Two hour premiere? I don’t have time for this shit. Who signed us up for this? It’s like that time I got talked into that beach volleyball league. Getting spiked in the face by girls and carrying an asscrack full of sand is no way to go through life. But I digress.
So the show. Any age, any style, no rules, coast to coast, families torn apart, dying friends, struggle, triumph and shattered dreams. You know the drill. But if you win, you get to hang out with the bald dude from American Idol and get to date Tony Romo. Or date the bald dude and hang out with Tony. I really don’t care.
Fox stole the intro for Monday Night Football and somehow made it even more lame than it already was. At least we didn’t have to put up with Faith Hill or Hank Williams, Jr. As soon as that wrapped up, Dominic Bowden introduced himself but I wasn’t paying attention because I thought it was an Outback Steakhouse commercial. Why does an Australian accent sound so hot on a woman and so annoying on a guy? Is there a difference between a New Zealand accent and an Australian accent? Or is it subtle enough that someone in the Northern Hemisphere needn’t worry?
So the show. Sixty bands. We can only hope MiGnition is included.
For some reason the American Idol producers are some greedy bastards who don’t wish to share the wealth so they force these jokers to do the show in the middle of the freakin’ desert which makes it look more like Saudi Arabian Idol than The Next Great American Band. Maybe if the main stage bands suck we can go to one of the side stages for an exhibition by The Next Great American Beach Volleyball Team. I don’t mind watching as long as I’m out of the danger zone.
So the judges. First is Dicko. I have a little trouble understanding Dominic’s accent, so all I picked up about Dicko is that he gave birth to Ozzy Osbourne and has a side business selling Pear Jam. Must be an Aussie thing, but I’d be willing to try it. I tried some sautéed goat this summer at an African restaurant, so pear jam is nothing. I also had some salami and green olive pizza at lunch today. I bet sautéed goat would be a decent pizza topping. Italian-African fusion… cuisine of the future. But I digress. As Moist Rub predicted, Dicko is the Simon for this show. Except a lame substitution. Kind of like when Shemp replaced Curly in the Three Stooges.
Sheila E. also signed on as the sensitive, nurturing judge and brings street cred from her experience working with Prince and Ringo Starr. Yes, Ringo. Remember in Pulp Fiction when Samuel L. Jackson keeps calling the guy robbing the diner Ringo? That was badass.
Rounding out the judging panel is John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls, who apparently there to evaluate the commercial viability of each band’s name. MiGnition is so going to win this thing.
Let’s get started.
The Sizzling Happy Family Band from Cunningham Tennessee attempted to show they are the Next Great American Band by poorly doing a cover song that is nearly 40 years old. I almost immediately regretted turning on this show. However, they updated it by adding a Van Halen riff played with the assistance of a rubber chicken. Thankfully, the guitar player was so hopelessly whipped by his wife that he agreed to give up his crappy band if he didn’t win, so that she could make him have a kid to appease her maternal instinct. Is that any way to treat the greatest guitar hero in Cunningham, Tennessee? I was a little worried after seeing how much the judges seemed to love the rubber chicken, but they eventually sent them packing to my extreme satisfaction.
Tres Bien was all about the 60’s and I thought that they might had gotten lost on the way to the Ed Sullivan show. I was about to relegate them to the classic car show circuit, but it was kind of annoying, yet catchy, in the same way as the Time Life infomercials featuring those oldie compilations. They won the judges over and moved on to the next round.
After the first of many commercial breaks, we were treated to a brief Lake Las Vegas infomercial. If you take your vacations at a golf resort, chances are I don’t like you as a person.
Next, the Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad covering Kids in America while dressed in a crude cardboard horsehead. Other members were dressed as the Frito Bandito, Mad Max, Friar Tuck, and Nacho Libre. Neither the judges nor I were amused, and if I were Elvis I probably would have shot my television at this point.
Light of Doom featured some 13 year olds with old school Hanson haircuts playing some Iron Maiden type stuff that sound like 13 year olds playing Iron Maiden type stuff. Look here, Junior, if I want to hear Iron Maiden then I’ll play some actual Iron Maiden instead of your attempts at it. I appreciate your shunning of the Top 40 and hip-hop crap that the rest of your classmates are listening to, but that doesn’t make you cool. Dicko agreed with me and wanted to send them back to math class, but Sheila E. loved them and talked John into agreeing with her by threatening by to jam her drumsticks up his Goo Goo hole.
The Hatch got in because the panel thought the singer had rugged good looks, which I know is what I look for in a Great American Band.
Before moving on, they let us know it was 110 degrees in the desert. Really? Who would have thought that?
Then they knocked out the next six bands in a single clip featuring one liners that sounded like they were written for Dicko by the same people that bring you the witty banter on award shows.
Big Toe took the stage next, but not before we learned that their bass player was born without any arms. However, instead of focusing on something that he could naturally excel at, like river dancing, he decided he would instead form a mediocre rock band and play bass with his feet. The panel agreed it was inspirational, yet mediocre, and left to start paper routes.
At this point, John’s really bad tats and Sheila E’s solar panel earrings were becoming more distracting than that booger hanging from your co-worker’s nose.
CJA was so bad it wasn’t even amusing. I was getting pissed at the show for wasting my time and really wished I was Elvis and owned an expendable television.
The Clark Brothers rocked pretty good, especially for a Jesus song. And I’m not talking Jesus Jones or Jesus Lizard. They move on and will be around for a while.
Now on to Day Two. I might have to pick this up a bit.
The Zombie Bazooka Patrol looked to be a novelty act with their white face paint and claim that they were, in fact, actual zombies; however, the original tune was actually pretty decent and possibly best described as the Violent Femmes on moonshine. I thought the judges voted them into round two, but they must have been later disqualified for being undead or something.
Dot Dot Dot claimed to be from Chicago, but I’ve never heard of them so they’re probably lying. I dig 80’s music but only from 80’s bands, not current bands playing 80’s music after the fact. Dicko liked them but thought they might be grating after a while. He was wrong – they’re grating about four bars into the song. Despite that, they move on to the next round.
Northmont got all serious on our ass, talking about the promises they made to their children to be all that they can be or something goofy that I can’t possibly understand because I don’t have any kids of my own and am missing out on the greatest love of all and the chance to change dirty diapers. The band seemed to have as much charisma as their hometown of Dayton. I’ve never been to Dayton so if you guys secretly rock out there, then my apologies. Their performance also left much to be desired and I would suggest they spend a little more time practicing instead of doing bicep curls unless they’re planning on playing the gun show circuit for the rest of their lives. For some reason, the judges thought that they could improve overnight and gave them a chance to come back the next day. That’s horseshit. This show blows.
The Muggs showed up next and staked their claim as the ugliest band in the competition. They also filled the inspirational spot for Day Two with the story of their bass player that had a stroke in 2001 and was half paralyzed. But instead of relearning to play with his foot and one arm, he just bought a Casio keyboard with the bass guitar setting and was back in business. They sounded like a cross between the Jimi Hedrix Experience and the Black Crowes. Sheila E had an orgasm, and John admitted he slept through the last three bands until The Muggs woke him up. They move on to the next round.
There was a brief clip of some crappy bands that were neither good nor bad enough to make the broadcast. I thanked the producers for sparing me, until the next band arrived.
Fifi LaRue lives with his mom and spends his time and money recording gothic heavy metal in his home studio and then performing it while dressed like KISS. Actually it looks more as if you tried dressing Ron Jeremy up as Gene Simmons and tried to pass him off as the real thing at a KISS convention. He and his band got sent home to Mommy.
Day Three… are you kidding me? Now I understand why Paula is smashed all the time.
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra kick off the morning with their big band sounds, showing what band geeks can accomplish by working together. Besides selling candy bars to pay for band camp. They would totally win if this was The Next Great American New Year’s Eve Band or Wedding Band. But somehow the judges put them through to the next round even though they thought the lead singer was ugly. But if you’ve seen what they did to that Elliot guy from American Idol, I guess anything is possible.
Zolar X from Plutonia was brought in just so Dicko could use his “you sound like Uranus” joke. Of course, we’re only reviewing this show because there’s a guy named Dicko on it.
Six Wire came from Nashville to represent today’s Nashville and not your grandpappy’s Nashville. They gave us some “good to be back home” generic country lyric crap which would be great fodder for a crappy generic country music video showing the small town girl living in a lonely world going off to the big city and getting bumped into on the streets and breaking a heel in a sewer grate and crying and then taking the Greyhound bus back to her rural roots where she has gained a new appreciation for her previous life and feels “good to be back home.” Apparently these boys already had a record contract and failed miserably the first time and didn’t take very good notes on what doesn’t work. The judges agreed they were tight but nothing special, and should go home and think about what they’ve done and not come out of their room until they’re ready to apologize.
Cliff Wagner and the Old No. 7 was next and did some bluegrass stuff that was rather boring, but technically proficient. Kind of like watching someone solve a Rubik’s Cube. Old Cliff looks like the Reverend Horton Heat raised on gravy and moonshine. I liked them, but I think they belong in Dollywood or another theme park rather than on this show. They disagreed, saying that Appalacia will vote for them… as long as the rabbit ears on the cinder block entertainment center can pick up Fox.
The Likes Of You had me stuffing bananas in my ears to stop the pain (and keep the alligators away), but they also have a singer with a shaved head which apparently means their music is a surefire hit and John moves them into the next round.
Red Halo is what Motley Crue might have turned out to be if they had replaced Vince Neil with Rod Stewart and become a Soul Asylum cover band. At least as far as I could tell from the 10 second clip they showed. They didn’t make the cut.
Lexicon appears to be a white boy Run-DMC tribute act and also got the ax.
Blackbird had some really nice fros and hoped to sneak in on the Wolfmother bandwagon. It didn’t work.
Franklin Bridge comes to us from the club scene in Philly, and they reminded me of some of the R&B lite bands that play those upscale clubs where divorced 40 and 50-something men and women go to hook up. I was about to write them off, but then they showed some potential to rock out near the end of their abbreviated song. I’ll have to defer judgment before saying anything else. Besides, people from Philly scare me.
440 Alliance decided it would be really cool to have four people collaborate to do a heavy metal cello solo. It was anything but really cool, and they’ll go back to Texas to think of something a little better.
I’m not sure how good the music by Lords of the Highway was because I was distracted and disturbingly aroused by the girl humping the stand up bass during the performance. But they were sent home to Cleveland to figure out another way to make it into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
The Van Dells did some nice doo-wop stuff and are available for your high school reunion since they will not be moving on to the next round.
If Heaven Bound, a gospel quartet from Buffalo, is actually heaven bound, God may have to change the name of his kingdom to Hell II.
Rocket, a girl band from LA, made it clear that they were not a typical girl band and are doing something that hasn’t been done. To prove their point they did a Ramone’s cover and sounded exactly like a typical girl band. They weren’t bad and move on to the next round, but might want to ease up on the cookie dough and spend a little more time practicing.
Mescal was the token Latin band that was brought in so that Sheila E. could jump on stage with them for a gratuitous drum solo and remind everyone why she is/was famous. After the solo, she hopped off the stage and told them they sucked and can go home.
Northmont was brought back for their second chance where they would prove they have what it takes and keep their dream alive. It would have made a great story, but I thought it was way better when the judges had to tell them that they sucked so bad that they need to go home and find careers that don’t involve music. They might even want to avoid places of employment that play music.
There was some wrap up stuff, I guess. Class was over for me and I was packing up my book bag even if the professor was still talking.