Music News

How Frankie Muniz's Girlfriend Elycia Marie Became My Internet Nemesis

You know the kid from Malcolm in the Middle? That's Frankie Muniz. After the show went off the air, he moved to Scottsdale to get away from all that Hollywood zaniness and be near his girlfriend's family. Her name is Elycia Marie. Actually, it's Elycia Turnbow, but no one calls her that. She's a Twitter tour de force who bills herself as a publicist for an agency called InXcess. She helps Frankie plan and publicize the various disparate endeavors that pass for his "career" while the 24-year-old spends his residuals and tries to figure out what to do with his life.

Elycia's agency, InXcess, doesn't seem to exist in any tangible way outside her Facebook employment info, which lists as its clients Frankie Muniz (he's still considering acting), along with You Hang Up (Frankie's fledgling band), InXcess Racing (Frankie is tooling around the minor-league racing circuits), and a Glendale water-filter seller named Krystal Klor (they did not return an e-mail).

Tweetgazette.com, the blog of record for Twitter-related news, describes her as such: "She's a publicist for a firm whose only clients are her boyfriend, her boyfriend's band, and her boyfriend's racing company. She kind of sounds like the character 'E' on Entourage."

Here's the really weird part: Somehow, she's become my Internet nemesis. Crazy, I know. I understand that no one gets to pick his nemesis, but I'm still sort of awed by how fate conspired to pit a music editor at an alternative-weekly newspaper and a wanna-be publicist/girlfriend of an aging child actor against each other. Yet it has.

The thing is, it wasn't supposed to be like this. I just wanted to pen a funny, interesting, and mostly sympathetic story about why Malcolm — er, Frankie — wanted to play drums in a Phoenix band. Honestly, it was a bit of a puff piece. Things went horribly awry. Within months, she was calling me "a gap-toothed, double-chinned, blubbery whale" and posting an unflattering picture of me as her Twitter background. Weird, right?

The whole thing began with a press release from the guys in You Hang Up, a local band who'd been toiled in obscurity before a friend of a friend hooked them up with Muniz. They met and he agreed to join the group. The next day, I got an e-mail announcing that he'd joined — before they'd even heard him play drums in person. It was an obvious ploy to cash in on the dwindling fame of a former child actor, and I jumped on it.

Our correspondence began friendly-like. After I got that press release from the YHU guys, I messaged Elycia, a local Twitter celebrity, to say I wanted to work on a feature about Frankie. He and I talked and made plans to meet up. Frankie even called me back to ask advice on booking an appropriate venue for his first show, and I gave it to him.

Things might have turned out fine had another New Times staffer not publicized that show with a vaguely condescending blog post. I got an angry call from Frankie, with Elycia screaming in the background. We worked it out, but she passive-aggressively tweeted: "AZ friends . . . who does the music reviews/stories for AZ Republic/AZ Central?"

Whatevs. I explained to Frankie that I would simply cover the show, as I would any other band's show, and do a feature down the line, with or without his cooperation. He said he was cool with that.

You Hang Up outfoxed me, however, "canceling" its first show at the last minute. Then, without telling anyone outside a close-knit circle of sycophants and admirers, the band scheduled a new show for the same weekend. Honestly, it wasn't the worst idea ever. As Malcolm — er, Frankie — had told me, he'd never played his drums onstage before. Still, it wasn't the sort of thing I could let pass without comment.

So, on our blog, I chastised You Hang Up for that little stunt, mocking the questions an interviewer from Popeater.com asked Frankie the day before:

Interviewer's question: "Were you leery You Hang Up might've just been drooling at the prospect of 'Agent Cody Banks: The Drummer'?"

Frankie's response: "Nah, I could tell. After 10 years in show business, I can tell when people are really excited because I was on TV. These guys were super-cool. They could tell I just like playing drums. I've never felt like they wanted me 'cause I was on TV or in movies."

My analysis of that exchange: "I don't know if Frankie thinks other bands send out e-mails informing the media that they have a new drummer, but it was a first for me. Methinks these dudes are aware of the potential his starpower brings, but it's nice they're keeping it cool."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar