You know, I really wanted to watch the Seattle tryouts for INXS Rock Star--where the aged '80s band desperate for a second shot at fame use reality TV as a fluffer for their limp act--but when it came down to it last weekend, I realized I really don't give a shit. It's all gotten to be too much. I mean, the Doors doing their headless road show, Billy Idol releasing a new record, even Duran Duran--who I kinda want to see when they come to town next month--have been trying to botox up the past a bit too much. But INXS? Can anyone even name the original members--aside from the dead singer? Still, casualty-strewn, Amtrak-level collisions are why we're drawn to reality television in the first place, and luckily even if I couldn't bring myself to witness Survivor's producers resuscitate a corpse, Border Radio columnist Kurt B. Reighley was very much the game sport, even dragging himself on stage at El Corazòn to try out for the part of the new Michael Hutchence last Sunday, February 20. Sporting leather pants for the occasion, Reighley reported, "To my astonishment, I was the only thirtysomething aspirant who tried to dress the part; most folks, residents and out-of-towners alike, seemed to think INXS needs to be fronted by a sensitive singer-songwriter… particularly the barefoot chap who chose a Matchbox Twenty ballad for his audition piece." Our columnist, or #093, as his ID tag read, thinks he fared pretty well. "The producers were swell about putting everyone at ease, even people who screwed up. After my song--nobody I witnessed was asked to perform more than one-and-a-half numbers--two well-preserved members of INXS actually got up from their chairs to shake hands and thank me for coming down. Considering the obscene delight most reality TV takes in humiliating average citizens, I was shocked at how civilized, even fun, it all was." Best of luck on that one.

Speaking of winner's circles, KEXP won a 2005 Plug award--a national honor given to independent musicians and music supporters--for noncommercial station of the year. Other Plug recipients included Pitchfork-media.com and The Wire in the media categories, TV on the Radio for album of the year, Madvillain for hiphop album of the year, and Dillinger Escape Plan for metal record of the year… And Sonic Boom owner Nabil Ayers is busy compiling Seattle's biggest fuckups for a reality reel of his own. Ayers is looking for amateur footage of band bloopers--musicians fighting, falling off stage, whatever, with the best entry winning $500. If you think you've committed some great mistakes to tape, check out www.rockgoeswrong.com.

And condolences go out to friends and family members of local punk act Gutbomb--bassist Ted Huener died in his sleep last weekend. Memorial show info to follow in the next couple of weeks.

jennifer@thestranger.com

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