April 14, 2010

Me and Mother Discuss American Idol

I watch American Idol. So what? Who cares? I don't really watch it for the music, but like any television show, there is some drama to watching a complete season. There are characters, heroes (Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynch) and villains (Tim Urban, Ellen DeGeneres).

Once in a while you hear a decent performance, and it certainly resurrects the original versions of songs that some viewers would not have otherwise been exposed to (I am sure American Idol contestants botching Hallelujah has lead to discoveries of Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen).

Okay, so the point. This morning my mom sent me an email with her recap of last night's American Idol. And well, it turned into a brief back and forth. My mother and I rarely get to discuss things like artistic merit, music, fashion and competition: Spartan's fun zone. Here are some (mostly unedited) highlights.

And for those that argue American Idol is a dumbing down of society, a future blog that will attempt to justify it. For those that argue this entry dumbs down Spartan, a reminder of this.


Dave's Mom: Crystal - good job; liked it a bunch
Dave: Agreed. She's solid and doesn't need the show anymore.

DM: Right - I don't think she will win because the audience tends to choose less out there singers.
D: Maybe. I just think there are 4 rockers this year and it's rarely an all rock final. So something has to give. I don't really think it's going to hurt her career to be booted early. It might even help.


DM: Andrew - Karaoke a bit; a bit boring or unexciting
D: Brutal. Worst of the night and surely he'll go home. Song choice has destroyed him. He always picks something lame and light instead of going for gravitas (Can't Buy Me Love and Hound Dog?! Are you kidding me? Your dad was in a gang! Where's your depth and pain?)

DM: Agree 100% with your comments

D: Thank you. And to add: I mean, you have a neck tattoo! Where's your edge?!


DM: Tim - the Karaoke continues; give this boy a telethon to buy a personality (don't understand why the judges liked it. Perhaps he is wearing them down and they have to start saying something nice about him)
D: I didn't hate this. It was pretty good. Even pretty. I still don't like him and think he's soulless.

DM: Pretty indeed. I do agree that he is soulless.
D: He'll go into cruise control now and only do those songs. He reminds me a bit of Jason Castro now. Empty masquerading as deep and cute masquerading as important.


DM: Lee - I really like his voice and enjoyed this one possibly better
than Crystal. (Let's call it a tie for now.)
D: Lee was amazing. I like him better than David Cook, who I guess is the most obvious comparison.

DM: He reminds me a bit of Dave Matthews. By the way I LOVED David Cook.
D: Good comparison to Dave Matthews. Look at you! The song Dave Matthews played at the Grammy's was amazing and I can see Lee going that way. I didn't love David Cook. His originality was someone else's originality (doing a version of a song the exact same way as someone else's version is not creative e.g. when he did Billie Jean he was ripping off someone else's version of Billie Jean; sort of how it bugs me when people sing Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah...it's amazing, but it's not amazing to do HIS version...it's Leonard Cohen's song. Do YOUR version Tim Urban!)


DM: Aaron - Ouch! Started really poorly and went downhill from there. (He will get pre-pubescent votes and remain in the competition however.)
D: I think the pubescent votes got to Tim. Strong finish, great voice, but this guy is in trouble, though in 5 years, you and Dad will buy his album.

(Editor's Note: a brief conversation about Pamela Anderson ensued. Most of that has been redacted. But here's how it ended:)
D: I don't watch Dancing with the Stars. I don't think she's slutty per se. Besides, it seems to keep her rich. She's got maybe 5 more years of people thinking she doesn't look creepy.


DM: Siobhan - Not my favourite of hers until she got funky toward the end. I don't like her lower register because it sounds like she is trying to be some sex kitten.
D: She's sounding very 70s right now. Which might not be a bad thing. I actually think she's peaked and can't really do anything to surprise. I originally thought she'd be in the top 2, but not anymore. Her song choices haven't helped. If they do a Dusty Springfield week, she'll be fine. They won't.

DM: Too bad because I really like her voice, her look and her attitude. Again, the voters won't keep her around to the final 2.
D: Agreed. Though most people think she sings from her nose. I did like her defence last night.


DM: Michael - I liked it but think the judges should have let him go last
week. Really nice, pure tones to his voice.
DM: This was amazing. Second or third best of the night and I completely agree with the judges keeping him (especially when Tim is still around). Totally deserves to be in still, and should be top 3.

D: I just think they may need the save for Crystal because the voters aren't smart enough to keep her.
DM: They could use it after the top 5 and she'll surely make it that far. I think voters are smart enough to keep someone like her around. I give the AI audience some credit. Very little though until they turf Katie or Tim.


D: Katie - Most upbeat, most personality but time for her to say goodbye in my humble opinion - I personally am tired of her.
DM: Dislike her completely. She's got a poor sense of who she can be as a singer. I've agreed with Simon's comments. She's not Mary J Blige. At most, she's Taylor Swift. She was great last week, but I think she should be bottom 3 with the other two young ones.

DM: Total agreement!
D: Cool.


DM: Casey - I like Casey but this was not his best for me. Too many other really good Elvis songs he could have chosen.
D: I agree with you. He's pretty awesome, and while I'm glad he chose something cool (Hound Dog and Blue Suede shoes are just lame choices from two this week), I think something like You'll Never Walk Alone or something more epic from Elvis would've been good (even Guitar Man, which is a great Elvis song made famous by Jerry Reed!)

DM: Needs a stylist to dress him as well. I know it is tough for the men to look good but Casey looks like he got dressed in the barn before going out to milk the cows. And yet he has that rocker vibe when he sings. Perhaps he could watch some Bon Jovi videos to see how Jon dresses and presents himself on the stage.
D: I disagree with you on every single point there. Are you suggesting Casey should wear leather pants? Casey wears fantastic shirts. I am inspired by how they keep his sleeves rolled up without rolling? I asked Erin, how do you think he does that. Erin thought safety pins. I think it might be a tailored button. Anyway, he isn't looking farmery, he looks blues musiciany (google Derek Trucks who I think he's ripping off a bit). Big ass difference. To say he should be MORE like Bon Jovi is like you telling me I should be more like an accountant. Sure it's respectable, might mean a steady income, but...hm, maybe I should be an accountant.

April 12, 2010

Home Opener!

...and of course, what better way to prepare for the 2010 Jays' (currently 5-1) season than a cross-blog pollination with Jake Mooney and his optimism project through the Torontoist.

Click here and read not just today's entry by yours truly, but the previous six days which have me feeling pretty damn good about...well...everything. Even Vernon Wells!

It's hard to excerpt something that's less than 300 words, but here's a taste of my treatise which Mooney summarizes as "the ineffable feeling of hope that accompanies the beginning of a new MLB season"

Opening day optimism is a shared secret. Shhhhh, stay sober in the face of perceived conclusion that the Blue Jays’ playoff hopes are obstructed by behemoths of history and finance; the AL East is the terrain of baseball’s best (Yankees, Red Sox, and Devil Rays). A failed optimist lingers on other’s success, on cruel divisional alignments; she transforms to pessimist instantly.

I'll be in the upper deck tonight and expect to see a decent game, a lot of completely hammered white people, and Alex Rios, being escorted by armed guards to and from the dugout each inning. Ah, sport.

April 10, 2010

Alice Cooper, Tiger Woods, a Big Hump

Although Alice Cooper isn't my favourite metal icon (I bet you're all interested as to who is), the combination of metal and sports is well, arousing.

There are a boat load of comments on this graphic on the Globe and Mail website, and Tiger Woods is probably going to win the Masters this weekend (not coincidentally and quite unnecessarily, Alice Cooper is touring Canada with Rob Zombie right now). Repugnant or reprehensible as one may find Tiger Woods, if he wins the Masters, it will be an amazing sports story .

I can't wait until Dave Mustaine makes his NHL Playoff picks.

Dave says: "Cup Finals...Coyotes and Capitals."