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Jeopardy’s Five Best Music Moments

Sure, selling almost 180 million records worldwide is pretty special. As is winning 17 Grammy Awards. But last week, Beyoncé’s legacy was bestowed with arguably the highest of all honors: She got her own category on Jeopardy. Personally, our favorite part was Alex Trebek’s delivery of the phrase “Jay-Z is featured on this Beyoncé song that mentions ‘that liquor get into me.’ ”

In case you missed this glorious moment, you can see it here:

See also: An Illustrated Guide to Beyoncé’s Insight and Empowerment

Jeopardy, of course, has a long and rich history of taking stuff that’s cool and sexy and For The Kids and making it sound extraordinarily awkward and sanitized and, rather ironically, really damn stupid. Here are some of our favorite musical moments from the show’s history.

1. We’re guessing a student intern was responsible for this.
In 2012, Jeopardy reduced much-lauded emotive indie quintet Fleet Foxes to “folk-rockin’ dudes” with this clue. To celebrate, Sub Pop Records tweeted a link to the incident and hashtagged “Trebek!” for good measure.

2. ‘The 1990s Rap Song’
In a particularly delightful episode of Jeopardy: The Battle of the Decades, there was, rather magically, a category titled “The 1990s Rap Song.” The questions — er, answers — included clues relating to Notorious B.I.G., Shock G, and MC Hammer, but it was Trebek’s enthusiastic renditions of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” and Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” that truly made this a special moment in TV game show history. This is possibly the most animated we’ve ever heard him.

3. Who Is Buddy Holly?
Sometimes, under pressure, contestants do crazy things on Jeopardy. One time, a guy actually ended up face-down, passed out, during Final Jeopardy, and another lady got laughed at super-hard by the audience for giving “Chris Farley” as a response to a Johnny Cash clue. However, it’s difficult to imagine how one woman, in response to the clue “His widow Maria Elena and actor Gary Busey were on hand when his star was dedicated outside Capitol Records in 2011,” came up with this:

We hope that when someone finally makes a movie about Ice-T, Gary Busey is allowed to at least audition. We would pay to see that.

4. Most Bizarre Clue Ever
We’re pretty sure you could put this in front of every single member of Mötley Crüe and even they wouldn’t answer it correctly. Who the hell came up with this?

5. ‘It’s a Rap’
Plucky contestant Mary holds her shit together really, really well until the very last moment of tackling the “It’s a Rap” category. What sends her over the edge? Trebek doing Public Enemy, that’s what. “I don’t know why that’s making you laugh so much!” the host declares. We think you do, Trebek. We think you do…


 

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Free Will Astrology: March 11 through 17

ARIES [March 21–April 19] Pythagoras is known as “the father of numbers.” He taught that mathematics provides the ultimate truth about reality. His otherwise productive career went through a rough patch when one of his students found that the square root of two is an “irrational” number that can’t be expressed as a simple fraction. “Impossible!” said Pythagoras. His system was built on the axiom that there are no such numbers. Yet he couldn’t refute the student’s proof. By some accounts, Pythagoras had the student drowned for his impunity. I bring this to your attention, Aries, because you have an opportunity to do what Pythagoras couldn’t: accept the evidence that your beliefs about reality are limited, and incorporate the new data into a revised worldview.

TAURUS [April 20–May 20] “One often meets one’s destiny on the road taken to avoid it,” says a French proverb. Sometimes, you can’t even get aligned with your potential unless you try to escape it. Only by seeking an alternate route are you led into the circumstances that activate your gifts. These mysteries will soon have personal meaning for you, Taurus. Upcoming plot twists will lead you to where you didn’t even know you needed to go.

GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Chris Farley was “a wrecking ball of joy,” according to one of his friends. The SNL comedian loved to provoke merriment wherever he went. I’m not saying you should try to ignite conviviality with that much ferocity in the coming days, Gemini, but I do think this is a special phase of your astrological cycle, when you have an extraordinary capacity for spreading witty inspiration and catalytic fun—and for collecting the useful rewards generated by that good stuff.

CANCER [June 21–July 22] As I compose this, I’m sitting in San Francisco’s Chinatown, dining on something called a Milky Golden Prize Delight Bun. And, I’m thinking, I bet it’s going to be a kind of Milky Golden Prize Delight week for you Cancerians, a Sweet, Creamy, Lusty Elixir week, a Rich, Thick, Tasty Brilliance week. If you can manage it, I suggest you try to have a dream in which you find a morsel of the sun in a bowl of pudding, and savor it while listening to the full moon sing you a lullaby.

LEO [July 23–August 22] I predict that you will go to a thrift store to shop for bargain kitchen items but will instead buy a magic snow globe depicting a dolphin drinking beer from a fountain that’s shaped like a stiletto pump, and when you get this talisman home, you will discover that it gives you the power to hover and cruise a few feet off the ground and even time-travel into the past for brief 10-minute blasts that allow you to change what happened. And if my prediction’s not accurate in every detail, I bet it will nonetheless be metaphorically true.

VIRGO [August 23–September 22] The foxglove plant can either be a hex or a healer. If you eat its flowers, your heartrate will zoom to a dangerous rate and your digestive system will go haywire. If, on the other hand, you have certain cardiac problems and partake of the foxglove’s leaves, they will steady and strengthen your heart. I bet you can think of several influences in your life whose powers can be equally contradictory. According to my reading of the omens, it’s an excellent time to get very clear about the differences and take steps to ensure that you’ll be exposed as little as possible to the negative effects.

LIBRA [September 23–October 22] The agitation and commotion seem to be dying down. The bitching and moaning are diminishing. And yet, from what I can tell, the Big Squeeze is still squeezing you, which probably means that it’s going to get trickier for you to extricate yourself. Want my advice? Don’t take “maybe” for an answer. Negotiate with a mischievous look in your eye. Learn more about the productive value of unpredictability by studying three-year-olds and free spirits who have nothing to lose. Most importantly, do whatever it takes to deflect the propaganda and slip past the symbolic gestures so that you can penetrate to the core of the real feelings.

SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] “Here’s what I’m looking for,” said a classified I read online. “Someone who can tear me away from living inside my head . . . who sees things in me that I don’t see myself.” That’s exactly what I want for you, Scorpio. Whether this someone shows up in the form of an enemy or invisible friend, I don’t care. The important thing is that he or she awakens you to certain mysteries about you that you’ve been blind to and helps free you from the unconscious delusion that all of reality is contained inside the boundaries of your skull.

SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] This would be a perfect week to practice writing love letters. It’s not yet a favorable time to send the love letters you compose, however. You need some work before you’ll be ready to produce the finished products. You’ve got to drain off the chatter at the top of your head before you’ll be able to penetrate to the more interesting truths that lie at the bottom of your heart. But if you do your homework—churn out, say, at least three eruptions of rabid amour—you’ll prepare yourself well to craft a thoughtful meditation that will really have a chance to make an impact.

CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] I called my cable-TV company to inquire about a mistake on my bill, and I suspected this would be a visit to the suburbs of hell. My expectations were soon fulfilled. After being cycled through three phases of the automated system, I was told by a machine that I’d get to speak with an actual person in 16 minutes. Then I was delivered into the aural torment of recorded smooth jazz. But a minute into the ordeal, something wonderful happened. The muzak gave way to a series of great indie rock tunes, including three I’d never heard before. A song that I later determined to be Laura Veirs’s “Don’t Lose Yourself” became my instant new favorite. By the time the billing consultant was ready for me, my mood was cheery. I predict a comparable sequence for you, Capricorn. An apparent trip to the suburbs of hell will have a happy ending that exposes you to fresh sources of inspiration.

AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Some companies have come up with a way to avoid raising prices: They reduce the amount of product they offer by shrinking the packaging. The makers of Skippy Peanut Butter, for instance, restructured the bottom of the jar so that only 16.3 ounces could fit inside, instead of the previous 18. In the coming weeks, Aquarius, I suspect you will be having to deal with metaphorical versions of this strategy. Now that I’ve told you, maybe you won’t be fooled.

PISCES [February 19–March 20] In the past few weeks you have veered close to the edge of blissful triumph. From what I can tell, you averted total ecstatic breakthrough and fantastic raging success by only the narrowest of margins. If you don’t want to go all the way in the coming days—if you’d rather remain faithful to your fear of success and fall back into your humdrum comfort zone—you should slam on the brakes immediately. But I warn you: The cosmic pressure to push you over the top into loopy, grinning, shameless victory is almost irresistible.

Homework: Express gratitude for the enemy who taught you the most. Share by going to FreeWillAstrology.com and clicking on “E-mail Rob.”

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Meat Loaf’s In Search of Paradise

Staggeringly inessential if never unwatchable, In Search of Paradise offers a backstage pass to the first leg of Meat Loaf’s 2007 “Seize the Night” tour. The 59-year-old septillion-platinum star dutifully pushes a new album by disinterring the back catalog and lumbering back onstage (wearing . . . a Chargers jersey with a collared shirt underneath) to shake his jowls at hockey coliseums packed with sozzled Canucks. That Mr. Loaf has been a potent showman is little evidenced by anything shown of his traveling floorshow here (advised viewing is The Old Grey Whistle Test DVD, in which a ’70s-vintage Meat, of overflowing Chris Farley proportions, duets with Carla DeVito on an epic, exhausting “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”). The non-conflict that develops into the backbone of the doc is the “controversial” current staging of “Paradise,” in which he’s dry-humped by a petite backup singer. “I think Meat thrives on taking big risks creatively,” attests the obligatorily admiring co-star, regarding his inspiration to do the number in a throwback longhair wig. Cranky Loaf gulps his vitamins and makes a show of forbearing the shooting of this puff piece (an interviewee earnestly likens him to Falstaff and Cyrano). Identifiable low point: Dennis Quaid coming onstage to totally dork it up during a rendition of “Gloria.”

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

Leather Cohen

Today’s beat klatches have it backward. Instead of using their dancefloor cred to get so popular they can sit back recounting their postpunk, ’80s roots with the and-your-point-is obviousness of a Chris Farley interview skit (“Remember we all used to like punk and play guitar? That was cool”), Daft Punk/Basement Jaxx/Air/etc. could take a few cues from Richard Morel and start out with the postpunk stuff—and then, guys, if the DJs wanna hop on your dicks anyway, hey great. Morel is a Washington, D.C.-based leather queen-cum-beat poet who dresses like Rob Halford, emotes like Leonard Cohen, but most of all has the nasally majesty and lyrics to hold together an album that revels in new wave as much as it does BPMs.

He can bust with the queer-as-carrying-your-dog-in-a-baby-Snugli wooze of “Cabaret 1 + 2” (as if the name isn’t clue enough) and its smoky-breathed torch haiku like “With your Nazi balloons and your parties/Did the German boy let you down? I do all I can to remember what it was like having you around,” only to launch into plush, Jesus and Mary Chain nuggetry like “Ride.” Morel’s songs are as unafraid to be camp as they are to be full of conviction. “Wake-Up” even samples “Gimme Shelter” ‘s reverb guitar to sing the postcoital blues.

Morel’s real guilty pleasure, though, is having the dancefloor and telling it to eat it, too. The originally waltzy “True” (then subtitled “The Faggot Is You,” after being remixed into a heaving Love and Rockets-gone-death-disco club hit by Deep Dish, who were trading favors for using Morel’s vocals on their “Mohammed Is Jesus” single) wound up as the studs-and-straps centerpiece to John Digweed’s otherwise tame 1999 Bedrock mix CD. The thought of thousands of Twilo refugees high out of their little straight-queen minds singing, “He said, ‘You’re a pussy like RuPaul’/I’m a man, that is all/It’s true, the faggot is you”—now, that is punk rock.