Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Great American Next Band - Dec 7

Here is what happened. They moved the show back one hour. That threw me off. I had my entire weekend planned based on the show airing at 7:00 o’clock Central time. The time change set off a chain reaction of events from which I have just now composed myself. Hopefully, the gold lamé skin graft is not permanent.

Now that I’ve explained my inpromptitude for this blog posting, we can move on. Note to self, write a book consisting of lame excuses. Note to self, don’t steal Norm McDonald’s “note to self” bit.

This week, the potential great next bands decided, with the encouragement of the producers, to perform Queen songs. I reined in my potential agogness knowing the bands would not choose any of my favorite Queen songs, like Tie Your Mother Down, Liar, Sweet Lady and, let me not forget, Radio Ga Ga (How the hell did Queen degrade from Tie Your Mother Down to Radio Ga Ga? The damn 80’s ruined everything.). I was not disappointed, because, of course, I had already reined in my agogness. Let that be a lesson to you folks out there. The secret to happiness is a function of your agogness reining ability. Do not ever get too excited about the unknown. Fear the unknown and hide under the bed. God didn’t put you on this one and only planet that everything else revolves around to get noticed.

Speaking of not getting noticed, let’s get back to the show. The bands who made it out of the green room also played an original song. We’ve been given a wonderful gift. In ninety years, we’ll all be able to sit on the back porch with our grand children and tell them the story of the first time we ever heard the timeless mega-hits, A Matter of Time and Go On.

Dominic Bowden, manus extraordinaire, first set free The Clahk Brothers, who come from the land of trucks and dogs. Being in fast paced Los Angeles for so long, they’ve been feeling like a pickle in a fence post wrangling contest, according to their video expose’ snippet. Lucky for them, hardly any of the music business happens in LA, so once they win the show, they can get back to their sedentary lifestyle.

The Clahk Brothers took Dicko’s advice and hired a rhythm section. I cry foul. Or maybe fowl. Quack! It’s no fair bringing in other band members at this late stage. It changes the whole dynamic of who the band is. “Yeah, Dicko, we did what you said and brought in some extra help. I’d like to introduce to you Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Oh, my throat is a little sore, so I’ll just be lip syncing to Freddie Mercury vocals, if you don’t mind. The rest of the guys will just sit on the side of the stage and pray.” In my book, The Clahk Brothers are disqualified, especially since the two new guys aren’t even their brothers. But, Moist, what about the Doobie Brothers, they weren’t brothers either? Good point, I stand corrected.

They covered Queen’s These Are The Days Of Our Lives. What ever happened to Patch? I don’t like this song. It reminds me of the dying days of the AIDS ridden, skull headed Freddy Mercury. Now I’m sad. I didn’t choose to watch this show in order to be cast down to the sewers of depression. I go to work all week for that. I have no idea how well they performed the song because I couldn’t hear it over the sounds of my wailing. Goo thought they were amazing and liked the band member additions. E. said they were fantastic, and Dicko christened Ashley the Reluctant Rock Star. I thought David Lee Roth already earned that title.

The Clahk Brothers’ original was called Homestead. The beginning of the song reminded me of Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive, which is neither good nor bad, it just is. One of the lyrics derailed me, causing me to not be able to pay attention to the rest of the song. “Eating fried chicken with the girls in the yard.” Why don’t you invite the girls to come in and eat fried chicken with you? Why did you leave them in the yard? You are not the polite boys we thought you were.

They officially declared tonight that they did not want to win the competition. They can’t handle LA. They had to bring in extra help (which should have included a guy on the washboard and another one on the wash tub bass). And their original song laments missing the country life. All signs point to go back home. Goo thought they were great. E. loved the passion and conviction. Dicko took a crap rain on their parade.

Next, Dominic released the Light of Doom hoons just in the nick of time before Adam from Dot Dot Dot shared with them what happened to him when HE reached puberty. We learned from their video piece that Dillon’s mom looks like she’s lived some of her own hard driving rock and roll years. Way to pay it forward Mrs. Dillon’s mom. The walloping whippersnappers chose to perform We Will Rock You. This was a strategic career move so when they get eliminated from this show, they will have a demo tape to submit with their high school pep band application. They began the song, typically, with tribal drums, emulating the Bantu tribes of west Cameroon who perform this song while waiting in line for a bag of rice meal at the Peace Corps aid station. Soon they seamlessly (if you consider tripping over guitar cords, banging into the drum set and bonking their heads on microphones “seamless”) transitioned to an amped-up, generic version of the song, where the vocals tasted like rice meal and the guitar solo wreaked of rice meal powder with lumps in it. But, they are only thirteen and are better than most of the rest of us, so what can I say? I’ll tell you what I can do – not buy their album, that’s what. Now I sound like a beleaguered old man whose own rock and roll dreams were never realized. Well, I’m not. They WERE realized, only not by me. FERGIE IS LIVING MY ROCK AND ROLL DREAM AND I CAN’T BEAR IT!!!!!! Whew! That felt good. What a relief. Goo, E. and Dicko spanked Light of Doom for being uninspired, dumb and uncool. Light of Doom was ok with that as long as there were still juice boxes and cookies back stage. Goo agreed and told them to save some for him.

Light of Doom then played their original, A Matter of Time. It sounded like a YouTube cover of Iron Maiden’s Two Minutes to Midnight where the lyrics were “It’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, Don’t you know it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, etc.” (note: the "etc." is actually one of the lyrics) Goo spanked them again because the song had no hook (reiteration is not a hook) and told them to go to their room and think about not being their influences. E. told them that Bon Scot said it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. Dicko had reined in his agogness before they played so he would not be disappointed, and thusly was not.

Sixwire, like The Clahk Brothers, does not want to win this competition, either. Their behind the band video told us they miss their kids, they have families and mortgages and are ready to go home. We can all sympathize with them because most of us are in a similar situation. Coincidentally, most of us aren’t on the road in a band. That comparison is as parallel as the six wires on a guitar, if you ask me.

Queen songs pose many challenges for other bands to cover, mostly because of Freddy Mercury’s vocal landscape. I don’t know what a vocal landscape is, but I’m sure Freddy’s is a difficult one to mow. In the face of such a formidable undertaking, Sixwire rolled up their sleeves, tucked in their boots, set a fresh chaw in their mouth, loaded their shotguns and cowered by choosing Queen’s most renowned country song – Fat Bottomed Girls. Way to test your limits S'wire. The only thing I discovered from their version of this song is that their lead singer should grow the Chester Arthur mutton chop, mustache combo on his face. That’s the kind of hook Goo would like to see. The judges loved them, even without the Chester Arthur influence.

Their original song was named Go On. If you like insipid televangical hopeful songs of gloriousness, this is the song for you. I expected to see Tammy Faye Bakker crying on a couch behind the fiddle player during the song. Since she has found her salvation, and is no longer with us, they had to settle for Kirk Cameron. I wanted the song to go on. Go on and never come back! HA! Good one, Moist. Goo thought the song was a hit, as good as anything he listens to on the radio, which is why I never drive anywhere with him. E. and Dicko both liked the song. I’m not going to drive anywhere with them either.

Which of the remaining two bands would live to “rock?” another day – Denver and the High Orchestra or Dot Dot Dot? We were all hoping Dominic had locked the green room door so neither band could escape. This show is all about disappointment. Denver and his mates snuck out through the ceiling tiles. Dot Dot Dot was no more.

Before I move on to Denver and the Omelettes, I’d like to say one positive thing about Dot Dot Dot. Hooray, now Catfight can re-band! But they probably won't.

Like the other bands, besides Light of Doom, who don’t know any better, Denver and the High Orchestra do not feel they fit in well in LA. They miss back home, it’s been heartbreaking and then they said something about church, so I turned the channel to TBN to see if Kirk Cameron was having a cage match with satan. He wasn’t, so I switched back to hear Denver announce themselves as DMHO. Ninety-third rule of rock and roll, if you are going to refer to your band as an acronym, then name your band the acronym and forget about the long version of the name. Isn’t that right, Alternating Current/Direct Current? DMHO sounds just as dorky as Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. Besides, you left out the “a” and the “t” for “and” and “the”. It should have been DATMHO. Datmho actually sounds pretty cool for a band name. Stick with that.

They Queened us with Sleeping On The Sidewalk. I’ve never heard this song before. They chose it to fool the listeners into thinking they had successfully Datmhoed the song into their own style without offending the original. Well, it worked, because nobody else knows how the song should sound, either. Goo offered some forgetful comments to them. E. suggested Denver take ball room dancing lessons with his trumpet. Dicko liked the song choice but told Denver to hook up with Carrot Top for some fashion advice.

Finally, Datmho finished us off with Big White House, another song I’ve never heard before. They enhanced the song by choreographing the horn section into a circle jerk on stage. The saxophone solo sounded like a goose with a tracheotomy performed with a pen by a construction worker in the street. Otherwise, the song wasn’t bad. Goo wanted to put grease on their song and pretend it was his bass player Robby Takac. E. thought it was powerful and energetic with no hook, kind of like the large pointy metal rod attached to a car battery she used to use to keep Joe Piscopo away from her drums back in the eighties (a decade that ruined everything, by the way). Dicko believed the song would make a good album track, but not a hit. Good point, toots.

The truth is I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys in a club one night, in the background while I’m waiting for hot chicks to hit on me. The ladies love when I tap my foot almost in time with the beat. But, Brian Setzer is currently holding the one musical position reserved for big band music in the pop world. Unless he switches genres to Hungarian Folk Death Samba, there is just no room for Datmho, which pretty much prevents them from becoming a Great American Next Band.

That and the fact that they are not a great American band, like the rest of the bands on the show.


keysunset said...

Totally agree with your last comment, Mr. Moist. It pains me no end that one of these bands will get the label "Next Great American Band" or "Great American Next Band" or whatever. EVS.

“Eating fried chicken with the girls in the yard.” While I understand (I think) the intention of the lyric here, it (and the rest of the song) left me as cold as the chicken they are probably eating. Unless they're cooking it in the yard too ... hmmm ...

re: Light of Doom - a demo tape to submit with their high school pep band application. Mr. even commented during the show "that sounded like some high school project." Which, given their ages, I guess was actually a compliment.

Thanks for the blog, darlin'. Good luck with the skin graft.

del said...

it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time, it’s a matter of time Yes it was... until you blogged on this show again.

I don't know why you are all so hard on these wonderful bands. One of them is the Next Great American Band. Dominic Bowden has told us so. Get with the program. Luckily, as a Canadian, I have no obligation to ever listen to any of them ever again.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.... Light of Doom was REALLY bad... even for kids. Bet the teeny boppers vote them on.

I agree the Clark bros shouldn't have been allowed to add musicians to their band. Maybe Light of Doom can add a singer?????

Sixwire just doesn't leave me with memories...

I grew up with the Beatles and the Stones. NEVER liked big bands... but I do like Denver and his group.

They can play, maybe not my style but, they can play.

keysunset said...

the Clark bros shouldn't have been allowed I agree. But I also think it interesting that it was DICKO's suggestion, not the band's idea itself, to add members "even at this late stage" he said, to beef up the band.

And the keysunset house has figured out why they are eating chicken in the yard ... that' how far the girls' chains stretch ... (a little Black Snake Moan reference there ...