We Nominate in the Ice Bucket Challenge...
Even in today's viral culture, this "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for ALS research has taken many by surprise. Instead of quickly blowing over like so many digital fads, this one continues to yield more famous (and not-so-famous) people getting doused on Facebook and YouTube every day. Apparently now everybody has to do it (see above).
The phenomenon -- which is actually more than a month old but has hit critical mass within the past week -- has been largely propelled by athletes, entertainers and members of the media. Therefore, cynics might suggest the challenge is just a way for narcissistic attention-seekers to get some cheap publicity without doing much more than whip out their checkbooks (if that). But ALS has felled a lot more people than just the ballplayer from whom it takes its better-known nickname of Lou Gehrig's Disease -- such as the musicians Charles Mingus and Leadbelly, and perhaps someone close to you or your family.
So it's all in good fun and for a most worthy cause, but let's be real: The challenge has caught on mostly because watching someone get a freezing bucket of water dumped over his or her head will never lose its appeal. Right here, as a matter of fact, we can think of a number of people in the Houston music community we'd love to see get drenched...and wouldn't you know it, here they are. Just doing our part.
The problem with this game is that before I nominate someone, I'm supposed to publicly have ice water poured over me or donate $100 towards ALS research. This makes me feel like I'm sitting here being a tool by encouraging this thing while not actually participating. It's become ridiculous because it's everywhere, not to mention people are wasting water!
But this challenge is in fact a nice thing, considering a growing amount of people are now actually putting money towards ALS research. Since I'm currently sitting in an overly air-conditioned office I'll stay out of this one, comfortably not drenched in ice water and sounding all privileged. But it would be even more ridiculous to do nothing but publicly comment on this thing. So how about this: I humbly nominate...the Houston Press Music Editor, Chris Gray! I also nominate two wild-card Rocks Off contributors. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Photo by Marco Torres
Greer and crew have proven themselves up for just about anything, which is why I'd like to see him (and perhaps the rest of the Gs) perform the Ice Bucket Challenge. Considering how creative they've been with music videos in the past, I also think they'd be likely to put their own creative twist on the stunt. Maybe they can even get the staffs of Wire Road Studios and The Corkscrew, their regular stomping grounds, involved. The most soulful redhead in Houston also has quite the hairdo on his dome, which would make for a pretty hilarious video. MATTHEW KEEVER
Any Member of New York City Queens (Besides Kitty Beebe)
Photo via ReverbNation
This summer Rocks Off was nearly a topic of discussion for Alex Jones' Infowars. Surely, there was a nefarious conspiracy against the Houston pop act, its avid followers proposed. How else to explain the band's absence from some of the Houston Press Music Awards' key categories? When a write-in category was added, NYCQ's fans proved they weren't messing around and the band earned its award the old-fashioned way. The people spoke, and the message was heard loud and clear.
So, my entry for this challenge is any member of the band except for guitarist Kitty Beebe. Not that I think she's too delicate for it, but look at her bandmates -- you can tell they're gentlemen who would happily volunteer ahead of her. With a fan base as fervent and large as theirs, there's be plenty of takers to assume the challenge from them. The Queens play Walters Thursday night, so let's see if we can get them to accept the challenge right then and there. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Brian & Olivia, Super Happy Fun Land
Photo by Altamese Osborne
The one thing some of the thousands of Ice Bucket Challenge videos is missing is creativity. Early on, when the idea was novel and still building momentum, a bland announcement and frigid drenching was fine. As the movement continues, it needs some artistic flair to stay alive. Enter Brian Arthur and by extension Olivia Dvorak, proprietors of Super Happy Fun Land whose musical ventures include the Annoysters and Poopy Lungstuffing.
If you've caught either act, you know neither is short on inspired wackiness. If they can't make your campaign interesting, fun or, at the least puzzling, the idea has run its course. Since Arthur has given far too many musicians to count their first friendly place to play, many would be available and eager to accept his challenge. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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