Perhaps I’ve been too tough on the gang at NGAB. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, so I’m not too big to say I was wrong. I was invited to a murder mystery dinner party on Friday night and wasn’t going to review the show, but since I recorded it I decided I would watch on Saturday morning. It’s not like I’m Jewish and they’d miss me at temple. But I digress.
For the party I was assigned the role of Chief Wiki Wiki, the Polynesian tribesman and suspect in the murder of Detective Chase, while the Mrs. played the role of fellow suspect and swimsuit model Nadia Seymour. We did get a few double takes from our neighbors while leaving our building on a brisk fall evening in beach wear and war paint, but most of our neighbors are senile and probably thought it was still Halloween so we picked up two Snickers, a Blow Pop and some M&M’s on the way to the car. Wait, wrong blog. Back to the show.
This week on NGAB featured the same format: one original and a cover, this week from the catalog of Elton John and the other guy that writes his lyrics. How did Elton transform from Captain Fantastic to the Queen of England so quickly? I’ve always wanted to do a top ten list of artists that have gone from so good to so bad, but I’m too lazy and Rolling Stone hasn’t given me an advance on the article so it remains undone. Elton and Aerosmith would probably make the cut – feel free to add your own nominations in the comments for your chance to win the praise of your colleagues.
I wasn’t planning to post any reviews but once I started watching I decided I had something to say whether anyone wanted to hear it or not. Probably because Six Wire kicked off the show. Oh, here’s the deal – twelve bands enter the green room and only ten get called to leave. The remaining two bands get locked in the room until the deli platter runs out and they starve to death.
Six Wire’s originals always seem to feature some rapid fire lyrical hook that makes them sound like they were formed after listening to John Michael Montgomery singing “could ya would ya ain’t ya gonna if I asked you would ya wanna be my baby tonight, yeah I’d take a chance, slow dance. make a little romance, honey it’ll be alright. Girl you got me wishin’ we were huggin’ and a kissin’ and a holdin’ each other tight, so could ya would ya ain’t ya gonna if I asked you, would ya wanna be my baby tonight” and decided to try and base a whole genre around it. Sure, they’re polished, but so is a polished turd.
Tres Bien got the call next and did their 60’s thing. Just like a new girlfriend with a quirky habit (like screwing other guys), it’s cute at first but then becomes increasingly annoying until you decide you just want to be friends and then stop talking all together and don’t really mind that she never returned your Tres Bien CD since you really don’t listen to them anymore.
Franklin Bridge was brought out next and I agreed with Judge John – this show sucks because it doesn’t give the good bands enough time to rock out. But I also agreed Judge Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton that there’s too much shit going on in some of their arrangements. And when a drummer like Sheila/Sheena E. tells you that there’s too much drumming going on then you had better believe there’s too much damn drumming going on. But I’ll give them a pass.
The Clark Brothers were rescued from the remaining freaks in the green room and performed an original called Country Time. It’s good to know that if they get kicked off the show that they can get an endorsement deal should Kraft Foods choose to reinvent the Country Time Lemonade brand. If I were Kraft’s ad agency, I’d be all over this. The boys could probably make more money doing ad jingles than trying to sell records. I like them, but this country has turned into one giant billboard.
Lords of Doom were pulled from the green room so the rest of the bands could finally enjoy a beer. Kids are annoying even if they’re rockers and these little shits deserve a swift uppercut to the gut of their miniature heavy metal t-shirts from the Nigel Tufnel collection in JC Penney’s young lads department.
Dot Dot Dot tried to tone it down a bit this week, but I still think they are best suited to be the band in the background at the 25th reunion for the cast of all those John Hughes' movies from the 80’s.
Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 got the call next and I’m digging these guys more and more because they seem to just want to have some beverages and play some music and if you happen to like it then, hey, it’s all good with them. Versus a band like Six Wire who is seemingly managing every single detail of their music organization to achieve the goal of a world tour with Faith Hill and an appearance on the CMT Kind of Country Music Awards Show. I’m officially throwing my support behind Cliff this week, and I’m sure he is thrilled.
The Muggs were saved next and did another hard rocking original that cemented their position as a band that I would most want to see open for another band. I like these guys and mean that in the best possible way. Then they performed I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues which I was very sorry to say might be one of the worst covers I have ever heard. I would rather listen to the Brady Bunch cover of American Pie than to hear this again. Worse yet, the judges tried to give the band some feedback on how to improve the vocals and the singer gave them the thumbs down and implying they’d rather continue playing dingy taverns for unemployed auto workers in the worst local economy in the United States. But that’s cool if you don’t want to tune down a key like the judges suggested.
Rocket was lured from the green room next and continued to not impress me. And I’m a guy. I don’t agree with the whole “girls need to rock harder to prove themselves” bit. If anything, because I’m a stupid guy, I set the bar a little lower for females since I generally enjoy watching chicks rock out more than loser musician guys that get more chicks than I do because accountants supposedly aren’t as cool as rock stars. I’d like to see them look as sexy as I do while using Excel to figure out the return on equity, baby. But I digress. Besides not being half as good as many other all girl bands I’ve seen, Rocket’s vocalist is horrid. The judges, rather than saying she’s horrid, tried to give her specific constructive criticism that might postpone their impending demise, but like her counterpart in The Muggs, she told the judges they were stupid heads and don’t know anything. Later, babe – have fun waiting tables.
Denver and the Invesco Field Orchestra was the last band saved and did their big band thing again sounding very big banded. Not sure how long they’ll last but the exposure should keep them booked solid for quite a long time after they leave the show.
That means the two bands going home were The Hatch and The Likes of You. America had spoken and I guess I didn’t give America enough credit because they did a damn good job getting these douche rockets out of town so I can enjoy the show a little more.
Of course, the lead douche from The Hatch commented that he didn’t think America had spoken, but 300 people in Nebraska. Wow. I’m not sure if he meant to insult the people of Nebraska, the network, the other bands, the judges, the viewers or the fans or whatever, but what a dickhead. I guess I’ll let you get back to your “indie-rock business model to drive forward your radio-ready rock songs dressed in RnB style.” Word.
I never liked The Likes of You, but they were gracious in losing and left inspired to hit the road and keep working. Cool. Rock on, bald guy. I take back that douche rocket thing I said.
By the way, Week 2 videos are up here - Week 3 isn't up at press time, but will probably be posted soon enough if you're interested in playing along at home.