Season 9 of American Idol has finally been run and won, with Lee DeWyze emerging victorious over Crystal Bowersox. It is arguably the 2nd upset in as many seasons come the final night and one now has to seriously wonder about the voting guidelines… If one had not wondered previously.
Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?
Before the final decision however, there was a surprisingly entertaining 90 minutes or so with a number of left-field guest appearances. Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees and Hall & Oates were hardly predictable guests, while Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson also added to the festivities. Furthermore, there were a couple of performers who took to the stage with the final 3 contestants and the performances were surprisingly good. Well, maybe we can exclude Lee’s song with Chicago, but Crystal & Alanis Morissette, both finalists with Joe Cocker, and Casey James with Poison’s Bret Michaels all made for an entertaining overall package.
Casey with Bret “I’m everywhere right now” Michaels.
Back to the contest, Lee firmly placed himself in serious contention on Top 3 night when he performed best when singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ and fan favorite ‘Hallelujah’. This was pleasing since it finalized the elimination of Casey in 3rd position and also put the 2 finalists under serious pressure come the final night. At the end of my Top 3 column, I wrote the following words: “…but if I had my way; this…
1. The singer (Rick K., I presume) is inarguably the least endearing and least charismatic frontman in wedding band history. If this group secured a gig on-board a cruise ship – and, make no mistake, that is their tragic fantasy – he would be thrown overboard within first sight of shark-infested waters.
2. While sparkly jackets and headsets might suggest both a sense of humour and an intention to move around, nothing could be further from the truth. Rick and the Allnighters transform one of the all-time classic boogie rock songs into a dirge so dull even the Melvins wouldn’t touch it. Even when they try to be fun, they’re not. In other words, if these guys are all-nighters, then you might want to consider going to bed before 11.
So why watch it then?
Struggle through the introduction and the first few bars of music, and you’ll see why. This may just be the smoking gun argument for gay marriage that nobody can ever deny. Gay marriage = more marriage, and more marriage = more of this guy.
Christy Moore once sang: “For all of our languages, we can’t communicate.” A cultured man is Christy, but he never quite reckoned for Eurovision.
To those with the misfortune to have grown up outside Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest must appear like some curious oddity, a routine quirk of a continent in which nude beaches are tolerated, excessive body hair is celebrated and the frustrated majority has reluctantly given up on the task of destroying the French, though not through lack of trying. For Europeans, however, Eurovision is one of those rare cultural events that transcends not just language and territorial boundaries, but generations too. Some countries resolve conflicts with war, diplomacy, or both; Europeans long ago resolved to settle their differences with an annual sing and dance-off. It’s just one of those things.
Musically, too, Eurovision has remained remarkably constant through the years. The break-up of the Eastern Bloc in the early 90s increased two-fold the number of countries entering the contest (as a rule of thumb, a country doesn’t officially exist until its football team has been formally ratified by UEFA; entry to Eurovision is the logical next step, and only then it can think about drawing up a constitution). Far from bringing a diverse range of new styles to the competition, the addition of all these new states has had the effect of freezing Eurovision in time, and the synth-heavy pop-rock that dominated Europe in the mid-nineties remains the contest’s dominant currency. Before, almost…
So tonight was my first night online after going two weeks without the Internet. I discovered that Gary Coleman died and then promptly forgot about that when I found out that Hayley Williams’ boobs had finally shown up online. It is saddening that Gary Coleman will never get the chance to see them.
Anyway, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. So long, in fact, that I was beginning to think it would never happen. Hayley Williams seemed unlikely to ever show up nude on the Internet, which is exactly the reason why I assumed she would eventually show up nude on the Internet. But after Riot! was released and Paramore’s popularity spiked with nary a sight of Hayley’s nipples, I began to lose hope. I shouldn’t have worried though; the Internet always comes through for us in the end.
The picture itself is lackluster if we’re being honest. The angle is horrible; it makes her breasts look small(er) because they’re flattened, and what’s up with that lighting? It makes her look as if she’s a tween impersonating Hayley Williams rather than the real deal. Also, her nose is really shiny. And I don’t really like red lipstick.
I’m assuming that there were other nude pictures to choose from, so why did the hacker (if that’s truly what happened) pick that one? Did Hayley offend him or her in some way? Is this picture revenge, not only because it…
May not be fresh content anymore, but sounds like this cannot go unposted. Recorded at his Echoplex gig on the 15th of May, this sick version of Galaxy in Janaki by Flying Lotus will undoubtedly ruin the album version for you. Nevertheless it proves to be yet another reason to check out Cosmogramma for those few poor souls yet to do so.
Those of you who have been keeping up with UK festivals this year will know that one of the headline slots at the UK’s biggest rock festival was given, for some reason, to a lumbering, crippled dinosaur of a band, with their best years over 2 decades behind them and a deeply egotistical, deeply irritating singer seemingly intent on officially becoming the world’s biggest tool guiding them ever further into mediocrity. The festival goers who were duped in parting with around £150 of hard-earned for a ticket have been praying every day and every night that this band – who are still living off the glories of three not-that-good singles from a not-that-good album released in the 1980s – will pull out and allow somebody relevant to take their slot.
Unfortunately, Guns n Roses are still scheduled to play Reading and Leeds.
Last week, I posted a review of an album called Fantasy Memorial by a small independent band called Dinosaur Feathers. To put it lightly, the review was not one of my friendliest. In case you don’t remember, or just didn’t read it, I called out Dinosaur Feathers for being incredibly derivative and hollow, using elements from other bands to create something that was supposed to sound sweet and sugary but came off insincere, lacking the honesty necessary to validate the content of Fantasy Memorial, though the exact words I used were something like “Dinosaur Feathers are a bunch of shit-eating Chicken McNuggets.”
round here, we call that a #10 meal
When the band found my review, they weren’t happy, but were interested in doing an interview. I was taken aback at first, but I was intrigued because a band I trashed with abandon was interested in even giving me the time of day. The following interview is the result of a week of emailing and discussion about Fantasy Memorial, what makes good music good, and whether or not Dinosaur Feathers will kill you.
AD: First off, I’d like to thank you guys for this. Not many bands would give the writer of the review I gave Fantasy Memorial the time of day, much less volunteer to do an interview with him. So let’s get down to it: my main argument in my Fantasy Memorial review was that, as you put it, “it resorts to cheap…
Last week we enjoyed the ghostly pull of Bone Thugs n’ Harmony. This week I wanted to return to the world of grunge and shine some light on an amazing one-hit wonder, Candlebox. Their magnum opus “Far Behind” takes pleasure in stark but simple observations, like rhyming the words “bad” and “sad.” This song appears to be about the difficulties of heroin addiction, but it also might be about the difficulty of making good splatter paintings in an empty room in an abandoned house. Big love goes out to Candlebox randomly including the E7#9 made famous by Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” in that bridge at the end of the song.
I didn’t mean to treat you bad
But I did it anyway
And then maybe
Some would say your life was sad
But you lived it anyway
And so maybe
Your friends they stand around they watch you crumble
As you falter down to the ground
And then someday
Your friends they stand beside as you were flying
Oh you were flying oh so high
But then someday people look at you for what they call their own
They watch you suffer
Yeah they hear you calling home
And then some day we could take our time
To brush the leaves aside so you can reach us
But you left me far behind
Last night, ABC aired the penultimate episode for the TV drama Lost and with the finale coming up this Sunday, May 23, I thought it would be a great time to commemorate a show that was excellent in all fields, not just direction, acting, and writing, but also in music. Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy winner (just a Tony short of an EGOT) Michael Giacchino composed and arranged all the music for the show and his extensive use of leitmotifs helps shape the emotional backbone of the show: the character relations. A criticism shared by fans and critics is that the writing these nuanced relationships tend to be neglected among the madness and bliss of exploring time travel and reincarnations. As a result the grounding and moving effect provided by the scoring has needed to be that much more masterful. Looking at any individual character’s theme music confirms and cements character progressions that the show has developed over the past six years and maybe reveals secrets as to how character storylines will resolve in the final episode.
When we first meet John Locke he is a mysterious figure, sporting a collection of knives and an understanding of stalking and killing boar, but as we delve into his past we see him as an emotionally fractured and physically crippled man yearning for love, normalcy, and redemption. This duality is given two distinct leitmotifs.
It’s a funny subplot in popular music’s history that a friend of mine pointed out in a conversation a couple of years ago; the most timeless, interesting music always tends to happen at the tail-end of a decade. He was pointing out how crazy the music industry went in the late ’90s, and how bands like Superchunk had unbelievable and hilarious amounts of money thrown at them, and bands as obviously offputting and angular as Placebo could become superstars, but it extrapolates across the decades; in lists like Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time, Sputnik’s own user-voted all-time chart, and the Top 3000 albums on Acclaimed Music, there’s a real swing toward records that arrived in the latter half of their decades. On Acclaimed Music, it’s only 5 of the top 20 and and just 17 of the top 50 that represent the first half. Look at the best-selling albums of all time on a worldwide level, and you’ll see that of the 20 studio albums to have solid more than 30 million copies, only 6 have a year ending in a number lower than 4. Where it should be half, it’s nearer to a quarter.
The one obvious explanation is that both musicians and labels – not to mention the media – are always eager to fashion out an identity that will define the decade, leading to a mad scramble of anything-goes creativity as people spend two or three years looking for the next big…
Another season of American Idol is coming to an end kiddies, so get ready to start dialing and sending your parents phone bill into the stratosphere. Now we all know what happened last season; the most interesting, talented, entertaining and hardest working contestant (Adam Lambert) fell at the last hurdle… To a rival (Kris Allen) who was lucky to even make the top 5 in most people’s opinion. Well folks, it could happen again if you don’t get dialing and sms’ing. Of course, that’s easy for me to say when I live thousands of miles away and am ineligible to vote.
The last couple of weeks of action have seen series favorite Crystal Bowersox come back to the pack a little. Yet, I actually think that her performances – while not being as memorable as on earlier weeks – have better shown her versatility as an artist. She has taken some risks and, while she has yet to hit the home run that would have sewn the series up, Crystal has proven that she could actually make an album where she didn’t just play the same song over and over again.
Since Siobhan’s ridiculous elimination (allegedly not helped by facebook not having the correct number next to her name), the last fortnight has seen both little Aaron & big Mike eliminated. Neither were real chances to win, but Aaron can definitely count himself unlucky since he was shown the door on the night where each contestant had…
The music video is probably the least relevant thing in the music industry right now. I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think MTV actually plays them anymore at all, leaving that to sister channels like MTV2 and MTVU. However, I owe a lot to the format, as it was my main source for music back when I was 12 or 13. This was when bands like Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Sum 41, etc. were all getting huge airplay and attention (they were actually bigger than a lot of hip-hop artists, which is hard to believe now). Once I discovered how much more effectively I could waste my time on the Internet as opposed to watching television, I stopped watching music videos for a few years.
Over time, MTV reintroduced things like Headbanger’s Ball and created MTVU (MTV University), the channel that plays everything from MGMT to Underoath to KiD CuDi, which lead to a resurgence in my interest in music videos. Steven’s Untitled Rock Show on FUSE helped as well because Steven was what I like to call “not an idiot” and played some great bands. FUSE also had that hot metal VJ who played bands that were actually quite shit, like Trivium.
I remember her being hotter than this.
Anyway, these days Youtube has taken MTV’s place as the major source for music videos. Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video has over 200 million (!!) views. However, I would wager that the…
In our first showcase, some of our users recommended various Youtube covers that weren’t posted (and please, feel free). This cover, in particular, of Beirut – Postcards From Italy was done exceptionally well. Two French musicians, Agathe (on the uke) and Fine (pronounced in the French manner, as “feene”, per their Myspace page, on guitar and ‘hand’ trumpet) retell the reasons why Beirut’s enchanting music is so lovable.
Staff member Lewis first linked this video of Greyson Chance covering Lady Gaga – Paparazzi yesterday when it had somewhere around 20,000 views, and has gone viral beyond belief with nearly 2.1 million views as of this moment. Greyson, a sixth grader, performed at his school’s “Chorus Performance Night.” Many are telling Justin Bieber to ‘move aside’ for Greyson, however Greyson is genuinely talented in his own light.
Lastly, Channing Freeman recommended Boyce Avenue covering Wyclef/Akon – Sweetest Girl, and it speaks for itself.
“Tha Crossroads” is about losing a homie (in this case Eazy-E) and how sometimes the only way to honor your fallen brother is turn gangster rap into a barbershop quartet performed four times as fast. The Thugs – Bizzy Bone, Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, and Flesh-n-Bone – deserve exceptional respect for their work on “Tha Crossroads.” Not only is it an epic meditation on youth, death, and the violent realities of thug life set to stellar production, but they go the entire song without using the phrase “gotta smoke that hydro whoa,” something they were unable to do to date in their career.
The video itself is an audiovisual experience like none other. Bone Thugs start the video at a funeral where a diegetic gospel choir sings a hymn, introducing the main character of the music video, the grim reaper. In case you didn’t know the grim reaper wears a trenchcoat, leather hat, shades, and has a pair of white, feathery angel wings hidden beneath all of this. As the song proceeds we get various shots of the reaper haunting the Thugs. He takes out a homie early on, then Uncle Charles (“oh ya I miss my Uncle Charles, y’all” at 2:31),…
From his upcoming mixtape “Str8 Killa, No Filla” comes the video for “The Ghetto”. Gibbs reminisces over his hometown Gary, Indiana as various clips from the area are shown. The beat is an update on Milkbone’s ‘Keep it Real’ off of ‘Da’ Miilkrate’. I frequently visit a record store in Palm Desert, California called Record Alley that has a whole wall of CDs for $2.99. That’s where I found ‘Da’ Miilkrate’ which is a good impression of the hip-hop that was coming out around the release of ‘Illmatic’. Lots of similar vibes between both of those records and the introspective style of rap covered by both of those rappers is present in Gibbs’ take on Milkbone’s classic. I love how he has managed to mix such classic forgotten beats into a couple of releases (i.e. the freestyles present on “The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs”.) Is Gibbs the next big lyricist in hip-hop? His latest efforts make it seem as such and time can only tell what an album may be like if his mixtapes are this concise and developed.