The ties that bind are the strongest. Today, we lost a beloved patriarch. While the ravages of time had taken their toll, it’s never easy to say goodbye to a parent, particularly for a son to lose a father. Please keep my sweet Mr. D in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days.
Monthly Archives: January 2008
Ok. 17 people in Miami go to Hollywood? Two LESS than Boringmaha?
The only thing I liked about Miami were the two big girlfriends who had a particular affinity for Randy. We won’t see them in the Top 24, but it ought to be fun watching them in Hollywood.
Oh, and American Juniors? Who knew?
Along with the “precocious” 16 year old actress, there were a lot of confident peeps who have a definite belief that they can make it all the way. As Johnny Boy says, “Belief is a beautiful armor”.
Omaha. Nebraska. 19 to Hollywood.
B to the capital ORING.
However, a tidbit picked up from Rickey.org on Idolite Shaun Barrowes, who evidently has not made the Top 24:
Well, I made it to the top 48 and got cut. They’re not looking for a whole lot of variety this year, as all the contestants who made it through are either rockers or 16 and the type they can mold into whatever they want. But I caught a glimpse at the contract the top 24 has to sign, and i’m glad i didn’t have to sign it. If I made it to the top 24, they would own me for 3 years no matter how far i made it, and if I had won, they would make big changes to my music. I got a pretty good feel for what they’re looking for, and they don’t want artists who already have an established sound–all my favorite contestants who I thought were great songwriters with a unique artisticsound were also cut today. I’m once again in full control of my music career, and I’m very relieved I’m out.
I’d say it’s pretty amazing that any “idol” breaks free inside of three years, no? Talk about your indentured servitude….
So glad Johnny Boy doesn’t have to worry about that….he just says what he needs to say:
Oh. My. Gawd.
Friday night, I happened to be channel-surfing and saw that CBS was carrying a Garth Brooks’ concert, live from L.A., to benefit the firefighters who fought the recent wildfires out west. Having nothing better to do at 9:00pm, CST (yes, I’m old), I decided to tune in a see old Garth do his magic.
You see, in my “Blue” period, I was a huge Country Music fan and other than George Straight, Garth Brooks was as big of a country artist as it gets. Garth had many hits in the 80s and 90s and I always had a particular fondness for his ballads like To Make You Feel My Love (written by Bob Dylan) and The Dance.
His concerts were legendary for the passion in his performance and the overall high-energy. Everyone that I’ve known who has attended one of Garth’s shows said two things: 1.) It was worth every penny they paid; 2.) The guy is seriously talented.
So, I looked forward to settling in, hearing and seeing the great Garth Brooks, and being wowed once again. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Garth was really off. I don’t know if he couldn’t hear his tone, was ill or just way rusty, but virtually every song was out flat or out of tune and at points he seemed to be screeching. He covered with a bunch of yells to the crowd and let them sing some verses, but it was just not good. It was more glaringly evident how bad it was when his wife, Trisha Yearwood came out and sang perfectly in tune and then again, when Huey Lewis came out and sang Workin’ for Livin’.
Here’s an excerpt of Friday night’s Garth:
Callin’ Baton Rouge
The unofficial anthem of Louisiana may have been irreparably damaged. Now, contrast that with the loveliness of Garth past, singing one of Mr. D’s all-time favorite songs:
Ahhhh, Peter Frampton.
I will admit that recently, I have enjoyed seeing Peter on the “Talkbox” in the Geico Commercial:
And, while I immediately recognized Do You Feel Like We Do, it didn’t really register as nothing more than a “blast from the past”. That, and I was incredulous as to where all of his lovely curls went to. Seeing a gray-haired Peter Frampton, I immediately looked him up on Wikipedia and saw that he is actually turning 58 this year. Say it ain’t so…wow.
A few days ago, I was bustling around town on my way to pick up the youngen from soccer practice and I happened to be listening to one of the plethora of “classic rock” stations along the Gulf Coast. As an aside, classic rock stations are more plentiful than country or pop stations around here, so radio is not as disappointing. As I was making my way through traffic and sitting at a red light, impatiently waiting to turn left, the familiar bass lines of Do You Feel Like We Do came through the speakers.
The musical imprint of this song, in it’s entirety was so strong in that few minutes that it left me speechless. In a split second, I was transported back to the summer of 1976 and my first real foray into love. I had met a guy from the neighboring town, at the ball park where I spent virtually every waking hour during the summer. You see, I was an elite softball player (second base) and I loved it so much that the ballpark was like my church. My parents hated that I loved playing ball so much, which at 13 made it even more appealing.
During that summer is when I met Marty. Marty was a baseball player and also hung out at the park quite a bit. He lived not very far and could ride his bike there. Between games and during tournaments, we began hanging out and talking. He was the first boy who ever really listened and cared about what I had to say. Besides, he was fine. Long, dirty blond hair, muscular and he had just a little bit of a chipped tooth that to my 13 year old eyes, was heavenly. He asked me out, I said yes, and the phone calls started.
Now, I’ve never been much of a “phone talker”, but I enjoyed my phone calls with Marty. He would call and then play music for me that he liked. We never really had a lot of conversation but we did have a lot of communication — through music. Before Marty, my musical world had mainly been made up of England Dan & John Ford Coley, Barry Manilow and Seals & Crofts. I recently had ventured out into the land of The Eagles and Hall & Oates and You Sexy Thing and Afternoon Delight were my current favorite songs. I had really never heard of Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers (other than Cher married Greg and had Elijah Blue) and “rock” bands were for “the heads”.
However, that pubescent summer, Marty took me down a varied musical path. The first stop was Peter Frampton and the Frampton Comes Alive album. Over the phone, Marty played Do You Feel Like We Do. I can still remember sitting in the hall at my parents house and laying on the floor listening to Frampton sing through the Talk Box and thinking that it was THE coolest thing I had ever heard. Marty was kind and caring and explained to me that Frampton was not saying what I thought he was saying in one part of the song…”No, he’s saying ‘I want to THANK you.’ “, Marty corrected.
Alas, Marty ended up being just a summer romance. He went to a different middle school in the next town and though we would later go to the same high school, it seemed that eons had passed between the time we had spent those wonderful nights on the phone exploring music to when we awkwardly met up early on in our Freshman year. We’d smile and make small talk, but somehow we both knew that we couldn’t recapture what we had.
I don’t know what exactly happened to Marty. We didn’t run in the same crowd in high school and it’s been over 25 years since high school. All I know is that when I heard that full version of Do You Feel Like We Do the other day, I could see Marty’s face so clearly. A young, sweet boy who anxiously and deftly escorted a young music maven into the world of rock and roll.
Like Peter Frampton, even though we’re all a little older now, we still rock.
ETA: Here’s a little perspective on Peter Frampton and Frampton Comes Alive! This album was the top-selling album of 1976, out-selling Fleetwood Mac’s hallmark debut album, Fleetwood Mac. It is the 4th best-selling album of all-time, selling 6 million domestically and 16 million internationally. The only albums to out-sell this one were: 3rd — Eagles Live!; 2nd — Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 1975-85; 1st — Garth Brooks Double Live.
Peter Frampton was a technical advisor on Almost Famous for his input on the band Humble Pie, of which he became a member — at age 18.
Natural Born Boogie — Humble Pie
He was also a member of The Herd, at age 15….
I Don’t Want Our Lovin’ to Die — The Herd
Peter Frampton has been playing professionally since he was 10 years old and his rock pedigree is long. Therefore, he shall be forgiven for the debacle that was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I haven’t laughed that hard in a coon’s age. (appropriate Southern slang used)
While there wasn’t a whole lot of superb singing, Charleston provided almost everything else….even a new baby.
Ok. I OFFICIALLY LOVE JEFFREY. I doubt we see him in the Top 24, but you got to love a guy who wears a tie on his head and auditions with his sistah.
And then there’s Abstinence Amy. Amy Catherine. AC. Whatevs.
Now, I’m a responsible mother of a teenager — and Catholic — so I’m all about the abstinence thing, in theory….but about spit out my wine when Simon said, “One week in L.A. and it’ll all change”. Mini-DD and I were watching the playback on DVR and he was literally rolling on the floor. It seems that this year is all about chastity as well as the Year of the Blonde. Is it me or does there seem to be a predominance of blonde and partially blonde sirens being shown and making it through?
Like London from Charleston. She was good but I liked the petite Air Force pilot better. I mean, I would have let her in just for singing Black Velvet. Great song choice. I wonder if Simon even knows the song is about “The King”.
Enter Mini-Ree-Ree, although not so “mini”. Too bad she blew the audition. I really think she could sing but her outfit and demeanor really hurt her chances. They couldn’t see passed the, um, obstacles.
One of the things that helps a show “jump the shark” is the incorporation of a pregnancy or having a baby….so, there you have it. Little Emma Grace, all of one-day old (IS THE WOMAN CARAZY?!?), makes her idol debut and sounds the death knell.
So, Tuesday night Amercian Idol opens with three “Hollywooders” in the first 10 minutes. Blond Russian girl was pretty good and the young vocal chord challenged 16 year old is going to be interesting. There were a couple of freaks, but mostly folks who just wouldn’t take no for an answer.
After a quick hour, the last of the auditionees arrives. One Carly Smithson, originally from Ireland, performs a unique, yet adequate rendition of I’m Every Woman. Her backstory is that she tried out in Las Vegas in 2005 in Taylor Hicks’ lot but because of a Visa snafu, she was disqualified after “wowing” the judges. She was distraught on losing her chance two years ago and wants so much for this to be “her break”.
Now, what American Idol conveniently omitted in this backstory is that Carly Smithson is her married name. Her maiden name was Carly Hennessey, who was signed by MCA Records (now Geffen) in 2002. The massive failure of her debut CD, Ultimate High, has been the subject of case studies and a Wall Street Journal article of music industry economics and just what goes wrong for the majority of new music acts.
From Stereophile in 2002….
In “Pop Singer Fails to Strike a Chord Despite the Millions Spent by MCA,” Jennifer Ordonez details how the Universal Vivendi label spent millions grooming a teenage Irish singer for a career as a pop star. The label provided 18-year-old Carly Hennessey and her father with a car and a nice apartment in Marina Del Rey, plus a generous stipend for living expenses. MCA also piled on the vocal coaches, image consultants, songwriters, arrangers, producers, and promotional experts. Total investment, prior to the release of Ultimate High, Ms. Hennessey’s debut album: in excess of $2.2 million. Total sales of the CD, as of February 25: 378. That’s approximately $4900 at retail.
The Hennessey debacle is perhaps more typical than most music executives wish to admit. Industry rule-of-thumb has it that a typical big-label album must sell at least 500,000 copies to break even. Ordonez quotes SoundScan figures showing that of the 6455 new albums distributed by major labels in the US last year, only 112 sold that many. In the music industry, perhaps more than in any other, the winners pay for the losers. That’s the real reason Greene and his colleagues want to keep their cash cows in the barn.
Nowhere in the discussions of the music industry’s malaise has there been any mention of the fault lying with management, as in the case of Carly Hennessey. Nor has there been any suggestion that executive compensation might be part of the problem. The music industry is one whose top tier is particularly heavy with big titles and big packages. “A decade ago, people thought if you paid CEOs $5 million or $10 million, you could get them to work hard and smart, but now it has to be hundreds of millions of dollars,” Harvard Business School professor Joseph Badaracco recently told WSJ editor Carol Hymowitz. “It’s a very rare company where pay falls at the top when performance falls.”
Carly Hennessey had grooming, a record deal, support and even a video:
Now, this puzzles me. Isn’t this diametrically opposed to what American Idol is about? Aren’t they looking for new talent that hasn’t been given a shot? Since Carly hasn’t had a deal for over five years, should all of the early investment in her not count? The specific “rules” say you can’t currently be under contract, so technically she qualifies but is this in the real “spirit” of American Idol? If so, why does it appear that American Idol is less than forthcoming with Carly’s entire backstory. Did they really think that people wouldn’t remember her or have a clue as to who she is? After all, this IS American Idol and scrutiny is king. Or, is that what they are after?
Perhaps they need controversy to generate interest and viewers. While I feel for Carly and her evident plight since her initial foray into the music industry, I’m conflicted in that she’s had her chance. Isn’t it a bit unfair to others who are waiting to be plucked from obscurity?
I hear Annie Lennox is without a label, maybe she should have run down to San Diego….
While we go through the audition rounds of American Idol, I thought it might be interesting to re-visit some of the better known “idols” auditions, compared to more recent performances. Some have dramatically transformed, while others have not changed whatsoever. See what you think….
Kelly Clarkson audition
Kelly Clarkson today
Ruben Studdard audition
Ruben Studdard today
Clay Aiken audition
Clay Aiken today
Fantasia Barrino audition
Fantasia Barrino today
Jennifer Hudson audition
Jennifer Hudson today
Carrie Underwood audition
Carrie Underwood today
Bo Bice audition
Bo Bice today
Elliott Yamin audition
Elliott Yamin today
Kat McPhee audition
Kat McPhee today
Taylor Hicks audition
Taylor Hicks today
Blake Lewis audition
Blake Lewis today
Jordin Sparks audition
Jordin Sparks today
Wonder if we’ll see the winner’s audition this week? Or maybe last week? I don’t think that there’s ever been a winner whose audition wasn’t seen in the initial rounds, so that whittles it down quite a bit. From my count, we’ve seen about 10 auditions that were “put through” although there’s more than 40 so far that are “goin’ to Hollywood”.