antiMUSIC is pleased to welcome aboard with Chuck DiMaria, who will be giving us his 2 cents every week on a variety of music topics. To kick things off the right way we have 2 columns for you to enjoy. Seemed appropriate to start off with two 2cents articles.

As always the views expressed by the writer do not neccessarily reflect the views of antiMUSIC or the iconoclast entertainment group

The Darkness & Avril Lavigne? Bad Idea!

Admit it, you've heard the song and when no one was looking, you sang along…loud. Windows rolled up, radio cranked, driving down the highway belting out, "I believe in a thing called love!" And you loved every minute of it.

The critics may pan them, saying they're nothing but a 70's glam throwback, but you don't care, ‘cause you can't get that damn song out of your head, spandex or no spandex.

And that's just what I'm talkin' ‘bout, kids. Rock stars are back.

See, for a while there, it seemed we were never (heavy emphasis on never) going to have rock stars wander among us again. Oh, sure, we've got pop stars; they grow on freakin' trees. But rock stars? Definitely in short supply. Damn near extinct.

And who needs rock stars, you might ask? We do, that's who. We need heroes, even if they're wearing glitter. We need someone to stand up and do exactly the opposite of what everybody else is doing. We need someone to make it shaken, not stirred.

My cousin introduced me to The Darkness about a year ago. He said, "Kid, I know what you like." He was right. I'm a sucker for a three-minute song with a great hook.

But what was I was really stoked over? No smoldering angst. Not a drop. Just pure, unabashed, unapologetic rock ‘n roll. Besides, I was getting tired of hearing about everybody's problems, weren't you? Just give me a song and keep your emotional baggage to yourself, please.

Enter: The Avril!

It seems that Avril Lavigne has expressed interest in working with The Darkness. Actually, that's putting it mildly. I heard you can dial a phone with her nipples whenever the subject comes up. (Not a pretty picture, is it?)

Is this really necessary? Is it? I think not.

Let me get this straight: The Avril wants to work with The Darkness? Are you kidding me? Justin Hawkins will have her hunched over a recording console by the first chorus. This ain't N'Sync, kids, it's The Freakin' Darkness. It's not a boy band; it's a man band. These are rockers and Avril's just a pup. Hell, she's barely bleeding. Who's idea was it to feed her to the wolves?

I blame the parents.

No good can come from this and I'll tell ya why – Avril is a wannabe; The Darkness is a gonnabe. They are gonna be exactly what they set out to be: Full blown rock stars. (I got money says one of them chokes on their own vomit before this is over.)

You see, here's the problem – it all comes down to her point of reference. As far as The Avril is concerned, Van Halen only had two lead singers; Sammy and Gary. That's because she's too young to remember when the baddest man to walk the planet was Roth. And that has screwed up her thinking beyond repair. (It also explains Sk8ter Boi.)

The girl just don't know what a real rock star is.

And now here comes Hawkins struttin' down the hall, spandex at the ready. Ten minutes alone with him and The Avril will be dressed just like Lita Ford in the Kiss Me Deadly video. (And Lita has a much nicer ass, so don't even try it, Avril.)

We need to stop this madness before all the other wannabes try to hitch a ride on a real rock star. What's next? Is Blink 182 gonna hook up with AC/DC? Angus would beat them all senseless.

Is Good Charlotte gonna have a sit-down with Johnny Rotten? Only if they want their lungs removed.

Is Britney gonna hook up with Joan Jett? Well…OK, that one I'd kinda like to see.

But The Avril and The Darkness? Someone better check The Weather Channel ‘cause I think Hell just froze over.

That's my two cents, now gimme my change.

[wait.. Chuck's not done, he wants to give you his 2 cents on another Pop-Tart. Actually, the queen of all Pop-Tarts - Britney Spears!]

Britney Lip-Synchs?

So, I'm surfing the net the other day and I ran across something that actually pulled my attention from the porn I was downloading. (Which, by the way, is no small feat.)

It seems that the internet news services were all buzzing with the latest piece of Britney Spears gossip. According to The Sun Newspaper Online Britney had actually – are you sitting down? – lip-synched her entire set at Wembley Arena.

I was shocked. I read on…

It seemed that the 12,000 or so rabid fans that bought tickets for the show were actually expecting her to sing, the poor fools.

Stunned, I was. Flabbergasted.

I mean, I couldn't believe that this was actually news. Isn't there a war going on? Aren't bombs going off right around election time? Isn't Jennifer Aniston out of a job? And you people are actually wasting breath on this topic? What's next, a spirited discussion on the legitimacy of her boobs?

Let me get this straight – 12,000 people went to a Britney Spears concert to hear her sing? No, you went because you're hoping for a wardrobe malfunction just as badly as I am. (Nasty lil' thing, ain't she?)

We've become a society where we not only enjoy being lied to, we pretty much expect it. And if anything happens to somehow send that façade crashing down, we're ready to go to litigation in order to get our pain and suffering food stamps.

Case in point: A group of fans actually tried to bring a class action suit against the lead singer of Creed because he sounded bad during a concert. (Apparently no one noticed that he always sounds bad.) Maybe he should have lip-synched, but I digress…

So, just in case any of you are still either in the dark or in denial, here's a quick test that you can use at the next concert you attend. If the performer is jumping around on stage like they're in a Tae-Bo infomercial and yet they never miss a single note, they are synching their ass off. In other words, if it sounds just like the CD is playing, it is.

I blame MTV.

Music used to be something you listened to, now it's something you watch. So why should anyone be surprised when an artist resorts to using canned music and vocal tracks so that they can adequately recreate their latest million dollar plus video for you? (Kinda tough to dance and sing, kids. Try it sometime.)

So what's the problem here? In the immortal words of Gladiator, "Are you not entertained?"

In the case of Britney Spears, of course you are. You got exactly what you paid for: A hot little slice of ex-mouseketeer ass smothered in raunch dressing with stilettos a la mode for dessert. No cherry on top, though – she lost that a long time ago. (Damn you, Justin Timberlake. Damn you to hell!)

But just in case you're still aching for the real thing when it comes to live vocals, don't watch MTV, watch American Idol.

Hey, THOSE kids can sing!

That's my two cents, now gimme my change.

Chuck DiMaria is Los Angeles based musician and antiMUSIC columnist. Check out his website ChuckDiMaria.com for more of his writings, MP3s and more (be sure to read about his adventures in online dating!!)