Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Night: ???

Who picks the songs that the contestants do each week anyway? It can't possibly be the contestants themselves? Is it their mother....their agent...the American Idol keepers? Do they run a profile through the artificial intelligence logarithm on Amazon or Netflix and let that pick the song? Who knows?

We all had high hopes to hear Pearl Jam, REM, U2, Marvin Gaye...anything! Well, we did get to hear two Bobs (Dylan and Marley) utterly destroyed.

They had 30 years of Rock and Roll History to pick from tonight, and the choices ranged from Duran Duran and Elvis (bad choices) to Bob Dylan and Bob Marley (great choices, bad renditions).

At the end of the night, it was all subjective. I'm not a big Elvis fan, but there's something really weird and creepy about seeing a 17 year old who looks 14 years old try to put a new spin on "Love Me Tender" unless he's singing that song to the family dog.

As always, David Cook mastered the stage with a rendition of The Who's "Bobba O'Reilly" known to most of us as "Teenaged Wasteland". I've posted above.

But for me, the real (and only) joy of the night was hearing Syesha's heartfelt version of "Change is Gonna Come", a magnificent old Sam Cooke song. I love this song and her performance was wonderful. Given the fact that this AI episode aired on a night when so many Americans were voting for political change in North Carolina and Indiana, it was especially well timed. I was shocked when Randy Jackson didn't give her two thumbs up. His comments were so unexpected. Sometimes this show doesn't make any sense at at all. Check out this song for yourself, here's the video:

My predictions for tomorrow night: David Cook, we'll see you next week. David Arch, thanks to a billion texting teens, we will see you as well. Syesha...I'm in your corner lady, you are a real star. I'll buy the first ticket to your Broadway show. Jason Castro...we'll see you next year on an MTV reality program.

Goodnight and good luck to all.


Scott said...

Jane, it's amazing how often you articulate my thoughts! I couldn't agree more! I hope there isn't a backlash sympathy vote for Castro, because it thrills me that Syesha could be in the final 3. I always loved her. I will add that DC's first performanced might have been one of his weakest to date-that bar is so high for him, but I too wondered if he even picked it. His voice was, of course, great as always, and his worst night is better than many others' best, but I suspedt something else was going on. It seemed like the band's audio channels were potted down during the performace(mistake? on purpose? sabotage? my imagination?) and when you see and hear the recap at the end of the show it seemed like you could hear the band much louder that time around. Without the band "Hungry Like a Wolf" is bizarre.. kind of a weird song to sing nearly a capella, or under arranged.

Scott said...

I think I just confirmed part of my theory... that there was something wrong with the audio on Cook's first performance(perhaps on HD channels, west coast feed, or just some affiliates). I checked out a clip on youtube it has the band pumping away, and the guitar riffs made the song sound better. Not sure what market or affiliate this clip is from-it only had at fox network watermark on it.