Hey, it’s an Arizona tour tidbit!

February 29, 2012

So, while in Arizona, Vocal Point stopped by Campo Verde High School and this gem of a photo made its way to the internets:

(posted by Teresa Springer Anderson on Facebook)

Oh boy, oh boy, where do we start?

First and foremost: does Vocal Point request photos of the rooms they will be performing in so that they can match their outfits accordingly?  Seriously, we can’t even tell where the khakis end and the carpet begins.  And just look at how their shirts match the acoustical panels!  Well played, gentlemen, well played.

Also, we’re not exactly sure what’s going on here, but we kind of love it a lot.  New Guy 1 (Jon?) wins the prize here for best face, although honorable mention goes to New Guy 4 and New Guy 2 as well (11,000 blog points to Jon and 6000 to Landon and Normal Jake, if they stop by to claim them).  And just check out the bemused Rossface.  Plus, while most of the guys look like they’re ready for some variation of pumping the jam or prepping for a Whiffenpoofs-style bow tie adjustment, McFrontAndCenter appears to be in the middle of some “Head and shoulders, knees and toes” bizness.

Hope things are going well in Arizona, y’all!

-Troi and Crusher


Troi and Crusher’s Road Trip Survival Guide

February 28, 2012

The current Vocal Point line-up have their Arizona tour this week, and that makes us feel all sorts of nostalgic. See, we’ve done every type of road trip imaginable – from cars and mini-vans to those glorious fifteen-passenger hoopties to charter buses.  From camp trips to work trips, we’ve done it all.

So, we’d like to share our rules of the road for when you’re forced to share a tiny, tiny space with other people for an extended amount of time.  You know, so you don’t end up feeling like Tyler here:

Oh dude, we’ve so been there.  Some of these tips come from the pre-iPod era, when road tripping was more of a communal activity.  Some of them are inspired by much more recent adventures.  All of them are given in wisdom and love.  Without further ado, we present Troi and Crusher’s Road Trip Survival Guide.

  • Taco Bell is never an option for meal breaks.  There just aren’t enough windows to properly ventilate a vehicle after a group of guys have eaten Taco Bell.  Even if you’re in a magical convertible van.

Still not enough ventilation.

  • All seating arrangements are up for negotiation throughout the journey – no one gets to call dibs on a favorite spot for the duration. Especially if that spot has the clearest path to the air vents.
  • No matter how funny it seems, it is never a good idea to put a “HELP” sign in the back window.

Or spell it out in the snow.

  • When you’ve been on the road long enough, your friend’s shoulder can seem like the best pillow ever.
  • If you drop something on the floor, you may have just lost it forever.  Unless you want to risk bending down to pick it up.  In which case your friends may decide that you need to spend the next leg of the trip on the floor of the van as well.  One huge exception: chocolate.  The floors of 15 passengers get hot, and chocolate melts, and that’s a mess no one wants to deal with.

Especially the next person who gets stuck riding on the floor for a while.

  • Wear layers.  Sometimes it will be hot and stuffy, and sometimes it will be Arctic tundra. Bring a blanket, even. No promises one of your buddies won’t swipe it from you, though.
  • Bored? Here’s a new one we saw just last year: start a book club.  Seriously, Crusher watched four men in their twenties and thirties read to each other and discuss the novel over a series of road trips.

Yes, it was just as adorable as Bert and Ernie.

  • Get serious if the weather gets bad.  Let your driver focus on the road.
  • The promise of ice cream can pacify even the crankiest travelers.

But please note: no uneaten ice cream should ever enter the vehicle.

  • Don’t spend the whole time zoned out in your own world.  Van time = quality bonding time.
  • Any dispute can be solved with Twizzlers.  Commit a small wrong against someone?  Give them a Twizzler as you apologize.  All-out war developing?  Twizzler fight!  Those suckers can leave welts if you do it right.


  • Pre-iPod or when everyone’s batteries have run out: old school music is most likely to please the majority of road trippers.  Or, you can generally get everyone on board with music that the driver finds annoying. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the driver won’t then actively seek out every. single. pothole.
  • Don’t be the jerk who eats all of the M&Ms out of the bag of trail mix.

Or maybe just make sure you’re the first jerk with the idea, and leave just enough that someone else is the one who finishes them off.

  • No one actually wants to listen to talk radio.
  • Aside from the regrettable name, Chinese Fire Drills are a terrible, terrible idea in a van.
  • Always do a head count before leaving a rest stop.


  • Changing the speaking voice on the GPS can be a funny joke, as long as the navigator knows how to change it back and you don’t get stuck listening to Beavis and his friend say, “Turn right, heh heh, heh” for miles on end.
  • If you are traveling in two vehicles, there is little else in life as much fun as communicating on the open road with walkie talkies.  Bonus points if you find someone who is not part of your group on the frequency to talk to.  Triple bonus points if it’s firefighter Dennis Quaid from the 1960s.

Hey!  That movie was named after McButters’ boyband!

  • If everyone is sweaty and gross, it’s all good.  If the person next to you is the only stinky one, you are well within your rights to Febreze them.
  • Buy something silly at a rest stop. Play-doh is fun. Souvenir t-shirts are better.  When in doubt, start a bouncy ball collection.

  • There is a line at the back of the driver’s seat beyond which no projectiles should fly (especially your new bouncy ball collection).  You don’t want anything rolling under the pedals or hitting the driver in the head.  Beyond that line, it’s all fair game as a war zone, baby.
  • If you have more than one person who claims that they get carsick and thus deserve shotgun, stick them all in the back seat and the first one to vomit actually gets to ride in the front.
  • Beef jerky is not a road trip food.  No matter the flavor.

Just.  No.

  • Even if it starts out in innocence and fun, playing punch buggy will almost always end in bruises, tears, and the silent treatment.
  • No matter how old you are, it’s always funny to try to get semi-drivers to blare their horn.

  • If you stop over at someone’s house, always be gracious to your host, even if you end up on a fold-out couch that feels like sleeping on a grill (50 points to the reader who can identify which Jim Gaffigan special that reference comes from).
  • Try to make the time to stop and enjoy local oddities and tourist traps.  Never pass up the opportunity to go white water rafting or stop in at a place called the “Cheese Castle.”

  • If you stop over at a hotel, please know that king size beds are not wrestling rings.  And you do have to pay for repairs if such ill-advised wrestling breaks the bed frame.  And neck damage caused during said wrestling can last beyond the scope of the trip.
  • Keep a box of snacks in the back of the van – not only can the occasional sugar rush raise morale, the hilarity of watching the back seaters try to reach the box behind them can provide fantastic entertainment.
  • Even if you think you’re good, try to go at every decent-looking rest stop – there’s no guarantee that the next gas station will be the kind of place you want any part of.

  • Never pull over to get fruit at a produce stand.  You may find yourself staring down the barrels of thirty armed guards outside the home of a third world country’s president.  If you end up in that situation, make sure you put your prettiest faces in the windows.

Well, those are some of the things we’ve learned from our years in the road tripping trenches.  Let us know if we’ve missed one of your own personal favorite tips.

-Troi and Crusher

Fav Moments: McButters McBoogie Edition

February 27, 2012

Alright, next up in our series of fav moments is a delightful little McKay moment from Superstar Medley Week on the Sing-off.  May we please direct your attention to the following performance by Season Two winners, Committed:

(video and captures from strasseneckesinfonie’s youtube)

Okay, our feelings on Chris Brown aside, Committed definitely brought it during this performance.  You know who else brought it?  Vocal Point, as audience members.  This is a perfect example of why you have to branch out beyond just the VP videos, because you never know when a hidden gem like this will pop up and put a long-lasting smile on your face.

Before we get to the main event, we do have to point out the adorable “Being a human is hard!” clap by Jake at 2:06.

Okay, that pic is pretty blurry, but in motion in hi-def, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Except for the fact that it gets topped shortly thereafter, at 2:26, when we see McButters get down with his bad self in an adorable little boogie.

Get it, McSoulful!

-Troi and Crusher

One of these things is not like the other

February 26, 2012

(from nbc.com)

So here’s a fun little pic from the Sing-off.  Apparently working on those sweet dance moves got a little stuffy, so the guys did some rehearsing sans blazers.  Except for Robert. Could it be because he’s from Canada?  But then shouldn’t he handle cold better than the others, not heat? Perhaps he’s just the most hardcore and committed.

Maybe it’s the fact that we have one out of nine rising above the rest.  Maybe it’s that the rest of the guys look like every production of Grease we’ve (begrudgingly) seen, ever.  (Sidenote: we hate Grease.  But we love love love Grease 2.  Most under-appreciated sequel ever.  We mean, Adrian Zmed in his skinny dance pants with the side belt buckle and knee pads showing through?  Just 100% awesome.  Not to mention Maxwell Caulfield.  Someone should do a stage production of that.)  Maybe it’s the fact that we’re currently watching the Oscars telecast and there’s nine Best Picture nominees.  So, y’all know what’s coming, right? We really can’t seem to stop ourselves with these things.

Now, on the real real, this did not come as easily as pairing the guys up with characters we’re really familiar with or adorable puppies.  We haven’t even seen all of these films, and some of them are decidedly non-VP-ish.  But, wild speculation is always welcome here, so here’s our best go of it:

“Hugo” is McButters.

Reason: “Hugo” was one of Big Mama’s favorite movies of the year.  And y’all know she loves McPrecious.  Also, both McCrockett and Martin Scorsese are known for their pro-spectacles stance.

“Midnight in Paris” is Keith.

Reason: He seems most likely to have read the authors featured in the movie.  And he’s been to Paris.  Seems like enough reason to us.

“The Descendants” is Ben.

Reason: Hawaii and Australia are both islands?

See?  Water all the way around. And he’s the only guy tall enough to accompany Stacy Keibler on the red carpet? (Ben, you’re welcome for that one.)

“The Tree of Life” is Tyler.

Reason: Honestly, the only thing we could come up with is the Brad Pitt / Tyler eating connection.

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is Jake.



Yeah, that.

“Moneyball” is Mikey.

Reason: He likes sports…?  (Man, this is even harder than we thought it’d be.  We’re really reaching here.  Sorry.)

“The Help” is Ross.

Reason: Rossface and Octavia Spencer both give fantastic face.

Love them both.

“War Horse” is Robert.

Reason: Because if we’ve learned one thing from what the guys have said about Robert, it’s that he’s reliable.  And awesome.  But he’s also gotten to be the star of a bunch of these, so this time we’re going to pair up the winner with someone else.  Therefore,

“The Artist” is Tanner.

Reason: He doesn’t need words to be awesome.  Just like that movie (Crusher was fortunate enough to see “The Artist” in an old movie house — just an awesome experience.  Definitely a great film, and it’s especially powerful if you’re an artist or make your living way in the arts.).

There’s this:

And there’s this:

Both amazing, right?

So, that’s our quick little attempt at some pairings.  If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that just because there’s nine of something, that doesn’t mean they will easily match up with our VP guys.  But if it ends with watching “The Artist” trailer and one of Tanner’s solos, it hasn’t been a waste of an evening.

Take care, everybody!

-Troi and Crusher

Recaplet: VP Getting Pumped Before Episode One

February 25, 2012

Okay, y’all. Happy Weekend! 🙂

Now, whatever you’re doing… stop. (If you want to… or you can come back later.  You’re an independent person with agency, you can make your own choices.  We’re not trying to blog-boss you into doing something you don’t want to do.  But this is kind of fun.  So you totally should.  All of the cool kids are doing it.) Go to this link: Vocal Point Behind the Scenes and then click on the “Words of Wisdom” video.

So one of the guys (we’re pretty sure, based off of the excitement, that it’s McCrockett) got a hold of the video camera right before the boys went on to do their first performance of the Sing-off.  So he went around and asked Rossface, Tyler, Tanner, and Jake for any words of wisdom during their last minute prep.

Ross gives us some killer Rossface while he bounces up and down like Rocky before a fight.

He talks about interacting with the audience, having good energy, and focusing on having fun.  Which, we guess it’s better to be bouncy Rocky than to take inspiration from Ivan Drago and be all “If he dies, he dies.”

Tyler… well… he kind throws up some signs of indeterminate meaning.

It’s like his mind went blank, he panicked, and defaulted to hand signs.  Maybe Tyler’s a lil’ bit street, too.  Interesting development, here.

Tanner’s words of wisdom are simply “We look good.” (He’s right, they do. We ❤ the skinny ties.)

And Jake… oh honey. Full on Creepy Jake meets Sheldon Cooper as he gets all up in the camera’s grill and talks about how he hopes the audience has a blast watching the performance.

McCameraGuy is all “‘Cause we goin’ have a blaaaaaaast!”

And that, Dear Readers, is precisely what they did.  And we all got to reap the benefits.  Yay!

-Troi and Crusher