Jan 10, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Is there anything quite as satisfying as being able to say, “I told you so”? I don’t think so.
The phrase implicitly reminds those who hear it that, “You should have listened to me.”
Well, I told you so.
In my Dec. 28 column I wrote, “You’re a jerk if you go to First Night.” The Dec. 31 bash at Onondaga Lake Park was headlined by New Boyz, a couple rappers from SoCal who muddied up the celebration with putrid patter, misguided misogyny and obscene gestures. The Boyz specialize in a new dance style called “jerkin.”
All this at an event heavily hyped as “family-friendly.”
After all, booze was banned!
But cocktails are civilized compared to the litany of four-letter words pouring from the speakers when these 20-year-old “pop stars” took the stage. That’s right, these so-called “artists’ aren’t even old enough to drink! In fact, they’re so immature that they refused to tone down their explicit performance even after First Night producers from Galaxy Communications politely asked them to keep it clean.
Crawling out of the Mojave Desert town of Hesperia, Calif., the New Boyz are two 20-year-olds named Earl “Ben J” Benjamin and Dominic “Legacy” Thomas. In 2009, the duo scored its first hit with a track titled “You’re a Jerk.”
Visitor Brenda Newkirk was shocked by the group’s “absolutely appalling vulgarity.” Newkirk — who drove her family from Weedsport and paid the First Night adult ticket price of $8 each — deduced that Ben J and Legacy “have no self-respect, nor respect for anyone else.” Well said.
Since New Year’s Day, Galaxy and sponsors AmeriCU Credit Union and Burdick Family of Dealerships at Driver’s Village have all been busy wiping egg from their faces. And the yolk’s on Onondaga County Parks & Recreation, where the outrage was staged.
Before booking the New Boyz, “family-friendly” First Night organizers should’ve had second thoughts about performers whose recent hits include titles like “Tie Me Down,” “Backseat” and “Better with the Lights Off.”
After all that blue noise roared from the massive sound system on New Year’s Eve, the post-concert fireworks were especially refreshing. Like the musicians, the pyrotechnics exploded loudly. They were colorful and flashy. Unlike the Boyz, however, the fireworks were pure of spirit.
Woody Allen’s 41st film, “Midnight in Paris” so delightfully re-created the West Bank of the 1920s that it reportedly charmed the most jaded critics at the annual Cannes Film Fest. A more familiar reviewer, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, simply stated, “There is nothing to dislike about it.”
Decide for yourself when Woody’s movie screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June, 16, at Liverpool Public Library as part its Foreign and Independent Film Series. Admission is free and so is the popcorn and soda!
“Midnight in Paris” stars Owen Wilson and Rachel Adams as newlyweds whose lives change dramatically when the husband finds himself immersed in the Jazz Age. Kathy Bates appears as Gertrude Stein; lpl.org; 457-0310.
Bluesman Kelly James, who lived in Liverpool for many years, died Jan. 3, at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Kelly was 76 years old, but you could’ve fooled me. I thought the guy was 20 years younger.
Standing 6-foot-6, Kelly was a presence wherever he went. His girth attracted both the New York Jets professional football team and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, for whom he worked from the mid-1970s until 1991.
After retiring from law enforcement, Kelly used his booming voice and engaging smile to become front man for the blues group Triple Shot. Before long he helped found The Kingsnakes, Syracuse’s pioneering Chicago-style electric blues band. Later, he led Dr. Blue and The Night Crew before going solo as K.J. James.
In that incarnation, Kelly’s music career blossomed on the college circuit.
“K.J.’s campus coffeehouse concerts were legendary,” said his Baltimore-based booking agent, Bob Klages. “K.J. inspired generations of musicians on college campuses all across our region. He was an ambassador of the blues and always proud of his association with the great blues musicians in Central New York.”
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