Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Next Great American Band: Lieber and Stoller Week


Light of Doom - "Jailhouse Rock"

Nice job workin' the crowd and great guitar solo, but they didn't really make the song their own. Also the singer's lack of vocal chops was noticeable.

The Clark Brothers - "Saved"

An interesting cover - but I find the singer to be overly intense. No matter what the song, he's got the intensity dialed up to 11. He's still cute, though.

Dot Dot Dot - "Love Potion #9"

I enjoyed their edgy rendition. They do seem kind of overly styled, though.

Cliff Wagner and The Old Number 7 - "Poison Ivy"

I really don't care for this song, but I liked their loungey version better than most. They did a good job adapting the tune to their style.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - "Ruby Baby"

I just have to reiterate that they are a cheesy wedding band. I might hire them for a company holiday party but, come on, people, they are not the next great American band!

Six Wire - "I Keep Forgettin"

This was a pleasant version and the song suited the singer's voice well. The Sawyer-esque singer gave the camera his usual smoldering look, which will likely earn them another week.

Tres Bien - "Some Other Guy"

This was a fun garagey performance. They're likable and could be a Monkees for the new generation.

Kicked Off

Franklin Bridge - I was stunned to see them go. I really thought they were one of the more talented bands, with a sexy frontman with a great voice. It's unbelievable that they left before Denver!


I think Denver and his Mile High Orchestra will be packing their many bags next week. At least, I hope so.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Next Great American Band: Billy Joel Week


Franklin Bridge - "Big Shot"

This sounded kind of muddled to me, but the judges loved it. Definitely some nice shredding and it rocked harder than the original. I do like these guys.

Cliff Wagner and The Old Number 7 - "You May Be Right"

I thought Cliff looked stylin' in his blue suit, but Dicko said he looked like he was auditioning to play Boss Hogg. They really slowed this tune down and played it slow, and I found it kinda oddly sexy.

Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - "Tell Her About It"

This was a pretty obvious song choice, but they played it well. Denver was more charming than usual, and we learned that his wife just had a baby, thus guaranteeing him congratulatory votes and sympathy votes since he's sacrificing time with his family for his career (cf, Phil from Idol).

Dot Dot Dot - "Pressure"

One of my favorite bands on this show performed one of my favorite Bill Joel tunes. Their frontman gave a wonderfully hammy performance that recalled A Clockwork Orange. He reminds me a bit of Simon Le Bon in that he compensates for not having the greatest voice by having a flair for the dramatic.

Six Wire - "She's Always A Woman"

They played the song in a mellow mood, and the singer delivered it with conviction. Nice harmonies, particularly the ending. In a Paula Abdul moment, Sheila E proposed to the singer.

Tres Bien - "Moving Out"

They didn't change up the song much, but they did add a garagey vibe. I like the singer - he's got nerdy charisma.

The Clark Brothers - "She's Got a Way"

I thought the singer looked tortured when he sang this, like he was a bit overwrought, but the judges loved it and said he connected with the material better than any of the others.

Light of Doom - "The Stranger"

The metal kids shredded through this tune with ferocity, very true to who they are. Great guitar work.

Sent Home

Rocket - I'll miss these gals, but I'm glad I didn't have to listen to them try to play "We Didn't Start the Fire."

The Muggs - I won't miss these guys, and I think their sour grapes faces as they were kicked off won't win them any fans.


I think just one band gets booted next week and it's hard to predict who it will be. All the bands got overall good comments from the judges. I hope I'm wrong, but I think Cliff Wagner and the Old Number 7 might be vulnerable, simply because they're not very attractive, and they played early in the show.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Acrostic Movie Review - Viva

Frisky, frothy and fun, Anna Biller's Viva
Entertains and was the highlight of the AFI Fest for
Me. A woman with a vision, Biller
Is the writer, director, editor,
Inclined star, composer of several
Songs, and she even
Tickles the ivories of the organ. The film is an homage to

Soft-core 70s films like Camille 2000 and the Roger
Ebert scripted Beyond the Valley of The Dolls.
X-rated hijinks ensue when bored housewife Barbi (Biller)
Pursues a career in prostitution. Shot on film and
Lit brightly, the sumptuous sets, racy costumes, and
On-target props create a perfectly detailed 70s world
In which the characters frolic en route to
The inevitable climactic orgy.
Acting is campy fun, but at
Times the pace is too slow, as the film
Is over-long at 2 hours.
Overdubbed dialogue sometimes distracts but
Not too

Badly as it lends verisimilitude. With this tour de farce,
Anna Biller deserves to be a cult film legend, and,
Baby, this is her happening and
You're gonna be freaked out!

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Next Great American Band: Elton John Week


Six Wire - "Got to Get Away" / "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me"

I thought the original was uninteresting - like a filler song on a Jimmy Buffett album. The Elton cover was good, and they put a bit of a country spin on it. Good vocal. Dicko pronounced them "the housewives' choice".

Tres Bien - "How I Feel" / "Love Lies Bleeding"

These guys are starting to win me over a bit. There's something endearing about their dorkiness/hipster blend. Both songs were nerdy fun.

Franklin Bridge - "Love's Fool" / "Philadelphia Freedom"

I liked the original, particularly the drummer's rapping harmony. The Elton choice was a pretty obvious one for these Philly boys. Their vocalist really shone on it, and they injected a lot of soul into the tune. I see they took my advice to get a stylist seriously as they were wearing matching t-shirts. Still not in Rachel Zoe territory, but it's an improvement.

The Clark Brothers - "Country Time" / "Country Comfort"

Another good performance from these kids, who look more rock than country but definitely have country music in their veins.

Light of Doom - "Light of Doom" / "Saturday Night's All Right"

These kids rocked hard once again, delivering an original tune about their band name, in the tradition of Black Sabbath. "Step into the light of doom," sings young Eric, and I find myself ready to follow. The Elton song was a good choice, as they could play it fast. And to please Sheila E, they kept their shirts on.

Dot Dot Dot - "Stay" / "Your Song"

I loved the original - definitely radio-ready. They executed some smooth tempo shifts in the Elton tune, putting a new wave spin on it. The judges slammed the frontman, but I actually enjoy watching him. I think he has a lot of charisma even if he does seem somewhat affected.

Cliff Wagner and the Old Number 7 - "Little White Chapel" / "Honky Cat"

These guys are probably my favorite, next to Light of Doom. I loved the original and its quirky lyrics. It was about a teen Vegas wedding and Cliff dedicated it to Britney and her first husband.

The Muggs - "Should've Learned My Lessson" / "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues"

It figures my least-favorite band on this show would tackle my favorite Elton tune. Icky. I didn't think the singer delivered it with any feeling (if you want to hear a good version, check out Elton's duet with Mary J. Blige). His nasally voice grates on my nerves, and the judges felt the same way. He won't win points for sassing back to Sheila E, either.

Rocket - "Future Ex-Boyfriend" / "Rocketman"

The original was fun and spirited - kinda Blondie meets Gwen Stefani. The judges trashed the singer, but I didn't find her to be so bad.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - "All Night" / "I'm Still Standing"

I still think Denver lacks oomph and sex appeal, but the band is fun to watch and their arrangement of the Elton song was first-rate.


The Hatch and The Likes of You were sent packing. Dicko was quite upset about the Hatch, who he felt were very commercial. I, however, wasn't upset. I feel The Likes of You suffered from having the least amount of screentime on the audition episode, coupled with a mediocre performance.


I think The Muggs and Denver and the Mile High Orchestra will be going home next week.

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