* The Spill Canvas - "All Over You"
This is the song I've probably been listening to more than anything else. I am so emo.
In my daydreams, in my sleep, infatuation turning into disease
You could cure me, see all you have to do now is please try
* Fefe Dobson - "Don't Let It Go To Your Head"
* Live - "All Over You"
An amazing live version:
* Jesse McCartney - "How Do You Sleep"
* Chris Isaak - "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing"
* Kelly Clarkson - "Can I Have A Kiss"
* Carly Smithson - "Just Missed The Train"
* Lovesick Radio - "Boys Don't Matter"
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I was lucky enough to discover Skid Row way back in 2001 - I don't remember how, but I assume from one of those amazing Top 20 shows that VH1 used to put together. ("What's My 20?" was one of my favorites and the ultimate best countdown show ever on television was "Top 40 Hair Bands" hosted by Dee Snider - with Poison at #1 and Twisted Sister at #2 - although since it was hosted by Dee Snider, that may have had something to do with it).
There is something so incredible about Sebastian Bach's voice that it gives me chills every time I listen to a song like "In A Darkened Room", "I Remember You" or "Quicksand Jesus". He is honestly one of the best metal vocalists of all time and my personal (albeit biased) favorite. Sebastian was a force of nature - all hair, leather pants, and the skinniest and sexiest 6'4" guy I have ever seen.
There was no moment where Skid Row sold out - no cheesy power ballads (although who am I kidding, that's my favorite genre). The video for "I Remember You" doesn't feature closeups of crying girls, coordinated guitar moves, or white leather pants (Jani Lane, I'm looking at you). Instead the video is the story of a man down on his luck, living on the streets, who reminisces over a photo of his lost love - interspersed is footage of the band playing in a warehouse.
They only released two albums at their peak and a third album after grunge had taken over in 1995 that is largely forgotten. Nothing they did after Sebastian Bach and Rob Affuso (drums) left is worth mentioning, especially not their "punk" version of "I Remember You" - this is just blasphemy.
But - oh my god - those two albums were perfection. Their self-titled 1989 debut is a black sheep in the family of hair band debut discs but by the time the second album rolled around, they would never have even been invited to the family reunion. "Slave To The Grind", from 1991, is a crunching, straight-up metal disc that proves they could do ball-busting metal songs and gorgeous, aching slow songs.
"Slave To The Grind" became the first metal album of the SoundScan era to debut at #1. A pretty cool statistic.
Their best songs of all time: "I Remember You", "Quicksand Jesus", "Monkey Business", "18 And Life", "Wasted Time", "In A Darkened Room", "Youth Gone Wild", "Psycho Love", "Forever" (from 40 Seasons, their greatest hits).
As stated in the Top 40 Hair Bands special, "if there is one band that could reunite and MATTER in 2001, it would be Skid Row because they just have that pompacity." Wow the fact that I can recall that from memory is a testament to just how many times I watched that show.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I was at a Yankee game/charity benefit when the American Idol results show (aka last episode of the season) and I am just watching the entire thing, start to finish, now. I managed to be surprised when I watched my VHS tape back to see the last 40 or so minutes of the show - luckily no one revealed the winner until I got to see it for myself.
But anyway - here's my review of the show.
American Idol Finale Results Show - May 20, 2009
Top 13 American Idols - "So What" C+
It is kind of entertaining to me the lyrics that the producers chose to omit, but even more amusing to hear the Idols sing "and you're a tool, so what". Whoever came up with the weird jumping choreography for this was sadly misled. However, this is a tolerable performance for a group number and it certainly beats any of the Ford music videos.
David Cook - "Permanent" B
This song is so poignant after his brother's death after a long battle with cancer. I am not sure how he got through this song without crying. He delivered a very powerful and excellent (as always) vocal. The song itself isn't as stunning as it could be, but Cook's performance was extremely moving.
Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle - "And I Am Telling You..." D
Is this even worth reviewing? He isn't even funny and he clearly never took the competition seriously. Everything was just a joke to him, and while it is arguable that many people take the competition too seriously, he treated it as a joke. He can hold a note though. How did he get through to the Top 36 over far more talented people like Rose Flack?
Lil Rounds & Queen Latifah - "Cue The Rain" B-
This performance of Queen Latifah's new single is okay, and sort of interesting. It is better certainly than anything Lil Rounds ever did on that stage by herself. The backup dancers might be a little bit overkill for this song. This is a pretty energetic and upbeat performance, and probably the most eye-catching of the night so far. The last lyric of the performance was done well.
Alexis Grace & Anoop Desai & Jason Mraz - "I'm Yours" (with rest of the Top 13 on backup) B
Both Anoop and Alexis sound good despite this hideously insipid song. Jason Mraz even sounds good, but maybe that's just because he's so damn cute when I am actually watching him sing this on TV. This version of the song - slightly reggae - is far superior to the radio edit. As Randy might say, there is no denying that Alexis and Anoop "can really sing". (Yes! I know you are shocked! On a singing competition!)
Kris Allen & Keith Urban - "Kiss A Girl" A
The first song of the night I would actually download and listen to over and over. Keith and Kris complement each other very well on this song; it's a fun and rollicking performance. Most importantly, they both look like they are having fun with it. Now if only all Idol finale performances could be so great!!! Simon seems to be reluctantly giving a Standing O and Justin Guarini is shown looking longingly at the stage - looking back on the glory days.
Top 13 Girls & Fergie - "Glamorous/Big Girls Don't Cry" C
Megan Joy looks like she can not believe she is singing this inane but insanely catchy song. Alexis Grace and Jazmine are having a blast with it. Fergie looks kind of frightening and doesn't sound much better. This new dark hair doesn't suit her in the slightest. Now only if they had done "London Bridge" - just picture it!! I will not even bother to review the performance of "Boom Boom Pow", which is one of the worst songs this side of "I'm Yours". How this song became a #1 Hot 100 hit is so far beyond me I don't even want to discuss it. Ugh!
Katrina Darrell (Bikini Girl) and Kara DioGuardi - "Vision of Love" A
Wow, Kara can sing. Although Bikini Girl does have a better voice than she got credit for, Kara blows her out of the water with the husky tone of her voice. The problem with Bikini Girl was that she tries to imitate other singers - maybe a Christina Aguilera type? - as opposed to finding her own voice (aka: the Kady Malloy problem). This duet was entertaining, fun, and actually sounded good. Maybe the best moment of the night!
Allison Iraheta & Cyndi Lauper - "Time After Time" A-
Remind me why Allison got voted off before Danny again? Oh right, there's no explanation for that one. How the hell does Cyndi Lauper still look the same after all these years?! This is a wonderful duet, their voices sound great blended together.
Danny Gokey & Lionel Richie - "Hello/Just Chill/All Night Long" C+
Wow, David Cook's version of "Hello" blows Danny Gokey's out of the water. Danny has a great future ahead of him as a poor man's Taylor Hicks or a glorified wedding singer. (Mind you, I am not comparing Taylor Hicks, who I love, to a wedding singer!) It strikes me that I have no idea of this song by Lionel Richie that I have heard at a million corporate beach parties and weddings. OK wait, I suppose this is "All Night Long", I mistakenly thought the title was "Fiesta". Either is appropriate I guess.
Adam Lambert & KISS - "Beth/Detroit Rock City/Rock N Roll All Nite" A-
I think Glambert can single-handedly bring back 80's glam metal. Just picture a duet between him and Sebastian Bach, or Rob Halford, or (best idea ever) Tom Kiefer from Cinderella. Adam takes his place beside legends like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons with such ease. I've said it once before and I'll say it again - Adam Lambert is a fucking rock star. You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy...
Matt Giraud & Santana (with Top 13 Idols on backup) - "Black Magic Woman/Smooth" B
First of all, Matt should have been given more than just this brief lead vocal on "Black Magic Woman" - a song I don't even particularly like, although it is certainly preferable to "Boom Boom Pow". Kris's solo line on this song is phenomenal - made even more so by Danny following right after. Kris even looks like he is having fun with the choreography. Santana is excellent as always.
Megan Joy, Michael Sarver & Steve Martin - "Pretty Flowers" B
Steve Martin looks like Roy Orbison with those glasses on. And if I was born before 1986, I would certainly be dating myself with that comment - now I'm just proving how obsessed I am with 50's and 60's music. This is an odd but interestingly catchy song. Megan and Michael were the right vocalists for this song.
Rod Stewart & Top 13 Guys - "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy/Maggie May" B-
The choreography is straight out of a bad Chippendales show and is unintentionally hilarious. However, this performance redeems itself when Matt sings "now we're all alone". HOT. Adam hits the glory note at the end, was there any doubt? Rod Stewart's voice is somehow not as up to par as I had hoped it would be, although "Maggie May" is an amazing classic rock song.
Adam Lambert, Kris Allen & Queen - "We Are The Champions" A+
This. Was. Incredible. Absolutely awesome. This was the kind of epic performance that rarely comes along on any television show, American Idol or not.
CONGRATULATIONS KRIS ALLEN ON BECOMING THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!
Kris Allen - "No Boundaries" A
"No Boundaries", as a song, gets a D from me. Kris manages to make this song sound far better than it should. This performance is great because right before Kris sings, when Ryan says that it's time for him to sing "No Boundaries", Kris and Adam laugh - in my mind, it is at how bad this song really is. I much preferred the performance of this song on Live with Regis and Kelly by Kris where he strips it down to an acoustic guitar and piano arrangement. This rendition however gets an A because Kris manages to remember these inane lyrics while hugging all of the Top 13 contestants and gives a very emotional performance. Alright, yes, I admit it - I cried.
And can I just say, all over again, and for the record officially - Matt Giraud still remains my favorite American Idol 2009 contestant. Close second is Kris, followed by Adam, and then Anoop (who still holds a spot dear to my heart).