything” have have grown on me. Frontman Pierre Bouvier announced their new album will be released soon and they even played one of their new tracks for us called “You Suck at Love,” which is an upbeat pop-punk track in line with their other songs. “I Love New Jersey!” yelled Pierre. This whole concert was an unprecedented Jersey love fest. These guys are state misogynists, they must tell every state and city that they love them. They are from Canada so I don’t really know how much they truly love any of us down here in Jersey!

new jersey,six flags,good charlotte,bamboozle

Good Charlotte was the last band that I stayed for since I felt like I was seconds away from passing out. Since they first hit the scene Good Charlotte’s music has matured and became less about pop punk and more about exploring other styles and reinventing themselves. None of that mattered since the crowd was hyper familiar with their songs and sang along with every track. Good Charlotte played all their big hits from “Girls and Boys” to “The Young and The Hopeless” and even throwing in “Like It’s Her Birthday,” a new track off their upcoming album, Cardiology, which the band says is a return to their pop-punk roots. And I thought I was hot? Joel and Benji Madden were in their typical attire: black jeans, shirts, vests, and hats. They might as well have been playing at a ski resort.

By the time I left the rain held out and the threat of a storm diminished, but the heat was still present. Other bands that I did not stay for were LMFAO, Third Eye Blind, and Boys Like Girls among others. The overstimulation of a concert festival like The Bamboozle Roadshow was perfect for the A.D.D generation. It was not designed for older folks who complain about having to sit through ONE opening band. If you are like that you might have hurled yourself off of El Toro just to put yourself out of your misery.

The Bamboozle at the Meadowlands usually attracts a wider crowed because of their big name bands such as No Doubt, Weezer, and Paramore, but the Roadshow was more accessible and geared toward a younger crowd. I imagine many of the kids who attended the daytine portion of the conert had to beg their parents to take the day off of school because some schools were still in session. Hopefully next time Bamboozle Roadshow pulls into Six Flags it will be on a weekend. Regardless of taking place on a Thursday, tons of people invaded the park and witnessed a slew of amped up bands performing quick, energetic sets. Then those same people blasted off on roller coasters, gulped down gigantic Great Adventure souvenir cups full of sugary soda, and goofed off, exactly what a summer day is all about.

*All photos taken by The Sexy

Lea Michele is May’s Garden State Playmate

glee,lea michele,new jersey

Even though her face looks like she’s trying to force out a really pesky dump whenever she sings, Glee‘s Lea Michele is May’s Garden State Playmate. She’s not full fledged Jersey though, she was born in The Bronx but grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey. Previous to scoring big with her role as high school singer Rachel Berry, Lea Michele was a promising young stage actress (showing your boobs really displays your acting chops), starring in productions of Spring Awakening and Les Miserables.

glee,lea michele,new jersey

Since debuting last year, it didn’t take long for Glee and it’s stars to skyrocket to fame. I admit watching the original preview of the show in Hulu but I couldn’t get through the first 10 minutes. It seems like the country is obsessed with hearing people perform music that isn’t theirs. It’s like everyone has the Karaoke virus. I blame American Idol. Hearing the cast sing Madonna and Lady Gaga songs doesn’t impress me. OK, so I’m a party pooper, but sue me if I’d rather pop in my ear buds and listen to the REAL songs.

lea michele,glee,new jersey

And for the record, in the world of The Sexy Armpit, “Gleek” can only describe a rambunctious blue monkey who hangs out with The Wonder Twins, but now, crazed fans of the hit Fox TV show are also calling themselves Gleeks. Zan and Jayna need to call their lawyer!

Madonna in New Jersey: “Into The Groove” – Blond Ambition Tour 1990

Recently, Madonna lent her music to Fox’s show Glee, and I inadvertently caught bits and pieces of it. I’m sorry if you love the show, but it’s fairly cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, Jane Lynch is hysterical, but the rest of the show just reminds me of a hipper version of High School Musical. The episode I saw, “The Power of Madonna,” had the cast performing Madonna’s big hits and recreating her videos throughout the show, but I would much rather hear the real thing.

I headed over to trusty YouTube and found a clip of Madonna performing one of my favorite songs of hers in New Jersey! It’s “Into The Groove,” from the East Rutherford, NJ stop on the Blond Ambition Tour in June of 1990 which took place at the Meadowlands Arena (aka Izod Center). If you can get past the banter at the beginning, it’s a damn fine performance, just as Madonna’s usually are. Also, it’s obvious that Lady Gaga’s style in the prison scene in her video for “Telephone” is clearly inspired by Blond Ambition era Madonna.

I’ll admit that I wanted to maul Madonna when I was a kid. It was abnormal because while most of my friends were tossing around a baseball with their friends, I was tossing in videocasettes of Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl, and The Virgin Tour VHS tape to ogle my future wife. I don’t regret not throwing the baseball around since I knew I wasn’t MLB bound, but I chalked it up to the fact that all my Madonna “research” may come in handy someday when I’m older and I need to write a blog post about one of Madonna’s performances in New Jersey.