Pop Philosophy

Teensploitation films; "Donna's Domain"

Itching and scratching Looking at the synopsis for Get Over It, the latest bit of cinematic fluffery from Miramax, you can almost hear the movie exec's thought process: "Jeez, this teen pic thing is getting a bit stale. Maybe if I combine it with Shakespeare in Love I'll have a hit and I could afford one of those cell phones where you just wear earplugs and walk around talking to yourself like some homeless bum."

Or something to that effect.

Released this week (and unscreened for critics), Get Over It tells the tragic tale of a jock who gets dumped by an ultra-hot chick and attempts to win her back -- by hanging out with a bunch of theater geeks. Is it just me or has the teensploitation genre really declined in quality in the last decade? The nerds used to exact their revenge; now they get made over into beauty queens.

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Sample of The Fairways' "Phthalo Blue," from the CD Is Everything All Right?. Click the "play" icon in the control console below.

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At least Get Over It has good music. Not only does it include songs by Elvis Costello and Badly Drawn Boy, but a key montage sequence is accompanied by 1 minute and 39 seconds of the Fairways' "Phthalo Blue."

According to Mark Sgarzi, co-owner of the Fairways' label Paris Caramel, director Tommy O'Haver (Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss) took a liking to Is Everything All Right?, the local pop band's debut CD.

"[The producers] sent me the script back in the fall, and I'd been pushing the Fairways for it," says Sgarzi. "At one point they wanted two songs."

There's no word yet on whether there will be a soundtrack released for the film, but since thong-loving R&B singer Sisqó has a supporting role, the possibility seems likely. Now that's an odd picture: S.F.'s shy indie-poppers back to back with Mister Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Up the Butt Bikini.

Sgarzi's not done promoting, either. In 40 Days and 40 Nights, another Miramax attempt at teen comedy based on the hilarious premise of self-enforced celibacy for Lent (produced in S.F. last fall), the label owner has arranged for a poster from 1999's San Francisco Pop Fest to be hanging in the lead character's bedroom.

"I've got a friend who works in the movies doing product placement, and now I'm realizing a greatly untapped place to market the indie pop," Sgarzi says. It seems unlikely that such placement moves much product -- just ask New York band Ladybug Transistor, whose poster was featured in the music geek flick High Fidelity -- but it would certainly be enjoyable to see barely known local indie band Wussom*Pow's name in a Hollywood movie. After all, if a group that's released only one 7-inch to date can have its name hanging in a Tinseltown bedroom, then it can't be long before Freddie Prinze Jr. is wearing a From Bubblegum to Sky pin on his lapel.

Appropriating the word "ho"Recently, members of the SF Indie list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sf_indie) were discussing Mark Kozelek's possibly racist comments during his Great American Music Hall show last month. Tangentially, a listee mentioned how his friends spoke well of the Red House Painters leader's love machine skills, which led to another person suggesting Kozelek be included on that Web beacon of girl empowerment, "Donna's Domain" (www.metal-sludge.com).

Taking feminism to new depths -- or in this case, lengths -- Donna Anderson and her "Domain" are dedicated to dishing the dirt on which heavy metallers do the deed the best, which do it the worst, and which don't do it at all. Donna's Ho-Bag page is the, um, depository for all the letters Anderson receives about rock stars' penis length, while Donna's Ho-Board section is where people sound off about getting off. (Past topics have included "The craziest reason you got backstage," "Men who have had Lars [Ulrich, Metallica's lead guitarist]," and "Does size matter?")

The biggest reason to browse the site is the Penis Chart (also known as "The Long & Short of It"), an annotated list of "who has what in those leather stage pants." Besides discussing quantity, the chart offers opinions about quality: According to the site, not only does Josh Lazie (ex-Danzig) have a "huge cock" and eat "amazing pussy," but he can also "toss a seriously good salad"! Anderson also writes that David Lee Roth likes to receive enemas, Bardi Martin of Candlebox "loves to be held," and Bret Michaels of Poison enjoys keeping his headband on during the mating ritual.

All this semi-slanderous reportage doesn't make Anderson and her friends feminists. But the tone of the chart, with its undying attention to the rockers' cunnilingus abilities and day-after actions, speaks volumes. "Donna's Domain" provides a valuable service for groupies who want to go backstage, get some quality rutting, and be treated like a human being. Gloria Steinem would approve. All right, maybe she wouldn't, but I bet she'd appreciate knowing that Edward Carlson of Flotsam & Jetsam is willing to be ass-played.

 
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