Archive for January 9th, 2007

Just breathtaking.

The following was posted at MJ’s Big Blog, and is reprinted with permissio of the original poster, thedingoateyobaby. The story centers around the introduction of Taylor Hicks’ music to someone new…

…I went to check in on my neighbors. Many of you have heard the story I told about the elderly man and his elderly wife. Both are ill. One physically one mentally. The man, beginnings of Alzheimer’s, sometimes sharp as a tack and other times barely in this realm. He can play the harmonica like nobody’s business as I found out around Thanksgiving when he did the most fucking moving rendition of Danny Boy, standing beside his wife’s bedside, winded from playing but never missing a note. Incredible.

Anyways I go there today and I am wearing my iPod around my neck. I was in the middle of Taylor’s ANS (ed. note–that’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”) and I had been thinking about Taylor and Chris. How much I really dont like the quality of Chris’s voice and how he doesnt move me at all and how Taylor, with the rough edges and the growls just does it to me every damn time he does what it is he was born to do. I began to think that its quite possible that Chris has a better voice than Taylor. I use the word better for lack of a better word but when he sings, he doesnt make me FEEL anything and I want to FEEL. The older I get, the more I want to FEEL. The pleading and the angst and the rawness of emotion in a song like ANS for example, well I could sit down and weep. Chris makes me weep but in a different way and Im betting that those who love Chris are younger than I am, a lot younger. Not all of them of course but most of them I bet are and maybe its that quality in Taylor mixed with my age and experience with sorrow and loss that pierces my heart.

OK, back to the story. So I walk in the front door and he is there to greet me with that sweet smile of his and I go make sure his wife is safe and sound and if she needs anything and blah blah blah. He sees my iPod around my neck. “Whats that?” he asks. I tell him its a “music box” filled with about 200 of my favorite songs. He looks at me quizically, 200 songs? In that little thing? I say yep, I tell him there is this one musician I am crazy for, his name is Taylor Hicks. He cant hear for shit so I have to go around to his good ear and YELL the name again. He says, “let me see that if its ok with you”, I say SURE!. He rolls it around in his hands and I ask him if he wants to hear the guy Im crazy about and that he too, plays a wicked harmonica. He says SURE! and he is eager to test out this new fangled gizmo I have. I set it to ANS and I put it into his good ear. I walk away to check on his wife and just let him listen, not expecting much just wanting him to experience Taylor and the iPod.

I walk back into the living room and his eyes are closed and he has a smile on his face. I figure he’s sleeping cause he tends to drift off easily. I sit on the couch next to his chair, trying not to wake him. After several minutes he takes the headphones off. I say, so? Whadya think? He says, (I hope this does not offend anyone but remember, the man is in his mid eighties and doesnt have a mean bone in his body) he says, boy, God sure did bless those old time Black musicians. I laugh. I say he sure did but he’s not Black. What made ya think he was? Well he says, he plays the harmonica, in my day only me and Black folk played them and he sounds like he’s been around for a while and his voice, I mean….. you kids call it something, as he searches the archives of his ragged and torn brain to find the word. I say to him, soul? Is that what you mean? he says, yes, that’ll do. He has soul when he sings. Like he is very old and has been hurt many times over. He laughs and says to me, he almost sounds like a wounded animal. I laugh cause I know exactly what he is saying.

Once again, Im floored. He had been in a blues band many many years ago when he was in his 20’s, he was a photographer at The Nuremburg trials, he has still black and white photos of some of the worlds biggest monsters, on trial. He is a man who is highly intelligent and musical and spiritual. I mull what he just said over in my mind, I go to ask him another question and he is sound asleep, in the chair.

I have no idea what any of this means but I know one thing. A man who can play harmonica like this man can, a man that can bring me to tears with Danny Boy via that damn harp, knows a little about life and talent and good music.

You can read the original post here.

Folks, no matter how fun it can be to analyze sales, media appearances, Idol’s personalities and song choices, this is the important stuff. If anyone has any similar stories, with regards to ANY Idol, please feel free to send them in and share them.

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Ahh, this must explain Fergie.

I’ve got some traveling to do today, so I leave you with a brief article bemoaning the rise of crappy music in today’s society. The writer is not a Nickelback fan, so presumably, if Daughtry winds up at the top of next year’s list, he won’t be impressed.

There are some surprises on the list of top-selling artists for 2006, though. Not all hope is lost. Here’s the list, and my own judgment of whether the music is good or crappy:

1. Rascal Flatts (Crappy. Country music dumbed down for mass consumption).
2. Johnny Cash (Good. Cash was a genius. He also, interestingly enough, didn’t believe that country music was going “too pop.” But I still don’t think he would have liked Rascal Flatts.)
3. Nickelback (Crappy…despite the fact that I do practice harmony to the chorus of “Photograph.” What? It’s perfect for practicing your thirds!)
4. Carrie Underwood (Undecided. I haven’t heard enough of her stuff.)
5. The Beatles (Objectively good, although I was never much of a fan.)
6. Tim McGraw (Hmm….)
7. Andrea Bocelli (Right now, crappy. I really liked him when he first came out, but then he went the David Foster route and it all went to hell.)
8. Mary J. Blige (Alternately good and crappy. And she gave us the word “hateration,” which is cool.)
9. Keith Urban (Actually never heard Mr. Kidman’s stuff.)
10. Justin Timberlake (CRA-PPY. Crappy crappy crappy. Overrated as hell. And obnoxius. And punchable. Which means he’ll probably go home with at least four Grammys.)

Also, High School Musical was the top-selling album, followed by Me and My Gang by Rascal Flatts (seriously, that sounds like a Sesame Street episode), Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts, Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons, Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds (one day he’ll fade into obscurity…I just know it), James Blunt’s Back to Bedlam (Reeeeally? I thought his single did well but his album tanked. Or maybe that was Daniel Powter), Beyonce’s B-Day (good luck going up against that, Kat), the Hannah Montana soundtrack, The Dixie Chick’s Taking the Long Way (yeah, I know they got death threats and all, and Bush hasn’t been on my list of favorite people for a while now, and Adrian Pasdar’s pretty hot, but will they shut up now?), and finally, Hinder’s Extreme Behavior. I had never heard of Hinder before reviewers started calling DAUGHTRY a Nickelback/Hinder rip-off, so I doubt I’m missing much.

Thoughts? Chris is well on his way to making next year’s list; does that say more about his individual talent, or (given this years’ list) the popularity of his genre of music? And what of McPhee? Will she replace Beyonce next year, or is she more of a Cassie, with a hot single, a video in heavy rotation, but only 270K in sales under her belt? Will we ever see Taylor on this list? Do we care? Does it matter?


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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "
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