Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Don’t Talk, Just Sing

I’ve always loved John Mellencamp’s song “Play Guitar,” in which he advises men who want to have success with the opposite sex that they should “forget all about that macho shit and learn how to play guitar.” In fact, any guy earns bonus sexy points by simply being able to sing.

I was reminded of this recently when I rewatched the movie “Team America.” You know, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s 2004 hilarious marionette movie about a band of American heroes saving the world from terrorism. I felt my dormant adoration of Trey Parker (see also my
June 6, 2005 blog post) reawaken as I watched. Or, more accurately, listened.

“Team America” is, in itself, not a romantic film. In fact, it’s gross, particularly the endless and cringeworthy marionette sex scene. Oh, and the vomiting. Funny? In a twisted way. Sexy? Big NO.

However, what sent my heart once again fluttering over Trey was the amazing fact that he wrote or co-wrote all the vocal numbers in the film, and performs them as well. He does the love ballad, the stirring hard rock theme song, the Broadway spoof song, the lament in a satirical Korean accent, the country-western political anthem--all of them. You would guess at least six people sang lead on these numbers, but it’s Trey.

My point here is that in watching this movie, I didn’t get to see Trey Parker, I didn’t get to experience any romance, no--I was watching these insane puppets. Meanwhile, the stuff Trey sang was all satire, and profanity-laced satire at that. Nevertheless when the film was over, I suffered from that symptom that always tells you that you are smitten: the urge to use Google Images to see if there were any new photos of the guy.

All because he can sing.

It reminds me of the night I first watched “Moulin Rouge!” and incredulously heard the first few notes emit from the throat of Ewan McGregor. Before that I found him fairly cute; after I checked IMDB to be sure it was really him singing the role of Christian, I was madly in love. Or let’s take the example of how Hugh Jackman’s stock rose in my eyes after I saw him play Curly in “Oklahoma!” (Wow, and I think those are the only two Broadway musicals with titles that end in exclamation points. Oops, except for “Carnival!” Of course, I also have higher regard for Jerry Orbach, may he rest in peace, because he sang the lead in that show on Broadway. But I digress.)

It’s amazing to me how you can feel completely neutral about a guy one moment, and experience heart-throbbing desire for him the next, simply because he sings. This sort of thing also happened to me regarding Les “Survivorman” Stroud last year. Sure, it’s attractive that he has the wisdom and courage to survive alone in the hostile wilderness. But it wasn’t till I heard him sing that I lost my heart to the guy and decided to write a whole romance story based on him (Soulful Sex The Science Fiction Collection’s “Spacewrecked with Joel Fennimore,” if you’re curious). I didn’t have Joel Fennimore sing in the story, though--no audio, it’s on paper.

I wish there were a way to convey in words the magic of this phenomenon. I wrote a novel once in which the heroine became completely captivated by the hero because of his singing voice, but it wasn’t easy to even try to make that work on paper. Which is a shame, because it’s obviously been a recurring theme in my life.

And here come the familiar strains again. I’m going to have to bust out my DVD of “Baseketball” in which Trey is particularly cute. Or even better, my DVD of “Cannibal: The Musical,” in which he sings a lot. And, happily, as himself rather than Kim Jong Il or Eric Cartman. Let’s not debate just now if either of these films is as good as the “South Park” movie--that’s not the point. Sure I admire Trey Parker for his wit, intelligence, ingenuity, guts, and sense of humor....

But there are times I simply want to say to him, “Honey, shut up and sing.”

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