Berkeley Field Trip: Merzbau

It happens that, right at the time I’m visiting San Francisco, the Berkeley Art Museum is hosting the first major exhibition in fifty years on the work of mockduck favorite Kurt Schwitters— master collagist, all-around loon.

Belying his tendency to dress like a banker, Schwitters was one of the great eccentrics of the early modernist period, running a one-man design movement he called Merz (named after the tail end of a sign reading Kommerz visible through his apartment window) throughout a life spent on the run, in exile from Nazi Germany. Schwitters’ main legacy is his apeshit use of collage, gluing together random found objects that somehow form an intensely introspective, personal viewing experience:

I went to the exhibition with old friend Alastair Johnston (shown here playing Thelonious Monk in Monk costume). We peered through the collages and noted old tram tickets, chocolate and tobacco wrappers (suggestive of a less-than-healty diet) and elements of what seemed to be a dissected croquet set. I was fascinated to discover that the smallest collages seemed to carry the most power: the impact of the larger ones seemed to dissipate slightly as one’s eye tracked around them; the smaller ones, meanwhile, had this boggling degree of carefully-wrought detail that seemed to squirm under one’s gaze.

As much as I enjoyed the collages, the 500 pound gorilla of the show was lurking in the basement, where the curators had sought to rebuild Schwitters’ infamous Merzbau. The Merzbau was a fantastic installation that Schwitters began piecing together in the apartment house owed by his father (although the two were closely connected, the Dadaists allegedly refused to extend membership to Schwitters on account of his bourgeoise lineage)— collage applied to interior design:

The Merzbau eventually overran the confines of Schwitters’ flat and — as legend has it — prompted him to get the upstairs neighbors evicted so he could knock out the ceiling and continue building his masterpiece. Naturally, the entire artifice got left behind when he fled Germany for Norway in 1937. (Alastair pointed out to me that probably many of the freestanding small sculptural pieces shown in the main exhibition space were just pieces that Schwitters couldn’t bear to leave behind and snapped off the Merzbau and stuffed in his suitcase or something). Later in his life, Schwitters started a second Merzbau in Norway (burnt down) and then a Merzbarn in England (unfinished at the time of his death).

The exhibition curators have attempted to recreate the Merzbau from archival photographs and the descriptions of Schwitters’ surviving son. There was a distracting clicking on and off of lights (attempting to show you what it looked like in day vs. night), but otherwise, the recreation seemed as faithful to the original as one can possibly hope for. There were maddening details, like a stairway that seemed to round a corner and abruptly end— no one could tell what the artists’ intention was here (plus a student intern guard barked at you if you attempted to crane your neck around the corner to find out).

If Merzbaus aren’t really your thing, and you’re more into sound poetry, you can check out Schwitters’ bizarre foray into nonsense recitation, the Ursonate:


After the exhibition, I did one my favorite stock Bay Area activities, the old Hike Up The Berkeley Fire Trail. This was a standby of mine when I would occasionally wake up on a Sunday overwhelmed with a feeling of tiredness towards the Mission. In triumphant vacation form this time, I managed to find a bench with a spectacular view at the very top of the hill range and promptly fall asleeep on it.

I’ve never really found a friend who shares my toleration of Berkeley, but I could happily see just throwing every other aspect of my personality overboard and settling into a classic, cliche-riddled existence as Stereotypical Healthy Old Guy In Berkeley. Golden retriever, front yard, jogging— the works. It’s not like I actively see my life heading in this direction; more like I’d strongly consider diverting it from whatever that direction is if this was the reward. It would be difficult to shut off the critical faculties of one’s brain to swallow all the Berkeley malarky that you’d have to listen to all the time… but if you could master that one trick, you’d be all set in other regards.

Tricked-out Gypsy Tombstone Fail

We were back in Czech this past week (yep: already) for reasons that are more complex than interesting to relate: basically, I had been under the impression that my proposal for the Jewish Museum identity was due then, so we also made plans to visit my wife’s father in Karlovy Vary, hang out in Prague for a few days, go to a wedding, and for my wife to play a field hockey game in Pilsen. By the time I found out that my Jewish Museum deadline has been extended to the end of the month, we were already locked into going…

Since it wound up being an accidental working vacation of sorts, I decided to use the time available in Prague to go investigate something my wife had brought to my attention: near where we live used to live, there’s a huge cemetery where she sometimes hangs out with one of her mom allies. She’d noticed a section of gravestones belonging to gypsy families that are apparently dazzlingly tricked out. It sounded to me like Prague’s answer to the highly-accessorized cars, low-rider bicycles and – back in the day – horses of the Mission’s chicano community, so naturally I was intrigued. Unfortunately, when I got to the graveyard, I was helpless to find the section she had told me about–- I mean, this place is GIANT. After awhile, I got tired and was afraid to lie down and take a nap in an open grave, so decided to split…

So, all I have to offer you are a few shots of plain old non-gypsy Czech grave sites. I really liked this one for Leopold Batěk:

The impulse to have a statue of yourself on your tombstone is natural enough, I suppose… but I really like the restless spryness of this pose: it looks like the figure is about to impatiently hop up and go down the street to buy some cigarettes. Good stuff.

Then there’s Zděnek Šimek, who was into training bears:

This strikes me as a more upscale version of the kind of knit sweaters that you sometimes see guys wearing with Kawasaki motorcycles or some other choice hobby stitched on them.

Since this post is looking a little skimpy, here’s some totally unrelated bonus entertainment:

Trashy Czech romance novels! Be still my heart. The title of this one translates as ‘The Heartfelt Guy’. This came from the bookshelf of my cousin-in-law, who has a whole raft of these– perhaps the entire ‘Čteny Pro Dívky’ (Books For Girls) series?

Matthew Wilder Running Diary

Speaking of Congolese mambo… here’s Matthew Wilder!

A few comments on this:

00:01-00:17: Mystifying disparity between the number of people on stage doing things versus the overall quietness of sound. There seem to be 95 people dancing, playing various keytars and instruments and pumping out Matthew Wilder’s unique blend of white reggae… and yet I can only hear only a wafer-thin synth upbeat, some drums, vocals, and one or two other things.

00:18-00:22: great pink/purple discotard shirt combo from Matthew Wilder. Reminiscent of our old enigmatic friend Bob Blank.

00:22-00:33: Shocking slur regarding Chinese and laundry. WOW. Pretty culturally insensitive, Matthew Wilder. Even for 1982.

01:01: Wilder’s enunciation of cocky is just totally awesome. I can’t watch it without laughing.

01:33: Whoa, bitch just cut in from outta nowhere. I know I accused Matthew Wilder of cultural insensitivity above…. but is it bad that I automatically assumed that this was Phylicia Rashad until I did some research and discovered it’s actually Marilyn McCoo?

01:49-01:52 After cocky, the way McCoo walks off the stage here is the second funniest thing in this video. Again, I laugh every time.

02:20-02:50 I’m amazed that, at some point in this stretch, they don’t do the thing where they suddenly go up one half-step to breath temporary new life into the chorus. You know what I mean by this, right? Instead, Wilder just emerges from behind his synthesizer to do some dancing, including a weirdly fetal move at about 2:47 that involves shaking the mic back and forth with both hands.

Misadventures In Self Publishing

My friend, it turns out, has three or four manuscripts of his own unpublished fiction kicking around. Now, I know this sounds boring… but before you head over to What I Had For Breakfast, consider the following:

  1. One of the manuscripts is titled Vomiting Across America and is based on personal experience
  2. A second is about his misadventures in Prague. Half the action is set in legendary local dive bar The Blind Eye. But the author had the literary wherewithal to create a fictionalized version of this bar called ‘The Other Cheek’. Now, that’s good– you’ve gotta admit.
  3. A third includes accounts of the sexual exploits of a grandmother deranged from senility.

On balance, the only tiresome aspect of my friend’s writing persona is the fact that he maintains the whole predictable reluctanct-to-talk-about-or-share-his-work posture that all my friends who aspire to write fiction invariably pull. When clearly the only goal of this stunt is to entice interest in their writing and general persona while allowing them to appear aloof and above the fray. Yawn. That’s why it was nice to finally meet one guy on my vacation in Poland who would freely talk about the manuscript he had just finished with anyone who was willing to listen. What a relief.

Anyway, my friend sent me the second manuscript discussed above– the one about Prague– which I read and found totally enthralling in trashy, Bukowski-esque way. One thing is that he has a great ear for accents and the way that people speak, which allows you to express more about, say, Czech people and how Czech people really are than I can manage in blog post after post of tedious sociological generalizations. Another thing is that it’s just riotously funny. I mean, c’mon: ‘The Other Cheek’.

This manuscript has also added an enjoyable and enduring physical presence to our household. I received the digital files from my friend and printed out the whole 400 or so pages on my office printer… then, once I was done with it, I discarded the whole spent husk into a pile of scrap paper that we use at home for grocery lists and the like. This has the unintended effect of really livening up mundane household tasks. The other day, I was getting a list of groceries that my wife had written down and turned the sheet over to find the following passage:

Lift it up, full and steaming and… what the fuck?! Jesus! JESUS FUCKING FUCK! The Head! The fucking head. The dead eyes open, the mouth too, in an eternal, silent, scream and there’s soup inside the mouth, there’s a pea and a bit of carrot swimming around in there

(In fact, what’s funny is that when I searched my hard drive right now to find this passage again, I did a search for ‘Jesus fucking fuck’ and the only results that appeared were all four parts of his manuscript).

I honestly think these writings could achieve a certain dubious mass popularity if they were published, and find myself at times struggling to think of a way to facilitate this (the publisher for whom I design the book covers is, I think, a bit too self-respecting).

My friend once sent one of his short stories off to a literary blog that was sponsoring some kind of young writers contest. The story was posted on the blog– it’s about braining somebody to death with a soda can and contains 13 instances of the word ‘fuck’ in a 600 word story. Anyway, my friend recounts that he once went for the second round of a job interview process and was confronted with the actual story– his would-be employer had googled him, found the story, printed out a copy and asked him to explain what it was all about. Safe to say that the Obama administration won’t be tapping him for a position anytime soon.

A Hooters Running Diary

A running diary of the Hooters’ contemptible ‘And We Danced’ video:

[Note: if you’re looking this and trying to decide whether or not you want to read on, I suggest scrolling down and clicking on the second video clip– it’s the best part.]

00:07-00:14: Opening scenes. A hazy vision of rural, 1950s heartland America, a throwback to a more innocent time of sock hops and white picket fences.

00:15-00:30: Except that now two teenage boys are being thrown into the back of car, presumably as a prelude to being slain execution-style at some later point in the video. First-ever carjacking? I’m confused.

00:38-00:44: Strains of mandolin and melodica. Hmm, this isn’t so bad. Maybe we lucked out and stumbled into a Los Lobos video.

00:45-01:01: Senseless parade of 1950s tropes continues sweeping shot of vintage cars waiting to enter a drive-in movie.

I tend to associate the cultural hard-on for fifties revivalism with the 1970s (e.g. Grease, Happy Days) and forget how much it haunted us through the eighties and even into the nineties. We weren’t really into the clear until The Wonder Years was finally cancelled in 1993.

01:02-01:15: Uh oh.

01:16-01:17: Girl gets out of car and bounds towards Hooters while executing one of the two classic 80s dances: skipping while vigorously clapping hands above head.

01:19-01:20: Senseless torture of two boys trapped in car trunk at the hands of their captors. I can barely watch.

01:24-01:26: Who represents the better catch: A bee-bop baby on a hard day’s night (in other words, the heroine of this song)? Or: A small town girl on a Saturday night, albeit one who’s dancing like she’s never danced before?

01:27-01:30: Hooters keyboardist/vocalist Rob Hyman deftly executes a variant of above-described hopping-and-clapping dance with hands clapping below head.

01:31-01:34: There are a lot of different cheesy things in this video… but Hyman’s hand gestures during the ‘She was hanging on Johnny, he was holding on tight” part are really a crime against humanity.

01:49-01:51: WOW. Just a tremendous buildup to the chorus. Hyman’s combination hand-flip/leg-kick move at 01:50 might be the signature moment of 80s cheese ever captured on camera.

Let’s slow the playback rate down to 10% and take a closer look at the moves of this lovetorn young troubador:

Maybe I should do an animated gif version of the big climax… hmmm.

02:04-02:08: Satanically, there’s now second Hooters lead vocalist (guitarist Eric Bazilian) who has the same voice as the first.

02:20-02:36: There’s something about each of these guys’ necks that is too taunt and generally very hard for me to look at.

02:37-03:29: Nevermind.

03:30-03:43: No depiction of 1950s teenage America could be complete without an appearance by The Nerd. So here is he is: cringing in fear and throwing popcorn all over himself as bikers drive past him. God, this video is so wholly unimaginative, I want to kill myself.

03:50-03:52: Kidnapped boys finally beaten to death with a tire iron.

03:54: Look closely at the bottom-right corner of screen and you’ll see that Hyman does the hand-fling/leg-kick move AGAIN here.

04:30-04:38: In a final twist, the mandolin and melodica part is reprised, but with Hyman and Brazilian having displaced the Los Lobos guys.

04:39: “And we sucked! Like a wave on the ocean, romance…”

Recent Music Reviews – or – A Brief Fictional History Of Bad Schandau

Last Thursday I went to see the Norwegian singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg play. I’d never heard of her before Wednesday, but she was recommended by someone, so I took a listen to her Bjorkian dirging on youtube and decided it was worth a go. She sounds a little bit like – to paraphrase my favorite throwaway line from Henry Miller – ‘a thousand heads of cauliflower wailing away in the dark’, but in a cool way. Her alliterative Nordic name reminded me momentarily of this fascinatingly lame concert poster I once spotted in Berlin for somebody called Konrad Kuechenmeister…

… but that’s not her fault.

So, anyway, we filed in at about 7:30 to see her play. Something I like about this venue, Akropolis, nearby where I live: the set times are always really, really early, so you’re often back out on the street by 10. I like this (a) because I’m old, and (b) because if the show is bad, you can still go to dinner or a bar and salvage the evening. In this case, the Norwegian Hukkelberg girl wasn’t bad… but it suffered from the overriding wimpiness– both sonic and dramatic– that mars a lot of the electronically-augmented-singer-songwriter genre. If you listen to her clips, her (impressive) voice is just a part of an engrossing landscape of whirs, clicks, beats and orchestral noises… but onstage, it’s just a woman singing along with some sequencers. When I saw my friend who recommended the gig, she hissed ‘Where is the band?‘ with great contempt. The worst part of it is that Hukkelberg would make a show of playing some instrument in every song, but it was always the most ineffectual instrument most buried in the mix. I tried to suspend judgement for the first twenty minutes, but later felt myself wearying a bit as I watched her singing away while rhythmically manipulating something that I could swear was a plain old mortar and pestle.

When I mentioned the ‘Where is the band?’ sentiment to my buddy I’d come with, he speculated, ‘Maybe the only way to make money playing in Prague is to leave your band behind.’ For the remainder of the set, I was completely distracted by imagining a custom– both financially-driven, yet also ritualistic– where the backing band is left to wait in Bad Schandau (this being German border town you go through on the train before entering the Czech Republic) while their leader travels on alone eastwards to make korunnas and roubles. Dressed identically in black suits and thin ties– like the Pretenders sans Chrissie Hynde– they idle around, kicking bottlecaps in the dusty streets and drinking Becks. One can even imagine a historical accident where Bad Schandau becomes renown for its local music thanks to all the skilled backing bands that have left there: the News mingling with the Mechanics jamming with the Waves, all while their singers are off somewhere else… sort of like the famed Army all-star band during World War Two that could boast some of the best jazz players in the country at that time.

Next, on Saturday, we went to a very different kind of musical venue– a ‘wine tasting festival’ in a small town west of Prague that combined elements of Dork Season with your average redneck American country fair. There were lots of haircuts like this:

The headlining act for this festival was none other than Michal David, legendary king of Czech 80s cheese. In the pantheon of Czech 80s pop culture, David is Corey Hart, Bruce Springsteen and Phil Collins all rolled into one hideous cultural zeitgeist/abortion. Here he is in his prime (1983), performing his breakout hit ‘Nonstop’:

This is bad enough without any context, but I feel obligated to add that ‘Nonstop’ is the Czech term for a store that’s open 24 hours. And that David released an autobiography two years ago titled ‘Život Nonstop’ (Nonstop Life). And that he’s become an apparatchik for various unsavory politicians in recent years.

More David-meets-teen-angst here…

(Note the super cool metro station walls at 0:54)

… and, of course, in the classic Disco Přiběh, discussed here.

Anyway, in the end, I guess neither performance was all that memorable. If I had to pick one, though, I would say I probably enjoyed Michal David slightly more, which just goes to show once again the tyranny of low expectations and unfair advantage that irony and schmaltz enjoy over things that are trying to be serious and good.

Part Sandy Denny, Part Lucy Lawless

My favorite opening sentence of any novel is easily the first line of Dashiell Hammet’s Red Harvest– nothing else really comes close:

I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte.

I mention this only because each way I consider starting this post, it starts sounding like a second-rate imitation of this. It goes something like:

I recently learned about Dana Gillespie from my friend, a reluctant drummer called Shuffles Tierney. He passed along this track from her debut album, Foolish Seasons:

Wow! First of all, who ever heard of ‘Dana Gillespie’? Second, the way the guitars and drums sound, and with the hopped-up double-time chorus, it sounds super contemporary. It could practically be … who, The Ting Tings? Actually, the track (written by Gillespie’s then-boyfriend Donovan) was recorded in 1968. You gotta hand it to the late 60s: just when you think they’re all squeezed out material, along comes something else. This was probably only about the 800th-most significant song recorded in 1968, which is pretty amazing. Quite a year for music.

I also like the track ‘No, No, No’ off the same album:

Dana Gillespie – No No No

Now, check out how her look evolved once she dropped the folk rock thing and stopped cavorting with unicorns:


The enclosed article talks about how she’s making an album with Angie Bowie and Angie thinks she’s gonna be a big star… but her look still seems a little intimidating for mass market success circa 1974. I can imagine being 13 years old and thinking ‘Um… I’m gonna stick with my Doug Henning poster, thank you very much.”

As her career continued, her forays into ‘acting’ started to crowd musicianship out of the picture – and when I say ‘acting’, I mean things like this (Dana appears at 0:54):

To her credit, though, she did land the role of Mary Magdalena in a London production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which is pretty awesome. Anyway, the point is, I can think of a million less entertaining people than Dana Gillespie whose careers are common cultural currency. Gillespie, I guess, was neither fully one thing or another: not committed enough to be remembered for her (quite creditable) early folk-rock career, and not Farah Fawcett enough to be remembered as a pin-up girl.

(Titbits photo taken from Mr. Blues Man)

Good times

Around the corner from the studio where I work, there’s a nondescript pizza/pasta place where I go sometimes to pick up take-away food for lunch. The owner, an nice Albanian guy, used to make valiant attempts to engage me in conversation while I waited for my food, but we had nothing in common other than the fact that we both had iPhones before you could buy them in Czech, so we would have the same conversation every time where he would ask me if I had upgraded to some new operating system or bought some new app and I would always say, no, I haven’t. Luckily, he’s since delegated counter service to a crew of Czechs who don’t bother to make conversation, so lately I’ve been free to stare at the walls, which are covered in those framed booze ads that are the default decor of restaurants that can’t be bothered to establish any particular kind of atmosphere.

This is how I’ve come to develop a weird begrudging fascination with the Cointreau poster shown above (sorry the photo is so terrible, but I can’t find the image online and I can’t exactly ask to borrow a step ladder to photograph their poster). Sure, on a conceptual level, it’s completely hackneyed and predictable. But, the execution: it’s so…….. good.  How convincingly the principals seem to be Having A Good Time. How many hundreds of shots must have been taken that afternoon to get this one photo. How rung out the three models must have been at the end.

Since it’s really hard to see what’s going on in this photo, I’ll describe it for you: the woman on the left winks and smiles and holds a drink out to you invitingly, all at the same time. The woman on the right howls in hedonistic delight. Meanwhile, the guy in the middle is pure caddishness unpunished. His hand dangles irresponsibly as his expression says Don’t hate me because I’m feckless. The insouciant atmosphere is ratcheted up another notch by the evidence that its clearly daytime, and by the ingeniously cheesy tag-line: ‘Voulez-vous Cointreau avec moi?’.

I don’t even know what Cointreau is, and yet there’s a tiny part of me that wants to drop everything and join these three for a quick bender in Montmarte. At least, until my pizza shows up and I tear myself away from their seductive invitations. Well done, Cointreau.

Brno Bienale and Polish film posters revisited

Yesterday, I went to Brno to take part in the opening of the Brno Bienale, a design exhibition in which the CTP book I spent all last summer and fall working on is being displayed. (Note: there are literally hundreds of works being displayed there, so it’s not like this is any great distinction.)

Here’s my trip in handy ascii map format:

|||||||| >>>>>>>>>>(me on train)>>>>>>>>>>>||||||

Assorted highlights along the way:

1. Prague main train station, 10:05am. You gotta love the cafés associated with train stations in Central Europe. It’s just past 10am and I’m drinking a small beer, yet I’m allowed to feel that this is a somewhat upright behavior given that the two guys next to me are pounding shots and smell like they’ve been cleaning out that barn that Hercules had to irrigate for one of his 12 tasks.

2. Brno main train station, 1:15am. Pleasant surprise of the day: getting to Brno and kinda remembering my way around from two previous brief day trips here.

This is a memorable contrast to my first ever trip to Czech Republic, back in 2001 when I was just blowing through on the way to Vienna and had no notion that I’d ever be living here. After staying up most of the night running around Prague, I got on the train to Vienna and instantly fell into a deep, catatonic sleep. After two and a half hours, I suddenly lurched awake when the train stopped, blearily peered out the window into the darkness and was met only with a large, inscrutable sign reading ‘BRNO’. Having never heard of Brno before at that point, I momentarily panicked, imagining perhaps that I had been asleep for twelve hours and had now been carried into some regional outpost on the edge of Siberia. “Oh no! Brrr!” I cried out involuntarily, and then saw the reality mirrored back at me again by the horrifying sign: BRRRR-NO.

3. An exhibit called ‘Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design’, 6:45pm. After the opening ceremony, speeches and awards, and after looking at the main exhibits (all of which turned out to be pretty un-fun for various reasons which I won’t bother getting into… but suffice to say that the part I’m about to describe was the only fun part of the Bienale for me:) I wound up looking through a great exhibit curated by Rick Polynor about the tradition of surrealism in graphic design. Remember those Polish movie posters I blogged about? Czech movie posters from this era were done pretty much in the same style, and this exhibit had fascinating ones from both countries. Check out these various interpretations of Hitchcock’s The Birds:

As my Czech student put it while we looking at these, “See… there were some good things about Communism.”

(Note: the top one borrows directly from Max Ernst’s The Robing of The Bride, which I blogged about in the Quiet Visualizations of Evil post.)

Continuing on the weirdo bird theme, here’s a bird in high heels executed by a 60s Croatian artist that I know nothing about:

For our last bird-related item, check out this incredible 1972 kraut rock cover for Amon Dull’s Carnival In Babylon:

Have you ever seen anything that straddles the line between so-bad-it’s-good versus SO-bad-that-it-swings-all-the-way-back-around-into-bad like this?

The Miley Cyrus Online Dance Battle Meme

A year or so ago, I was having dinner with a few friends, and one of them brought his new girlfriend, a 22-year old professional surfer. This gave me the opportunity to learn about “what’s new with the kids these days.” Being a semi-semi celebrity, this surfer seemed to hang out with other C-listers, and she told us a story about some guy named Adam, a dancer who appeared in “Step Up II: The Streets,” and who then “got in Miley Cyrus’ pants” by making a “dance crew video.”

I was completely bufuddled by this story, so I asked for more details, and the surfer pulled out her iPhone and called up a youtube video that blew my mind (see below). So far as I could tell, the story began with Miley and some friend of hers making a “webcast” that involved the two of them having sleepovers and, in at least one episode, dancing around. Then (and I probably have this completely wrong), Miley saw this Adam kid (who looks sort of like a young Joey Ramone) in “Step Up II” and got his number from somebody and left a mysterious message for him. He responded by getting together with some of his professional dancer pals and challenging Miley and her pal to an “online dance battle.” This challenge escalated into a war of youtube videos, with each side getting the aid of various celebrities (dancer and otherwise) to show up the other (and it may have culminated with a huge Beat It-style dance-off on the Teen Choice Awards). And, according to this surfer, the whole gambit helped young Adam “score” with Miley.

I have nothing insightful to say about any of this except that, more than anything else I’ve seen since I left the MTV “demo,” this both made me feel very old, and also sort of impressed with the lengths the kids go to these days. Here’s Adam and his crew’s “Round Two” challenge, featuring various Hollywood b-listers (including The Lohan) and some incredible dance moves: