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Archive for March, 2009

Top Downloads turned out to encompass every Tunes list in the history of I Tunes. So… we got the music world on a string. What did our Idols come up with?

Anoop tackled Usher, and his ” Caught Up” was competent, but pitchy. He also lacked a certain swagger in the vocals. Simply too smooth for his own good. He is a masterful balladeer, for sure, but balladeers do not a career have anymore.

Megan, god bless her heart, tried to do Bob Marley’s ” Turn The Lights Down Low”. and failed. I really love Megan as a person, she looks like a blast. But that was horrible. Bob Marley verges on an untouchable artist ( not quite there). Very unhappy with that.

DWP came with Rascal Flatt’s ( I called the artist!!!!!). “What Hurts the Most” is a song about losing the love of your life. Yeah. Dead Wife PIMPER. And whatever the judges  are smoking needs to be banned of the planet. it may be good shit, but it’s causing them to lose their minds.

I felt gross after watching DWP sing, so I did a tequila shot in the thirty seconds Allison’s tape was rolling, and then stood stunned as she massacred ” Don’t Speak”. That was not pretty. I love her, but it really wasn’t that good. I hope the borderline positive  reviews the judges gave her singing will save her ass from the bottom. But after last week’s revelatory performance, such a let down.

Scott came out with a better haircut ( thank God), his piano, and some Billy Joel ( thank God). I knew he’d gravitate to Billy if he had the chance, and he would knock Billy out of the park. He sounded his best since the audition- confident, on key, and mellow. He knew this song backwards, and the piano was great.

Matt went with The Fray. I do not like the Fray. No. Matt needs to knock it out of the park, and he sounds off pitch immediately. On the electric piano this time, he got better vocally as the song continued, but  I’m disappointed. I really wanted him to take a real risk with Kings Of Leon or something bluesy soulful rocker style.

Lil had to go with Celine, didn’t she? Come on. That is the most ridiculous song choice ever. ” I Surrender”? It’s not even a decent Celine song “decent” and ” Celine” is an oxymoron). She has some pitchy moments. No, not feeling it. What the hell is wrong with Lil? She was awesome in her semi-final performance. This is getting to be a huge train wreck.

The judges crack pipes must have been in use during the commercial break.

Adam does Wild Cherry? He’s doing ” Play That Funky Music”? Are you KIDDING ME?????????? Adam, nonononono… I was just starting to like you. This is insane, dude. No. No. No.

But then the music starts. And it’s bass heavier, not so disco like, and a pretty interesting revision of a disco classic. He allows himself some shriely moments, but I kinda enjoyed it against my better, music cool judgement.  It’s at least new and interesting. Everyone else has been so safe.I guess I am coming around.

Did Kara just say Studio 57? Studio 54, you moron. 54.

Kris closes the night with ” Ain’t No Sunshine”. Perfect song choice for the folk dude.  He’s on piano, not breaking out the funky Bill Withers guitar licks. And I am really loving it. ” Ain’t No Sunshine” is one of my favorites songs of all time. He even does a bit of the funk on the break. Love it.

Top Three- Kris, Adam, and Scott.

Bottom three- Megan, Matt, and Danny, but I bet Danny’s safe and Anoop will be bottom three ( cursed at first).

Megan, I adore you, but it’s time to go home.

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After all, with B.C.’s status for weed capital on North America, it led to way too easy jokes by our host, funniest man alive Russell Peters.

Of course, Nickelback opening the show with a song about strippers having things in their mouths was also a silly plan, as ” Be Somebody” is a far superior song. This opinion from someone who dislikes the band a great deal.

Peters took advantage of the increased interest in Bollywood by having dancers with him at the beginning, but let’s face facts, Peters is not a Bollywood dude, he’s a hip hop head, and he brought that to the floor. He was hilarious tonight.  Be proud, he’s Brampton’s favorite son.

Winners of the evening:

Songwriter- Dallas Green ( City and Colour)

Group- Nickelback

Rap Album- Kardinal Officiall

New Artist- Lights

Canadian Music Hall Of Fame-  Loverboy

Fan Choice- Nickelback

Artist- Sam Roberts

Album- Dark Horse ( Nickelback)

As for the performances-

Sam Robert’s ” Them Kids” was awesome.

But the two best performances of the night were City and Colour featuring Gord Downie, doing an amazing version of C&C’s  ” Sleeping Sickness”, and Great Big Sea featuring Hawksley Workman doing an awesome cover of Zeppelin’s ” Gallows Pole”.

Considering the weakness of the past year in Canadian music, it was a pleasant evening.

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It’s so natural. He needed to go. He needed to be better and failed.

Go…to the end of the road…

Sorry, prom flashback. Never mind.

The now admittedly sweetened group sing was as awful as usual. Next!

The less said about the Ford thing the better.

Ruben looked like… well, Ruben, and he was sweating heavy as he sang his bland R&B song that I have forgotten the title of already. Yeah. Whatever.

The eliminations start:

Collin’s future husband- safe.

Matt- bottom three. Shocked gasps and booing ensue.

Kris- safe, although he was again convinced otherwise.

RigPig and Lil- come on, we knew it’d be RigPig.

Smokey joins quasi-soul girl Joss Stone for a bland song I have already forgotten. Jeez, Smokey, you’ve done classics, but this was forgettable. Gimme “Going To A Go Go”!

More eliminations.

My girl- safe as a snug bug.

Anoop- still here

DWP- still here to torture me another day. Damn it!

To Scott and Megan. Both were predicted to be in the bottom three bi DI, but the addition of Matt means that DI is off significantly ( it had Matt at fifth- a comfy fifth). Scott joins the stools of shame, but is promptly sent back to the couches, and Matt and RigPig sit there.

Fuck me!!!! STEVIE WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, ” My Cherie Amour” was way pitchy and odd sounding, but he’s STEVIE WONDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DON”T CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It spent hours as a kid in between Bach and Brahms trying to learn Stevie songs from my growing collection of Motown records. My Cherie Amour was the first I tried.

Whoot! ” Superstition” is one of the greatest songs ever! As long as the Joni ( see: Grammy threads) don’t touch it. Awesome.

” Overjoyed”, over done on Idol, in the hands of the master, and he giveth the smacketh down, everyone. That’s how you do it, lame asses!

” All About The Love Again” is a more obscure Stevie song, but he sounded awesome ( with a shout out to the current President as well).

So then we return to the bottom two, and fortunately, I never have to write the words RigPig again.  And Simon cuts him lose after he sings, mercifully. Bye, Sarver,  and give your kid a hug.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Idol Tewer Opener… Michael Sarver.

Bleeeech.

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Motown, bay-bee!

I am a huge Motown freak, so seeing Smokey and Barry- wow, dude, I adore Smokey to itty bitty pieces ( the Miracles were always my favorite Motown act). But it’s not about Smokey, except he’s the mentor this week, and he has done this before ( as a guest judge, but it’s similar).

Matt takes on Marvin Gaye’s  iconic ” Let’s Get It On”, which is opening a family show in family hour. It’s just Matty and the pianer to open, but the band kicks in and it is smooth and sexy fun, despite some pitch issues. Suh-weet, he’s growin’ on me.

Kris comes back with another Marvin classic, ” How Sweet It Is” ( which was my secondary song choice for him). I still find him bland as a performer, but the vocal was pretty good.

Scott’s version of ” You Can’t Hurry Love” started strong with just the piano and Scott, but quickly devolved into a mess once the band started. Shoulda gone with Stevie, dude.

Megan was an even bigger train wreck with Stevie’s ” For Once In My Life”. She is a surprisingly jazzy singer, a rarity in Idol land, despite the limited range she has she could be an interesting artist. The song sounded like something I heard on “Love Boat” as a kid.

I had to go dissolve a kid sitch during Anoop, but left my notebook with my eldest. Anoop did Smokey’s classic ” Ooh, Baby Baby”. Her notes- interesting, a little pitchy, but good vocal.

Mike took on ” Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”. It’s a personal fave, and his version was heinous. Less said the better.

Lil went with a different girl group than I thought she would and picked ” Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas. She looked like she belonged in the Vandellas witht he dress and the hair ( and I WANT those SHOES!) but she sounded rushed and breathless, which threw her vocals into pitchy territory,

When I saw Adam before the break, I just about choked. He took another Smokey classic, ” T0 The Tracks Of My Tears” and did it unplugged. I wonder if he has been reading my mind, because he did everything I have begged him to do. He didn’t do the over dramatic, theatrical crap he had been pulling. He sang the song, he sang it the way he needed to sing it, and it was amazing. That was the performance I wanted to see form him. The best performance so far this season by anyone.

Danny went with ” Get Ready”, and I want whatever the judges are smoking if they thought that was any good. I know I hate the guy, but if he sang better, I would admit it. He didn’t.

Allison matched Adam tonight on guts and talent with a blazing version of ” Papa Was a Rolling Stone”.  Rock girl turned on the soul as well and gave me what I love.

My faves of the night- Adam ( shocker, I know) and Allison ( still my fave).

Bottom three- Scott, Mike, and Danny, but Danny will probably be fine and Megan will join the boys in the bottom.

Plus I get Smokey and Stevie tomorrow night? FUCKIN’ EH!

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Happy Birthday Wishes

jimhotHappy birthday to Jim Parsons, who is 36 today. He still is the best thing on the TeeVee machine at this moment.

You heard me.

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I remember being handed Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future novel A Handmaid’s Tale in high school English and promptly trying to figure out a way to get out of reading it, seeing as Atwood’s novels are dreary ( her essays are anything but). So I tracked down a tape of the film at the local video store and watched. It was dark, dreary, dystopian, like Atwood, but there was this young actress, luminescent even in the red burqua they made the handmaids wear.

That was Natasha Richardson.

By all accounts, she was like that in life- boisterous, warm. with a throaty laugh and an energy that consumed the space she inhabited. She convinced confirmed bachelor Liam Neeson to marry, and their nearly fifteen year marriage was one of the most sane, normal, human relationships in Hollywood history. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different- he, a working class lad from Ireland who fell into acting after a career as a boxer and a fork lift operator for Guinness ( that, my friends, is very Irish).  She was the member of a famous theatrical family whose legend predates modern acting, even film.  Her mother was an Oscar winning actress and activist. Her father was an Oscar winning film maker and well known rogue. Her uncle, her aunt, her sister- they all act. It’s the family trade. And she was wonderful at it.

It doesn’t take much for Natasha Richardson to worm her way into your heart by acting- the performance she gave as Patty Hearst is the stuff of legend. But her best performances never happened on screen. There was the electric 1993 production of Anna Christie, in which she and Neeson devastatingly portrayed lust while falling in love behind the scenes. Her now legendary turn as the luminous Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ reconfigured Cabaret, for which she was awarded a Tony award. Her most famous film role was that as Lindsay Lohan’s mom in the remake of  The Parent Trap, where she was amusing and charming and warm. It was my daughter’s favorite movie for years.

As a fan of film and theater, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ms. Richardson yesterday. She passed away in New York, after being transferred from Montreal, suffering head trauma after a fallon a ski hill. She was only 45 years old.  My heart goes out to Mr. Neeson, their two sons, Micheal and Daniel, her mother, sister Joely, and the extended family and friends of this astonishingly beautiful, gifted woman.

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And not just a single season pickup. CBS and Warner brothers announced officially what we fans already knew- our favorite physicists will be around for two more years.

Sadly, Charlie and Alan will be around for three more, on an unfunny, aging sitcom.

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