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File For April

| March 30, 2006 | 0 Comments


On Saturday, March 11th, perhaps the first truly beautiful day of the year, a line outside the Elbo Room in Lincoln Park stretched all the way down the block. The gathering might not have looked particularly out of place at the venue except that it was mid-afternoon, not late evening the night of a hyped rock show. These mid-20s to late 30s line-dwellers sported cowboy hats, sunglasses, ripped jeans, and unabashed long hair, not to mention a guitar every third person. They didn’t want to see a rock show, they want to be the rock show.

These people were all lured from their homes by open auditions for season two of “Rock Star,” which scored a surprise smash hit last year with its search for a singer to lead the revitalized INXS. But lest you assume this was a day resembling anything close to some form of “American Idol”-esque auditions, it should be noted there was nary a bottled-blonde with an eating disorder and a diva complex in sight. If anything, the crowd represented a strong showing of Chicago’s substance-over-glamour attitude.

Hopefuls waited hours for their chance to perform in front of the “Rock Star” talent scouts and show producers, guesses ran rampant about just which act they were in fact auditioning for. Some speculated Alice In Chains, while others suggested Van Halen or Tommy Lee’s solo project. “I heard it was Nirvana,” one hopeful was overheard remarking.

With would-be rockers coming from throughout the Midwest (including Detroit and Cleveland), it was evident many took the opportunity seriously. There was also an obvious level of proficiency on the part of many of the applicants, choosing their try-out songs by the likes of Janis Joplin and . . . Journey?

A woman who only identified herself as Tiffany (I’m fairly certain that artist moniker’s been used already, hon) summed up the experience best.

“There’s too many things in life that are so much bigger than whether or not something like this happens. I mean, it’d be really cool if it does happen, but the important things in life are your family and the people that love you.”

Rock stars, indeed.

Jaime de’Medici


For years rock stars have been immortalized in the form of dolls and action figurines. So why has it taken so long to get Biz Markie in on this shit?

The official Diabolical Biz Markie doll is now available, thanks to Extended Play. Standing nearly two feet tall, the doll comes equipped with a “BIZ” hat and three-finger ring, a mesh Boston Bruins jersey, hand-tailored jeans, and is packaged in a custom-made cereal box. If that wasn’t enough, the doll also beat boxes when he gets his belly poked (Just like the real Biz!) and is armed with a “booger pickin’ finger” left hand.

We can’t think of any reason why this won’t be the hottest thing on the doll market since Tickle Me Elmo, and quantity is limited to 1,000 of these puppies.

Go to www.bizmarkiedoll.com



Stepping up to the counter and hawking your old CDs at a used music store can be a frustrating and embarrassing process. First, there is the absurd $2 you’re given for a spotless CD that the store will turn around and sell for $8, then there’s there’s the ousting of some of your one-time questionable tastes when the clerk discovers you’re trying to purge your collection of Powerman 5000.

Thanks to a new crop of Web sites popping up lately, you not only can trade CDs more or less anonymously, but also at a much better value. Sites like BarterBee, TitleTrader, Lala, and Peerflix allow members to trade in unwanted CDs, video games, and movies for stuff you do want. No cash is exchanged between buyers and sellers, instead members collect points: The more items you sell, the more points you collect, which you use to purchase other used CDs, DVDs, and games. Each site varies as to what it specializes in: Lala is strictly CDs for example, while TitleTrader stocks all three categories. We gave BarterBee a try and were psyched to get five free points and $1 (to cover shipping and handling) just for creating an account. The site is easy to navigate, cheap (few CDs priced more than seven points; most are less), and listing your own items is as easy as typing in a bar code. We do worry about the integrity of our fellow members, though, because as of press time IE still hadn’t sold our copy of Sugar Ray’s masterpiece, Floored.

Trevor Fisher

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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