Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lazy Saturday

Today, I'll be airing some Pop Eye re-runs, in honor of the new blogfriends I've picked up over the past year or so. But mostly because I'm lazy and have nothing to talk about today. I know that Lindsay is officially (maybe) a lesbian now, and plenty of other celebs are doing plenty of dumb things, but I have some things to do today before going to see the Sex and the City movie tonight, so I just don't have time to come up with a thoughtful blog post. But don't worry, I'll spoil the movie for everyone tomorrow! Yay!

This look back into my archives was prompted by the Air Supply video that I posted on Thursday. I checked to see if it made my Top 40 list of '80s songs, and was surprised to see that it didn't. Well, compiling that list might have been a labor of love but there were also some serious labor pains involved. Picking only 40 songs out of the best musical decade was very difficult. I'm sure if I stare at that list for too long, I will go insane thinking of all of the good songs that were omitted. So, I'll avert my eyes and let you all stare at it for a while.

First, read Vh-1's Top 100 Songs of the '80s.
Then, check out My Top 40 Songs of the '80s.

For a list that puts Air Supply at #1, try My Top 15 Overly Dramatic Songs.

My old lyrics quizzes! I may do another installment of this if anyone is interested:
Part I
Part II

Awww, isn't it cute? My first blog post! No "Hi, this is my blog and I'm not sure what I will write about" business. I just dove right in and dissed the Rolling Stones.

Awww, isn't it cute? My first Idol-related post! Also a reminder that the songwriting competition was my idea. Bastards. No, I will never let it go.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

It dawned on me today that I have never posted an Air Supply video. Just as I was ready to kick my own ass up and down the block, it dawned on me that I don't recall ever seeing an Air Supply video in my life. How could this be? Their heyday was the '80s, when everyone made videos. Well, with a quick YouTube search, I found several of their vids. I guess just because they made videos didn't mean that MTV would play them. Maybe they just weren't cool enough?

Upon watching this clip for 1983's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," it's easy to see why it didn't get a lot of airplay. It's like a really bad Lifetime movie starring Jeff Daniels and Nick Arrojo from What Not To Wear...set to music, of course. If the song didn't rule so hard, it wouldn't even be worth hitting the play button. But it does. So, do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And This Month's Winner of The Sean Young Award Is...

...everyone's favorite camera- hogging, beaver-flashing, washed-up hack - Sharon Stone!

Her latest outstanding achievements in nutbaggery include:

1. Suggesting that the thousands of Chinese who died in a recent earthquake had it comin'.
2. Dropping F-bombs and belligerently shaming people into donating money at an AIDS benefit.
3. Calling out P. Diddy as a crack-head at said benefit.*
4. Threatening to take an ice pick to anyone who messes with her main man, the Dali Lama.**
5. Continuing to think that she has a viable acting career.

Congratulations, Sharon, you ignorant slut!

* Since Diddy is almost as intolerable as Stone, this is kind of funny.
** So, maybe she didn't threaten to stab anyone with an ice pick in so many words, but that doesn't mean she's not thinking it. Or won't do it. Or hasn't already done it. She's a psycho bitch, people. Trust me on this one.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Battle of the Netflix Stars #3

Bout #3: Battle of the Musical Rom-Coms

Movie:Music and Lyrics


Director:Marc LawrenceKevin Lima
Star Power:Hugh Grant and Drew BarrymorePatrick Dempsey, Amy Adams, James Marsden and Susan Sarandon
Plot:Alex Fletcher is a former '80s pop star looking to resuscitate his career. When presented with the opportunity to pen and perform a duet with a Britney Spears-ish diva, Alex realizes that he needs a songwriting partner. After discovering that Sophie (the girl who waters his plants) has a way with words, he convinces her to form a partnership. They discover that they make beautiful music together, but is their budding romance doomed to be just a flash in the pan?Fairy princess Giselle is banished to the "real world" of NYC by an evil Queen. There, she meets cynical lawyer Robert and his daughter, who take her in. Giselle's betrothed, Prince Edward, goes to New York to find her and Giselle must decide who her Prince Charming really is.
Pros:Hugh Grant is so freaking charming that it's not even fair. He's one of those actors who I never think of as one of my "favorites" but every time I see him in a movie, I find him so utterly adorable. His delivery of the witty, sharp dialogue is priceless and although Drew Barrymore basically plays her usual Little Miss Happy character, somehow her "sunshine" is less grating here as in other movies. All of the music biz spoofing is spot-on, especially the inoffensive cheese of Alex's former band, PoP!, and Haley Bennett's portrayal of teen sensation Cora Corman. Alex playing amusement parks and being offered has-been boxing reality shows all feels a little too real!Even though this is essentially a family movie, I watched it with my roommate and we both enjoyed it. Maybe it's because we both think Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden are hot? That's part of it. A bigger part is that it's just a sweet movie that isn't afraid to be completely corny. And even though it's basically a movie we've all seen before, the acting is very good throughout. Amy Adams is especially perfect in her role, who is basically Ariel the mermaid in the flesh.
Cons:The obligatory fight/misunderstanding between the couple seems a bit forced.There's a little sugar overload. Also, Susan Sarandon, who I usually love, goes a little too over-the-top.
My Thoughts:Very engaging. I defy any straight woman or gay man not to fall in love with Hugh Grant after watching this. The songs, while all knock-offs of real music of the '80s and today, are written well enough so that they become less like jokes and more like songs that you might actually hear on the radio.Honestly, I'd rather watch an animated classic like Beauty and the Beast, but this is a cute diversion for a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you can't find the charm in it, your inner child may be dead.
Final Grade:B+C+

One last thing. Music and Lyrics would've gotten a straight B, but the mere presence of this song/video made me add the +. PoP! is like a perfect blend of Wham!, ABC and Spandau Ballet.

Mailbag Madness: An Open Letter to an Archutard

I don't do the "mailbag" thing (unlike the superior Mathdude), nor do I generally devote more than a minute to crazy, anonymous commenters. But since I'm already mired in my annual post-Idol funk, I figured that answering one particular commenter would allow me to (a) write something, (b) yap about AI some more even though it's over, and (c) work on my people skills.

So, here is a comment I received on my Idol finale post from...oh, I don't know. Let's call him/her "Pissed off in Provo." My response follows.

I hope someday you find something else to do besides sit at your computer for hours at a time analyzing shows you apparently hate (so... if you think it's so ridiculous, why are you watching it? And paying enough attention to regurgitate every detail back to us?). And do not make fun of someone's religion. Especially if you don't know enough about it to get the facts right.

You are mean-spirited and i pity you. Maybe you could find a useful hobby so you wouldn't have to do this. Doing service... feeding the poor.... get a job... honestly if you have so much extra time there are a lot more productive ways you could use it. I'd like to do more for other people but I actually have a job. Maybe you could help contribute to society a bit. I don't know, just a thought.

Dearest Anonymous,

Sure, I'll play. But I hope you know that I'm blowing off my teaching duties at the School for the Blind so I can respond to you.

The reason that I’ve decided to devote a full post to answering your comment is because your comment is so common. I've seen folks like you over at VFTW and other blogs asking the same old question - "If you hate [American Idol], why do you watch it?" Exactly. Why would I?
Well, it’s simple. I wouldn't. If your reading comprehension is at least at a 3rd grade level, you should be able to grasp the concept that I’m completely addicted to this show. I love it. How did you ever come to the assumption that I hated it? Just because I dare to complain about its faults? I like it enough that I want it to be better. What you call “mean-spirited” is really just “honest.” Negative opinions are every bit as valid as positive opinions, Pollyanna Abdul. Sure, maybe my opinions are served up with a healthy dose of snark and cynicism (and the occasional low blow), but why not? It’s only a TV show. It’s pure, mindless entertainment. The day I start taking it too seriously is the day I check myself in to Bellevue.

As far as making fun of "someone’s" religion, when did I do that? I mentioned that Archuleta was a Mormon and I made an innocuous reference to a “Latter-Day Saint,” but that hardly counts as bashing his whole belief system. Again, your reading comprehension level is in question. If you want some real Mormon-bashing, go talk to Coaster Punchman. He’s done the research, so he can tell you exactly why they’re all crazy. (My long-standing crush on Steve Young precludes me from doing so. Just like my love of John Travolta makes me super-tolerant of Scientology.)

Now…I don't know if you know what StatCounter is, but it's an interesting little service. It lets me see where my visitors are coming from, how long they’ve stayed, etc. I'm always especially curious about the people who bravely leave angry comments from behind the veil of anonymity. So...judging by the time your comment was made, it looks like you're in Provo, Utah at Brigham Young. Oh, well it all makes sense now! You're just upset about little Archie coming in 2nd place. Look, I understand. I had a minor freak-out when Michael Johns was voted off. But I didn’t go trolling random blogs, leaving “I pity th’ fool who disses Michael” comments. I just got my anger out by killing a drifter. (Hmm…I hope that guy wasn’t a Mormon or I’m really going to Hell.)

If you had the ability to laugh, you'd really get a kick out of your hypocrisy. You bash me for judging AI, judging the contestants (major plot point: they are actually there to be judged) and ridiculing things that I know nothing about while sanctimoniously making assumptions about my character. GOSH! Maybe before writing all that, you should've asked yourself, "What Would Archie Do?"

And, really, you hung out on my blog for a little over half an hour? Wow. Thanks? I hope someday you find something else to do besides sit at your computer for (half) hours at a time, analyzing blogs you apparently hate. (So...if you think mine is so ridiculous, why are you reading it, and taking the time to write a sermon?)

I really wish you had given this powerful speech back in February. Imagine all the good I could've been doing for the world instead of just watching AI. Well, maybe. You see, I do have a job. So, I have a blog and a job. That gives me twice as many excuses as you for not having more time to give, give, give! (By the way, because I hate the show so much, I donated to Idol Gives Back. Did you? Or were you too busy working?)

You really think I don’t have dreams or goals? You think I don’t want to make the world a better place? I do! In fact, you’ve inspired me to act. I plan to devote myself to wiping out the epidemic of PC bullshittery and sour-pussitude that plagues many folks just like you. From this day forward, I will work tirelessly to ensure that everyone in this country has access to a sense of humor.

To my fellow bloggers - I hope you will contribute to this worthy cause. It costs nothing. By giving just a few minutes of your time a day, we can remove the sticks from millions of tight asses, thereby turning the humorless refuse into well-adjusted, functional members of society.

Postscript: I know a lot of bloggers turn off anonymous comments or enable "comment moderation," but I don't think I'll ever do that. The majority of my anonymous comments are from perfectly nice people who just don't feel like signing up with a Blogger or Google account. As for the rude or angry ones, well if the "racist, fat whore" commenter didn't scare me off, no one will! I'm all for free speech. Obviously, not everyone is going to like me or my blog, and if they want to tell me so, then they can. Their opinions are just as welcome as anyone else's. But, I wish that they would have the guts and courtesy to at least leave a name. After all, some of the things I say here may not be popular but at least everyone knows that I wrote it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Since an elderly Bryan Adams appeared on Wednesday's American Idol finale, I thought I would give his youthful self classic video honors this week.

Hey, turn off your radio before I kick it and smash it! Now, turn up your computer speakers and sing along to the 1983 hit from Cuts Like a Knife, "This Time." The video chronicles a wild road trip, on which Bryan camps out at Motel Hell and briefly joins Tom Sawyer's Huckleberry gang, all while stalking a pair of disembodied legs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Much For That Theory

It was reported yesterday that Aerosmith front-man, Steven Tyler, checked himself into Dr. Drew's rehab facility to seek treatment for an "unspecified" substance abuse problem.

Now, all the Aerosmith guys famously sobered up some time in the '80s and supposedly have been clean ever since. Maybe Tyler only thought "sober" meant that he couldn't drink, but he could still snort and shoot? I don't know.

Anyway, the real issue here is that Aerosmith were awesome back in the '70s when they were dreamin' on, playing with their toys in the attic, and blasted out of their minds. After they embraced clean living, their music got progressively suckier. Around the time they were proclaiming that falling in love was hard on the knees, I was wishing that they would all start doing drugs again. Now it turns out they were - or at least Steven was - all along? I knew no sober person could've agreed to record "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing!"

But now I'm confused. What's changed? Are the drugs of today really that much different than the drugs of the '70s? How can one make you sing for the laughter and sing for the tears while the other makes you sing love songs to an asteroid??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol 7 Finale: That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles, Archie

Time once again for FOX's Annual Ad Salesman's Wet Dream!

Ryan Seacrest kicks off the AI Finale by loudly announcing that a record 97.5 million votes were cast last night, way more than in any presidential election.

This just in: On June 2, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are having a karaoke showdown at Bob's Lounge in Pierre, SD. Get your tickets now!

The judges are decked out, as usual, in their best Finale threads. Simon sticks with the black jacket/unbuttoned white shirt combo, Paula squeezes herself into a red dress with a built-in boob ejector seat, and Randy just throws on a bellhop's jacket from the Four Seasons and one of Michael Johns' old ascots and hopes for the best. Sadly, not even Tim Gunn could make it work.

Even though some of the Top 24 from this season weren't invited to the show (Danny Noriega, Kady Malloy, and Colton Berry to name a few), some forgotten Idol wannabes from seasons past are given roving reporter duties in the two Davids' hometowns. Matt Rogers, who has most recently popped up on an infomercial for some kind of Rogaine knock-off, works the Archuleta crowd in Salt Lake City, UT, while Mikalah Gordon, most annoying contestant ever and Fran Drescher knock-off, tries to talk louder than all the Cook fans in Kansas City, MO. She succeeds.

The Top 12 contestants reunite for a cheesy group sing of "Get Ready," accompanied by the So You Think You Can Dance kids. This isn't even halfway enjoyable like their Idol Gives Back performance of "Don't Stop The Music," partially because there aren't nearly enough shots of Michael, but mostly because it just sucks.

Next up is a Dueling Davids duet of "Hero," that Spider-Man song by the Nickelback dude and the Saliva guy. It's not horrible, but I don't think Little Lord Archuleroy has a very good sense of harmony. Daddy has programmed him to be a solo artist, for sure.

The next interminable length of time is spent shamelessly plugging the new Mike Meyers movie, The Love Guru. He spiritually advises the Davids, makes lame jokes to "Ryan Seafoam" and then beats us all over the head with his "Mariska Hargitay" catch-phrase. Yes, we all get it. Ha ha. It was funny the first time, but seriously, enough. Don't make me go all Ice-T on your ass, Meyers.

When that torture finally ends, Syesha takes the stage to sing "Waiting for You" with Seal. It's not a molten hot lava bomb or anything, but it's aight.

Jason Castro returns! Part of me hopes that he sings "I Shot the Sheriff" again just to mess with the producers, but they probably have him hooked up to electrodes to prevent that from happening. He sings "Hallelujah" instead, and I think it sounds better than the first time he sang it. And, did he get cuter over the last couple of weeks? I think he did.

Now it's time for an homage to the best part of every results show - the crappy Ford commercial! There is a quick compilation of all of the past videos, and then Seacrest presents Cookie and Archie with keys to their brand new Ford Escape hybrids. No one looks happier than Archuleta's Dad, who's obviously already planning on taking the new car and sticking little Davey with the rusty old Dodge Aries.

The Top 6 girls don red dresses and take the stage for a medley of Donna Summer tunes. Brooke proves that she is the Whitest girl in America with her misguided attempts to find the beat. Jamless Joplin returns, sounding worse than ever and looking like she wants to O.D. just like her idol. Donna Summer joins the ladies and, even though she's getting old, she still has some hot stuff up her sleeve.

Finally I'm treated to a healthy dose of Michael. He and Carly team up to sing "The Letter." It's definitely not one of my favorite songs, and Carly is doing an awful lot of screaming. Luckily, Michael sounds great and looks as luscious as ever. Oh, to be his duet partner. (Singing? Who said anything about singing?)

Jimmy Kimmel disrupts my daydreaming with a few mildly funny jokes, but I really don't know why he's there. My mind is somewhere else right now.

The show catches up with my mind when the Top 6 boys arrive to sing a Bryan Adams medley, started off beautifully by Michael with "Summer of '69." Michael. 69. Heh heh. Mmeh heh heh. Huh huhuhuh. He said...
Oh, buzz kill, buzz kill! Bryan Adams suddenly appears with a face that looks like sandpaper! He was never exactly a stud, but I'm still a bit shocked by how old and haggard he looks. The girls in the idiot pit aren't shocked, because they have no idea who Bryan is. But does that keep them from mindlessly waving their arms? Of course not!

Jordin Sparks lets us know that the "American Idol Experience" attraction opens this year at Disney World. This sounds promising. I will be first in line for Mr. Johns' Wild Ride.

David Cook takes the stage again, this time with a band I never thought I would see on this show - ZZ Top. They perform "Sharp Dressed Man," and it sounds pretty good. Once again, the idiot pit is clueless as to who these crazy, bearded dudes are.

Brooke is joined by Graham Nash for a duet of "Teach Your Children." I'm sure it goes without saying that the idiot pit is really confused now. (Like, is that Brooke's Grandpa?) This performance isn't bad, but as with the David duet, the harmonies just aren't there. And whose fault is that? The one who hasn't spent a lifetime making great harmonies with Crosby and Stills (and sometimes Young), that's who.

Hey, David Cook is in the new Guitar Hero III commercial, doing the "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" scene from Risky Business! My roommate totally pitches a tent, but my enjoyment of this is somewhat dampened by a big old "if only." As in "if only Michael Johns were in this commercial."

Now the Jonas Brothers are performing and, for once, the idiot pit girls are the only ones who know or care who the heck these guys are.

Seacrest shows a short compilation of some of the "best of the worst" from the auditions and then brings out Renaldo Lapuz to sing his infamous original song, "I Am Your Brother," with the help of a marching band and cheerleaders. This guy is the next William Hung I guess, but I like him. He seems like a cool dude.

Hey, it's another performance that the idiot pit can get behind - One Republic doing "Apologize." Well, for once, the tweens and I are 'n sync. I love this song. I'm completely floored though that One Republic is actually One or More White Guys. I did not see that coming. David Archuleta joins them on the song and he does a pretty good job, but he obviously doesn't have the range needed for the high notes, so he wisely doesn't even try.

Jordin Sparks performs "One Step At a Time," which sounds like it could be the next Idol single. Hey, wait a minute. What's going on here? I thought she lost her voice and wouldn't be able to sing for a while. Did Clive hook her up to the electrodes too?

The biggest waste of time of the night comes in the form of a lame skit about Gladys Knight's original Pips, who are Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. Oh, what a coincidence...those three have a movie coming out soon! I can't believe that they keep this schtick up for the entire song, "Midnight Train to Georgia." They're giving this more time than they allow the contestants to sing! Oh, it makes me so mad I could just swear! GOSH!!!

Carrie Underwood shows up in an outfit that can only be described as Crystal Carrington-meets-Amanda Woodward. Well, if either of those ladies forgot to put some sort of bottoms on. Then she loudly sings about having drunken, anonymous sex while the camera man tries to give her a full cavity search. Backstage, sweet, innocent Mormon Archie wonders what happened to sweet, innocent Christian Carrie. Is this what happens to the winners? Would Clive Davis force him to use his body to sell records? Quivering in fear, he prays to one of the Latter-Day Saints to let Cook prevail.

Obviously, Little Archie already refused to use sex to sell at least one thing. In his version of the Guitar Hero III commercial, his shirt is much longer and he's wearing baggy boxers. When he falls back onto the couch, he looks more like he's playing with a puppy than jamming out on the gee-tar.

The Top 12 return to the stage, this time with a medley of F'ing George Michael hits - "Faith," "Father Figure," and "Freedom." Clearly, Michael Johns should be allowed to sing "Father Figure" in its entirety. Crikey. He totally gets me feeling frisky with the first line, but then Hernandez the Stripper spoils it by breathily accenting the word "naked" during his line. It's ridiculously funny. It's as if he's saying, "Yeah, NAKED. That's me. I get naked for a living. And, depending on how much money you have, I do other stuff too. Want me to be your Father figure? That'll be $200." Way to cash in on that bad reputation, Forgotten David!

Now, THE actual George Michael comes out.
(Har har. Comes out onto the stage, smart-alecs.) That is George Michael, right? It doesn't really look like him. He sounds different too. (Supposedly he has a cold.) Well, he still sounds fantastic. He sings "Praying For Time," which he should've done on Idol Gives Back instead of Carrie Underwear. Say what you will about George, but the boy can sang. He can sing his face off. He could sing the phone book. I wonder if Paula would cry while he sang the phone book? She weeps openly during this performance.

For my BFF, I will now deliver this message to Ms. Abdul - Honey, you need to sit your ass down!

I guess it was pointless to deliver that message so late in the show. The results are about to be announced! The judges all say nice things to The Davids, and suddenly Simon starts to backpedal away from last night's comments about Cookie. Seems that after playing it back, Archuleta didn't win by knock-out! Hmm, something's fishy here. Do the judges already know the outcome? Has Cook won this and they're trying to make themselves look better? No, they couldn't know, because here comes a guy in a suit with a hermetically sealed package. The results are in there! This is all legit! That guy totally isn't just an out of work actor posing as prim and proper Mr. Certified Vote Keeper, Edward Boddington.

The results are revealed much for that knock-out! David Cook wins by unanimous decision. Damn this show to hell for screwing with my predictions! My record this year sucks! GOSH!!

Anyway, I guess I'm happy for Cookie. I thought maybe winning, for him, would be a curse but why should it be? The guy has real talent. I think he will be able to overcome any stigma that might come from being the American Idol.

Unfortunately, his first single will be the winning entry from the songwriting competition. Not the marginally entertaining "Dream Big" that he sang last night, but the awfully familiar "Time of My Life." Of course, I see why this is the winning song. It's a mid-tempo number with an uplifting message, covering all the required elements (dreams, love, magic, wings, "tasting the moment") and throwing in a couple of items for extra credit (rainbows, "rising from the ashes").

Still, I have to hand it to Cookie, again. Somehow, even this piece of dreck becomes listenable when put in his hands. And he who can turn loser lyrics into a winning song deserves to win. Well-earned, sir.

Also big winners this year: the AI wardrobe and hair stylists. Nice work!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Idol 7: The Hokey Pokia at The Nokia

Jason Yeager gets us ready to rumble by announcing that tonight is the "fight of the century." Wow, he got old since getting voted off the show! Oh, hold up, that's Michael Buffer. Sorry, I always get them confused. Can you blame me? Come on, they have to be at least third cousins or something.

The Debasement of the Davids begins when they're spotlighted in separate "corners" of the stage, wearing different colored boxing robes. Do not adjust your TV sets. You are not watching ESPN. This is, in fact, American Idol on FOX. But, wow, this is corny.

You know how you see those special programs on ESPN that try to paint various sports as more important than the air that we breathe? And how they always make you a little squirmy because, I mean, they're just talking about games? Well, it's even more uncomfortable to watch when the same approach is taken with a singing contest. Lots of quick, hip edits and graphics are used for the "backstage" portions of the show and Jim Lampley periodically shows up to disperse little nuggets of athletic wisdom.

Lampley's manly metaphors are often offset with quick cuts to Andrew Lloyd Webber standing backstage acting like Rip Taylor without the confetti basket. Then Andrew props up Clive Davis so he can croak, "You've really got talent, kid," to either of the Davids. He doesn't care which one. He thinks he's talking to Simon and Garfunkel, anyway.

Oh, snap! With all this nonsense, I almost forgot there was a singing contest going on. Let's see if the Davids can somehow make this night worth watching.

Round 1 - Clive Davis' pick

Cookie kicks things off with U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." I hate this song because the title ends with a preposition. I guess "I Still Haven't Found That For Which I've Been Looking" just didn't roll off the tongue quite as well. Actually, I really don't care about word placement here, but it really is one of the few (pre-Pop) U2 songs that I truly dislike. I don't know if it's just because it was so overplayed or if it's because it's dull and plodding. Maybe both. At any rate, I'm surprised to find myself really digging Cook's version. I might be so bold as to say that it's even better than the real thing. He is really proving his genuineness right now, because most performers would have a hard time avoiding the urge to do a Bono impression. Although Randy says that David didn't do "everything he could have done" (I guess he would've preferred a Bono impression), he still thinks the performance is hot. Paula gushes about Cookie's voice, and Simon reaches into his old bag of 50-cent words and pulls out "phenomenal."

Little Lord Archuleroy tries his best to fill the shoes of Sir Elton John...and Dame George Michael...and Unspecified Clay Aiken by singing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me." He sort of just walks around in their shoes like a little kid trying on his Daddy's hunting boots, but it's a valiant effort. He sounds fine, but I'm not loving all the syllables he's shoving into every verse and I really hate the vocal histrionics at the end. However, the judges act like Archie controls the sun by slobbering over him accordingly. Randy breaks out his favorite phrase from this season by calling the number "molten hot." Paula has chills. (Maybe because she's wearing nothing?) Simon says that this performance is David's best so far and awards him Round 1. David wheezes and blushes and goshes and nearly passes out.

Round 2 - Original Songs

Not The Davids' original songs, silly! Although I'm sure the Little Lord probably has a bunch of potential hits scribbled in his Care Bears notebook ("Oh Gosh," "Kittens Are Swell," "Daddy Dearest"), each contestant gets to choose a song from the Top 10 entries in the songwriting competition. This is a welcome tweak to this year's Finale, saving us all from sitting through two different spins on the same sappy mid-tempo ballad.

Cookie's choice is called "Dream Big," which sounds just about right. A song about dreaming? On Idol?? Who'da thunk it? But wait. This actually...isn't...bad. I can't believe I'm saying this. Okay, so the lyrics about dreams and faith and reaching for the stars are typical AI cheese, but David Cook is actually rising above them and turning in a very good performance. The way he's doing it makes it almost sound like a lost Bon Jovi song or something. Randy doesn't like the song but thinks Cook "sang his face off." Paula actually says something sensible and nearly poetic, and I really should've written it down, but the hell with it. I could rewind to catch it again, but I've already moved on to Simon. He goes back to the boxing metaphors by calling the performance "a lightweight" and complaining that it didn't feel like "a winning moment." Like this. Inside his heaven. Well, whatever. Cookie makes me proud and that's all that matters.

Speaking of "moments," Little Lord Archuleroy's next song is called "In This Moment." Good Lord. I feel like every one of these songwriters picks their song title by using the official American Idol magnetic poetry kit. They might even write the whole damn gosh-darn song that way. Even though these lyrics are pure crap that make Archie just sound like he's patting himself on the back for being so golly-gee-whiz wonderful, he's singing it really well. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I actually enjoy his performance. If this was the first time I'd ever heard him sing, I would think he was terrific. But that's the problem, isn't it? This isn't the first time I've heard him sing, and this certainly isn't the first time I've heard him sing a song just like this. He's just a broken record to me. But the judges are having a moment, and they're drooling all over Davey again. Randy is not crazy about this song either, but lets fly the "you could sing the phone book" analogy. (Talk about a broken record.) Paula says David is "pure magic." Simon loves the "fantastically self-centered song" and awards Round 2 to Archie also. David clutches at his chest, cries invisible tears and shakes uncontrollably.

Round 3 - Contestants' pick

For his final performance, David Cook chooses to sing Collective Soul's "The World I Know." I really like Collective Soul and think that they've always been highly underrated, but this is kind of a dull song. It's pretty, but still dull. I'm not sure why Cookie would want to go out on such a mellow note. Even though it's my least favorite of his three numbers, I'm still enjoying it and think that David's voice has been in great shape all night. Cookie begins to openly weep when the song is through, but manages to reign it in before it gets out of control. Normally, I don't like when the contestants cry because it usually comes off as fake (hi, Syesha) but I believe that Cookie is showing honest emotions here. He's had a lot to deal with during the course of this show. Randy thinks it's cool that Cook has shown "all of his sides" tonight and Paula agrees, adding that he always brings originality and integrity to his performances. Simon tells David that he's one of the nicest, most sincere contestants he's ever known, but that he picked the wrong song to go out on. Then he actually suggests that he should have done a retread of "Billie Jean" or "Hello." Oh, give me a break. Cookie was wise to pick something new. I hate when contestants cop out at the Finale by singing something they've already done.

So...can you imagine what Archie is singing? That's right! "Imagine!" Something that he's already done!!! I didn't like his version of this song the first time around and I still don't like it. Here's my four-word critique: squinty, licky, boring, predictable. The judges can't hold themselves to four words. They can barely contain their critiques to forty. Randy exclaims that the Little Lord is the best singer and "exactly what this show is about." (AI = squinty, licky, boring, predictable. Good to know.) Paula is stunned speechless. Good. Thank Gosh for small favors. Simon goes back to the boxing jargon again and declares that this match just ended in a knock-out. Archie blinks furiously and sways dizzily while desperately trying to nail a "humble" expression which morphs into something more like "constipated." A little puddle of urine suddenly appears near his right foot as he repeatedly mouths something that looks like, " must vote for Dad will blow up the building if I don't win."

To close out the show, Ruben Studdard is trotted out to sing this year's Idol kiss of death song, "Celebrate Me Home." Look, Davids! If you win, one day, you could be just like Ruben Studdard! Run!!

So, who is the next American Idol?? Well, I thought I had this all figured out, but tonight threw me off. I originally thought that Archuleta was the chosen one. Then, over the last few weeks I started to think that the show really wanted Cook to win because they think it will give them more credibility to have a "rocker" win. But now, with the excessive pimping of Archie...I just don't know. I'm so confused! Was Simon trying using reverse psychology by being harder on Cookie so that more people would worry about him and vote? Or does he honestly think Archie deserves to win and tried to be as obvious as possible to guide the sheep who always vote his way? What is going on??

Archuleta is more malleable and in need of guidance. He's a one-trick pony. He needs to win the show much more than Cook. Cookie doesn't need Simon or Nigel or Clive's advice. He knows what he's doing. If anything, the Idol crown might actually work against him.

So, who should win? David Cook. Who needs to win? David Archuleta. Who will win? Uhhh...GOSH! This is hard! Based on the judges' comments tonight, I think I have to revert back to my original prediction that Little Lord Archuleroy takes it all. But the real winner will be Michael Johns, who will go on to sell more records (and fuel more fevered dreams) than either of these guys!

Idol Rain Delay

Ok, kids. I know that I'm sort of your American American Idol recap idol (whew), but my recap will be a bit delayed this evening. I will get to it, it just may be a little later or maybe even not until...tomorrow. My brother, J-Fred, is in town again so I'm going out to dinner with him tonight while I tape the Duel of the Davids. Can you believe how out of whack my priorities have become? Family before TV*?? I know. I just looked in the mirror and didn't recognize myself.

I know that some of you immediately come to my blog after the show every Tuesday night to read my brilliant recap, and you sit there hunched over, staring blankly at my old post, repeatedly hitting the refresh button, nearly soiling yourself with excitement over what is to come, and then really soiling yourself when it finally does. All I can say is, I'm sorry. But don't be angry with me. And don't be sad. Just imagine how good it will feel when I eventually end your quivering anticipation by finally posting another masterfully crafted recap! I just hope your Depends are dependable enough to handle such a joyful explosion.

*Of course, you know that if Michael Johns was in the Final Two, J-Fred's ass would be alone in his hotel bar.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Their Future Spawn May Destroy Music Once and For All

Ashlee Simpson married Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz over the weekend.

I'll wait for someone to care.


They had a theme wedding. An Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding.

Still don't care?

Yeah, me neither.

And yet I continue.

Supposedly, "a source" has confirmed that the rumors that Ashlee is knocked up are true. No word on who the source is. I can only imagine that at some point during the reception, one of the other Fall Out boys ran through the room in a white rabbit suit yelling, "She's late, she's late!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Xemi-Xonic Xanadu Xunday

On Saturday, I ventured out to the Helen Hayes Theater to catch a matinee of the Broadway production of Xanadu, the musical based on the classic, craptastic '80s movie of the same name. Although the MTA Gods tried to prevent me from witnessing this show, I'm happy to report that they did not succeed. (Due to never-ending track work on the N line, I did miss the first 3 minutes or so, but luckily I know how the movie starts, so I didn't miss much. Besides, I heard the whole opening from the lobby.)

I met up with fellow bloggers, Dale and Chelene and a non-blogger whom I'll call "John," because that's his name. Apparently, Chelene and John did not love the play, but Dale thought it was pretty fun. As for me, I loved it because it took me back to a time in my life when there just weren't enough hours in the day for roller skating.

What I enjoyed most about the stage version of Xanadu is that everyone involved is fully aware that it's not to be taken seriously. Any play based on a cheesy, critically bashed '80s flick has to be done with a wink and a giant smirk. And as if Xanadu wasn't enough campy inspiration, writer Douglas Carter Beane also incorporated elements from another ridiculous mythological movie of the era - Clash of the Titans.

Even though the play is supposed to be goofy, all of the acting throughout is really quite good. Kerry Butler is terrific as the muse Clio, who pretends to be a woman named Kira in order to inspire the human, Sonny, to build a roller disco. As a nod to Olivia Newton-John's performance in the movie, "Kira" is an Aussie. One of the running gags throughout the show is that Clio can never quite get a handle on the accent.(Oh, and her leg warmers are to die for.) Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman are also great as Clio's jealous sisters, Melpomene and Calliope, and they get most of the big belly laughs from the audience. Taking over the Gene Kelly role of Danny Maguire is film and stage vet, Tony Roberts, whom I recognized but couldn't quite place.

The biggest improvement from the movie version (well, virtually everything was an improvement on the movie) was in casting a bona fide hunk in the role of Sonny. I don't know about any of you ladies, but I never found Michael Beck anything to write home about. (I know dudes seem to like him because he was in that dumb street-gang movie, Warriors. But really...ugh.) Superficial stuff aside, Beck was never a very good actor either. However, the play's Cheyenne Jackson boasts a great voice, good comic timing and the most unbelievable sets of arms and legs I've ever seen on a man.

I also have to give a big shout-out to André Ward, who plays one of Clio's sisters, a centaur, and Hermes. His brief, fierce appearance as Hermes provided the biggest laugh of the show.

If you're like me and love campy fun, '80s nostalgia, roller skating and big, hunky men, do yourself a favor and go see this play. If you're a Xanadont like Chelene or John, then steer clear. Just don't go and diss it, unless you want to anger the Noriega God.

One positive thing that can be said of both the movie and the play is that the music is pretty darn catchy. Half of the movie soundtrack was comprised of ELO songs written by Jeff Lynne, and the other half were songs written by John Farrar and performed by Olivia Newton-John. I believe that all of the songs from the movie made it to the stage production, and they also added in a few other ELO tunes like "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic," as well as the old ONJ song, "Have You Never Been Mellow."

Below are a few songs to help get you in the Xana-mood...
(Click link to download.)

"Magic," Olivia Newton-John
"Xanadu," Olivia Newton-John & ELO
"Strange Magic," ELO

Friday, May 16, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

My twisted sister had requested this Twisted Sister cover of "Leader of the Pack" a while back. I'd been putting it off but I can't think of anything better to play today, so Tootsie gets her wish - a bunch of hot tranny messes on motorcycles.

Although this video warns that it's rated "H for Humor," it's not really that funny. Curses. The rating system fails again.

It also has the "pointless cameo by an up-and-coming and/or overexposed celebrity" that so many '80s video directors used to raise their clip's coolness factor.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol 7 Results: 5/14/08

Tonight we whittle down the three remaining contestants to the Final Two. David2 and Syesha take the stage and...


What the...? Michael Johns is in the audience looking completely delicious and they cut away to wrinkly old Andrew Lloyd Webber? I say we vote off the camera man!


The group sing this week is the supremely cheesy "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by, uh, I don't know. After a quick Google search I find that it's...McFadden & Whitehead? Really? That's a musical group? It sounds like a law firm. Actually, if they were a law firm, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" would be a pretty awesome slogan/commercial jingle. Anyway, now that there are only three people in the group sing, this one is much less offensive than most.

After they go out into the audience during the song, the two Davids leave Syesha alone on the platform behind the judges while they head back to the stage. That's what smart people who read instead of watching TV call "foreshadowing."

Hey, there's David #3 (Hernandez) with good old Chikezie and Jamless Joplin. Where is Michael?? Keep panning! PAN!! What's wrong with you, camera man? GOSH!!!

The improvement of the group sing doesn't carry over to the always abysmal Ford commercial. This one has the Final Three visiting a fortune teller, who promises them cars, fame, gold dubloons and a giant pool with Little Lord Archuleroy's face reflected in it. Personally, I'd rather have the inflatable kiddie pool with the reflection of Danny Zuko, but I'm a simple kind of gal.

Oh no. Time for the earplugs! Fourth season winner, Fantasia, is returning to the Idol stage. Looks like 'Tasia hit the old lady salon before the show for one of those awesome bright red hair rinses. She's also wearing something a little too tight for a gal of her proportions. (Of course I say this as I chug an iced tea and munch on Sour Cream and Onion Baked Lays, but hey, I'm not on stage, am I?) The song is called "Bore Me," which I'm all ready to run with, but it turns out not to be boring. Now, I'm not saying it's good, it's just not boring. "Bloodcurdling" is a bit more on the nose. Basically, Fantasia's backup girls do all the singing, while she just convulses wildly and jibber-jabbers a few phrases before doing her trademark: repeatedly shrieking "yeah yeah YEAAAAAAH!" You may not think that there is a best part to all of this, but there is. The camera catches a shot of Simon near the end of the performance and his expression is priceless. He's completely befuddled. Best. Look. Ever. (Captured at the 2:56 mark here.)

Now that most of the hour has been properly wasted, perhaps Ryan will cut that string that Syesha is dangling on. No, not yet. Time for the videos chronicling the Idols' hometown hero celebrations.

First, we head back to Murray City, UT with little Archie. He goes to the set of Good Day Utah, then to the mall, then to somewhere else and...there are so many people who love David! It's like...GOSH!!! David goshes and weeps and goshes and weeps and then goshes some more. This kid should be getting royalty checks from the makers of Napoleon Dynamite. I mean, what the flip? He had to have been the inspiration for that character. GOSH!!!

Next, Syesha takes us all to Sarasota, FL and my mind starts wondering. Why is the mayor doing handstands? Does anyone else think that David Archuleta's Dad looks like Danny Bonaduce? Why haven't they shown Michael again? Was that his wife sitting next to him? Is he wearing boxers or briefs? Commando? Suddenly, Syesha brings me back with her whiny weeping. I'm sorry, this girl could be crying for real but everything she does just seems fake to me. I bet those aren't even her real teeth. Too perfect.

Now we're going to Kansas City. Kansas City, here Cookie comes. He seems to have the most fans (even a bona fide psycho chick!) and gets to do more cool stuff. He also has a sweet moment with his old music teacher. David gets a bit choked up but manages to contain it pretty well, instead of totally falling apart like the other two.

With the nonsense behind us, we finally arrive at the inevitable. As Nostradamus predicted in 1558, Syesha is eliminated and the stage is set for the Duel of the Davids! Syesha thanks her fans and sings one last...


Aha! That's not his wife next to him, it's Kristy Lee Cook. And there's Babbling Brooke on his other side. Wow, looks like the whole Top 12 came out tonight. Didn't anyone give them the memo that they're not needed until the Finale? What a bunch of retards! GOSH!!!

I'm really not looking forward to the unveiling of the craptacular new Idol single (especially since it's not mine) but I'm very excited for the Finale since Michael will get to perform. The former contestants usually get to sing with current, big name stars, so I wonder who they'll put with Michael? I have a feeling that he might do a duet with Dolly Parton, but I'd love to see him paired up with Joss Stone. Hear that, producers? You already stole the songwriting competition idea from me*, so go ahead and steal this idea too. It's a good one. They would sound great together. Of course, he could make the most beautiful music with moi, but we can't show that on AI. It's a family show! GOSH!!!

*No, I will not stop harping on that.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol 7: The Chosen One, The Second Coming and The Third Wheel

Tonight on AI, the final three each sing three songs for three judges who have been under the impression since about week three that there are really only two contestants in this competition. Syesha's only chance to make it to the finals is to tape down her boobs, shove a sock down her pants and change her name to David.

The final three take the stage and Syesha is looking very lovely in a shimmery gown. Ah, that's too bad. Well, she had a good run there. About six weeks longer than it should have been, but who's counting?

Judges' Choice

Little Lord Archuleroy kicks things off with Paula's song choice, Billy Joel's "And So It Goes." Wow, another ballad! So, even though Paula often advises contestants to "step out of the box," she lobs Archie a softball right down the middle. He handles it in his usual capable fashion, but the song feels like it lasts about 20 minutes. Randy throws out nearly all of his catch phrases on this first song, so I hope he'll conserve what's left of them wisely. Paula calls David a "storyteller," and Simon thinks the song is good but predictable. Well, buddy, blame the chick to your right.

Up next is Syesha "Not David" Mercado to sing Randy's pick, Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." It's a pretty true-to-the-original version, nothing extraordinary, but still solid. She doesn't blow me out my box, but The Dawg thinks she's "amazing." Of course, I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that he chose the song. I honestly forget what Paula says, but Simon channels her by telling Syesha that she looks gorgeous. Then he gets a jab in at Randy for picking such a predictable song.

Simon picks Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" for David Cook, and I have to hand it to good old Si for going off the board and presenting a bit of a challenge. His plan to showcase Cookie as the most entertaining and original of the remaining three works like a charm, as David effortlessly knocks it out of the park into sexy rock ballad land. Randy is still sulking over Simon's earlier comment and refuses to give the performance the props that it deserves just because Simon picked the song. Paula actually says something that makes sense by reminding Simon and Randy that this "isn't about them." Then she gushes. Simon just pats himself on the back and hands Round One to David.

Contestants' Choice

The Little Lord inexplicably chooses to sing Chris Brown's "With You," and even though I'm glad to finally hear something upbeat from this drippy kid (maybe a little too upbeat judging from the way he trips over some of the words at the beginning), hip-hop is just not his thang. When you are David Archuleta, you can not use words like "my boo" and expect to be taken seriously. Paula thinks her boo is doing just great, but Randy and Simon both agree that this song doesn't really suit David. Simon likens Archie to a "chihuahua trying to be a tiger." Perhaps a "monchhichi trying to be a silverback" would be a better analogy?

Syesha surprises me by not picking a typical diva tune and opting, instead, for the Peggy Lee standard, "Fever." She sings it well enough, but she undoes any of the good in the performance with a really cheesy lounge act, complete with lots of chair posing. (Judging by Syesha's pre-performance chat with Ryan, that stupid chair was more important to her than the song.) Randy and Paula call the song choice "interesting" in that backhanded way that they do, while Simon more straightforwardly calls it "lame cabaret."

The return of David Cook isn't all that impressive. Of all the artists in the world to cover in the home stretch, I can't believe he chose generic rock band Switchfoot. His performance of "Dare You to Move" is average at best, totally forgettable at worst. Randy excitedly tells anyone who cares (no one) that his friend produced that song, and then quickly throws down the "pitchy" card. Paula and Simon aren't blown away either.

Producers' Choice

This should be stunning. No one is more out of touch with music than the folks who make the most money off of it.

Proving that point, David A. gets saddled with the Dan Fogelberg snore-fest, "Longer." As per usual, Little Archie sings it just fine, but bores everyone to tears. Randy starts to diss the song choice and then remembers that the producers picked it. His tune suddenly changes to an enthusiastic "you're great!" Paula calls the performance "lovely." Simon apparently isn't afraid of the big wigs and blasts the song choice as horrible and "gooey."

Syesha is given the Gia Farrell song "Hit Me Up" from that penguin movie, Happy Feet. I am half expecting her to dress in a tux and start tap dancing (Paula would love that) but no such luck. I'm searching for information about this song, the artist and the movie online and I can't seem to find a link between any of them and AI, but I'm convinced that there is some connection. The producers didn't just pull this song out of their lazy billionaire butts. Maybe they just gave it to her because it's not that memorable. Even though she does the best she can with it, all of the judges take Syesha's final performance of the evening as their cue to pile on and tell her how mediocre she is. I could swear I just heard Simon say, "Is your name David? No? Then walk your happy feet on out of here!"

The producers' round can't end without some Diane Warren pimping, so Cookie closes out the night with one of the worst songs ever written,
"I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." David is surrounded by a circle of violinists for the very dramatic opening, and then the guitar soloist nearly drowns him out during the very dramatic ending. David's version of the song is certainly preferable to the craptastic Aerosmith original, but I can't really be objective about such an awful piece of dreck, no matter how well he might be singing. Every time I hear this song, I do wanna close my eyes and I do wanna fall asleep. I even wanna volunteer to go drill a hole into a distant asteroid if it means that I'll never have to hear this garbage again. Ick. Anyway, Randy is obviously the only judge who isn't close personal friends with Ms. Warren, as he honestly assesses the performance as "just okay." Paula rises to her feet, points out Warren in the audience and boozily blusters, "David C--ya in the finals!" Simon kills whatever remaining love I had for him by declaring this as "one of the great songs of all-time." He then tells David, "You won the show. Er...I mean the night! The night. Not the show, not yet. That's silly. We don't know who's gonna win, but it's definitely gonna be you. Er...I mean it could be you. We don't know. It'll definitely be a David. It could be Archuleta, but probably not. I mean, you both have a fair chance. What? Who? Syesha? Oh, is she still here?"

I think everyone knows that the Duel of the Davids has been the plan all along, so it will surely come to pass when Syesha gets kicked to the curb tomorrow night. As far as which David will win...well, that's a little more tricky. I was originally convinced that Little Lord Archuleroy was The Chosen One but, over the past few weeks, I've got a definite vibe that TPTB really want a "rocker" to win this year, especially since Daughtry fantards still haven't gotten over his shocking ouster in Season 5.

I'll tell ya, if Cookie can put even a semi-cool spin on the undoubtedly uncool Idol single at the Finale, then he totally deserves to win. And I think he will.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Asinine is the New Black

Sneak Peek: Here is Sarah Jessica Parker on the set
of her new big-budget holiday film,
How The Grinch Somehow Convinced Everyone She Was a Fashion Icon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Caption Crotch-test Contest #10

"'Adopt A Homeless Person Day' at St. Mary's Catholic School soon became an awkward situation for all concerned."

And there is this month's winning caption, provided by that mysterious man, Fran! I was stuck between a couple of good ones, but after consulting the BFF, she agreed that Fran's was, indeed, the funniest.

My only gripe is that I hate giving my Firecrotch badge to someone without a blog. This beautiful reward deserves to be displayed prominently! So, Fran, you'd better create a blog immediately, or at least have this badge printed onto your tighty whities.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Recently, Gifted Typist wrote a blog entry about wanting to ban the phrase "Happy Monday." Strangely enough, during the preceding weekend, I happened to catch the Happy Mondays video for "Step On" on VH1's The Alternative, which I think is really just a recycled version of MTV's 120 Minutes.

I don't remember knowing much about this band other than this song. I had heard they had a reputation for being a bunch of drugged-out jerkoffs. I don't think they were ever as popular here as they were in the UK, but I remember this song getting quite a bit of radio and video play when it came out in 1990.

This video isn't actually the one I remember, but I can't find that one on YouTube. I don't know if this one was an alternate version or if the one I know was actually the alternative.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No, Barry Manilow. Eye Write The Songs.

My horrible procrastination kept me from entering the American Idol songwriting competition, which is a damn shame because I think I have a winning tune on my hands. (The bastards should let me enter late, since the whole contest was my idea to begin with. But whatever.)

Since Michael Johns is no longer in the competition, I'll have to withdraw my other original song candidate, "Headin' Down Under." That never would have made it to air anyway. Stinkin' prudes.

Anyway, this song is sure to be a hit someday. I don't see how it could miss, seeing as it took me 30 whole minutes to write. Maybe I'll enter it in next year's songwriting contest or maybe I'll shop it around to failed Idols past who are out there still trying to make a go of it.

I've taken all the best of the worst elements of previous Idol singles to create this very inspirational piece entitled, "I Believe This is My Proud Moment Flying Inside Your Heaven Without Wings." I'm sure the fine folks at 19 Entertainment would never allow such a long, clunky song title, so I'm willing to compromise slightly on my artistic vision and go with something punchier like "My Proudest Moment" or "Miracle Flight."

I wish I had some music for you all to sing along to, but you can make an educated guess as to how it goes. Mid-tempo. First verse is a soft, gradual build to the belted-out chorus. Some choppy strings come in at the bridge, the music swells and then the first four lines of the chorus after the bridge are sung softly with just acoustic guitar accompaniment. Then - boom! The 2nd half of the chorus is very loud and dramatic, bringing it all to the big climax of the last repeat of the chorus, chock full of runny melisma. Then, ever so softly, the acoustic guitar comes back to put the song to bed with those last three lines.


Some people live a lifetime and never get the chance to fly
But with faith and confidence, anyone can touch the sky

Sometimes you have to risk it all

And there'll be times when you will fall

But when you shake off all the fear dust

You'll see that Heaven is so near us!


And now...I'm soaring through the firmament

I don't know where the sidewalk went

But I don't care

Because I've found the rainbow's end

And now...I finally know what my dreams meant

I'll achieve 'em on this high ascent

And I'll sing out
That this is my proudest moment

Storm clouds loom ahead of me, it's gonna be a bumpy ride

But your magic love umbrella will keep me safe and warm and dry

Your shining light shows me the way

And I can swear I hear you say

Even when I'm not beside you

You'll always have my love to guide you!



I'll never touch the ground again

This flight is never gonna end

The power to make miracles is mine!

CHORUS (repeat 2x)

Ooooh, oh, woah
I do believe that

This is my proudest...moment

Oh, I can just see Little Lord Archuleroy now. Singing this with his eyes half closed, tongue licking wildly between each's a hot lava bomb just waiting to explode.

Also recommended: Flannery Alden's original, "Forever Today."

EDIT: Oh snap! I totally forgot that Dale wrote a potential Idol single last year as well. I don't know how I forgot, since it was I who basically forced him to write it. You can check it out here. It's at the end of the post. It's another song about flying, beautifully titled "Flying On My Own (After A Big Corporate Push)."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

American Idol 7 Results: 5/7/08

American Idol is totally harshing my mellow, man. Jason Castro was finally "voted" off tonight. Oh well. Party at the moon tower, y'all!

While I'm bummed to see him go, I'm actually happy for him. He was absolutely thrilled to be rid of this nonsense. But, since it was pretty much a certainty that he was leaving tonight, why did we all have to sit through an hour of ridunkulousness just to get to this result?

The evening started on a particularly sour note with a more cheesy than usual group sing of Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years." Wow, that must have been choreographed by Simon's first grade teacher. I was almost waiting for them all to break into the Macarena. I did kind of enjoy the beginning of the song, when Little Lord Archuleroy almost forgot to start singing. He got that wide-eyed "Daddy's gonna make me sleep in the garage tonight" look on his face and then quickly spat out the verses to catch up with the music.

But guess what? He was safe. Oh, and guess something else! So was the other David! Shock! Awe!

Judge Judy in the house! I thought she might have been there to give a ruling on Paulagate, but no such luck.

The Ford commercial was a little disturbing. Everyone was dressed up like bullfighters. Syesha looked pretty good in her outfit, but boys should never wear tight spandex pants. Unless they're entering a moose knuckle contest.

To the girl who called in to ask David Cook out on a date when he swings through Pittsburgh on the Idol tour - you're kind of an idiot. But, if he actually goes for it, you're a genius. Furthermore, if he actually goes for it, please get Michael Johns' number from him. I'll buy you a Yuengling and a cheesesteak at Primanti's the next time I'm in town. Promise.

I had to switch over to Supernanny when Maroon 5 took the stage. I flipped it back just in time to hear human turd, Adam Levine, giving the Top 4 some nuggets of advice. It was like a master class in "how to be a giant tool."

Bo Bice returned to the AI stage to do his Southern Rock thing. I didn't love his new single, "Witness," but at least he's back to being himself after having been forced to churn out a Bon Jovi-lite debut by the evil Clive Davis a few years back.

After all this, Seacrest finally announced to a beaming Jason that he was going home. He's been like a little ray of sunshine all season long, but he was in rare form tonight. Some of his greatest hits from the evening:

  • When Ryan brought out Jason and Syesha about 15 minutes into the show and pretended like he was already giving the results, Jason got the Vinnie Barbarino I'm-so-confused look on his face and asked, "Are you gonna tell us now?"
  • Seacrest brought up Jason's lyric flub from last night and Jason said, "Someone said I shot Mr. Tambourine Man. Huh huh huh. That's kinda funny."
  • A call-in viewer asked all of the Idols what their biggest obstacle to overcome has been. Jason's answer? "The brain being dead."
  • When Ryan said that Jason seemed relieved to be out, he replied, "Yeah, it's three songs next week. I don't know what I'd have done!"
  • During his sing-out of "I Shot the Sheriff," he didn't even try to hide his glee over going home.
  • And best of all...during Jason's farewell package he was seen in the audition waiting room dueting on "Since U Been Gone" with Renaldo "I Am Your Brother" Lapuz!
The Shrieker will fall next week, clearing the way for the inevitable Duel of the Davids. That is where David Cook will stumble, when faced with the newest Idol single, "I Believe This is My Proud Moment Flying Inside Your Heaven Without Wings." There is no way that Cookie will be able to match The Archuletor's gift for wringing every last bit of sap from maudlin, mid-tempo songs.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

American Idol 7: Hello Cleveland!

Tonight, American Idol meets The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame. Will these two entities go together like sugar and water or oil and water? Or will the evening be the musical equivalent of the Exxon Valdez disaster? Let's find out...

First Round

David Cook pisses me off right out of the gate by taking on a Duran Duran song. It wouldn't bother me if he did something awesome with "Hungry Like the Wolf," but he just takes out the keyboards, speeds it up a bit and does a lot of rock star posing. Then he flubs the lyrics near the end. Now, I'll admit to sometimes singing the "juices like wine" part when I should be singing "discord and rhyme," even after all these years of Durannie-ness, but hey, I'm not on stage being judged. And besides, he didn't say either of those things. It was more like "uh duh nah why uh zussuz like wine." Randy and Simon think the performance was just okay, but Paula is totally going to slap on some war paint and a loincloth and chase David through the woods later tonight. If he shows up with scratches on his face tomorrow night, you'll know I'm right.

By the way, I should mention that I was confused by David's choice at first because, although it is a travesty, the double D are not in the R 'N R Hall...yet. But with a bit of Internet research, I discovered that the gang is picking songs from the Hall's "500 songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" exhibit.

Rolling onto the stage now is Syesha Mercado with her version of "Proud Mary." Actually, it's not her version, it's Tina Turner's. The dance moves are Tina's, too. I think Syesha even swiped that shiny dress from Tina's closet. This whole performance is like that show from a few years back, Your Big Break. (I don't know if anyone remembers that, but it was kind of like karaoke night with better costumes.) I'm kind of embarrassed for Syesha, yet Randy thinks she is "in the zone" and Paula yammers something about "magic." Simon, as always, plays the voice of reason and calls the performance what it is - a bad impersonation. Syesha defends herself by saying she had fun, to which Simon replied, "Good. I didn't." Me neither. And if Ike were still alive, Syesha would be showing up with some bruises tomorrow to go with David's scratches.

The guy I most wanna party with, Jason Castro, flashes a mischievous smile and warns everyone that he's "obviously" singing a Bob Marley song. People will say that his version of "I Shot the Sheriff" sucks, and that's probably mostly true, but I love that Jason is having more fun tonight than I've ever seen him have. And he's just a dreadlocked doll baby. As expected, the judges pan his performance without mercy, with Simon going so far as to call it "utterly atrocious." His snit continues as he asks Jason, "What were you thinking?" and Jason happily responds, "I was thinking Bob MARLEY!" Good Lord, I love him. He just does not care.

Simon insists that "no one can do Bob Marley," ensuring that there will be a bob Marley theme night next season.

Little Lord Archuleroy gets the pimp spot (surprise!) and chooses yet another mid-tempo croony number. This time around it's Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." As always, he sings it pretty well. As always, it sounds the same as everything else he sings. As always, the judges fall all over themselves to praise their chosen one. Simon can't pass up the opportunity to further insult Jason by telling Archie that he "could've whistled and still sounded better than the last performance." Boy, it must really suck for the AI gang that Paula screwed up the evil plan to oust Jason last week. Now they're twice as pissed and three times as transparent!

Second Round

David Cook's second song is The Who classic, "Baba O'Riley." This is definitely better than his first performance and his vocals are quite good, but I'm not wild about the slowed-down tempo. This is a bombastic rock tune, not some emo puddle of hoobastaind! Still, all of the judges love it. To them, if your name is David, you're golden.

Before the break, Ryan announces, "Coming up, Syesha and...(look of doom) Jason." Wow, this anti-Jason campaign is really in full swing. Would anyone like to critique his next song before he even sings it? Paula? Anyone?

As promised, Syesha is back and explaining the story behind Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." During this speech, she basically equates the Civil Rights movement to her time on American Idol. Wow. Okay. The Tina Turner charade was strike one and this display of narcissism is strike two. Strike three comes in in the form of Syesha's painfully slow vocal ascent from Dullsville into Shriektown. Oddly enough, the only judge who doesn't enjoy this boring shout-fest is Randy, who usually loves it loud. Paula actually gives Syesha a standing ovation, hugs herself and blathers some motivational dreck that causes Syesha to cry unconvincingly. (Doesn't anyone remember that she's an actress?) She sobs and sobs, but when Ryan asks her to explain why she's so emotional, the tears dry up quicker than you can say "I have a dream...that I'm in the final three," and she cheerfully talks some more about the song's ties to the Civil Rights movement. (Ties that she admittedly didn't even know about until she did a quick Google search a few days before the show.) This is as shrewd as dedicating a song to a dead family member, proclaiming your patriotism or revealing the various afflictions that threatened to end your singing career forever.

Jason grabs his guitar to sing "Mr. Tambourine Man," and I'm all prepared to love it, but my pretty pretty stoner forgets an entire line. Not only does he forget the words, but he replaces them with some silly "uh uh uh uh uhs." Honestly, forgetting the lyrics is always a horrible mistake, but I still think Jason's voice sounds nice. And, really, who could ever understand what the hell Bob Dylan was saying? Besides, even the Little Lord flubbed his lyrics on the show before. Brooke was allowed to mess up two or three times before ever getting voted off. David Cook just effed up lyrics about 45 minutes ago! So, I don't think it should be that big of a deal. Jason didn't make us wait through an uncomfortable silence while he stopped and started over. And he barely blinked when he forgot the words! He got through it and got right back on track. That should count for something, right? Wrong. None of this matters. The judges hate him. Simon tells him to pack his suitcase.

Closing out the show tonight, and squinting like Mr. Magoo, is Little Lord Archuleroy. He is singing Elvis's "Love Me Tender." He should change the title to "Love Me Tweeners." Ugh. Everything this kid does is so formulaic. No wonder the judges love him. Randy is loving him a little too much. He tells David that he loves how he "was so tender and caressed every word." Eh? My roommate announces that Randy needs to "go stroke it off in the bathroom." I plan to kill him in his sleep for putting that visual in my head.

Overall, this evening was completely underwhelming. Kind of like actually spending a day at the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.

I'm sure that the judges and producers feel confident this week that the furor over "Paulagate" has died down enough that they can finally boot Jason, so he probably will be packing his Boones-stained duffel bag. However, I will vainly hold out some hope that the public's votes actually matter and that it will be Syesha leaving us tomorrow night.

Jason basically told Entertainment Weekly that he was ready to go home, so I won't be too sad for him if he does go. But if he does, the last few shreds of fun left on this show will go with him.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine