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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Something Completely Different

I had planned something a little more heartfelt and reverent, but then my world got rocked . . .

Next week is Neil Diamond week on American Idol. I can sum up my reaction in three words: Awesome.

Now I'll elaborate. Neil Diamond songs are perfect for Idol. It's the guy who made cheesy good. If cheesy music was actually cheese, Neil Diamond would be France. I can't wait. It's the redemption of the show. I say this week, and not Idol Gives Back week, should be the week no one gets eliminated. Heck, they should bring back every contestant, every person to audition.

You can sound bad singing Neil Diamond. But you can't be boring. This is gonna rock.

Also, the new Will Smith movie, Hancock, looks pretty unbuttoned and hairy chested, too. Can't wait.


  1. So true about Neil Diamond songs but what bugs me on the show is that the judges (especially Simon)are always making comments about somebody not being the "total package" or not "looking" like an AI-type person. If that is true, why do they even have weeks like Andrew Lloyd Webber or Neil Diamond or 70's, etc. The songs they choose for them to sing contradict the judges say should BE an American Idol...

  2. They don't choose songs for them. The contestants choose their own song. The point is to weed out all the crapsters who aren't well rounded and find someone who can sing anything.

    Comparing Diamond to Webber is a sin. They aren't even similar. Diamond wrote or performed almost every classic pop song of the last fifty years. No Idol wants to grow up to be Webber, but all Idols should be so lucky as to grow up to be Diamond.

    I think I'd even go so far as to say that Diamond isn't even cheesy. What David Archuleta does each week is cheesy, going up there an pretending he's old enough to sing half as seriously as he does all the time, what with his Bette Midler, all camp and no substance schtick. On the other hand, Diamond just creates magic. He writes his own songs, he gets out and performs them, and he has a personality. Maybe he's a little "sunnier" sounding, but at least he's not phony. Which is what every one of these AI idiots has been this year with the exception of David Cook (who has been the only person to make something sound remotely original).

    So like you, Adam, I say bring on Diamond. If anyone can show us what these jagbags are actually made of, it'll be him. He'll separate the wheat from the chaff, no doubt...


    PS: Yes, I do love ND.

  3. PPS: Simon talks about the "total package" because he's hoping to sway us in the right direction on who we pick. But let's all be honest, if this were actually an issue of who was BEST, we wouldn't leave it up to a stupid majority of old women and teenage girls each week to pick the winner. And THAT is why we have Andrew Lloyd Webber weeks and Mariah Carey weeks and all these other weeks of people who are a waste of our time. Not because it will help these people be better at the competition, but because at it's cold, jaded heart, this is just a ratings hound of a show that is concerned less with picking the best singer and more with getting us to tune into Fox. It's a win-win for them. If we pick right, the show is "legit" and if we pick wrong, then they get the free publicity that comes along with people complaining about it. Don't get me wrong, that's fine. Fox should do what gets them money. But none of us think this is a real talent competition do we? I mean, most people WANT to lose the show (like Daughtry and Bice) because it would hurt their credibility to win. And just look at last night, we have that Lewis singer that Simon discovered performing, which only proves that when it comes to REAL talent, people like Simon aren't going to leave it to dummies like us to pick the winner. He's out there looking on his own for the real talent. American Idol is just the trainwreck to keep us all busy on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It's not real. It's like a music placebo.

    Rant over.


  4. Ha! See, you go without a blog, and suddenly your comments reach whack job length. :)

    Seriously, I stand behind both Neil Diamond as cheesy and Neil Diamond as good, no, great. It's unabashed glorious cheese.

    Actually, I'd say Neil Diamond is the musical alter ego of Bob Dylan. The music is excellent from both, consistently. Diamond is on the pop love song, loving life end of the spectrum, Dylan on the rock, folk, art, the world is so messed up end. Diamond's voice is crushed velvet, Dylan's torn denim. Neil writes songs that tell stories of the heart, the libido. Bob's tell stories of the soul, the conscience. But the songs are great. Over and over again, they're great.

    And they are the anti-Idol, both of them. I mean, look at them both. At either of their peaks, Neil or Bob make Clay Aiken look like Johnny Depp. In Dylan and Diamond, you have two guys who made it entirely on the strength of their music and their music alone.

    No Idol contestant can say that. The genius of Idol is that they have manipulated the pop culture system to perfection. They pick a couple dozen marginally talented singers and surround them with endlessly entertaining buffoons who can't sing a lick. They market that talent vs. mockery rodeo for a month or so, gradually eliminate some of the less-than-marginally talented folks, and then they kick it up a notch with the master stroke: popularity disguised as democracy. Popularity disguised as talent. Popularity disguised as the real stars who are too good to win the competition (yeah, I'm talking to you Bice and Daughtry . . . you're no more artistic or genuine than Clarkson or Underwood. You got on the show because you knew it could pimp out your career. Don't you dare pretend that you wanted to lose so you wouldn't have to sell out. You sold out at the audition, you loved it, and you'd do it all over again if you had the chance. Okay, go pretend, cuz it's sellin' you records.) It's genius. It really is.

    But Neil Diamond didn't have American Idol. All he had was his music, terrible hair, a magical voice, and the look of a spritely dwarf (same goes for his Hobbit friend, Dylan).

    So yes, I like Neil Diamond. (I got nothing agains ALW, either, I just don't think he belongs on Idol.) I guess you could say . . . I love him. Cheese and all.

  5. Sorry, I wasn't saying that they picked the actual song - sub the word song in there for - I guess you would call it genre. What I meant was that there is a perception of what an AI should be so why would they pick a genre like Andrew Lloyd Webber to sing? An AI-type artist would not be singing Webber...

    I understand that if they are truly good singers, they should be able to sing anything. I just thought that it contradicted what the judges say when they say somebody doesn't "fit" the AI mold.

  6. Oh, ok M. I didn't see your other P.S. and yes, I agree on that, excedpt that you and Adam are not "old ladies or teenage girls".
    What makes you guys watch...


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  8. I wouldn't say that Adam or I have typical musical interests or beliefs about the state of music in general. And the only person I have ever voted for in the history of Idol is Blake last year. And only after one performance, when he re-did Bon Jovi and it was freakin' awesome. But this year more than ever, no person is worth a vote. Especially note the people getting voted. Consider:

    1. Kristy only stayed on b/c she fear-mongered her way to a win w/ "Proud to Be An American"
    2. Jason and Archuleta are only on b/c girls with training bras think they could date them.
    3. Carly only got voted off b/c old people and parents of young kids hated seeing her husband's tatoos and she sang a song that probably offended the Southern Baptist Convention this past week b/c it said "Jesus Christ" in it alot.
    4. Brooke is only still on there b/c home schooler parents got all excited way back at the tryouts when she said she hasn't seen an R-rated movie.

    Which just leaves us with David Cook, who is the only person who has actually arranged a song on his own to sound different, but only actually looks amazing because all the other are so BAD, not because any of them could hold a candle to a real artist.


  9. I never vote. Like any "trainwreck", I just can't keep from "turning my head to look".

    Hey, do you remember the really young guy who invited the band to NOT play with him when they were trying to wittle down all the singers in Holleywood? He was really frustrated because he was wanting to do all his own arrangements and the band was messing him up from doing his own thing. I really thought he would make it - he seemed so promising. Don't they WANT talent like that who can actually do their own arrangements and stuff (sorry if I'm not using the write music lingo)? Maybe Simon didn't like him because he thought he was too young or too arrogant - don't know.

    And remember that guy (was it last year) that the judges got tired of his Bee Bop stuff (if that's what it is called). He constantly did his own arrangements and stuff. He didn't make it of course, but he did have talent. Do you remember his name?


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