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Category Archives: taylor hicks

Mea Culpa (of sorts)

It has been 90 days since I posted my unmistaken disappointment  in Taylor Hicks taking the role of Teen Angel in the Broadway production of Grease.  I vowed that if this turned out to be a good thing that I would happily admit that I was wrong.

Well, I have to say that I am floored that this whole Grease thing has been nothing but positive for Taylor.  Somewhat magically, once he donned the sparkly blue suit and descended the ice cream cone for the first time, substantial and positive press surrounded him.  Of course, this is the total opposite reaction I was anticipating from the less than kind industry press.

While I think that Taylor made chicken salad out of the proverbial chicken shit and seems to have virtually saved the production from closing early, I have to wonder about the sudden shift from cowpies continually flung in his direction (if he was even talked about at all) to the literal toast of the town (a really big one).

I don’t know if this gig was his idea or not; if he finally acquiesed to AI minions; or if he just wanted to summer in NYC, but he certainly has embraced the role and seems to be having a high time.  Again, I still don’t really “get it”, as I’d prefer that he be doggedly working on a “real” CD, however I must admit that this part has given him some definite positive traction.

With the demanding schedule, I highly doubt that he’s been recording anything.  So, I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see the new CD before Christmas.  Particularly since the Early Works CD is being released today in an exclusive Target offering.

For $9.98 you can own re-mastered tracks from In Your Time and Under the Radar.  While not the normal CD price, I think the $9.98 deal through Target is a great distribution deal that will end up saving Taylor money and ensuring that the CD is highlighted in a very effective channel.  (For example, EW makes it’s debut alongside the very popular Jonas Brothers CD ^^^^).  It’s also “priced to sell”, which means more people will consider buying it. 

In case you’re wondering about which songs are included on the Early Works CD, here you go:

1. Soul Thing
2. The Fall
3. Hold On to Your Love
4. The Deal
5. Heart and Soul
6. In Your Time
7. West Texas Sky
8. Somehow
9. Tighten Up
10. Son of a Carpenter
11. My Friend
12. Georgia (with Billy Earl McClelland)

While these are well known to many who have followed Taylor for a while, there are many who have never heard the early stuff, i.e., the good stuff.  Hopefully, this CD will show those who are unfamiliar, Taylor’s grittiness, talent and range.

It appears that some fan groups are doing a bit of guerilla marketing, as well…

  by PayTheDevil661

I’ll be glad when the Grease thing is done and a new CD with new tracks hits the street.  Will we finally see that collaboration with John Mayer?  How about Robert Randolph?  Norah Jones?

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24 Comments

Posted by on August 12, 2008 in american idol, new releases, taylor hicks

 

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Feelin’ Kenny

Well, yesterday I was feelin’ Jimmy. Then, Amy posted some good stuff about how Kenny is the new Jimmy. I particularly relate to Old Blue Chair:

Oddly enough (and as karma would have it), Lefsetz is in the middle of a Kenny Chesney love fest, so I thought it only appropriate to include a post on Kenny.

Now, I know somebody who knows Kenny Chesney and I hear that he is but a wisp of a fella, however he is just as Lefsetz describes — down to earth and “one of us”. Now, I have extolled how Country is the new Pop and how the genres really have changed over the years, but Lefsetz gets to the heart of the matter much more succinctly than I can.

One of the finer points that he makes that resonates with me is this:

“The rock stars tell you to keep your distance. The rappers want to say how much better they’ve got it than you, with their women and their wheels. The country acts want you to know they’re just like you. That you’re part of their family. But for a quirk of fate, a bit of talent and some extremely hard work, your roles could be reversed. Kenny Chesney doesn’t have a security guard. He cruises Vegas with his assistant. He doesn’t take an entourage to awards shows. Because his audience respects him, gives him the distance he needs, because they believe they own him.

You don’t own the audience, the audience owns you. Too many stars seem to be playing to “Entertainment Tonight” and the rest of the celebrity industry. They get caught up in their fame. They play the roles of celebrities. Whereas country acts are quick to reinforce they’re regular folk, accessible, that they’re there for you and you only.

There’s nothing on tape, just a ten piece band. At times four guitars. A full horn section. The hi-def screens above the stage and hanging from the speakers on the side insure that even those in the cheap seats can see what’s going on onstage. You feel included. In a club you paid your dues to over and over again. You listened on the radio, you bought the albums, why shouldn’t you be respected, you’re the engine driving the enterprise!”

Damn right. I’ve been struggling about how much my opinion on various matters should matter concerning artists that I enjoy. I think Lefsetz hits the proverbial nail on the head in that we should have somewhat of a say as we, as fans, do “own” the artist. And, the artists that are the most successful at packing them into huge stadiums and shows are those, like Kenny and Jimmy, who actually LIKE their fans. They like to be with them, near them, understand them, relate to them.

After all, these guys weren’t born to success. They worked hard for it toiling in dives and bars so that we would spend our hard earned cash to come and see them and support their acts. Then, they relied on us to support them by buying their “records” and paying to see their concerts, maybe even buying a T-shirt that we won’t throw out for 12 years or paying to join some stupid fan club that sends you useless trinkets for the priviledge of better than average concert seats.

Again, it’s all about the kun-NECK-shun. People want to be a part of something. A family. A group. The in-crowd. The rebel crowd. The winning team. There is a basic need that seems particularly true of music lovers, to be a part of all. That’s why word of mouth marketing works so well among “music heads”. We want to know what others in our “group” enjoys and we try it based on the fact that one or more members likes a particular song or artist.

Today, I’m feelin’ Kenny, so NOW HEAR THIS:

Taylor Hicks,

Taking the part of Teen Angel sucks. It is beneath your talent and potential. Take a page out of the Kenny and Jimmy playbooks. Get out there with the fans who really dig your music. Listen to what they have to say. Buy them a beer. Hell, buy me a beer.

Sing THEM a song; something that makes THEM feel good. But, realize that you don’t own the audience. Rather, they own you…they bought what you were selling in 2006. NOT AI, but Under The Radar, Workplay and all the Florabama Mp3s. And, you owe them. Everything.

You owe them more than singing Beauty School Drop Out for five minutes each night this summer. That is lazy. Give them On & On.  Give them The Right Place. Give them a song recorded at the Ray Charles studio or FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. Give them a CD recorded on the Stax label. Give them a “Live from Sun Studios” performance. Give them something of substance from a guy who is supposed to be of substance. You worked hard to establish some credibility with those fans who “bought” you…news flash…you have to work TWICE as hard to keep us, your fans. Kenny and Jimmy get it. You know what? So do Steely Dan, Bon Jovi and Radiohead. C’mon, Taylor, make us proud.

For the record, my favorite Kenny Chesney tune is a toss up between:

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem

and

When the Sun Goes Down

or maybe, it’s this one….

How Forever Feels

 

GREASE is the Word?

I’ve tried to be supportive. I’ve tried to be patient. But this morning, my Yahoo! News had a proclamation that made me wince….

Taylor Hicks to play Teen Angel in Broadway’s ‘Grease’

Now, I will preface my remarks with the statement that I am a substantiated Taylor Hicks’ fan. I think the dude has talent in spades, and I sincerely want him to prove the critics wrong and show that he’s not your average ‘idol’.

But Broadway? Really? Why? Kat McPhee, yes…Taylor, absolutely not.

I can’t help but think that this is some kind of AI commitment, because I really can’t explain it. When I think of Idols on Broadway, I think of Rueben as Fats Waller, Fantasia as Ms. Ceely, Diana DiGarmo as Penny Pingleton, Jennifer Hudson as Effie (yes, I know it was the movie version of Dreamgirls) and sadly, Clay Aiken in Spamalot.

In my narrow little mind, I simply don’t see Taylor in the same bucket. I mean, his whole appeal was as the anti-idol, stickin’ it to the man, rebel without a cause….and now he’s Teen Angel? I mean Danny Zuko or even Kinicky, but Teen Angel? So now Taylor will forever be associated with Frankie Avalon and Beauty School Drop Out?

Think about it. How is this good for his career? Will Warren Haynes, Snoop Dogg, and Keb ‘Mo be attending his debut? I don’t think so.

I cannot accept that Taylor is doing this of his own volition. Given the pipeline from Idol to Broadway, I can’t help but think that this is some kind of attempt by AI to further emasculate Taylor. Who knows exactly what’s in the original iron-clad AI contracts…Perhaps he had no other choice. In my heart of hearts, I hope that is the case, because I cannot explain how this role at this point in his career will help. All this does is further entrench him as just another idol “production” and further distance him from the street cred he so desperately needs to re-capture. Is a stint in Grease pandering to the older, nostalgic crowd? Lord, I hope he’s not that transparent.

Personally, I think small-venue tours, sporting events and private gigs are better than this “opportunity”. I love Taylor, but he’s either doing this out of servitude to a legal commitment or he’s succumbed to the lure of celebrity and the magnetic heat of the spotlight.

Either way, I’m disappointed.

Disclosure: I don’t need a history lesson on Taylor and his prowess, as I have been there since the beginning, so please…you have a right to disagree with my opinions but please keep comments on a civil level. I really DON’T want the wrath of The Soul Patrol. And, just for the record, I don’t want or need hits to my blog by mentioning Taylor. I would like to get hits to my blog for writing about The Midnight Special, however. (See previous post.)

 
50 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2008 in american idol, taylor hicks

 

Most Original? Think Not.

So, my sistah from anutha mistah (ShrewbieDoobyDo), recommends that I watch just one performance from last night.  Reluctantly, I clicked on the You Tube link to experience this:

Now, I have to say that Dude blew that crap away.  He’s been somewhat overlooked to date but this performance certainly got him noticed.  While I was impressed by his take and delivery, I cannot agree with Randy as to the most original on the show ever.

As you can imagine, THIS guy was the most original…

Contrary to popular belief, NOBODY out boogies “The Boogie”.  While David Cook is good and different than the celluloid fembots and testosterone challenged males, he is very reminisicent of this dude:

And, the first guy to RAWK on Idol has to be recognized:

Idol really needs some new writers.  Words like “original”, “pitchy”, “just aight”, “drunk”, and “karoake” should be banned from use on the show.  I mean, Randy, Paula and Simons are gazillionaires because of the show, can’t they put a little more into it?

Cue the theme from Jaws….

 
17 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2008 in american idol, taylor hicks

 

A Trip Around the Sun

Hard to believe it but it’s been a year since I took the fateful leap into bloggerland.

With this historic post, my life took a decided turn for the better.  I’ve found a great creative outlet that allows me to enjoy the thoughts of others while vomiting out my own.  My life has been enriched by your support to pursue the things that I really enjoy and to explore more music.

Thanks to all of you who read and comment and to those who just read.  While I invite you to comment, I understand if you don’t.  To those of you who have been here since the beginning (and you know who you are), I want to particularly thank you for your loyalty and friendship.  Of course, I’d like to thank that somebody who showed us how it’s done.  For without that brave soul, hundreds of tiny, unnoticed blogs would not have proliferated; freeing the captives.  (I keed.  I keed.)

Hopefully, I’ll have some more time soon to get into some discussions I’ve been noodling on in my big ole head.  Funny thing about finding a job that you really like…you end up spending a lot of time doing it.  However, I’m trying to carve out my moments of blog time and ideas but it’s like my swearing to get organized.  Mr. D. says that I just need to break down and admit that it’s just not going to happen.  This is how he sees me in terms of my projects and work, etc.

pig-pen_peanuts.png

I’ve gotten better and this blog, in particular, keeps me somewhat focused.  Just don’t throw any shiny objects in front of me and I’m pretty much o.k.

I think that music is God’s way of providing a Rosetta Stone for folks to feel common emotions and to kun-NECK, you know, soothe the savage beast.  For the life of me, I am flabbergasted when someone tells me that they don’t really listen to music or they don’t know a watershed tune like We Can Work it Out or Hallejuah.  That’s why I feel that Music Maven’s purpose is to educate, discuss and advance music and artists of interest.  Bridge generations, genders, race and creed via the love of music.

I must say, however, that the best explanation of music that truly resonated with me came from some guy that happened to capture my attention a few years ago:

It’s music, man.  If music’s in your heart, you feel it, you play it, you sing it, you perform it, you bust your buns doin’ it.  And, that’s what it’s all about….

 

 

Odd Coincidence

In my vast and intricate exploration of the internets, I uncovered something of an odd coincidence.

Now, mind you, I am not watching American Idol anymore, mainly because I’ve been so dern busy that I haven’t had time. Now, The Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and John Adams are all competing for my precious time and frankly, are more entertaining. However, several of you have kept me indirectly abreast of the happenings on AI.

Through such back channels, I heard that Chikezie had one of the best performance during Beatles’ Week. So, in an effort to stay up to speed, I consulted the music authority of YouTube.

When I previewed Chikezie’s performance, something was oddly familiar, so I dug a little deeper. I found that this was the first performance of the Top 12 finalists on American Idol and the new “big stage” where the bulk of the competition is held and contestants really learn how to “work” the cameras.

I must say that I loved his performance. He put a very different twist on She’s a Woman, yet it didn’t come off silly or contrived as the blondette’s Country version of Eight Days a Week. His performance was just different enough, yet remained the familiar melody we are all so acquainted with. It was evident that the judges loved it, as well. It’s here that something oddly familiar hit me.

Compare the Top 12 performance of Chikezie’s She’s A Woman to Taylor Hicks’ Season 5 Top 12 performance of Livin’ for the City and tell me that there not some very odd similarities.

Chickezie, She’s a Woman

Taylor Hicks, Livin’ for the City

Notwithstanding Ryan the Little Pixie’s antics, the judges remarks are eerily similar. This could bode well for Chikezie.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2008 in american idol, taylor hicks, the beatles

 

The News That’s Fit to Print…and then some.

ma-rant.jpg

Up until last Friday, I somewhat chose my words carefully on this blog as to never have my opinions or thoughts adversely affect my employer if some internet nut ever connected the dots between me and my job and decided on some inane act of revenge. (Don’t laugh….I’ve seen it happen to a good friend.) While I’m not in the CIA or anything like that, I take my responsibilities to the folks who pay me very seriously and would never want to jeopardize their business or reputation by someone hiding behind a keyboard in dark room somewhere looking to settle a score for something I said on this blog.

However….last Friday was my last day of employment with my employer. I still love them all dearly but it was just time for a change. I’ll eventually be working in an independent roll for another company, but for the next few weeks I am unemployed. Unemployment provides me with the opportunity to say a few things that I have been biting my tongue about. So, allow me this rant. Just for today. And, maybe tomorrow.

Today’s rant is about delusional people.

I am so sick of reading and hearing the opines of delusional people. While some are harmless, like Alabama’s fans thinking that Nick Saban is the re-incarnation of The Bear; other “theories” can and do cause irreparable damage to people’s reputations, careers and lives. Take the Les Miles to Michigan situation. On the morning of the SEC Championship, before the game, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN quotes a “reputable source” and says that it’s a done deal. Les Miles is leaving LSU for Michigan and the announcement would be made before Monday.

Now…I have to question…why? Why make that announcement before the guy is going out to coach a bunch of young men who don’t need to be hearing that their coach is leaving? And, as it turns out….it WASN’T TRUE. However, Herbstreit’s bogus announcement caused Miles to have to distract himself from his pre-game preparation, call an impromptu press conference and effectively take himself out of the running for the Michigan coaching job (his alma mater and dream job), even before getting to discuss an offer with the Michigan administration. Of course, there has been no apology from ESPN or Herbstreit for breaking a FALSE story and potentially jeopardizing a team’s shot a National Championship. I can promise you this….if LSU had lost to Tennessee, there would have been hell to pay at ESPN for that move.

As if that wasn’t enough, even after Les Miles signs his contract extension with LSU, the ESPN minions continued to call him a liar and lump him in with all of the scruple-less coaches who have lied about staying when they were actually going. **cough**Nick Saban**cough**. Matter of fact, right up until the Michigan announcement that integrity deficient Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia would be stalking the sidelines in Maize and Blue next year, ESPN was still berating Les Miles and saying, point blank, that Les Miles was going to be coaching at Michigan next year. Are they trying to affect LSU’s preparation to play Herbstreit’s alma mater, Ohio St.? One has to wonder. Maybe there’s no “motive”, just stupidity or a wanting for there to be a story so bad that you’ll make one up just to have it.

With the proliferation of the internet, in particular, people just say what they want even though there is no basis of truth to their assertions. One such preposterous claim is that these are not the same woman:

ears3.jpg
You tell me….

For those of you who are not enlightened, this is Caroline Lyders — the girlfriend of Taylor Hicks. However, there’s a faction of fandom that is proclaiming that the woman on the left — who happened to accompany Mr. Hicks to Hawaii in May and is currently in Asia with him — is an impostor. As the theory goes, Ms. Lyders was “hired” by Taylor Hicks to pose as his girlfriend to hide the identity of the chick on the beach. Why? Dunno. Makes no sense to me, but there are folks out there hell-bent on “exposing the sham”. They are determined that these two are not the same person. I’m like WTF? Unless that’s her identical twin, it’s her. But nooooooo, they say (among other very nasty things about this girl).

I’m a black & white kinda girl. Logical to a fault. That “conspiracy” defies logic. But, these folks go right along printing fairy tales and trying to get legs underneath the “story”. Despite the rationalization of “part of the sham” each time Taylor is seen with Ms. Lyders, will it ever be true that this lady is, in fact, involved with Taylor Hicks for these folks?

Maybe, like Les Miles, when something happens that is irrefutable proof that what they are doing is really what they are doing, people will just “Let it Be”, no? Sorry, I just had to work The Beatles in — this is a music blog, after all.

As for me, I hope that I can get as much satisfaction in Taylor and Caroline’s happily ever after as I’ve received from Rich Rodriguez’s move to Michigan. Taylor’s looking pretty happy to me…..

Rant over. For now.