You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.
Mike Leigh films.
Recently, I watched British director Mike Leigh’s two most recent films, Happy-Go-Lucky and Vera Drake. I was impressed by both. While they are intensely different (the first is a modern quasi-comedy, the second a period drama), they also share some shocking similarities. Both portray very giving, optimistic, and overall cheerful women who are faced with people and situations that – at least temporarily – destroy their happiness. For Poppy, the Happy-Go-Lucky school teacher, it comes in the form of a cranky, pessimistic driving instructor, a man who is her polar opposite. For Vera Drake, her happy family life comes crashing down when a terrible secret of hers gets out. Both films are more character-driven than plot-heavy, and Leigh really proves that he “gets” female characters. They also focus more on lower-class England, and its inhabitants. This is particularly striking, as many modern-day comedies portray people who live an inexplicably comfortable life (i.e. rom-coms that always give their heroine a wonderful New York apartment regardless of the fact that she’s an entry-level assistant or some rot). Many period dramas focus on the petty struggles and hedonistic relationships of the upper class. The wonderful thing about these two films is that they refuse to stick to these norms, and thereby become something that a viewer, whether they be British or not, can relate to.
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
I feel a bit fake putting this in here, as I’ve only read past the hundredth page, but I’m already captivated by it. It uses the story of two brothers, both Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (the cultish, splinter groups that advocate polygamy), who commit a violent and senseless murder of their sister-in-law and niece, as framework for a larger story. In trying to detail the murder and their reasoning behind it, Krakauer explores the history of Mormonism, details life in a Fundamentalist compound, and populates his tales with intriguing characters, many of whom have escaped the compounds and left the “faith.” While he makes his standpoint on Fundamentalists and their practice of marrying off young teenage girls to very old men very clear, he remains non-judgmental on Mormonism as a faith, allowing the reader to form their own opinions on the matter. It doesn’t read like textbook nonfiction, but it is extremely informative and, dare I say, a page-turner.
LISTEN TO THIS:
How to Win! – Maria Bamford
Maria Bamford is quickly becoming one of my favorite stand-up comedians. She’s a female comedian who openly mocks the routines of your “typical female comedians.” She’s at her finest when she’s doing her many voices – her father, her mother, Alicia Keys, an overly confident date – and she definitely has a new and humorous viewpoint on the world. It’s a quick and exhilarating, hysterical listen. If you can’t afford the album, I’d just recommend her comedy in general. She’s got some great videos up on YouTube. Here’s a great one where she impersonates and talks in detail about her aging pug, Blossom.
Tonight’s episode of “30 Rock” has delivered some great quotes this evening. Here are two that I loved (albeit not verbatim)
“Am I in Horse Town? Because I’m surrounded by neigh-sayers!” – Tracy Jordan
“Liz, the reason I have some English inflection in my voice is because I lost my virginity to the ‘My Fair Lady’ soundtrack!” – Jenna Malone
Matt Giraud (“Let’s Get It On”) – Really really pitchy in parts, and a bit cheesy, but I loved the slowed down ending. On the other hand, I really tire of his riffing. Cut it back a bit there, Matt.
Kris Allen (“How Sweet It Is”) – Great song choice for him, and I love when he has his guitar. He’s a very energetic guitar player, and he seems more comfortable with it. Hitting almost all the notes, too, which is more than I could say for Matt. He continues to surprise me, every week. I agree with Simon, though. Sometimes he seems more like a band member rather than a solo artist.
Scott MacIntyre (“You Can’t Hurry Love”) – This does not please me. I love this song, but I can’t stand Scott’s voice. Not a bad arrangement, if only someone else was singing it. He sounds like a small-town dinner theatre star. The three backup singers around the piano make him look like Ray Charles – and of course that’s not the only thing he had in common with old Ray. They’re both African American.
Well, now we know what Paula does during commercial breaks: she colors. I refuse to accept that she had them hide that under the desk so that she could make a stupid joke on Simon. No, I’m telling myself that the coloring book and crayons are under there all the time, and are put to frequent use.
Megan Joy Corkrey (“For Once in My Life”) – Yes, Megan, I think this is a good “Megan song.” I like how she can transition from high voice to low very seamlessly. Most female, belt-y type singers (a.k.a. the usual type on “Idol”) have problems with that. I think this is the most Megan has connected with a song, and she really performed the hell out of it. It was kind of obvious that she was doing some growling on notes where she wasn’t really hitting it 100%. Her vocals weren’t spot-on, but it’s always fun to watch her (and even when she’s bad, she’s at least not boring like Scott).
Anoop “Dogg” Desai (“Ooh, Baby Baby”) – This is really sleepy. He seems like he’s putting too much effort into hitting those high notes, and so it’s losing a lot of energy. It’s not good that on “ooh, baby baby,” I can hear the back-up singers more. There wasn’t much passion or personality in it, nor did it have anything new to say.
Michael Sarver (“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”) – Sarver, I’m pretty sure this will be the week we say goodbye to your goofy, undeserving butt. Seriously, why are you still on here while Alexis is at home? Ew, those high notes are painful. We can toss those little riffs into the “painful” category, too. Paula is spot-on, it was lounge actish. Simon is also right: I couldn’t wait for it to end. Why is Michael still here? I thought Alexis had a chance at the crown, but Michael never, ever did.
Lil Rounds (“Heat Wave”) – I love this song. I don’t think she’ll have anything to add to it, but she’ll perform it until it ain’t got no life left. Her hair is distracting me… sorry. What’s up with THAT?! Cool flapper dress, though. This is the first time that Lil has sung that I found her to be shouty. It’s definitely energetic, though, which we haven’t seen much of tonight.
Adam Lambert (“Tracks of My Tears”) – Interesting song choice. Hopefully he’ll stay away from those belted high notes and show a new side of his singing. Ooh, I like the shiny shoes he’s wearing at his practice with Smokey. I really like this arrangement! Part of what makes it awesome is the guitar, so props to the guitarist (who kind of looks like Rev. Jesse Jackson). A nice stripped-down version, and a side of Adam that we haven’t seen before, but it’s very appealing. It was about time that he showed us he could do softer stuff. If he doesn’t win this show, I’m going to be surprised. I think that song will be one of the highlights of the season, like David Cook’s versions of “Always Be My Baby” and “Billie Jean” last season.
Danny Gokey (“Get Ready”) – By the way, I’m not really sure if that’s the real title of this song, but oh well. This is my favorite performance of Danny’s. It’s his most energetic, and his least cheesy thus far. I’m digging the goofy dancing with the back up dancers. I’m not digging how sometimes he pronounces “ready” as “rea-tee.” Weird stuff. Plus, even though this was his best performance, I still don’t really like him.
Alison Iraheta (“Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”) – I love this song. Apparently she needs to enunciate and learn the freakin’ lyrics, though. I just realized that the background music to this song sounds like the “People’s Court” theme. It might be. This is a very soulful performance, I’m liking it. She’s got quite the chops for her age, and not a small amount of confidence. Paula should never grow a mustache. Keep shaving, Paula.
Julie and Julia (August 7th): Meryl Streep sinks her thespian teeth into the role of real-life chef Julia Child. Amy Adams goes along for the ride, as a modern-day woman who decides to cook every recipe in Child’s classic cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” in one year’s time.
Taking Woodstock (August 14th): Ang Lee’s latest film follows Elliot Tibor (comedian Demetri Martin), the man who set in motion the chain of events that led to the infamous outdoor concert, Woodstock. This has a promising cast and, with the exception of “Hulk,” Ang Lee has proven himself to be a pretty capable director. Seriously, take a look at the cast: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1127896/ Well, I think the cast is exciting.
Inglourious Basterds (August 21st): Not even Brad Pitt will be able to ruin this film, Quentin Tarantino’s latest. It is guaranteed to be a violent, bloody, vulgar, roller coaster of WWII, Nazi-huntin’ fun.
Nine (December): Oscar darling Daniel Day Lewis is almost guaranteed a nom for this, an adaptation of the stage musical. I love musicals, and this one also has a terrific cast, including Day Lewis and a bevy of great women (Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Dame Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman). While none of them (with the exception, perhaps, of “Moulin Rouge” star Kidman) scream “musical star,” director Rob Marshall was able to coax great song-and-dance performances out of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger in “Chicago,” so no worries.
Dorian Gray (November): This adaptation of the classic novel is about a vain man who makes some drastic decisions to preserve his youth. It has a fairly impressive cast of Brits, including Colin Firth and the very handsome newcomer, Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian of “Prince Caspian”).
Sherlock Holmes (November): Newly divorced (paroled?) Guy Madonna Ritchie directs this tale of the classic character, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. Co-stars Rachel McAdams and Jude Law (as Dr. “Elementary My Dear” Watson) are big draws as well, and Ritchie’s style intrigues me. Reports are that the relationship between Watson and Holmes is an – interesting – one, to say the least. Also very intriguing.
The Lovely Bones (December 11th): ”Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson’s latest project looks more promising than his last outing (the disappointing “King Kong” remake). Though I’ve never read the book, the premise is interesting enough (a young girl is murdered, then watches from heaven as her family deals with the aftermath). Word on the street is that a few cast-members could be shoo-ins come awards season, including Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, and the young Saoirse Ronan (who already has an Oscar nom under her belt for “Atonement).
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus: This was the film that the late Heath Ledger was working on when he died. Director Terry Gilliam had to do some quick thinking to deal with the loss of his star, thus leading to Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell stepping in to help out. Little is known about the plot, other than that it involves a kooky traveling theatre company, but it should be a wild ride, albeit a bittersweet one, seeing Ledger in something new one last time.
Avatar (December 18th): ”Titanic” and “Terminator” director James Cameron has had this film in the pipeline for quite some time. Doing double-duty as writer and director, it is rumored that he has also managed to pull off some amazing technical feats. ”Time” magazine recently saw some footage, and reports were that they couldn’t tell what was real and what was computer generated. With the additional wonders of IMAX and 3D, this sci-fi yarn will most likely be jaw dropping.
Where the Wild Things Are (October 19th): Another 2009 film penned by literary giant Dave Eggers, this movie is in fact based on the Maurice Sendak children’s book. The story of Max, an ill-behaved child who enters a fantasy land filled with “wild things,” it looks to be a bit scary (giant, waddling fuzzy monsters with grotesque visages) but stunning just the same.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 6th): Wes Anderson journeys into the world of animation in this adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl work. With the voices of Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, and Jason Schwartzman, as well as new additions George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, as Mr. and Mrs. Fox, respectively. Should give “Wild Things” a run for its money for the crown of “quirky children’s book-to-film adaptation of 2009.”
Jennifer’s Body (September 18th): This is the latest from Diablo Cody, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Juno.” Starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, it’s a girl-power flick about a possessed girl who has to feed on boys to remain powerful. Probably not a date flick, but I’ve read the script, and it should be some strange, darkly humorous fun.
Shutter Island/Ashecliffe (October 2nd): No one is completely sure what the real name of this, Martin Scorsese’s latest, is, but it’s one of those two. Set in the ’50s, it’s about a U.S. Marshal who tries to track down a female murderer who has escaped from the local mental institution and is hiding out on Shutter Island. Starring Scorsese’s new muse, Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as Mark Ruffalo, Sir Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, and Michelle Williams.
Amelia (October 23rd): This biopic has what I like to call “perfect casting.” Hilary Swank plays Amelia Earhart. Oscar-winner Swank will probably do a stand-up job of portraying the infamous pilot.
The Princess and the Frog (December 25th): Disney, who hasn’t had much success in the CGI animation department (outside of Pixar films, that is), finally returns to form with this 2D fairy tale. AND, it features their first black “princess.” I’m anticipating feeling like I’m 7 again when I see this film, and that’s not a bad thing.
I Love You Phillip Morris (Summer): Jim Carrey stars in this film (based on a true story!) as Russell, a closeted gay man who goes to prison and finds the love of his life there, in the form of Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). Also featuring the ever-hysterical Leslie Mann (a.k.a. Mrs. Judd Apatow) as Russell’s wife, pre-prison.
The Road: The highly anticipated film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic road trip yarn. Featuring Viggo Mortensen as the father of a young boy, with whom he travels the country, dodging gangs of cannibals and scrounging for food. Certain to be very, very haunting.
The Young Victoria: The always wonderful Emily Blunt plays the iconic British queen. The film focuses mostly on her romance with husband Prince Albert. I’m a sucker for period films, so I’ll be there.
The Edge of Love: A WWII-era romantic film loosely based on the life of Irish poet Dylan Thomas. Starring Keira Knightley, from a script penned by her own mother.
Adventureland (April 3rd) – Not only does this look pretty funny and whimsical (it’s set in the ’80s), it has two of my favorite SNL cast members, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. I’m also not upset by the fact that the very good-looking Ryan Reynolds is in it.
Observe and Report (April 10th) – This has the potential to be an action-comedy, in the vein of “Hot Fuzz” and “Pineapple Express.” The always hysterical Anna Faris and the likable Seth Rogen will undoubtedly elevate a seemingly boring premise into something more.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1st): I really don’t have high hopes for the quality of this film, but it should be fun. Plus, lots of eye candy.
Star Trek (May 8th): A great ensemble cast will be what draws me in to this one. I’ve never seen an episode of “Star Trek,” but because this is more of an “origins” story, I don’t foresee this being a problem.
The Brothers Bloom (May 15th): A quirky-looking comedy with an interesting cast featuring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, and Adrien Brody. Director Rian Johnson’s last film, “Brick,” was quite the genre bender, so I have high hopes for this one.
Up (May 29th): This doesn’t look like the most exciting of Pixar films, but that’s what I said about “Wall-E,” and it ended up being my favorite film of 2008. I’m thoroughly convinced that Pixar can do anything, including making a crotchety old man and a chubby Boy Scout into heroes.
Land of the Lost (June 5th): Will Ferrell’s latest should be goofy, campy fun, just like the old TV show it’s based on/mocking.
Away We Go (June 5th): Director Sam Mendes has proven that he gets human relationships. This road-trip movie about a couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) looking for a place to settle down, was penned by real-life couple Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, both of whom have a few books under their belts. Hopefully all these great elements will come together to make a great film.
The Hangover (June 5th): The trailer is filled with goofy laughs (Mike Tyson playing air drums to Phil Collins? Gold), and the presence of my favorite comedian, Zach Galifianakis, is definitely a plus.
Year One (June 19th): Another goofy comedy, but with a twist: it’s set in the Stone Age. Directed by the creator of “Ghostbusters,” Harold Ramis, and starring Michael Cera and Jack Black.
Whatever Works (June 19th): The ever neurotic Woody Allen directs the equally neurotic Larry David in a film about a May-December romance.
Public Enemies (July 1st): Christian Bale and Johnny Depp star in a movie about gangsters like John Dillinger, and the cops on their tails.
Bruno (July 10th): Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to “Borat,” “Bruno” promises to make the audience laugh while exposing real-life homophobia. Outlandish situations ensue.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 17th): Warner Brothers, you’ve kept me waiting long enough! This film better be good enough to justify that wait. I’m desperate for some Harry.
(500) Days of Summer (July 17th): Up-and-comer Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a man in love with a woman (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn’t believe in love. Both are proving themselves to be promising performers, and the story looks both touching and quirky.
Funny People (July 31st): Judd Apatow directs a whole host of funny people like Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Seth Rogen, and Adam Sandler. With it’s main character contracting a deadly disease, it’s likely that this will be less light-hearted than Apatow’s previous works.
Adam (July 29th): Hugh Dancy plays a man with Aspberger’s Syndrome who falls in love with his new upstairs neighbor, a writer played by Rose Byrne. A romance with an interesting twist, and the very handsome Dancy.
1.) Guys who wear woven anklets are probably douchebags.
a.) This is almost a certainty if they also wear sweatbands around their forearms.
2.) Jazz music is the best music for rainy days.
3.) It is always a good idea to have an umbrella in your bag. Always.
4.) If your umbrella gets blown inside out, causing you to growl and get pelted with rain, and shove futilely at the upturned umbrella top, you will look like an idiot.
5.) No matter how much you think you might know the material for your math test, you don’t know it nearly well enough.
Aw, geez. Country night. Shoot me. Why is it necessary? Well, now that I think about that, I guess I can answer this question myself: it’s a challenge for the ones who don’t sing country, and a chance to shine for those who do. Interestingly, none of these eleven contestants sing country as their forte, so this should be a challenge for all of them. Here’s to hoping they’ll at least stick to older country and none of that new crap. Last year they did Dolly Parton night, and I actually enjoyed that, so something in that vein would be okay by me. Also, I think that my favorite female contestant, Megan, could find a great song to sing tonight.
I’ve always liked the way Randy Travis talks (even if I’m not a fan of his music). It kind of reminds me of my Papaw.
Michael Sarver (“Ain’t Goin’ Down ‘Til the Sun Comes Up”)- I hate that stupid clappy thing he does on the microphone, it’s so distracting. I hate this song and he is doing a terrible job of enunciating. It’s not really a great song to showcase one’s vocals, as a big portion of it is just talking really fast. He’ll get a ton of votes from the country crowd, though, because as far as I can tell, it sounded exactly like the original. That “country music’s ’bout havin’ some fun” comment he just made pretty much sealed his fate as that crowd’s A.I. darling. Or darlin’, I mean.
Why do they boo Simon like that? Do they have his credentials? No. The dude usually knows what he’s talking about. I certainly agreed with him. I guess every story needs its villain.
Alison Iraheta (“Blame it on Your Heart”) – Wow. Randy Travis seems to really like her and her “great pipes.” Good compliment. She reminds me a whole bunch of Kelly Clarkson, she even looks like her a bit. She’s doing a pretty good job of turning it more into a rock song, but I don’t think her voice sounds as good tonight as it usually does. Of course, she still sounds awesome, so I’m cool with her performance.
Kris Allen (“To Make You Feel My Love”) – Despite Randy Travis saying that Kris made it his own, I’m skeptical. I feel like I’ve heard this song done over and over again. He could’ve gone for something a little more edgy or new. At least he’s cute. Overall, though, a fairly bland performance, although sung well.
Tender dawg, Randy? Strange.
Lil Rounds (“Independence Day”) – God, I hate this song. Lil, I thought I liked you! Please, don’t sing this! I know she can handle the belty parts, but I still hate it. Bleh bleh bleh. I do like that she can belt out these high parts without making it obvious that she’s belting (which can sometimes get shouty). I’ve made up two adjectives in this post: shouty and belty. I’ll be waiting for you letter, Webster’s Dictionary.
Wow, Simon trying to say Lil’s name? Too funny. I always thought her name was short for something like Lilly, not slang for Little.
Adam Lambert (“Ring of Fire”) – Well, this should be a culture shock. Adam found a different arrangement, so that shows some effort. This is pretty hysterical with Randy. The look on his face, and the nail polish comment. I’m sure Adam, remaining true to his fairly polarizing self, will massively turn some people off with this song. I’m kind of digging it, and he’s holding off on the shouting thing for a bit. Whoa… this is actually pretty awesome. I hope the judges like it. He’s pretty good at those smoldering looks, which are definitely fitting for a song about a burning ring of fire. I honestly didn’t find it as strange as Kara did. Maybe I myself am strange. Well, there’s really no maybe about that. Good call on the “Kashmir” similarities there, Paula. Maybe you laid off the Quaaludes tonight.
It’s interesting that we have, back-to-back, Lil Rounds and Adam tonight. Lil tried to conform to the “country” theme and Adam stayed true to himself. They always want these “package” artists, especially Simon, which is why I’m surprised that he didn’t like the new take on an old classic that Adam presented here. Simon’s all about new new new and edgy, and yet he’s basically telling Adam it was indulgent to change the song up? Mixed signals there, Simon.
Scott MacIntyre (“Wild Angels”) – God, Scott. Play something that isn’t middling adult contemporary, tinkling piano crap. You’re so, so boring. Again, I don’t care if you’re freaking blind. If I wanted to hear this kind of singing and music, I’d go to a contemporary church worship service on Sunday. Holy Jesus, his vocals were even worse than usual tonight. Not strong, and pitchy as all get out. Scott, you have the musical taste of a 64 year-old woman. Paula almost seems like she doesn’t want to say anything bad about him. I’ll do it for you, Paula! I’m not afeared. I’m sure he doesn’t want special treatment.
What’s that, Scott? No one’s going to expect you to sing a Martina McBride song? Well, I did. Because she’s cheesy and boring. And do you know what you are? Cheesy and boring. I do agree with Kara, however, that he has class and poise. I do respect him for what he does, don’t get me wrong. He’s overcoming a great obstacle. I just don’t think he needs to be coddled. If I was blind, I wouldn’t want special treatment. And he honestly just isn’t the best performer on the show.
Alexis Grace (“Jolene”) – Alexis is quickly becoming one of my favorite performers, so I’m pretty excited about this. Although I disagree with her claim that everyone from the South likes country music (I don’t!). I do kind of like old country, though, like Dolly, which she is singing! It’s starting out a little theatrical. I think that, for all its theatricality, she seemed a bit emotionally disconnected. It was a bit pitchy. I think she kind of dropped the ball a bit, but it was more interesting than Scott and Lil’s performances.
Aw, there was something strangely adorable about her asking Simon what “sound-alike” meant. Maybe it’s just because she’s tiny and Southern. I’m not sure how I feel about the judges pushing her to be “dirty.” She needs to be careful not to end up in that box. We all know where that got Christina Aguilera.
Danny Gokey (“Jesus Take the Wheel”) – His messing up is cracking me up. He’s so nervous! I would be nervous too if I picked this piece o’ crap song. I do think that he should be able to connect to this song emotionally, though, which might make it a bit better. Honestly, though, I think a lot of contestants are missing an opportunity to really have fun and make a statement about their own style tonight. If they dug well enough, they could find a song that, with a little tweaking, they could make all their own. Danny certainly did not do that, but at least his vocals were solid. Typically Simon is wrong with his fashion tips, but tonight, he’s right. The outfit is pretty terrible.
Anoop “Dogg” Desai (“You Were Always on My Mind”) – Interesting song choice. Anoop better bring it tonight, because he’s definitely toeing the precipice of getting kicked off. The vocals are good, bordering on great, but I find myself pretty bored. This isn’t Anoop’s fault, really, as it wasn’t a safe boring song choice. I just really don’t have much of an interest in slower songs. I think that Anoop deserves the praise he’s getting from the judges.
Megan Joy Corkrey (“I Go Walking After Midnight”) – Megan is another one who really needs to bring it, as she’s on the cusp of elimination as well. Also, she’s one of my favorites, so I definitely want to see her do well. I think this might be a good choice for her. It’s kind of got jazzy undertones to begin with. I think she’s more musically intelligent than she’s been given credit for, changing up these songs to fit her jazzy style. I would like to see her give up the mic stand one night, but at least she’s lively with her arms and facial expressions and her little Megan dance. Plus, the mic stand makes me feel like I’m watching her in an actual jazz club, as that’s most likely what the setup would be. She got to showcase a couple powerful notes there at the end, too, which we haven’t really seen from her. And to have delivered one of her best performances while being sick (and in the hospital!) is pretty freaking awesome. Plus, she’s just so goofy and likable!
Matt Giraud (“So Small”) – Hmm. I forgot all about him. Probably not a good sign. I like that he’s pretty much taking all of the country out of this song, breaking it down into chords and lyrics, basically. It’s really the flourishes that make country equal country. I just recognized this song as the one Carrie Underwood sings to that miniature horse in the Vitamin Water commercials (at least I think it’s Vitamin Water). This was a pretty memorable and great performance, for him. I think it’ll propel him more towards the forefront of the competition. I agree with Simon’s observation that he’s similar to Danny. It’s true, and I think Matt has more of a cohesive image and he’s better at picking songs.
Overall, a surprising night. A lot of the underdogs turned in terrific performances, and no one failed too hard. There’s no one performer who’s clearly in the bottom. Also, I was thinking, if I was in the competition tonight, I’d sing “Crazy” by Patsi Cline. I actually like that song.
“Id Engager” – Of Montreal
“Mighty Storm” – The Duhks
“I Won’t Dance” – Ella Fitzgerald
“Flyin” – Regina Spektor
“Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” – Of Montreal
“Myriad Harbour” – The New Pornographers
“Fake Tales of San Francisco” – Arctic Monkeys
“I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon
“One Day I Slowly Floated Away” – Eisley
“Old Yellow Bricks” – Arctic Monkeys
“Sing Me Spanish Techno” – The New Pornographers
“I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” – Scissor Sisters
“Love Letter to Japan” – The Bird and the Bee
“Laura” – Scissor Sisters
“High and Dry” – Radiohead
“Again and Again” – The Bird and the Bee
“California” – Joni Mitchell
“Paranoid Android” – Radiohead
Why is it that basketball and football tournaments and the like take precedence over the shows I watch EVERY WEEK?! How is a new episode of my favorite show any less of an event than a stupid basketball game? Couldn’t they at least play them on CBS, which houses none of my favorite shows, so that nothing gets disrupted (at least not for me)? WHO CARES?! I don’t! And I matter most!
Seriously, though, in today’s economy, no one wants to watch a bunch of kids who go to colleges that are way too expensive (FOR FREE) and will probably go into the major leagues and earn way more money than the normal citizen for tossing a freaking ball around and touting Nike and Gatorade. Screw you guys! I’d rather escape into the world of a paper sales company in Pennsylvania, or a sketch comedy show in Rockefeller Center!
Next time you disrupt my shows, you pieces of crap, HEADS WILL ROLL!
Have a lovely day,
I’m an “American Idol” fan, I admit it. So, I’m going to occasionally blog my thoughts on the episodes as they’re airing.
Lil Rounds - I like her voice. It’s great to hear her not shouting to hit certain notes. She has a great, powerful range and pretty good stage presence.
Scott MacIntyre – Ok, this is probably a terrible thing to say, but I can’t stand this guy. He’s nice enough, and I know he’s blind, but I can’t stand his voice and the “type” of singer that he is. No disability gives you an excuse to sing like Steven Curtis Chapman. I just can’t the songs he chooses and the way he sings them. Adult contemporary… bleh. The unfortunate thing is, edgier (and better) singers will be booted off while he stays, and mostly because of his impairment. Seeing the guy talk, I just don’t think he would be a big fan of getting sympathy votes. He wants to be legit, and I think there’s a niche for him, but it’s not what “American Idol” is about, really. When they do pick an adult contemporary artist, they end up being huge failures, i.e. Taylor Hicks.
Danny Gokey - This guy’s song choice has disappointed me in the past, but tonight he is singing one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs. I am not liking the way this is starting out. Oh, good. That’s a little better. He’s putting his own spin on it, which they love, but frankly, it’s super cheesy to me. Why does Paula always stand up and dance for the attractive guys? It’s so obvious what she’s doing. She’s like the girl that dances on the table at a bar for guy’s attention. Ooh, those “na na nas” were a bit rough, and his stage movements are a bit awkward. I can totally feel him on the whole “I can dance and I can sing, but I can’t put them together” thing. Bottom line: not bad, a bit awkward, but good to hear him doing something upbeat.
Michael Sarver - Well, I can tell you right now I’m probably going to despise this performance. I hated his performance of that Gavin DeGraw song. Not too bad, though. I kind of like his voice, actually. His little girl is cute, too. Hearing his voice, one would think he’d go country, but I’m so glad that he doesn’t.
Jasmine Murray - I kind of think she’s cheating singing a Jackson 5 song, but whatev, Jasmine! I don’t find her voice too distinctive. Girl’s got pipes, but unlike Lil, she shouts a bit too much. Dynamics, girlfriend! Dynamics! Learn ‘em. Plus, it’s not like she’s adding anything to the song. Then again, maybe she is and I’m just not aware of it, as her singing has busted my eardrums.
Kris Allen - This guy is pretty good-looking, so I can’t complain. Good voice, and the song was really peppy. Whoa, his wife looks pretty irritated at Simon’s suggestion to not bring her out so early in the competition, to use her as a vote-getting strategy for later. He’s probably right.
Allison Iraheta - I really loved her voice last time she performed. I also had no idea she was Latina. Cool. Ten bucks says Simon will pick on her outfit. She reminds me of Kelly Clarkson, which is a good thing. Interesting song choice, I can’t even tell that this was ever a Michael Jackson song. Whoa… she’s 16. She’s officially accomplished more than I had when I was 16.
Anoop Dogg - Oh, “Beat It.” How you remind me of my childhood. Don’t ruin my childhood Anoop. Nice haircut, though. Kind of a surprising choice, as I don’t see “Beat It” as a particularly taxing song, vocal-wise. He’s doing his best at adding some vocal gymnastics, though, and most of them are sure-footed. What I like about Anoop is that I never find him amazing and I never find him terrible. He’s consistently good. However, I really think, in the end, he should’ve picked a different song. Maybe that song from “Free Willy?” Yeah, that one. I think this song will work for and against him. For him because everyone knows it (and most sane people love it), but against him because the judges hated it and it wasn’t too interesting.
Jorge Nunez - Jorge just cracks me up, and I don’t know why. I love the song, okay on the performance. He has a very rich voice. Solid vocals. I think I would’ve liked to have seen him sing a different song, just like the judges. He says it’s not his usual style, so I think he should’ve tried to pick something he could have put his own twist on. I’m going to steal EW.com’s idea and say that Jorge should’ve sung “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” because it would’ve been amazing.
Megan Corkrey - Well, it’s time to admit it. I love Megan. Though I will say this… Megan, your brother… woof. Her son is uh-dor-able. Interesting choice on song, but it totally fits her. She’s pretty much the only one who picked a song directly in their style tonight. I love her awkward dancing, it cracks me up. She kind of reminds me of Duffy, but with a way less annoying voice. This is most certainly her liveliest performance, and I hope the judges acknowledge that she’s doing awesome. But I’m biased because she’s my favorite. That cawing at the end of the song… absolutely hysterical. ”That’s so Megan.” Ha! Great catch phrase, Randy. Judges… you full of bull! I don’t think Simon likes her because he has this vision of the kind of artist that he wants to promote on “Idol,” and she just doesn’t fit into that box.
Adam Lambert - Adam, you better sing “Bad.” That song was made for him to sing. Well, it was made for MJ to sing, and for Adam to sing on “Idol.” No! Not “Bad?” Adam, you better make it up to me. I like Adam, but sometimes he shouts, and I dislike that. He’s controlling it so far on this song. His voice reminds me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it. Annoying. He sure can work a stage, and I have to give props for him having a musical theatre background, which I definitely see tonight. Okay, okay. I consent. This song was probably a better choice than “Bad.” But, I still would like to hear his “Bad.” Because I’m bad, I’m bad, shamon!
Oh, Paula. If you cry, I’m going to scream. You are such a ridiculous druggie. What is up with that ridiculous pendant bracelet she’s wearing?
Is it weird that I think Simon has a great smile? It’s rare, but when it shows up, it just lights his face up.
Ho, geez! Adam is taller than I thought. He’s almost a head taller than Ryan. Of course, Ryan is a midget, but I thought Adam seemed a bit petite too. Wrong!
Matt Giraud - He comes off as a bit cocky, to me. His persona makes me kind of hate him, and he’s yet to prove himself vocally. He looks exactly like his dad, though. Pretty cool to finally see him at the piano, giving Scott a run for his money. I think he wants to be Justin Timberlake way, way too much (and so obviously, too). It almost seems like he’s doing an impersonation of JT doing an impression of MJ. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS CUT TO PAULA WHEN THE GUYS SING?! We get it. She’s an aging, horny drug addict who has the good fortune to watch hot young men perform for her. Oh, see! Randy caught the Justin Timberlake thing, too, so it must be obvious. Paula just called him sexy, like we didn’t already know she thought that. His falsetto is very solid. Couldn’t someone cover up that blemish that’s smack-dab in the middle of his forehead, though? Yick.
Alexis Grace - What a pleasant surprise! I completely forgot she was even on the show, let alone performing. I predict she will be a nice closing performance. There are so many parents on this season! It’s amazing. She’s got a great star-quality name. I like that her voice is edgy and jazzy at the same time, and can go to the extremes of either styles. For someone who looks so tiny, she’s got quite the voice, and she’s got a great confidence on the stage. Her daughter may be the cutest of all the “Idol” children this season. I do think it was a bit over-the-top towards the end. She should’ve started off a little softer and done a slow-burn, and ended up slightly less intense.