previous article | | next article
Ringing in the new year with MTV's New Year's Bash!
Matt - 1/02/01

Well, 2001 is here, bringing with it the obvious movie marathon of Kubrick's 2001, and the inexplicable marathon of HBO's Sex and the City. But almost no one who was shamefully sitting in front of a television come ten to twelve was watching monkeys or Sarah Jessica Parker. The East coast tradition on New Year's Eve for couch potatoes has always been the world's first known anti-aging super android, Dick Clark.

Out of fear of having a good time, I avoided the groups of friends who were actually doing something memorable and instead headed out to two parties which respectfully consisted of either total strangers fashioning candle wax into little statuettes in an incense filled room, or in the second case, watching a 15-year-old dance to what I'm pretty sure was the soundtrack from Ghost. In both cases, I was pretty perturbed that my core group doubled as clean and sober straight edge masochists, leaving me with far less drive to drink myself into a heavenly oblivion to completely forget what surrounded me. Since I couldn't do that, I tried focusing my eyes on the television, which by some act of Satan himself, was tuned in to MTV's New Year's Bash in both parties.

The thought that I rang in the true new millennium watching Papa Roach make jokes about Cup O'Noodles and Rose McGowan go cross-eyed trying to dance behind Carson Daly isn't something I'm proud of, but at least I'm not laying in a pool of my own sick right now. Well, from alcohol poisoning, anyway. Most people rang the new year in with a kiss. I rang it in by watching Marilyn Manson take his shirt off.

Now, if you'll recall some of the MP3 links I've put up on the site in the past, its pretty clear that I don't watch much MTV. Most of what I listen to is too old or too unpopular to really get air time. Because of that, I don't have as many gripes with MTV as most do...its obviously as much as a pure music channel as Fox is, but it certainly gives us a lot to laugh at. So, I'm sitting at these parties, drowning my sorrows in a Snapple because nobody was serving anything else god dammit, and I had the enchanting experience of seeing how rock stars spend the holiday season. The results? Surreal. Let's take a look at what went down, but always remember: these people are far more important and beautiful than we are. Trying to emulate this kind of good time is only gonna result in mass disappointment. You can hire all the 15 year old girls to scream at you as you want...your parties just aren't going to have the same effect without Rachel Leigh Cook's cheetah hairdo serving as the guiding light.

Things to know before I start detailing my miserable New Year's Experience watching MTV:

* While I shamefully watched TV on New Year's, this party wasn't a 'let's watch television party.' We save those for the 4th of July. There was (bad) music playing (loudly), and the sound on the television set was turned off. I have watched select parts of this throughout the six times MTV has rerunned the show today, but for the most part, I'm making up what happened to the best of my ability considering that I didn't actually hear it. (which is the only way to explain how I was able to sit through it)

* I was extremely bitter while watching it, considering how my friends who I had abandoned to go to shitty parties were actually in Times Square spending too much money on alcohol. Meanwhile, I was asking strangers to pass me the Sun Chips. In other words, you should expect much of that bitterness to shine through this review.

* Because I was extremely bored, and because the sound was off, I made a private game to myself imagining what these assorted celebrities and idiot veejays were saying. So if you too sat through this, please don't e-mail me to tell me that Carson really didn't tell Rose McGowan that she looks like Fred Basset. Its understood.

* This was, overall, a very traumatic New Year's Eve for me. Following this MTV fiasco, we somehow ended up watching the infomercial about that food vacuum sealer, where the guy shows its power by crushing 36 empty cans of soda, which completely negated the earlier visuals of him vacuum sealing soft strawberries. Point: again, expect a lot of bitterness over my shitty night. I hope your New Year's was better than mine...

* I don't really consider myself a hateful person. I'm pretty irritable, but I don't think I wish death on people all that often. Unfortunately, this is a trait I'll have to scratch off my 'pros' list while pitching marriage in my fan letters to Lisa Kudrow - because if its the last thing I do, I will go out and murder Teck Money with absolutely no remorse.

Now, let's get started.

To set the stage, your main hosts are Carson Daly, best known for his ability to keep a straight face while announcing Bye Bye Bye as the number one video on Total Request Live, and Rachel Leigh Cook, best known for her ability to keep a straight face while working alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. Combined, they keep two of the straightest faces of all time playing king and queen to the absolute hippest way to break in the true new millennium.

Our group of embittered judges gave Rachel some points for her new wild hairstyle, but deducted a few from Carson's total score for wearing jeans with a suit top. Not that either of them should be concerned about getting black marks on their outfits or hairstyles tonight, since the other benefit of being a godlike celebrity aside from getting paid to literally stand in place and talk to each other for three hours is the skill of paying to wipe blemishes off your resume - a very evident case when you consider some of Rachel's all-but-forgotten past roles in The Babysitters Club movie, and an appearance on the Outer Limits that makes the acting we saw when I reviewed Santa Claws look like it was directed by Oliver Stone himself.

As for Carson, he gets a bad rep for all the wrong reasons. People shouldn't hate him because he gets paid zillions! of dollars to stand around famous rock stars and teen dreams, trying to come up with questions that won't make their heads explode. No, we should be jealous because of that. However, we should hate him because he's too nice of a guy to give a steamy, seedy interview in Gear Magazine telling the world if he ever used Jennifer Love Hewitt's chest as a coffee cup shelf while reading in bed. Don't hate him for his dream job...hate him because he's not exploiting it to the full potential.

Now that I've had time to reflect on last night, I'm glad the 'parties' I attended were so subdued. Had I even the slightest bit of energy, or even the slightest inclination that I wasn't partaking in the worst night of my life, I may very well have gotten up and set the television on fire when that freakin idiot Teck showed up. I. HATE. HIM. DIE. I swear, I know we come across a lot of celebs on this site who get bashed. Granted, most of them are animated characters or people in robot costumes, but yeah, we do some bashing. But its all with love. For Teck, I HAVE NO LOVE. PURE HATE, you see. Let's examine Teck for a moment...

Part of one of the seemingly endless streams of Real World casts, Teck was a womanizing asshole who had no misgivings in his quaint and personal testimonials about how he exists solely for the rosebuds of every female in a 30 mile radius. In his cast we had some of the biggest reasons for wrongful death penalties on the planet, but Teck really shined through as the all-star annoyance. After a season of rolling around the Real World house's Jacuzzi in his underwear and insulting all signs of intelligence across the world, Teck struck a deal with Satan to land a job as one of MTV's long line of upstanding veejays. I'm certain of the deal with Satan, because I'm pretty sure Satan is spiteful enough to want to really annoy anyone watching television. It might not be the same as taking our souls, but at least its something. Meanwhile, Teck also appears to have a problem keeping his inherent ability to move at the speed of light a la The Flash in check, since the lanky son of a bitch absolutely refuses to stop twisting around the screen and pushing his mythically large lips against the cameras. Adding to all this is Teck's horrible skill at knowing how to exist without intaking oxygen, which is the only way to explain how the guy manages to talk absolute and total nonsense in consistent six-minute strings of torture.

Making things even worse: he's at the World club at WWF introducing and parlaying with rap sensation Xzibit. I don't know much about Xzibit, so I won't sit here and tell you why you shouldn't listen to his music. If you saw the show, you'd know that he did a pretty good job of telling you why himself. Again, I initially watched the show with the sound off, something which I'll continue to thank God for till the day the aliens land with their magic human beans and explain what really went on. We'll have more on Teck and Xzibit later. I'm sure you're looking forward to it almost as much as I am.

Julia: Haha, well Kurt, I actually used to be black. I just painted myself white because I was sick of the people at McDonald's always assuming I wanted barbecue sauce with my Chicken McNuggets.

While she doesn't land a line quite that offensive, Julia Styles manages to come off like a southern grandfather before slipping into plugs for one of her many new movies, the latest, literally, being about a white girl who learns to dance like a black girl. A 5 star affair based on that alone, the project dropped its working title of Casablanca 2001 and can be seen shortly in theaters throughout the nation as Save The Last Dance.

Seven floors up and on the roof, 'Sway' talks about the MTV Dance Competition that's going on. Several couples had been dancing for nearly twelve hours...the one who lasts the longest wins 20 grand. (conveniently, the second to last team bows out at around 12:02, making the contest seem as legit as Manson's eye color) The important thing: I watched this originally with the sound off. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I swore that this Sway guy was telling us that the world was coming to an end. You had to see the look on his face. I've never seen someone look so serious in my life. This was the sad highlight of my night, trying to figure out what kind of apocalyptic message Sway was trying to relay to the millions of losers stuck home on New Year's Eve. It was kinda a let down when I watched the show again and found out he was just saying 'yo yo yo,' but I guess I was setting myself up for disappointment by imagining him telling the world about oversized mutant clams, led by an evil doctor who fashioned them with mechanical legs in the hopes to take over the world.

Hey, I had to keep myself busy somehow.

Carson then had the pleasure of interviewing Marilyn Manson, who wasted no time in making jokes about being Mandy Moore's gynecologist.

Back when I was in high school, I think in my sophomore year, Manson was still obscure enough to be considered cool. (at least among the 5% of the school that had already been classified as very uncool. I was part of the 3% that was both uncool and wanted dead) Once Manson started getting bigger, the cerebral masses started to hate him. I could never understand that phenomenon. There needs to be a chart somewhere showing bands exactly what level of success they're allowed to reach before being classified as phony sellouts. Remember how everyone loved Green Day before everyone realized that everyone else loved Green Day? This is why I no longer wear band t-shirts. The fashion competition is just too stiff and changing. Doesn't matter much though...I'm not a Manson fan. Not that that should surprise you...I didn't like Paul from the Wonder Years or Ben from Mr. Belvedere either.

Papa Roach. I'll be honest here, I've heard some of their songs and they sounded like stuff I wrote when I was 14 and got caught smoking. I'd be a hypocrite if I said I hated whiny lyrics, especially since two of my favorite bands are New Order and Garbage - both of who's songs manage to find at least 5,000 ways to say 'life sucks'. I started punching myself when PR came on, realizing just how awful my night truly was. But, I got home, watched the show again, and what did I see? Papa Roach is covering Nirvana's Lithium. So they just grabbed themselves some bonus points.

Meanwhile...back to...fucking Teck. He reintroduces Xzzzkksdisiiibit, who arrive on the stage to a lackluster reaction, completely out of their usual audience. I didn't need to hear their music to form a negative opinion on them -- their antiestablishment 'Fuck Napster' and 'I Voted For Gore' shirts did that for me. After I finish learning how to play the clarinet and start headlining MTV shows, I'm gonna have a way cooler rebellious slant than these guys. 'Fuck Napster?' Oh come on...that's along the lines of 'save the whales' in simplicity. 'I Voted For Gore?' My oh my you bad man! When I'm a rock star, my shirt's gonna tell the world how I fucked Kurt Loder, and my bass player will wear a shirt citing his love for Mr. Phipps' Pretzel Chips. Now that's rebellious.

Carson gets his groove on as Rose McGowan struts her stuff. I'm a big Rose fan. Or, more directly, I'm a big fan of Rose's body. She's engaged to Manson so you know she's gotta be into freaky stuff. The girl probably plays checkers with two red teams. I'm not too sure about her movies, though. She's hot, but she's been in some awful flicks. In fact, let's break away from the party to end all parties to give you an abridged movie review of one of Rose's best known movies...Jawbreaker.

Jawbreaker: Veronica mingles with Heather I, II and III to be as popular as them, even though she hates them. She hates them enough to wish they were dead, but she would never want to be their cause of death though. When she starts dating Jason Dean, however, she finds herself involved in the murdering of most of her enemies, covered up as suicides.

Get it? Good.

2001 has arrived! As I cry watching the amazingly good time being had by millions of people about a half hour from me, I'm handed a pot and a spoon and told to make noise. So, I cry some more. People having the friggin time of their lives and what by all means looks to be the biggest party ever held that appears to span an entire city, and I'm sitting in some kids basement doing my best to hide the cigarette burn I just made on the couch. I took salvage in the fact that the new year could only get better from here. The only way it could get worse is if I walked outside and got hit by a car driven by any of the sons from Home Improvement. And even then, that might be an improvement on the current state of affairs.

Adding to my misery was the fact that everyone at the MTV party was having such a great time. When you have a miserable time and find out your friends had a great time, that's one thing. But when you see people who usually make you murderous having a better time than you, its time for a classic bout of the eternal pissyface. Let's check in with the world's most popular people...

Rose and friends bounce up and down. Oooookay, that's not so bad.

Carson and Tara Reid share a quiet and totally public New Year's Kiss. I don't know much about Tara, so I went into the MTV AOL chat room to get the public opinion on's the transcript:

MATT: Hey what's everyone's opinion on Tara Reid?
Rorshak: thats not true
KelBel: Hey everyone!
Wld15752: 16.f here im me to chat
MarySing: And me being from a sheltered little island, I don't know anyoe who could get me in anywhere
Mlt: stupid
Jiiggaman: bad apple outta the bats
Rorshak: what kind of music do you do
Nerves323: 17/m
Nerves323: sup all

I guess she's not all that popular.

Teck and Xsdksdkskziiisdisbit get rowdy, while Lance from N'Sync blows a kiss to the camera. Lance got the shaft tonight. He got stuck at the Roseland club with MTV's Dave Holmes. I probably had a better night than he did. Then again, he's probably gotten laid by twelve different people in 2001 alone, so I guess he wins.

The festivities mount to a head at midnight with Marilyn Manson giving a performance. I don't know what song it was, and even if I did, I couldn't understand a fucking thing he said. I can translate Wicket's Ewok gibberish, Pikachu talk, Italian, and parrot noises...but I'm completely lost with Manson. Its entirely possible that he didn't say anything at all and just screamed through the entire song. Whatever the case, I had some little girl convinced he was doing a cover of Auld Lang Syne. (as it turns out, it was a Cheap Trick cover)

Well, I managed to get through this without getting too bitter. If I'm in this position again next year, I personally promise you all that the very next day, I'll perform a long and torturous suicide on the cam. Meanwhile, to those of you who actually did something worthwhile to break in 2001, I commend you. Sure, you didn't get a chance to see MTV newsboy Brian show off his magic heat packets, but that's just the price you pay for having a life.

- Matt
Speaking of music - check out Sick's DFL and Downward Spiral.