The Culture Bunker

Weep, weep, weep. The Afghan Whigs have broken up—which isn’t really that interesting because they’d already broken down. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a moment of silence for Steve Earle, Chris Mars, Grant Young, and all the other original drummers whose bands went to seed without them.

Saw the trailer for Ted Demme‘s Blow, which almost certainly will. After all when was the last Johnny Depp movie that didn’t? And when the hell is Penelope Cruise . . . erm, Cruz going to play a character that is actually from Spain?

That no-talent Eddie Burns is back, and marrying the still-hot Christy Turlington. Wasn’t he totally in love with that no-talent Heather Graham, like, two weeks ago? Or was that Lauren Holly? . . . As for Tom and Nicole, unlike Ms. Kidman, we long expected this day would come. One of them is, y’know, a Scientologist. “They were the Hollywood dream couple, our Nic and Tom,” one Aussie gossip columnist lamented. You mean it wasn’t Linda Kozlowski and Paul Hogan?

Can someone explain to us why Canada bothers to have its own awards when the five Juno nominees for best-selling album are Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, and Creed? Ah well, at least they managed to get one Canadian in there. What’s that? Creed’s not Canadian? How’s that possible? (A special note to our loyal readers: While we no longer live in Canada and thus cannot cover the Junos like the important breaking news it is, our friends in Ontario and Quebec have promised to send along some videotape. We wouldn’t miss it for the world, especially with the glamorous location of this year’s ceremonies.

It appears Lil’ Stevie Malkmus‘ new live outfit includes the backup vocalizing and tambourine wizardry of his girlfriend. If it was anyone else, we’d disapprove of such a move, but in Steve’s case we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he means it as ironic mockery of solo artist pretensions. Either that, or he’s gone all rock star on us.

Smash Mouth will be covering “I’m a Believer” for the upcoming DreamWorks animated flick, Shrek. They will then appear in the coming attractions for every movie ever. . . . Congratulations to Kent Manderville on breaking his scoring drought. . . . That suicide-by-cop thing is one f’d up bit of business. It makes way more sense to want to kill “the president.” . . . Speaking of politics, our friend Keith Lyle correctly notes that J.Lo is simultaneously hot and repulsive. She’s like a Puerto Rican Courtney Love. Of course, Jennifer would never humiliate herself by trying to get into Bobby Gillespie‘s trousers, but on the other hand, wouldn’t she and Russell Crowe make a nice couple?

If the XFL does nothing more than make Lorne Michaels “despondent and enraged,” well, we’re OK with that. . . . The only thing duller than the Westminster Dog Show is the NPR report that morning. . . . By the way, Hitmen (with the exception of Mike Archie, who had two touchdowns; hey, Mike, so what if you got cut by the Titans—it’s not like they ever won a Super Bowl or anything) SUCK!

We’d like to offer a second Culture Bunker Clio award to our man Jack for his beautiful performance in the Jack in the Box commercial with the nozzle. Jack is a subtly expressive comic actor. . . . Alas, the Snickers Cruncher is no better than a Whatchamacallit. It doesn’t suck, but it doesn’t live up to the Snickers name either. . . . Penn and Teller for Pizza Hut seems a little whorish, just because people who live (or once lived) in New York should never endorse fake pizza. Otherwise, we can’t say anything bad about Penn, for long-ago obscure reasons. . . . Meanwhile, however much money Pizza Hut gave those two, you could give it all to us and we still wouldn’t go see The Invisible Circus.

Finally, the correct answer is Gladiator, Ed Harris, Julia Roberts, Benicio Del Toro, Kate Hudson, Steven Soderbergh.