I have to tell you right up front that I've been totally stoked for this show for months now. If you know nothing about me or my blogs, I'll simply tell you that I'm a music geek. At any given point you can hear Culture Club, Slayer, Tim McGraw and yes, Sheila E. and the Goo Goo Dolls on my iPod. My favorite artist is Prince and I think Nickelback is the anti-Christ. That should give you a good enough look into why this show is my cup of tea.
Rock Star to fall back on, this is the next best thing. I mean, it's tough for me to throw the metal horns high for
Next Great American Band, but hey, it's not always about rockin' the joint. Sometimes it's about throwing them into a bluegrass frenzy as well.
Before we even talk about the music, my first question is this: Why do they get a foreign host to find the next American band? Nothing against this
Dominic Bowden guy, but wouldn't an American host have been nice? Then again, the McGrathbot hosting
PCD didn't exactly make me tingle with excitement, so maybe we have Seacrest and nothing else here in the good old U.S. of A. But at least he could have pronounced John Rzeznik's name correctly. I really wonder how Johnny feels when he hears the host call him "REES Nick." You'd think they would have edited that until they got it right.
I am very happy that the start of this season was much better than the first season of
American Idol. Years of practice helps, of course, because as I go back and watch the rewind shows of
AI, I realize just how bad they were until they got
Dunklebutt out of there and figured out a good format. This was much better, although I think we are probably all questioning the logic behind having everyone in the 107-degree Las Vegas desert heat.
I still have to get used to the judges together. It's very difficult to not hear "dawg pound" over and over again or to actually see a coherent woman in the middle, but I'm sure they will all grow on me over time. And I do admit that I didn't laugh as I much as I do during the
AI audition shows, but fewer people are trying out, so they can't all be William Hung.
Let's take a look at some of the bands. There were just too many to talk about them all, but we'll break them into categories and discuss some.
Big Toe: I felt like it was dollar-draft night at the corner bar. These guys looked like the bands I make fun of all the time. Well, I try not to make fun of the armless, but these were mostly just old men playing old music and thinking they relate to teenagers.
Northmont: The singer clearly has that
Chris Daughtry thing going for him, but the judges were right on; his band sucked. Wimpy music played by a wimpy band. I did kind of feel bad for the band, though, and I wonder if any of these guys will remain friends after the singer seemed to turn on them after the judges went off.
Fifi LaRue: This was the saddest of all of them. First of all, his name is Fifi and his mama called him that, too, so it can't even be a stage name. Secondly, he was butt-ugly, and finally, his guitarist was wearing corpse paint and smiling. When I don my corpse paint to go to work, all thoughts of smiling go out the window. (Note: If you are planning on wearing some,
this is pretty close to what you
should look like). Oh, and here's a pet peeve of mine, too: Label yourself correctly. He was neither gothic or metal, yet claimed he was both.
Taken (but not really that good):
Light of Doom: I have to like that they are influenced by ninjas, boobs and explosions. Shouldn't we all be? But they looked gimmicky up on stage. The typical metal leg kick and the pathetic toss of the guitar should go. Yes, I realize they are 13, but I think they'd be much better if they just played music for now and worried about copying all their favorite bands later.
Rocket: These five ladies sounded just fine covering Blitzkrieg Bop. I won't argue that point. But the first thing they said was that their sound is not typical. Um, that was a straight-forward cover of a song that every punk band in the world has played at one point. What's not typical about that?
The Hatch: They performed "Use Me" by Bill Withers, which was a weird song for them to audition with since there wasn't much musically to showcase them as a band. I can't imagine anyone will vote for them.
Taken (and quite good):
Sixwire: Very impressive. But then again, they should be. They were signed to Warner Brothers in 2002, released an album and had two songs chart on the Billboard country chart. I dislike their inclusion here since they've had a major label deal, but they were still very good.
Cliff Wagner and the Old #7: You have to give it up for them bluegrassing "Like a Virgin" on the spot. Excellent performance, really. But are they really going to be able to perform anything else other than bluegrass? I don't see many people out there text-messaging for a bluegrass band. Just seems like the wrong show for them, but they are talented.
Franklin Bridge: These guys were the best by a long shot. I'm not just saying that because I'll be traveling over the Ben Franklin Bridge tomorrow, either. A nice mix of R&B and rock with a great vocalist. Again, though, I don't know how theme weeks won't hurt them. Although if any of these groups has a chance to pull off everything from Sinatra to Bon Jovi, it might be these guys. My favorite of them all.
I think my overall worry right now is that none of these groups is going to sell any records when this is over. Out of all of them, are any of them really modern enough to do so? Tres Bien sound a bit like Jet and the Strokes, but be honest, is that really in anymore? Dot Dot Dot have the look of a My Chemical Romance, so they have that going for them. And Franklin Bridge certainly sounds current. But why do I feel like The Likes of You will be the band to watch out for? They only showed 15 seconds of their performance for some reason, almost leading me to believe they were so good that they didn't want people thinking that no one else had a shot before it even began.
The Muggs might play good music, but image is everything these days and these old farts don't have a shot. The Clark Brothers sounded good, but they better be able to do something other than "This Little Light of Mine," because that's going to go nowhere.
I really want to see these bands inside on a stage, though. It's hard to pass true judgment until I see more from each, but of the 12 I can only see three or maybe four of these bands being worth a dime when this is finished, so it doesn't seem like we're starting out Season 1 with the strongest crew.
Feel free to comment and let me know what you thought overall and what you think of some of the bands.
(In a crazy stroke of weirdness, just as I was finishing this blog, "Forever Your Girl" comes up on my iPod. Guess Mama is lookin' out for her sibling.)
Until next week, friends.
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over in our
Online Video Guide.
I have to tell you right up front that Ive been totally stoked for this show for months now. If you know nothing about me or my blogs, Ill simply tell you that Im a music geek. At any given point you can hear Culture Club, Slayer, Tim McGraw and yes, Sheila E. and the Goo Goo Dolls on my iPod. My favorite artist is Prince and I think Nickelback is the anti-Christ. That should give you a good enough look into why this show is my cup of tea. So without Rock Star to fall back on, this is the next best thing. I mean, its tough for me to throw the metal horns high for Next Great American Band, but hey, its not always about rockin the joint. Sometimes its about throwing them into a bluegrass frenzy as well. Before we even talk about the music, my first question is this: Why do they get a foreign host to find the next American band? Nothing against this Dominic Bowden guy, but wouldnt an American host have been nice? Then again, the McGrathbo...