Saturday, June 5, 2010

Song of the moment - Deadmau5

Song of the moment: Deadmau5 f. Rob Swire ~ "Ghosts N Stuff"

The beat is what plays in your head after you wake up with a hangover at 6 a.m. and the light is sliding in through the blinds in your window. The lyrics say nothing and everything at the same time.

This one song epitomizes the entire decade of the 80's in just a few lines - the decadence, the hedonism, the cocaine residue on every $20 bill in your wallet. Using and abusing and not caring enough about anything.

I could hear it playing in the background of every blurry party in Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis. It's a song that's unaffected by artifice. It slinks along, searching for something in the dark of night and not being all that disappointed when it finds nothing.

Is the song an ode to lost nights of drug use? Sex with strangers in bar bathrooms? Or only having the energy to take from the world without being able to give anything back?

The robotic maybe-female voiceover intro seems out of place, at first listen. Then you realize it voices the disaffection of a generation that existed for an all-too-brief moment.

"It's the way that you fake it, I know it's too late. But I, I just want to play it right."

The song is a fitting soundtrack to a life where everything is a game and people are pawns for the taking, where people slide in and out of consciousness and velvet walls slowly close in. Where artifice is only a cover for the raw malice evident within.

Desperate but yielding.

Deadmau5 f. Rob Swire - "Ghosts N Stuff"

it’s been so long I’ve been out of my body with you
I feel alone, feel at home, feel like nothing is true
she took me to a place where my senses gave way
turn it round, shut it down, what the people say
climbing up, killing time, let them give you some
take my hand and let it come, let it come, let it…

take it back when she knows that you're doing it right
cause everybody else knows what they're taking tonight

but I just wanna play it right
we’re gonna get there tonight

it’s been so far, I’ve been walking the line on my own
lift me up to the stars, we are coming home
I only had a chase, but we're out of time
we are souls in the cold, physical design
set me free, set me out on the run
lift me up to the sun, to the sun, to the…

we are burning down, we are burning down
it’s the way that you fake it, I know it’s too late

but I just want to play it right
we’re gonna get there tonight

Thursday, June 3, 2010

American Idol Season 9: Top 2 FINALE - May 25, 2010

Top 2 -  Finale Week:
May 25, 2010

Lee Dewyze - "The Boxer" B+

This performance lacked the original conviction he had when he performed it back on Inspirational Songs Week, back when I still had Tim Urban to stare at on a weekly basis. (If only...) The most beautiful moment of the season was the clip where Lee performed this song in front of his hometown crowd in Chicago, and his voice broke with tears on the line "I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains." It made me cry to see it. But this version of the song was similar, but not quite as good.

Lee Dewyze - "Everybody Hurts" B+

I was more than excited to hear the judge's song choice for Lee was R.E.M.'s classic "Everybody Hurts". A wonderful song that I was interested to hear how Lee would sing. While he did a good job, there was nothing too revolutionary about the performance, and I had hoped for a bit more emotion for Lee. The long note he sang on "don't throw your haaaaaaaaaaaaaaands" didn't sound so great either.

Lee Dewzye - "Beautiful Day" B

It just wasn't the amazing song I'd hoped for Lee, something like his previous choices of "Halleujah", "Treat Her Like A Lady", "A Little Less Conversation", "Lips of An Angel", "Fireflies", and/or "That's Life". It just sort of fell flat, and this is the kind of song that's supposed to soar and swoop. As it was his last performance, I was a little bit generous with the grade. But really, this kind of performance isn't the reason why I voted hundreds of times over the course of the season (wow, that's scary) for Lee.

Crystal Bowersox - "Me and Bobby McGee" A-

As she has drawn many Janis Joplin wannabe comments this season, it is only fitting that Crystal chose this song as her repeat performance song on the Finale night. Freedom is just another fucking word for nothing left to lose. You tell em, Crystal. And honestly, she really had nothing to lose on this night. As Simon said earlier in the season to Tim, "you're going to smile, people are going to vote for you, and nothing I say matters." Interestingly, in this season, nothing was more true. She gave it her all on this song, and I applaud her for it. (I still picked up the phone to vote for Lee however.)

Crystal Bowersox - "Black Velvet" B+

This was certainly entertaining, but not perfect. There were a few voice problems at parts, and Crystal's gritty voice didn't quite gel with the silky-smooth jazz of the song. She did put a good amount of passion into it. I didn't like the last semi-scream of the song.

Crystal Bowersox - "Up To The Mountain" A

Clearly Crystal picked a song that meant a lot to her. This was Crystal letting down her walls and the somewhat cocky attitude that followed her around the whole season. This was a song about fighting hard everyday of your life and never admitting weakness. And my god, I believed her when she sang these lyrics, something that has been sorely lacking from American Idol this season. Best performance of the night, by far.

Best of the night: Crystal - "Up To The Mountain"
Worst of the night: Lee - "Beautiful Day" (yes, it pains me to write this)

American Idol Season 9 - Top 3: May 18, 2010

Top 3 - Judges and Contestants Choices Week
: May 18, 2010

Casey James - "OK It's Alright With Me" C+

For some reason, this didn't strike a chord with me. The song was unfamiliar and by the ever-so-annoying Eric Hutchinson. Whenever I think of him, I picture him bopping along more awkwardly than a 7th grader at his first middle school dance in the horrid video for "Rock 'N Roll" (which is probably the least rock 'n roll thing this side of Clay Aiken). Casey's voice is great and has a lovely tone, but this song did nothing for it. The backup singers sounded strange on the track, particularly to the end.

Crystal Bowersox - "Come To My Window" B+

In stark contrast to both of Casey's songs, Crystal took on a personal favorite song of mine, by one of my all time favorite singer-songwriters, Melissa Etheridge. And how did she do? In my opinion, she did pretty well. I don't get the same desperation and aching you hear in all of Melissa's songs from Crystal but she certainly was impressive.

Lee Dewyze - "Simple Man" A-

Probably one of the more interesting song choices of the night, and a song I didn't know previously, but a band I did (Lynyrd Skynyrd). The guitar sounded a little "Stairway To Heaven"-esque, and it worked. Of course. It was clear that Lee connected with the song entirely and it made all the difference in the world. This is the kind of music he should make.

Casey James - "Daughters" B-

OH NO. Another insipid song by one of my least two favorite musicians ever - John Mayer. That said, this song is particularly hated by me. Casey greatly improved on the original, but I really couldn't get over my hatred of the song and the original artist. Casey strikes me as much more of a rocker type than either Eric Hutchinson or John Mayer, and he did himself a disservice by selecting the first song. We can argue conspiracy theory for the selection of the second song, but it would be a futile effort. Sadly, everyone with estrogen loves this awful song and its cloying message.

Crystal Bowersox - "Maybe I'm Amazed" A-

First and foremost, the thing I will remember about this performance is how Crystal did not change the lyrics to suit her gender. It was a bold and risky move and it paid didn't distract from the song, but added to it. Also, I was very glad to see she put down the guitar and focused on the emotion of the song. She sang with passion and ferocity

Lee Dewyze - "Hallelujah" A+

This is the moment where Lee Dewyze won American Idol Season 9. No, we did not vote dozens of times for him for his just-ok-for-me-dawg performance of "Beautiful Day" the following week in the Top 2, or for his less-passionate-than-the-first time performance of "The Boxer" that same week. And I can't even remember what the other song was. This is the moment that was in the back of our minds when we picked up the phone to dial the familiar digits we'd been calling all season. 1 - 866 - IDOLS - 0 Whatever. This was the moment where the lights bathed him in a gorgeous glow, backup singers descended from God-knows-where, and he had one of the very very few "Idol Moments" (TM) of the season. Gorgeous. A revelation. Thank you Lee Dewyze for restoring my faith in American Idol. (Like I'll ever stop watching anyways).

Check out the audio and video over at : You would be doing yourself a disservice not to.

Best of the night: Lee - "Hallejuah"
Worst of the night: Casey - "OK It's Alright With Me"