Hey now rockers! It's Elton John and Bernie "Poppin" (whoops, I mean Taupin) week on
The Search For the Next Great American Band. Elton is a bit more my speed than Dylan so this week excited me more than last. Whether you like Elton John's songs or not, you have to admit that the guy can write a heck of a pop tune. Obviously Bernie's no slouch either. The combo works so great together.
As usual, before we get into the bands, let's talk atmosphere a minute.
I love this elimination format. I wasn't quite sure how they were going to pull it off, but having all the bands sit back stage and one by one get plucked out to perform, worked really well. Well, except for the very end where the two eliminations seemed a bit awkward, but at least the bands that went home didn't have to perform again like the contestants do on
I also wanted to bring up John Rzeznik for a bit. For some reason tonight he seemed to take his angry pills before showing up and I have to say, if this is what he's going to be like week after week, he's going to grow old very quick. He's taking way, way too much offense to the boos in the audience and I hope going forward he's not going to stop for every one and yell at the crowd. Nothing like tearing down the people that were dragged in off the street to cheer for music they couldn't care less about.
Moving on to the music, I have to say I'm a bit shocked by the first vote. I really dug The Likes of You last week and didn't expect them to be anywhere near the bottom. The Hatch were less than memorable anyway, so that's no big loss. However, I take offense to their bitter comment at the end. Their assessment that America didn't really vote them off is probably pretty accurate, but to say that only 300 people in Nebraska voted is really quite insulting. I mean, c'mon guys. I voted! So that's at least 301 people and I've never stepped foot in Nebraska. Note to The Hatch: [Flipping The Bird]. No, I'm just kidding. I actually thought the awkward silence from everyone was quite priceless when The Hatch essentially said, "Hey, we just got voted off a show with worse ratings than whatever's on the CW."
For the bands that did make it through, we'll talk about them in order of performance. I have to say, that I disagreed with the judges a lot this week and of course that means jds1162 will once again tell me I know nothing about music, but that's okay. I've shed all the tears from that comment that I'm going to shed (sob, sob) and have donned the music geek cap proudly once again.
Sixwire - These guys were good once again. Their original, "Gotta Get Away" was decent and I thought they made a perfect choice of cover with "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." However, I think this week is a perfect example of why they didn't succeed in the past. What radio format will play that original? I know there's a lot of country music these days that is more pop, but almost all of them still have an underlying feel of country music. I think the new Carrie Underwood CD is quite good and very much a pop record, but her songs all have a sense of being rooted in country music. Sixwire's song this week didn't have that. It sounded strictly like a pop song to me. So then of course you have to ask what pop station would play that? The answer to that is obvious - none. I think they would have a decent shot at airplay on the AAA/Adult charts, but that's about it with this particular song. I can picture a Lonestar-ish type album but even that's pushing it a bit. I'm not saying these guys aren't good, but I just think I see why they might be hard to market.
Tres Bien! - The song, the lighting, man ‐ I just kept waiting for Austin Powers to pop in. Groovy baby, yeah! I really liked their original, especially the tone of the guitar. I wasn't that keen on Elton's "Love Lies Bleeding" I'm never going to hear that again anyway.
Franklin Bridge - Last week of course I couldn't say enough good things about these guys but they absolutely brought themselves back to the pack this week. The beginning of the original, "Love's Fool" was really missing something. It got better as it went along, but by the time it kicked in, I was a little bored. "Philadelphia Freedom" was a completely obvious choice for their cover but I actually agreed with Dicko on this one. It sounded like you were right on that airwave border where one station playing Godsmack and another playing Common bleed together. The keyboard sounds were very cheesy. This week I did get that gospel feel because those keys were tuned to "organ" but I also got the Prince vibe again. Prince is my favorite artist ever but even so, I will fully admit that some of the keys he plays can sound very dated at times (check his album
Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic for good proof of that). The funky bassline reminded me of the purple one, but the keys also reminded me that while I might look past the cheesiness when it comes to Prince but I can't do it for these guys. Not very good this week.
The Clark Brothers - I don't know what to say about these guys. I like excitement and these guys just don't scream out funtime at the Clark House. I'm totally digging the slide guitar but the cover of "Country Comfort" was just average. Johnny seemed to think this was a challenging song, but to my ears this is one of the more basic songs in the EJ catalog.
Light of Doom - Okay, so I've officially taken the Light of Doom bandwagon, flipped it over, pushed it off a cliff and watched it burst into flames upon impact with the ground. I am not a fan at all. I disagreed with all three judges on this one. John and Sheila thought they were excellent and Dicko thought they just seem like a gimmick. I think Dicko really needs to move past that one and the other two must not have been paying attention. I am a true metal head at heart (horns high!) and again, I know they are kids, but they bring nothing new to the genre. Everything they play is completely retread 80's riffs and the singer just can't sing. And c'mon - the only reason no one mentioned that they said "Bernie Poppin" was because they were 12. Don't disrespect the theme of the show. While I don't like the originals either, I think it's the covers that will do them in. Elton doesn't translate to metal and next week, Billy Joel certainly doesn't either.
Dot Dot Dot - Frankly, I'm shocked they made it through to this round. Clearly the judges were as well. "Your Song" was a good choice for them and it was certainly the best thing they have performed so far. The original, "Stay" was better than last week, but it was still a pretty poorly written song. Just a weak, weak hook in this one. An upgrade from last week, but still teetering the line of awful.
Cliff Wagner & The Old #7 - Again, shocked they made it though it's certainly not for lack of talent. I love how they tried to relate to the crowd by dedicating "Little White Chapel" to Britney Spears. Their cover of Elton's "Honky Cat" was the single finest moment of the week. A brilliant arrangement and the only song tonight that I was groovin' to. Excellent. Side note: Weird comments from the judges on this one. John says it reminded him of a time when he was almost beaten to death in a bar with Honky Cat on in the background. Then Sheila E. says she was going to say the same thing as John. Who the heck would try to kill Sheila E. at a bar and why didn't Prince stop them?
The Muggs - Cliff Wagner gave me my favorite moment of the week, then five minutes later, The Muggs presented me with the most awful, mind-numbing performance of the entire season so far. God, "That's Why They Call It The Blues" was brutal! Just plain, downright, ginormously terrible. Everything about it, from the poor arrangement to ridiculously poor vocals made me want to hit mute. Dicko was 100% on the mark when he told them to become a 4-piece and get a singer. I love the singer - as a guitar player. I'm sorry, but I don't care if they are all friends. Someone needs to make the call to be an instrumental group for a while.
Rocket - The Likes of You still hasn't been called and yet Rocket gets to go back out on stage. You want to know why? Thighs you could eat dinner off of. The jiggle of Lauren's thighs are making 18-year old boys reach for the tissues. Oh, I know I'll take the wrath for that statement as I'm just playing into the whole reason ladies have to be better than guys but they can't be there because of their music. Lauren claims "I'm not trying to be the best singer." That just sounds stupid to me. Why bother then? In my mind that translates to "I know I'm bad but who cares, I'm marketable!" The fact they have a poor singer and no rhythm is completely hidden in back of a sheer dress and leather boots. Go ahead and call me a pig, but know for an absolute fact that if I thought these girls were even remotely good, I would give them their props.
Denver & The Mile High Orchestra - It must have been nice at this point just to have enough couch room for all of them to sit down. Although hearing their name means The Likes of You goes home, I'm happy these guys made it through. The horn section with these guys is awesome. They are so tight and honestly, what they really should be doing is performing in a swanky hotel bar covering Elton John songs. "I'm Still Standing" was awesome. But their original "All Night" was absolutely not awesome. One week they are Big Band, the next week they are KC & The Sunshine Band. The original lyrics were anything but original and while the song itself wasn't the worst thing in the world, just the fact they pulled out an original disco tune was a shock to the system.
So that means this week my vote goes to - Cliff Wagner! And yes, I do really vote.
I was wrong on both accounts last week in my prediction of who was going home but I'm going to keep trying. Once again, I think Dot Dot Dot packs their bags. I'd like to say Rocket for the second band but again, a spoonful of Lauren makes the medicine go down, medicine go down, medicine go down. So it has to be The Muggs.
Let me know what you thought of the bands.
Until next week, friends.
Check out clips from American Band
Online Video Guide.
Hey now rockers! It's Elton John and Bernie "Poppin" (whoops, I mean Taupin) week on The Search For the Next Great American Band. Elton is a bit more my speed than Dylan so this week excited me more than last. Whether you like Elton John's songs or not, you have to admit that the guy can write a heck of a pop tune. Obviously Bernie's no slouch either. The combo works so great together. As usual, before we get into the bands, let's talk atmosphere a minute. I love this elimination format. I wasn't quite sure how they were going to pull it off, but having all the bands sit back stage and one by one get plucked out to perform, worked really well. Well, except for the very end where the two eliminations seemed a bit awkward, but at least the bands that went home didn't have to perform again like the contestants do on Idol. I also wanted to bring up John Rzeznik for a bit. For some reason tonight he seemed to take his angry pills before showing up and I have to say, if this is what he's ...