Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Queen Idols and Other Fun Stuff

--The Review Now... The Results Show Is Coming Tonight--

The latest American Idol is coming up, but first a few thoughts since I haven't posted yet this week...

---So Logan Young, the guy held responsible for the Alabama probation that set the program back about seven years, was found dead in his home, with a suspicion of homicide. Looking forward to reading Scott's Rammer Jammer blog response to this one. Sad story, really.

---Very tiring weekend... the wedding shower for our friends Nick & DeLisa came off without a hitch. Something like, 20 people crammed in our apartment. Still, it was fun.

---Later that night, we randomly noticed there were about four firetrucks, a couple of ambulence and a few of those big Hoover Police SUVs parked in our parking lot, lights flashing. Seems there was a fire in our building (not just in our complex, mind you, OUR BUILDING) in one of the lower apartments. We asked a fireman if there was an issue, he said it was fine, and not to worry. So, I'm leaving for work today, and who do I run into in the parking lot? Two Hoover police detectives. They were investigating the fire... they just wanted to ask me some questions, kind of a "did you see anything?" and "have you noticed anything?" They told me "it was a small fire... we caught it quickly, but it could have been really serious for you here." Greeeeeaat. Not good times. Bad times indeed.

---Saw another preview for "Flight 93", the movie about the plane that was hijacked on 9/11, but was overtaken by the passengers and driven into the field in Pennsylvania. Do you ever see movies that you may or may not want to see, but feel like you NEED to see it? I plan on going alone, perhaps on a weekday afternoon and watch it. I'll tell you about it when I see it.

---As I type this, NBC's Conan is on in the backgroud... during commercial, I just heard 12 words that make me quiver... "Coming soon, Molly Ringwald and Kelsey Grammar as the angel of death." What???

Alright, enough chatter. You came here to read the review of American Idol, didn't ya? Let's get going.

Tonight, they are doing the music of Queen. I know he's dead, but that was a long time ago... so is it okay for me to say now that Freddie Mercury was one of the ugliest people ever? I mean, like, ever? He joins a select list of really, really ugly guys that includes Kurt Rambis, Steve Buscemi, Sandra Bernhardt and possibly Adam Morrison.

While on dinner break tonight, I walked up to Sneaky Pete's Cafe to eat (cheese hot dog, fries and Coke for $4.88), and they had on American Idol... so I was able to see three performances--Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Daughtry and Pickles. So I've had the evening to dwell on what I have seen. Pickles did Bohemian Rhapsody. More on this soon.

Bucky... Bucky... is up first. He says "I can just picture these guys coming into a bar..." What kind of bar are you frequenting, there, Buckyback? Anyway he's singing Fat Bott... Wait a minute, WHAT? WHAT?? Bucky Covington is singing "Fat Bottom Girls"? I... I mean, I... Uh... I don't even have a joke here.

So Bucky does his thing now, Randy and Paula like it lots, while Simon classifies it as "mediocre". I'll be honest with you... the song itself is one of the silliest songs in rock history. But Bucky made it sound pretty good... for the first time, I actually almost liked Bucky. Now I'll go cover myself in honey and streak through a bee farm.

Here come's Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair. He's doing "We Will Rock You". So, I'm watching the little video before it, with Ace talking with the members of Queen, and in one part, Ace does a little beat and says "Can we do it like this". The bassist looks at him and frowns "I'm not doing that. Not to my song."

Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair comes out, he's singing it as best he can. I mean, its pretty crappy. It's like he was waving his hand saying "Hey, Daughtry rocks, but hey, I can rock too! I can! See, watch me." If Lance Bass attempted to throw down on "Enter Sandman", I don't know that it would suck this bad. They pan the camera around the audience, and when passing the judges, Simon is sitting there, with his head down, in his hands. Please, let's get rid of this yutz. Randy says "Pitchy, just aight". Paula didn't like it, but was positive anyway. Simon says "complete and utter mess." Then he simply said "I hated it."

Sidebar: The first cassettes I ever bought were Starship's "Knee Deep In the Hoopla" (which does contain the worst song ever, according to Blender magazine) and The Jets self titled album (which is so obscure now, there isn't even album art for it). The first one I ever actually OWNED, however, was Queen's 1977 album "News of the World". My cousin left it to me when he came to visit in like, 1985. It contained "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", which unbeknownst to some of you, but beknownst to older folk like myself and Paula Mackey, are two songs that should ALWAYS be played back to back. Even on the album itself, there is only a second between the last guitar note on "We Will Rock You" and the words "I've paid my dues..."

If I'm ever President, one of the bills I'm pushing through Congress immediately is "You must always play these songs together on the radio." It will be a companion to the bill that states "You must always play the ENTIRE version of American Pie, not the short radio friendly version".

Oh, Pickles. As I said before, she's going to sing "Bohemian Rhapsody", a song that I think it nearly impossible to fit into a 90 second window because of all the changes and tempos. She's dressed like Lita Ford (a heavy metal chick from the 80s) but still somehow looking cute and creepy at the same time.

Now, faithful readers (all six of you), if you've read my previous Idol entries, you know that Pickles is in my top four, along with Daughtry, Taylor and My Girl McPhee, but you also know that I've been critical of her too. So, when I say this, I hope you think its genuine... she rocked it. She actually sang this song and made it an enjoyable performance. Randy said it was entertaining, Paula liked it (of course) and Simon said what I agree with: "On paper, you singing this song should have been hideous... but it worked." And then, it led to this exchange:
Pickles: All this terminology... you have an accent, I can't understand you
Simon: Likewise
Pickles: I don't have an accent.

Oh Pickles.

Here comes Daughtry, singing "Innuendo", an obscure Queen song that the band says they've never performed live. As usual, Chris was good... but the song wasn't all that great. Probably my least favorite performance of his. Randy loved it, Paula said something incoherant, and Simon makes a good point... while the performance was good, it would have been awesome to see Chris pick a big Queen song to rock out on, not something obscure ("the reason they've never performed the song live is because its not a very good song" says he). I agree--can you imagine Daughtry on "We Will Rock You", instead of Ace?

As usual, my favorite moment of the show. My Girl McPhee takes the stage. She says she was going to sing "Don't Stop Me Now", a face paced song, but changed it to "Who Wants to Live Forever", a ballad, because for once she wants to just stand and sing. "Let the voice stand on its own", she says. The danger in this is, this is the type of performance that unless she absolutely NAILS it big, the judges--at least Simon--will say "I'm bored."

Fortunately for My Girl McPhee, she NAILS it big. Randy liked it lots, while Paula says "I love it when artists make a choice to change their minds". Shut up, Paula. And Simon liked it alot, mentioning that the lighting and tech guys made her look amazing onstage with thier spotlights (he was right--she looked just dee-lish)

If Elliott was Chinese, would he be Elliott Yaoming? Just asking. Anyway, because of the key changes all through the song, Queen admits that "Somebody to Love " is the hardest song in their library to sing--and its the one that Elliott Yahmean is doing. I said last week that I was in line to purchase my Elliott Bandwagon tickets. Well, after tonight, I've bought my ticket. I'm not on it, mind you, but I'm in the queue to climb aboard and take a seat. I still say this, thoug--he won't win. A top three is not out of the question--heck, look at Jasmine Trias.

He said that he used to do overnights at a radio station as a disc jockey... exactly what I used to do before voice tracking took over.

Anyway, Randy liked him, Paula loved him (of course) and Simon gave him props for picking--and pulling off--the hardest song in the Queen collection.

Now its Taylor's turn. My Girl McPhee aside, when I found last last week they were doing Queen, I was most eager to hear Taylor. My thought immediately was "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (then I thought "oh crap, I hope Ace doesn't butcher it"). Well, to begin with, he was singing "We Are the Champions", which I found a little disappointing... but then, he changed it to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". In the middle of his song, he kicks the mic stand, and it wobbles and doesn't fall over... he has to kick it again. Hilarious.

My man Taylor is all over the stage, dancing and shaking, and the great thing is, he's not doing Queen's version, he's doing his own version. Best song of the night. Randy loved it, Paula loved it (of course) and Simon says "Are you drunk? I thought it was ridiculous." I disagree. To put it simply, MSNBC said "Taylor is safe. Crazy, but safe."

And finally, Annoying Paris. She's singing "The Show Must Go On", a loud stadium anthem type song if there ever was one. Either her hair grew seven inches from last week to this, or she's wearing quite a wig. She comes out in black leather, clothes perhaps a little too snug to hide the baby fat she's still harboring, and she's belting out this song like crazy--doing a great job, but as I watched this, I was like "What the...?" That was just odd. And then Simon, after Randy and Paula gave her mad props, says "It was little weird". Yep, thats what I thinking.

Bottom three? Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair, Bucky and...this might be Daughtry's or Taylor's first trip to the bottom three. We'll see. Update tomorrow.

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