You know when you get a new album, and it happens to be one you instantly fall in love with, and you must listen to it on repeat? Yep, that's what the new Ryan Adams & The Cardinals album, Cardinology, has done to me. Technically it's not released until tomorrow, but if you're a Ryan Adams fan, I'm sure you'll dig it just as much as I am. Each day had a different favourite song. This morning it happened to be the first number, "Born Into a Light." You all obviously know of my Ryan Adams love, I mean, if you do a search there are probably over thirty posts that show up or something (I fear to even try this experiment myself, because it could indicate stalker/obsessive behavior).
RE: SNL !
Gaby, Erica, Jesse, and I had SO much fun at the SNL dress rehearsal. The only bum out was when we first got seated, which was in the seats to the furthest right side of the staging area, which even Jason Sudekis (the audience's off-camera host) pointed out, "all the seats here are great, really great - well, except for those [points directly at us], those seats f*ck*ng suck, sorry." They were at an angle where we couldn't see the SNL band, but it didn't worry me too much as we actually saw most of the skits, and there were monitors right in front of all the seats to view the whole show. Also, a few of the skits were right next to us or right below us; including the Mad Men skit, in which I was able to view Jon Hamm's beautiful cerulean eyes up close...
Okay, before I get too distracted by that memory - I watched the live version last night, and there were some significant differences. The skit that opened the entire show, with Joe Biden at a rally, was in the middle of the dress rehearsal and hands-down the worst one. There was hardly any laughing in the audience - which, to me, was an indicator it would probably get cut. I was shocked to see it as the opener, because the past few openers starring Tina Fey have been so spectacular, and this one was downright lame. The dress rehearsal actually opened with the Obama variety show, with guest-star Maya Rudolph (who went to school and is besties with Gwyneth Paltrow, who's married to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin - yeah, useless info I put together in my head as I watched, whatevs...). It wasn't THAT much better, but definitely more snazzy and better-fitting for current events and the audience.
A skit that got notably cut was one that took place at a wedding reception, where Fred Armisen gets his old band back together (him, Hamm, and two others in graying wigs) for the bride. They're all saying great, loving things about the couple, and then the first note keys in some crazy punk rock (Fistfight in the parking lot! Fistfight in the parking lot!) and Armisen basically starts moshing with the crowd and dives into the wedding cake - it was HILARIOUS. And Jon Hamm singing backup and with a guitar was pretty sweet, too. I was cracking up SO hard during the skit, and the song got stuck in my head for the rest of the show. Why let Coldplay play again?? This skit was WAY better.
Other changes: in the Vincent Price Halloween skit, Hamm did an impression of Dean Martin, not James Mason, in the dress rehearsal - his Mason was far better than his Martin, so that was a good switch. Elisabeth Moss, or Peggy Olson of Mad Men, was not in the dress rehearsal - but Gaby and I saw her when we stepped out of the elevator, as she was going up. (Sidenote: Gaby and I rode that elevator down with Chris Hansen of To Catch a Predator, ha.) John "The Silver Fox" Slattery did make the dress rehearsal, and is apparently a big fan of Coldplay's, as he came out during each of their songs and bopped his head. Also, our credits rolled with Coldplay's THIRD (not fourth) performance, of a very messed up "Yellow" (I don't think he even sung the titular word), and Jon Hamm & Silver Fox were so bro'ing down during it - shaking hands, hugging, putting their arms around each other in a total bff way; it was both adorable and awesome. The only other skit that I don't think made it was a "playing themselves" quickie where Sudekis tries to explain Mad Men to Kenan Thompson, but gets flustered when realizing all the African-American roles in 1960 are usually relegated to service industry roles, and Jon Hamm comes along unable to help the situation. It fell a bit flat, and felt like filler, anyway.
Overall, I loved the experience - seeing the sets go up and come down in mere minutes by the nimble stagehands. Seeing Jon Hamm getting pulled off the scene as soon as the feed cut, and being dragged (literally) backstage for costume change. And all in all, it seems like a lot of work. It's quite incredible to see it all pulled off, and even more so when it's live. So kudos to that cast and all the people who make it work behind the scenes, because I would probably crumble under all that pressure!
We DID get to witness some taped skits that are supposed to air on an election special the Monday night before election day. So, you can hear my laughs then. MWAHAHAHA <---I decided to go "evil-themed" for Halloween, though it will air post-Halloween, so that was all for naught. Just kidding!
....it will still totally be funny.