This is a week that I have a tough time relating to. Born in '76, I never really got the full impact of '60s music and never heard enough that excited me to make me want to go back and visit it. I know this sounds strange coming from a guy that found enough stuff exciting to own 4,000+ pieces of audio from the '80s, which is arguably the worst decade for music. (At least I know
El DeBarge and
Taco would be on my side of the debate). So a song like "Some Other Guy" is almost like listening to an original for me. Fortunately though,
Leiber and Stoller wrote a lot of great tunes that were covered by a mess of bands, so I'm sure I can say I've heard most.
Side note: Many of the artists I will type as the performer of the songs really aren't the original performers and I know that. But the artists I type are the versions that I remember as the hits. In a lot of cases, the original Leiber and Stoller song was performed by a soul group to little fanfare and then turned into a massive hit a few years later by a pop group (and those are the ones we know).
So... I'm not completely shocked
Franklin Bridge went home. I mentioned last week how I thought they would be in trouble, but I expected their style to push them through a little bit longer. I'd really like to see the demographic watching this show. I've searched for the lowdown, but I guess when your ratings are so low, it's hard to really break down who's watching. But I'd like to see if it's 30-year-old women from Nashville or 17 year-old-kids from NYC. That, to me, would give great insight as to who's going to win this show. I do wonder, too, how much of a stretch Dominic Bowden was making when he talked about millions of votes. Millions over the course of the entire season? That I can see. But if he's talking millions just last week, then I have to think he's lying. Or Light of Doom's parents are really pounding those phone lines. If anyone has seen some kind of official demographic of viewership for this, please post it.
Personally, I was hoping I would never have to hear
Light of Doom again, but instead I get them opening the show. I don't blame them for picking something very generic like Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock." It's tough for me at 31 to relate to many of these songs, so what must it feel like to be 12 and have to choose one of these? Now, if they don't know Rolling Stones songs next week, then we have a problem. But even with song choices far out of their realm, I thought these guys were good. The guitar solo actually kind of rocked and they did pick an easy enough song that the entire world can sing along to. Safe choice but that will pay off this week. You know, I haven't said anything up until this point, but I can't let it go any longer: Can some stylist please get rid of Lucas' unibrow? Sheila E. said something about the singer being a role model and not cursing. When did he curse? In the video or the song? Either way, I was paying attention and still missed it. Help me on this one.
Clark Brothers first started with "Saved," I wasn't that excited with watching what seemed like unstructured, chaotic playing, but about halfway through I couldn't help but love what I saw. This was the first time I've really seen a lot of energy from the singer and that did it for me. I'm trying to picture this performance in my head right now and I just can't see anything but the vocals. He carried this one tonight and that's perfectly fine. That's what a lead is supposed to do.
Is it me or did John sound like a total idiot on this one when he asked them, "why do you hate drummers?" I mean, I've said before that I think I would like them more with a drummer, but John's statement sounds like he's saying, "why does your drummer always sit backstage playing Guitar Hero instead of performing." Buddy, listen. They can't just bring a drummer out when there's
no drummer in the band. Logically, the comment made no sense. And then he had to backtrack so he didn't offend Sheila E., then said she was the only singing drummer. Somewhere Phil Collins is returning his Goo Goo Dolls greatest-hits disc for that insult. Phew.
For the first time I'm not surprised
Dot Dot Dot is performing again. I still think there are at least three bands in this competition more talented than them, but I'm starting to get the feeling that they will be one of the last two standing. They are one of the reasons I'd like to see the audience that's watching. If they are in the 17-24 range, then Dot Dot Dot is really the only band right up their alley. I definitely am changing my tune about these guys a bit. The Searchers' "Love Potion #9" was a good choice of songs. Lighthearted and kind of silly, like these guys. Dicko was right that they have had two really good weeks in a row. I am, however, getting sick and tired of how John and Sheila feel the need to point out how the women are "real artists." Of course they're real artists. Why does it always have to be a male/female thing? I never hear Sheila telling the third horn player in Denver that he's a real artist.
The video that was shot for
Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 was pretty funny. Apparently it's Cliffy and those other guys (but in a friendly sort of way). I didn't quite get the judges again tonight on a lot of things they said - especially with these guys. I thought their cover of The Coasters' "Poison Ivy" was remarkable. I loved that they stayed within their genre but still took a bit of the bluegrass out of this one. The tones were incredible and Dicko must be blind/deaf if he thought that was a lazy performance. I'm making it official tonight: Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 are my favorite band on this show!
I also love
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, but in this case I actually wholeheartedly agree with the judges. Everyone in the band has so much energy, except for Denver. It's actually been like this for the entire show. The horns rock the joint and Denver just sort of stands there and sings. The frontman for this type of band needs to really move around, get animated, or really needs to pick up a horn and play with his band when he's not singing. I, too, am a white boy who loves funk music and the horn section really takes me back to the early '80s funk that I love. I know after they played funk in Week 2, I said they needed to pick a genre and stay there - but not if they play like this. Apart from Denver, the rest of the band and their performance was awesome. This past week, I went to iTunes and listened to snippets of every song from their two albums and frankly, both of those albums sound very flat to me. This is a live band, not studio musicians, and I really think they would make a great living performing cover songs in swanky Vegas hotels.
Right after these two great performances, we get a stinker in
Sixwire. Michael McDonald is certainly one of my 10 favorite vocalists of all time, and "I Keep Forgettin'" is a favorite of mine. Maybe that's why I hated the bad harmonies and the poor guitar tone so much. Michael just has so much soul in his voice and Sixwire is not a soulful group. They could have gone back to the original from the '60s and tried that if they really wanted to do this song, but both the Chuck Jackson and Checkmates Ltd. versions are way different than Michael's.
Finally, we have
Tres Bien performing "Some Other Guy." Help me out with who did the popular version of this one as I'd like to hear it, and according to my research, it could be any number of bands. Doesn't matter what I know, though, as this is about Tres Bien. The Leiber and Stoller sound plays right into their look and their style so they should have blown this right out of the water. Well, they didn't. There was nothing wrong per se, but nothing that stands out either. Kind of a ho-hum performance in my eyes.
One final note before I go. I still like the format of this show, but the end is getting a little weird now. It's pretty awkward to announce the last band to come up to the stage and then just watch the other dejected band. But the worst part is that it takes a lot of steam out of the sails of the band that did make it. It's like "oh, Franklin Bridge was great but right now here's that other band that took your spot." That's not really right to do to Tres Bien.
Once again, I'm going to cast my vote for the band I thought was the best of the night, so for the second time now it's Cliff Wagner for me. If it were my choice, I'd send Sixwire home. I haven't quite predicted one correctly yet, but mark my words this time! Next week Denver goes home.
As usual, let me know what you thought about the bands and check out clips in our
Online Video Guide.
Until next week, friends....
This is a week that I have a tough time relating to. Born in 76, I never really got the full impact of '60s music and never heard enough that excited me to make me want to go back and visit it. I know this sounds strange coming from a guy that found enough stuff exciting to own 4,000+ pieces of audio from the '80s, which is arguably the worst decade for music. (At least I know El DeBarge and Taco would be on my side of the debate). So a song like "Some Other Guy" is almost like listening to an original for me. Fortunately though, Leiber and Stoller wrote a lot of great tunes that were covered by a mess of bands, so Im sure I can say Ive heard most. Side note: Many of the artists I will type as the performer of the songs really arent the original performers and I know that. But the artists I type are the versions that I remember as the hits. In a lot of cases, the original Leiber and Stoller song was performed by a soul group to little fanfare and then turned ...