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Cynicism - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I think I've officially become more cyncial than votefortheworst, with all their posturing. They report in credulously amused tones that Simon Cowell will QUIT if Sanjaya wins, so vote, vote, vote!!!

And I'm like, yeah. 'Cause a show with tons of resources at its disposal and a known propensity for re-editing for dramatic effect would totally be above, I don't know, rigging the votes, if the star was actually thinking of leaving. Or above having said star throw a public snit just to keep "controversy" going. I mean, I enjoy AI, but I don't have any illusions about it having a deeply buried honest streak that would put even vote-rigging out of the bounds of its behavior.

And of course, both VFTW and TWoP are all over Gina (and Constantine before her) for being "fake" rockers, who deliberately play on the image, and my response is, well, duh. They're performers. They're performing. Of course it's an image, of course they're doing it deliberately, and of course it's not reflective of some deep strain of personality that you MUST POSSESS in order to growl adequately into a microphone. Do you really think the others aren't fakes, by this reasoning?

(Less cynical: Yes, there has to be a certain amount of truthfulness in art, but you don't need to be a strung-out dropout with a bad attitude to get "I Love Rock and Roll" or even "Paint It Black." The essence of honesty in art isn't only doing that which reflects directly on your entire life, but the ability to find the part of yourself that does resonate with it, and guess what? That's not always the part of you that's the most common thing about you. I've never murdered anyone and never plan to, but I can still write Voldemort, because I have been seethingly angry from time to time, and while I do my best to not let it control my life, it's there when I need it to "perform" the character.)

ETA: And on TWoP specific note, what's with the bitching about '60s stars? Right down to "Who do they think is watching this show?" Well, you know, it's got numbers similar to the Superbowl. I'd guess that means its demographic is pretty wide-ranging. And those songs? Not exactly obscure. I wasn't a teenager--or born--in the '60s, and I knew most of them. (Of course, I love British Invasion music from the '60s. I like most '60s music, actually.)
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From: arclevel Date: March 22nd, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
By that same standard, isn't Jordin just astounding fake because she sang that (really great) song about her man -- when she doesn't have a boyfriend? It's very strange, people get very defensive about their 'darkness' and how you have to be "real" to be dark or something silly like that. Do you not have to be actually happy to sing about happy things? Why do we have this assumption that anyone can sing about that, but you have to have really *been there* to sing dark stuff? Besides, even if they aren't stoned or anything, how do you know the singer hasn't been to dark places, even if they're different dark places than Keith Richards or whoever was in when they wrote the song? I think depression, for instance, would make a pretty good background for that song (again, assuming you need some sort of background at all).

The Vote for the Worst people *really* need to get over themselves. They honestly seem to think they have the impact to decide who'll win. At this stage, they probably have the ability to keep someone in who doesn't deserve it, yes. (Though I was pleasantly surprised by Sanjaya this week -- when I heard what he was going to sing, I groaned, but he wasn't actually bad. I thought the judges were utterly off their rockers this week. Or simply demonstrating that they have no collective taste in music, which I've thought before.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 22nd, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jordin seems to be fireproof for everyone this year.

I sincerely doubt that they've even kept Sanjaya in the competition. This part is basically just weeding out the ones people can't remember. People kept forgetting Brandon, so they didn't vote for him. Stephanie was outshone by a lot of other people, and Chris Richardson is interchangeable with the more popular Blake, so I suspect he's next. Sanjaya's got the "Squee!!!!" following, so I think he'll outlast Chris R. Chris S. may have outstayed his welcome because most people liked him for being funny and self-depracating in the auditions, and instead, he's been snarky and arrogant. By the time you get down to the top 6, I'll expect both of the belters (though either LaKisha or Melinda may suffer from vote-split) and the rocker-chick, Jordin (who's her own demographic), and Blake. The sixth spot? I'm not sure--it'll be based a lot on who keeps his demographic and who doesn't. Sanjaya's been good at keeping his demographic, and he was pretty decent Tuesday. Not great, but certainly not the laff-riot I was expecting when I read VFTW before I watched my tape. There are definitely reasons other than VFTW that he's ahead. They're just... not all that important. Even with Howard Stern shilling for them.
From: arclevel Date: March 22nd, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do people still listen to Howard Stern? Huh. I'd thought everyone was over him by now.

Chris S. is actually still my favorite guy by singing ability. My opinion of Blake comes and goes -- most often, I think he's really good when the judges say he's just so-so, and vice versa. I've never liked Chris R or Phil at all, though they both did better than usual this week.

I think Lakisha and Melinda may suffer from vote-split, but it's not likely to happy for quite a while. I *do* think that vote-split among that section is why Stephanie went, not to mention Sabrina in picking the top 12.

I was *horrified* at all the "British Invasion? OMG, what?!?!" among the contestants this week. If you use the broad definition of British Invasion (which they clearly weren't; I also assume they'd been specifically told not to do the Beatles), I think that accounts for, oh, a third to half of the really good music that's been made in the last half century. Even with the narrower time span and no Beatles, it's still a massive chunk of music from what we'd now consider three or four different genres.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 22nd, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know... that was just a "Bzuh?" moment for me. This is what we get for having hundreds of niche stations instead of a handful of major radio stations that play everything. (It's also why AI isn't going to do much "contemporary" music: there's no musician today that has simple, cross-genre appeal, because there are no simple cross-genre stations anymore. I was sort of sad when "Oldies" got split off onto their own stations, but at least, in the eighties, even if you happened to prefer Cyndi Lauper to Def Leppard, you'd still know "Pour Some Sugar On Me" because it was on right beside "Change of Heart." You'd also be casually sampling "Faith" by George Michael, the Bangles' cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter," Club Nouveau's take on "Lean On Me," and Lionel Richie crooning "Ballerina Girl." You didn't have to look for any of it, which is good, because you probably wouldn't look for it. You don't get breakaway hits by niche-ing, because people who aren't expecting them don't find them. There's no across-the-board cultural touchpoint. (Except that now, we're all listening to AI... and AI has nothing current to sing because their whole audience isn't going to be familiar with anything current, because the music industry really shot itself in the foot.)
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 22nd, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It might be interesting to do a songwriting idol sort of thing, though song writers have to be able to perform as well. It would be kind of nice, actually, like I said above, to have some sort of across-the-board popular music again, all new. But I don't think even the Idol marketing juggernaut can pull it off.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 22nd, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, the problem is that it takes less time to prepare an existing song than to write one from scratch, so it's more feasible to do a performance competition--the band can be prepared early, the singers have the whole week to rehearse instead of spending half of it writing, and at least you can be sure that the songs will be quality numbers and not the musical equivalent of "The cat sat on a mat." There's the issue of producing an entertaining show to keep in mind.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: March 23rd, 2007 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
The weepy 12-year-old told you all you need to know about who's voting for Sanjaya and keeping him on the show.
verdenia From: verdenia Date: March 24th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't watched at all this season, but I'd be curious to see someone perform Paint It Black.

I got my 20yo sister into that song, because the Dresden Dolls' "Jeep Song" has an allusion to it: "I see a red jeep and I want to paint it black".
She's mostly not down for classic rock, though, unless we point her to something and she has an "aha!" moment with it.

Whereas I ♥ most types of rock. ;p
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