Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol Final Five Results

Syesha Mercado and Brooke White made up the bottom two tonight and after Neil Diamond did his best impression of Will Ferrell doing Neil Diamond, Ryan Seacrest delivered the bad news which immediately caused Brooke to burst into tears.

Making it to the Final Five on American Idol is a tremendous accomplishment and Brooke has nothing to be ashamed of; she grew considerably as an artist throughout the season and has an even shot at a career in music.

Neil Diamond is an icon I have loved since I was a kid. His songs dot the soundtrack of my life and I wish he had sang one of his hits but I understand that isn't how it works; his new record Home Before Dark drops May 6 and he needs to sing one of his new songs to promote the new album to the American Idol audience.

Dolly Parton did the same thing when she sang her new song "Jesus & Gravity" and it seemed to undermine her stature as an iconic songwriter because she sang an unknown song aimed at a niche audience. I felt the same way about Diamond.


Idol would be better off getting mentors based on catalog only not catalog with an album dropping during the season.

Seacrest took the opportunity to defend Paula Abdul by saying that this morning he had read what was written about her comments last night and that none of it was true. He did not elaborate any further.

I didn’t think that she seemed inebriated but she certainly was confused when she offered a review of a song Castro was yet to sing last night.

She appeared on the radio with Ryan Seacrest today and explained the goof by offering two explanations; she saw Castro's second song "September Morn" in dress rehearsal and when making notes during the live broadcast she wrote notes for David Cook on the same page as Jason Castro and meant second person not second song.


She should have stuck with the first explanation because then she only would be on the hook for offering feedback from the dress rehearsal not a convoluted double answer where the second one doesn't really make sense given that she continued to speak to Castro not Cook.

Either way, it was funny in the moment but today seems totally blown of out proportion.

More later,

Anne

Morrissey sporting American Idol T-shirt on Craig Ferguson?

Was Morrissey sporting a black American Idol T-shirt under his buttoned up sport coat on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight? Weird, maybe he wants to mentor next season which would be amazing and truly groundbreaking.

He performed "Irish Blood, English Heart" (originally released in 2004) from his Greatest Hits record.

"I've been dreaming of the time
When the English are sick to death of Labour and Tories
And spit upon the name of Oliver Cromwell
And denounce this royal line that still salutes him
And will salute him forever"

His voice still sounds great and he's definitely still got it.

Anne

Found the video

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Neil Diamond week on American Idol

Neil Diamond is an American singer/songwriter icon that has sold over 120 million records and had over a dozen top 10 hits. His 26th studio album Home Before Dark drops May 6, 2008.

This is the first week when each of the Idol Wannabes sing two songs. Though Diamond was friendly and engaging, the workshops were not nearly as interesting as last week with Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Jason Castro (“Forever in Blue Jeans” & “September Morn”)
In the workshop with Neil Diamond Castro didn’t know the words and brought the wrong lyric sheet but Diamond was kind enough to say that he thought the Idol Troubadour would do well once on stage.

Diamond was being FAR too kind. Castro played guitar on “Forever in Blue Jeans” to kick off the evening but unfortunately the performance sounded like it belonged in a train station.

He was boring, didn’t connect with the lyrics, and truthfully “I’d much rather be…” listening to anyone else sing this.

Regardless of what he did to Blue Jeans I’m sure that he seduced his fanbase with “September Morn” as they have probably never heard Diamond’s original and truly romantic version.



When confronted by the judges with his boring performances, he said that he started to choke right before he started to sing his second song "September Morn". He seems unaffected by the whole process and not too concerned about winning which is good because he shouldn't even come close.

Castro's plight was only made worse by the fact that David Cook followed him.

David Cook (“I’m Alive” & “All I Really Need is You”)
Cook picked two virtually unheard of Diamond tunes and rock them both.

He played electric guitar on “I’m Alive” and I wondered if he was thinking of his brother Adam (he still rocks the AC on his guitar).

Right off the bat Cook made “All I Really Need is You” his own. It was great. He was great. He hit some beautiful notes and it could be a single right now. He did everything that Castro didn’t do by reinterpreting, updating and connecting with the song.

Paula said, “I feel like I’m already looking at the next American Idol” and I couldn’t agree more.

Brooke White (“I’m a Believer” & “I Am, I Said”)
I was SO disappointed to learn that Brooke White would be singing, “I’m a Believer”. I love that song. Davy Jones offered a brilliant vocal more than 40 years ago and Smashmouth did an awesome (Awesome speech Popey –W.) job of updating it for “Shrek” in 2001.

She played acoustic guitar and I felt like I was at girl scout camp. Ok, I've never been to Girl Scouts but I can imagine...

Simon said that she was a “Nightmare” and I completely agree.

She played piano on “I Am, I Said” and the vocal was ok but it was really the song that carried her through. We’ll have to see if
http://www.votefortheworst.com/ keeps her in the game and (fingers crossed) Castro goes home or if her time will finally be up.

David Archuleta (“Sweet Caroline” & Coming to America”)
As you know Rock & Roll Library is based in Boston which means we have a VERY STRONG attachment to “Sweet Caroline”. It’s played at Fenway Park during the middle of the eighth inning of Red Sox games and in November 2007 Diamond revealed that his inspiration was none other than Caroline Kennedy the daughter of Boston native and 35th President John F. Kennedy.

Unfortunately, tonight Archuleta sang it. He did not start strong and I felt like I couldn’t even hear him over the band at times; he did look a little more comfortable than usual.

He didn’t connect with the song or the audience on the most obvious lines, “hands touching hands, reaching out touching me, touching you…” he didn’t even reach for one hand in the audience. H
e would have been beaten and thrown out of Fenway for this rendition. Verdict: SuperLame

“Coming to America” was very karaoke. He can hit big notes but in more of a Broadway style than rock or pop. The judges loved it but I thought that it was Broadway and that was last week.

Syesha Mercado (“Hello Again” & “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime”)
“Hello Again” was not her best performance but it was still good. Unfortunately it lacked the power punch that performers need to deliver at this stage of the competition.

“Thank the Lord for the Nighttime” was her second song and it reminded me of Aretha Franklin singing “Respect” to Matt Murphy at the diner in the Blues Brothers movie. She was very good but American Idol isn't Broadway and given her frequent presence in the bottom three Syesha could be in serious trouble.

I love Syesha’s hair but this week she straightened it and I didn’t care for it.

Whack moment of the night:
After everyone performed their first song host Ryan Seacrest went to the judges for quick impressions before the break and Paula Abdul critiqued both of Jason Castro’s songs…Ryan said, “Your seeing the future baby.” She did seem sober if totally confused.

The recap montage made it perfectly clear that Jason Castro and Brooke White are in a class by themselves; last. Syesha Mercado has found her niche in musicals and the finals should be Archuleta vs. Cook with Cook crushing the 17 year old; but you never know what will happen with Idol voting.

First or fifth David Cook will go the way of Kelli Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry racking up millions of sales and tons of accolades.


More Later,
Anne

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Madden NFL 09 coverboy

I guess that they couldn't get anyone to take on the curse* this year. Word is that LaDanian Tomlinson has turned the Madden NFL cover down repeatedly but for the 20th edition of the uber popular EA Sports videogame they tapped retiree Brett Favre.

Beyond his single greatest crime of beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI I really enjoyed watching him throughout his career. He was tough as nails and exciting as hell week in an week out. Congrats Favre, you're the first retired player to land on the Madden cover.

I have a great idea, create a new game NFL Alltime, and allow gamers to draft against each other from a lineup of alltime greats. I would love to play Brady, Rice and Emmitt vs. Montana, Moss, and Barry Sanders (actually older players would be even better). EA Sports, make a nice donation to the Rock & Roll Library and the idea's yours. I actually like this for all videogame sports.

Pre-Draft coverage has started.

I must bid you adieu.

Anne

*The Madden Curse befalls NFL players who grace the cover of John Madden's football videogame and ensures an injury or otherwise inexplicable implosion of said player during the season.

Merry Christmas Football Fans!!

I know that I don't usually blog in the morning but I'm far too excited to sleep because Pre -Draft coverage begins at 11AM on the NFL Network and the Dolphins go on the clock at 3PM.

Whether we take or trade it, I'm very excited about the 7th pick which belongs to my New England Patriots. Linebackers, Corners and high value players...

I love having a top ten pick from San Francisco especially with other AFC East teams (Dolphins & Jets) earning their top 10 pick with their records (the NFL drafts in reverse order of the previous season records - i.e. worst is first).

Full report after the draft ends tomorrow.

So EXCITED!!

Anne

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Carly Smithson goes home on Idol

The bottom was made up of only two: Carly Smithson and Syesha Mercado and after both performed it was announced that after 38 million votes Carly was eliminated. Unbelievable that the Troubadour survived another week.

Leona Lewis, Simon Cowell's British discovery who is currently the largest selling artist in the world sang an awesome "Bleeding Love." It's easy to see why this girl is huge.

Neil Diamond next week.

More when this bad taste goes away.


Anne

Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber & Your Top 6

Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber mentored the Idol Wannabes this week which provided quite a challenge for the less talented who made it into the Top 6.

Syesha Mercado "One Rock & Roll Too Many" (Starlight Express)

Syesha started the evening off with an excellent song choice and a sexy, evocative performance that showed off her personality and opened the doors of Broadway for her. It should be enough for her to stick around and ultimately land her a career onstage.

Brooke White “You Must Love Me" (Evita)

It has become painful to watch this lovely blonde train wreck. With a double shot of repertoires that were too big for her (Mariah Carey & Lord Andrew) Brooke made everything worse when she stopped and restarted her song several bars in.

Her time should be up this week if http://www.votefortheworst.com/ doesn’t save her.

Jason Castro “Memories" (Cats)
Clearly the Idol Troubadour was going to have difficulty this week as Lord Andrew doesn't write songs for single key singers but his selection of one of the Broadway master's most well known power ballads sealed our horrible fate.

Castro didn't help himself in his interview when he added that he didn't know the song or that it was sung by a cat. It was quite a battle for worst this week and without the support of http://www.votefortheworst.com/ Casto may be finished tonight.

David Archuleta "Think of Me" (The Phantom of the Opera)
There is no disputing that David Archuleta can sing; I continue to question if he's got what it takes to be a successful mainstream artist.

Carly Smithson "Superstar" (Jesus Christ Superstar)
During her workshop with Lord Andrew and I consider it amazing that these young singers got a private workshop with this music icon, Lord Andrew steered Carly to a song that he thought better captured her personality and a great suggestion it was.

Carly rocks. She has a big voice, beautiful tone, excellent control, poise, style and she sells herself as an artist. She should be back.


A few weeks back I mentioned Carly Hennessy's (Smithson's maiden name) major label album Ultimate High which is now on sale at Amazon.com if you want it, I suggest that you get it now before it gets pulled.

David Cook "The Music of the Night" (The Phantom of the Opera)
Cook gave an inspired performance of what Lord Andrew referred to as "the most sensual, the most sexy song I've ever written." Cook's voice is strong, he demonstrates excellent control and he had no problem taking on one of the most iconic stage roles ever written, the Phantom or as Randy said, "Another hot molten hot lava bomb tonight!"

I've also mentioned in previous posts that David Cook's album Analog Heart is available at Amazon.com. After reaching #1 on Today's Top MP3 Albums at Amazon (beating out last week's mentor Mariah Carey) all Cook's tracks and album have been pulled from the online retailer. See an image of the page here. Note all that remain are the 79 customer reviews giving the record 5 stars.

On a separate note, though she sounded great during her duet with Chris Brown two weeks ago, last year's Idol Jordin Sparks is enduring some pretty horrible medical issues with regard to her vocal cords and has been forced to cancel as the opening act of Alicia Keys tour.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery Jordin.

Results tonight,

Anne

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Leave nothing but footprints...and try not to leave those.

Learn how to reduce your footprint.


Anne

Monday, April 21, 2008

Patriots Day - Boston Sports

The third Monday in April is the civic holiday Patriots Day in Massachusetts which marks the battle of Lexington and Concord, the first battle of the American Revolutionary War.

It's also the day of the Boston Marathon and since 1959 the Boston Red Sox have scheduled a morning home game so its end would coincide with the elite runners finishing the Boston Marathon which passes only feet from Fenway Park in Kenmore Square.

I couldn't follow all of the changes that the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) instituted with the start including sending elite women half an hour before elite men but today was the closest finish in women's history with Dire Tune beating out Alevtina Biktimirova by three seconds after Biktimirova led most of the race. It was riveting for the last 6 miles.

Marathoners know that they run twenty miles to sprint six more and at twenty miles the ladies were neck and neck which is where they stayed all the way up to 200 yards from the finish line in Copley Square when Tune's kick won the day.

Robert Cheruiyot won his fourth Boston Marathon in six years with a time of 2:07:45 thirty-one seconds behind his course record 2:07:14 but impressive given that he ran the last several miles without a challenger in sight.

The Dropkick Murphys reopened NUF CED MCGREEVY'S 3RD BASE SALOON at 911 BOYLSTON Street Boston, MA today for a special Marathon Monday Sneek Preview - Grand opening May 2008.

Sox completed a sweep of the Texas Rangers with an 8-3 win and advance to 14-7.

Celtics crushed the Hawks 104-81 last night in their playoff opener.

Better luck next year Bruins, we'd love to see you join the party; let's see some offseason moves that show a commitment to winning.

Overall a great day in Boston sports...but I'm dreaming of the 7th pick and what the master will choose.

More later,

Anne

Jerry Seinfeld Live Stand up

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Jerry Seinfeld Friday night in Boston.

65 minutes without profanity; Cosby is the only other comic I've seen do that and both shows were great.

Seinfeld did dabble in the taboo by tackling a topic that I consider long overdue for comedic attention: *69. He posed the excellent question, "How did this get by an entire company?"

As an encore he took questions and when asked if there'll be a Seinfeld reunion he said that it was a possiblility but that all four careers (Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Loius Dreyfuss, Michael Richards) would have to tank. When asked if he'd do another sitcom he replied, "I'm old, lazy and rich."

Tom Papa offered a great opening set.

More later,

Anne

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jenna Jameson + The View = WTF?

This morning Jenna Jameson was interviewed by all five View co-hosts: Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherrie Shepard and Elisabeth Hasselblech.

Jenna was on to talk about her effort to cross over to mainstream movies and promote her latest flick a horror/comedy called Zombie Strippers.

Beyond acting, Jameson is a saavy business woman who created multiple companies to monetize herself as a commodity in the adult industry and made millions doing it.

Jameson did a good job of holding her own against the ladies while maintaining friendly decorum but it was clear that the panel didn’t know what to make of the porn star.

I say WTF? This is the wackiest guest/show combo of the week.

Zombie Strippers Movie Trailer (MPAA approved for all audiences)



Enjoy,

Anne

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rock & Roll Library Music Archive, Trivia, This Day in Music and Photo Gallery links added

I added some interesting links to RockLibrary.com on the right.

You can now check out Music Trivia, This Day in Music, our Photo Gallery and Eric Clapton's Rock & Roll Library Music Archive directly from this page and of course the opportunity to make a donation which I always appreciate.

Feedback is always welcome.

More later,

Anne

Not even VotefortheWorst.com can save Kristi Lee Cook

Mariah Carey was the guest mentor this week on American Idol which coincides with the release of her new album E=MC2 which dropped yesterday. Earlier this year Mariah Carey surpassed Elvis Presley for most #1 singles by a solo artist with 18.

Tonight Carey gave a great performance of “Bye Bye” from her new album. She was a great role model for the Idol Wannabes this week who is technically proficient and connects powerfully with her songs and audience. The women struggled while the men seemed to do well with her songs this week.

Kristi Lee Cook, Brooke White and Syesha Mercado made up the bottom three and unfortunately for Kristi Lee Cook it was time to pay up for mangling the Beatles “Eight Days a Week” oh so many weeks ago.

Kristi Lee has a good shot at making it in Nashville where she is likely headed.

I’ll let you know whom www.votefortheworst.com decides to support next week but I’m thinking Brooke White.

More Later,

Anne

What happens when you mix Andy Samberg without Gnarles Barkley?

“Daquiri Girl” by Clementine and boy did I suffer because of it.

Andy must have read my previous post specifically forbidding future installments of Laser Cats so instead he created the worst SNL Digital Short music video in history.

Andy, if your musical guest doesn’t show or cancels on you at the last moment just make Laser Cats 4, I know that you already wrote the script.

Thankfully I don't have to go into my usual detail because it's available here. Note the scrolling text that explains Samberg’s plight.




And to think I used to enjoy daquiris.


I’m going to go have a nightmare about this.

More later,
Anne


Mariah Carey week on American Idol

Mariah Carey was the guest mentor this week and she seemed to enjoy her time with each Idol Wannabe. Her new album E=MC2 dropped today and she’ll perform on the results show tomorrow night.

David Archuleta “When You Believe” (Mariah Carey Whitney Houston)
Josh Groban, I mean David Archuleta was on point and on pitch again tonight. He connected with the camera and the song with this emotional performance.

Randy took this week off from not being mad at anyone, but Mariah picked up the torch as she told Archuleta, “If you wanted to go up in to your falsetto for two seconds I wouldn’t be mad at you.” He did and I’m not mad at him either; it was perfect.

This kid reminds me of Clay Aiken and though not one of my favorites he’ll be back next week.

Carly Smithson “Without You” (Bad Finger, Mariah Carey)
Smithson has a great voice and she demonstrated amazing control on this Bad Finger classic. She started softly and allowed the song to build and swell in a natural way that showed off a real and emotional connection. For the most part, she nailed the soft parts and hit clean notes all the way through.

She should be back but as we saw last week at this stage of the game anything can happen and after landing in the bottom three more than once she needs every vote that she can get.


Syesha Mercado “Vanishing” (Mariah Carey)

Again this week Mercado chose an extremely difficult song and sang it very well. She worked out the soft parts that plagued her in early weeks and knocked the big notes out of the park. She was smoldering in gold and her performance matched her outfit. If this truly is a singing competition, she should be back.

Brooke White “Hero” (Mariah Carey)
It was clearly a tough week for Brooke White not only because her voice isn’t strong enough for this repertoire but because she missed her sister’s wedding on Saturday. She played piano and unfortunately it started poorly and never recovered; White never connected with the sensitive ballad and seemed to know it as she rushed through the song.

Kristi Lee Cook “Forever” (Mariah Carey)
Kristi Lee said that her goal this week was to connect with this song and she did just that. She hit several big notes and though not even close to the best of the night, it may have been have been her best performance yet as she chose well with a country version of “Forever”.

It wasn’t great but it was very good and with the help of
www.votefortheworst.com she has a good shot at sticking around.

David Cook “Always Be My Baby” (Mariah Carey)
HOT! Mariah said she thought that his version was pretty and haunting but I thought that it was hot and sultry. He looked like a seasoned rocker in his necktie and vest and commanded the stage with aplomb.

“It was original, it was daring, it stood out by a mile.” Simon Cowell said of Cook’s performance and I agree 100%.

Cook then shed a few tears and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was Simon’s kind words or something that Ryan Seacrest didn’t mention: David’s brother Adam Cook, a lawyer from Terra Haute, Indiana who is fighting his second bout with brain cancer was in the audience after special arrangements were made by Cook supporters to bring him to California.

Best wishes for good health Adam.

Jason Castro “I Don’t Want to Cry” (Mariah Carey)
The AI Troubador went Latin this week with a successful version of “I Don’t Want to Cry” that was evocative and original. I see his niche; I just don’t see it as that of an American Idol.

This kid has gotten tremendous mileage out of his hair, teeth and expressive eyebrows and they should carry him another week.


Simon keeps saying that this is a singing competition but I don’t believe him. The name of the show is the American Idol not American Singer and they are looking for a complete package that goes far beyond singing to include personality, looks, and style.

If it really were a singing competition they wouldn’t let America vote; instead they would let Simon, a singing teacher and a critic decide but they’re looking to see which artist America responds to the most. Why can’t they just admit it?

If all’s right in the world White will get to go home and watch her sister’s wedding video tonight.


More Later,

Anne

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Papal visit to US

Pope Benedict XVI landed at Andrew's Air Force Base today and will visit Washington, DC and New York during his five day visit to the US.

Shame on you Benedict XVI for not coming to Boston to face abuse victims; I am appalled (but not surprised).

Anne

Apparently rockin an ascot two weeks in a row is the kiss of death

Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado and Michael Johns comprised the bottom three and in a stunning turn of events, Michael Johns was booted off American Idol.

Smithson repeatedly motioned that she believed that she would be the Idol wannabe to go but it was John's turn to sing after receiving the worst news one can receive on the top rated show.

Johns performed a great copy cat version of Aerosmith's "Dream On" and should land with a record deal of his own.

More later.

Anne

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Inspiration Week on American Idol

It’s Inspiration Week on American Idol. You can count on an extra night for a special episode, Idol Gives Back, tonight at 8PM EST and an effort to raise $100 million dollars for charity.

Michael Johns “Dream On” Aerosmith
Johns kicked off the evening with good solid rock vocals until the end when at one point it sounded like he was screaming; and unfortunately he’s trying to rock an ascot for the second week in a row and that’s just kinda unforgivable but he’ll be back.

Syesha Mercado “I Believe” Fantasia
A good song for her big voice but again she struggled a little with the soft parts and though she was yelling at one point, she hit a very big note at the end. Overall it was a good performance and should be enough for her to stick around.

Jason Castro “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harbur, arrangement by Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole)
Once again Castro gives a nice performance that does not seem to challenge him in any way. He’s still a wandering troubadour without a care in the world that demonstrates little depth. Overall, his performances are generic and forgettable and if tonight's performance stands out it's because of Kamakawiwo╩╗ole's unique arrangement (featuring a ukulele) but Castro will be back next week.

Kristi Lee Cook “Anyway” (Martina McBride)
Kristi Lee Cook looked a little bit sultry in her performance of “Anyway” and though I can’t believe that she’s stuck around this long she was solid tonight and if we’re still voting based on merit deserves to be back next week.

David Cook “Innocent” Our Lady Peace
David Cook introduced the masses to Our Lady Peace via “Innocent” and was successful but not great. He revealed a message in his left palm to the camera that said “give back” to encourage viewers to donate to Idol Gives Back an effort to raise $100 million dollars.

Carly Smithson “The Show Must Go On” Queen
Carly showed off her powerful voice and vocal range but didn’t quite connect with this overly dramatic and somewhat dark performance. She likely landed in the bottom three.

David Archuleta “Angels” (Robbie Williams)
Did David Archuleta look comfortable onstage tonight? I thought so too and that might be because at age twelve, Archuleta was the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2. He performed on the syndicated show more than ten times during the 2003 season before winning the $100,000 grand prize.

Tonight’s performance by Archuleta was nice and showed off the beautiful tone in his voice but but it wasn’t very exciting. Archuleta needs to learn to trust his instincts and his voice but at 17 and at this stage of the American Idol competition it may be difficult for him to pull off.

I also read several reports about his father Jeff Archuleta this week but I’ll leave that to your own research <Link to Google search Jeff Archuleta>

Brooke White “You’ve Got a Friend” (Carole King)
Brooke was boring tonight and didn’t do herself any favors with a mellow and uninspired version of a classic that Simon described as “nice.”

Randy Jackson once again came out with his best review (bestowed last week on soon to be booted Ramiele Malubay) “I wasn’t like jumpin up and down but I wasn’t mad at you either.” We’ll have to wait and see if this will become the kiss of death for another Idol wannabe.

More later,

Anne

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Red Sox Opening Day Music & Rings

The World Champion Boston Red Sox hosted their home opener at Fenway Park today. On hand for the raising of the Championship Pennant were members of the Boston Pops who provided an elegant backdrop for the ceremony. Led by James Orent, the ensemble played while the players were introduced and received their World Series Championship Ring from Red Sox owners and management John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and Theo Epstein.

The ensemble performed a wide array of classics including “When the Saint Go Marching In”, took on the Dropkick Murphys for closer Jonathan Papelbon’s entrance, The Standells “Dirty Water” for heavy hitter first baseman David Ortiz and the National Anthem.

The Red Sox front office continues to show off its World Class by inviting formerly vilified first baseman Bill Buckner to throw out the first pitch to Dwight Evans. Buckner was cheered in Boston for the first time in more than 20 years. With more than 20 years gone and two shiny new Championship Rings (2004, 2007) Boston is free to let the past go and accept and appreciate Bill Buckner for his years of quality play.

Red Sox Instructor Johnny Pesky called out the traditional opening “Play ball!” to officially start the game and season at Fenway Park. Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka faced off against Detroit's Kenny Rogers (no not that Kenny) on a beautiful spring day in Boston.

Hometown hero and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler gave a decent performance of “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch dedicating his performance to “our boys in Iraq.”

In the top half of the 8th inning Neil Diamond appeared in a special video and sang “Sweet Caroline,” a Fenway staple. On the video, the performance was followed by Neil Diamond accepting an invitation from Tom Werner to play at Fenway this summer. The show is booked and Neil Diamond will perform at Fenway Park on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 as part of his 2008 World Tour.

The Sox shut out the Detroit Tigers 5-0 with Matsuzaka going 6 2/3s for the win and Youkilis having a big day offensively with 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Kenny Rogers got the loss for the Tigers. The Red Sox are now 4-4 and the Detroit Tigers are 0-7.

Idol later.


Anne

Sunday, April 06, 2008

After I specifically said no more Laser Cats!

If you tuned in to SNL last night you saw a new SNL digital short Laser Cats, a subject I cited in my recent post about Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman's new videos where I specifically said no more Laser Cats!

Dear Andy Samberg and Bill Hader,
You are capable of so much more. Please step up your game and take advantage of one of the most unique opportunities in broadcast today.

In case you weren't sure, thousands of talented but undiscovered writers would kill for the opportunity to create a 3 minute digital short for SNL.

Embrace your opportunity and show us something great.

Anne

Friday, April 04, 2008

That time I didn't meet Morgan Spurlock

I went to an advance screening of Morgan Spurlock's new documentary Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? It chronicles Spurlock's attempt to track down and capture the most elusive terrorist on earth to make the world safe for his soon to be born child. Spurlock was supposed to be on hand for a post screening Q&A but it was announced before the screening that he would not be attending. That was disappointing because I find Spurlock's work completely acceptable on the small screen and went specifically to see him.

The film began with requisite background and set up and I liked it all the way up to the point when I thought, wait a minute this has got to be over soon...he hasn't even gone to Pakistan yet and even I know that OBL's probably in Pakistan. When he arrives at a border crossing in an area that looks like he should start finding some real leads he is deterred by a sign that says no foreigners allow. Spurlock has an epiphany about making the world safe for his child vs. safe for all children. He concludes that capturing OBL isn't the cure all that he was looking for and that risking himself any further would be senseless so he goes home.

I understand that he was about to become a new dad but I expect more from Spurlock. This let's all hug it out ending was unrealistic and irresponsible in a way. If finding Osama isn't important then why make a movie about it? I thought the film was going to be about how much money the US has spent looking for him; a point not even considered by Spurlock.

I was especially disappointed because I really enjoyed Super Size Me, Spurlock's documentary chronicling his odyssey of eating only McDonald's for 30 days and what it did to his health. I loved that he stuck with his plan and completely compromised his health. I respected that.

I also liked his reality TV show 30 Days where regular people spent 30 days living in someone else's shoes. One of the most surreal stories was the middle aged American man who went to India and applied for and after passing an English fluency test, won his same job that had been outsourced months before.

Anyway I wanted to ask him if he ever lost those last pounds after Super Size Me and which 30 Days did he find the most interesting?

Sorry that I didn't get to meet you Morgan, another time perhaps.

More later,

Anne

The Night James Brown Saved Boston

Tomorrow night at 9PM (Saturday 4/5/08) "The Night James Brown Saved Boston" directed by David Leaf premieres on VH1. If you can't tune in I highly encourage everyone to record it. The film unfolds in Boston the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated when Brown was booked at the Boston Garden.

The film debuted at WGBH in Boston on March 31. I found out late and it was already full :(

Ramiele Goes Home on Idol

Again no surprises on Idol this week. Ramiele Malubay, Brooke White and Kristi Lee Cook were in the bottom three and Ramiele went home. (Note to self: zoning out during a performance and having to rewind is a very bad sign.)

Cook offered this explanation of his hospital visit after last night's show: "The whole thing kind of got blown out of proportion. I have high blood pressure and it spiked and so they took me there as a precaution; but I'm cool, I'm not going anywhere."

Dolly performed a new song "Jesus & Gravity" (Jesus lifts her up and gravity hold her down); not exactly my cup of tea but I admire her energy and positive outlook. She's an icon and a nice person, I wish this week on Idol had been better for her.

The winners of America's Next Great American Band (American Idol for bands) the Clark Brothers sang "This Little Light of Mine" which was a weird mix of a gospel song with country guitar stylings and something like punk vocals (or maybe he was just yelling). Don't worry, Next Great American Band never really found an audience and I don't expect it back.

Next week's theme is Inspirational songs.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dolly Parton week on American Idol

It's Dolly Parton week on American Idol and someone sang what may be her best song “I Will Always Love You” popularized by Whitney Houston in the film The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner but no one sang “9 to 5” and I can’t tell if that was a good thing. I love Dolly Parton; she is a legend and a sweetheart of a lady but unfortunately this week on American Idol just wasn’t very exciting. I don’t know if the contestants just didn’t connect with her music or if they just chose conservatively from her 3,000 song repertoire but here they are in order:

Brooke White “Jolene”
She comes off nice, sweet, pretty, has great hair and overall a wholesome appearance but her performance wasn’t very inspired and I think that she would have done better without the guitar. She didn’t demonstrate much range or reach and once again stayed well inside her confirmed comfort zone. It’s not that I dislike her it’s just that she’s not doing anything performance wise that is setting her apart. The clock is ticking for Brooke.

David Cook “Little Sparrow”
In a word: awesome. Cook arranged this one himself and he did an incredible job. It wasn’t quite as good as some of his other performances (“Billie Jean” Chris Cornell arrangement or “Hello” his own arrangement) but it was stellar and he continues to lead the way.

On a side note, David Cook was taken to the hospital after the show for an undisclosed reason but he was released and back at the hotel last night. I expect that we’ll hear details tonight.

Ramiele Malubay “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?”
I spaced out in the middle of her performance and my attention wasn’t recaptured until I heard Randy Jackson saying, “I wasn’t jumping up and down but I wasn’t mad at you either.” Randy Jackson finding new and wackier ways to say it was ok but nothing special. No one should underestimate this man’s entertainment value. After replaying his comment 3-4 times I rewound and forced myself to pay attention to Ramiele’s performance and ultimately agreed with Randy. Ramiele is a good performer and at 20 she’s got a decent shot at a career in music but she doesn’t stand out in this crowd.

Jason Castro “Traveling Along”
The AI Troubadour was back at it with a peppy but uninspired little ditty that showed no vocal reach, nothing new and at this point he has just grown tiresome. Unfortunately the dreaded one will stick around for another week.

Carly Smithson “Here You Come Again”
It was a really beautiful performance but could have been better. She did smile this week and you could hear it in her voice; there’s just a different quality that comes through the song, hard to describe but real. Carly should be back next week.

David Archuleta “Smokey Mountain Memories”
I’m having a hard time getting past all the hoopla surrounding Archuleta. He’s seventeen, cute, bashful and has a killer tone to his voice; but his song choices and style are putting him in a category with Josh Groban and I don’t think that style fits an American Idol but he’ll be back next week.

Kristi Lee Cook “Coat of Many Colors”
Not challenging, safe, boring, uninteresting and even though country is her thing it was only ok. This was likely her swan song.

Syesha Mercado “I Will Always Love You”
Strong but some pitch problems, once again we know that she can belt but on the softer parts her flaws are quite apparent. Overall it was a good performance of a very difficult song.

Michael Johns “It’s All Wrong But It’s Alright”
Johns brought Rock and Soul to the stage when he ripped this one up. It was a very good performance and should be more than enough for him to stick around. Check out the video of his performance below.


Another side note: Johns fronted Film, an Atlanta based group that was showcased for labels but not signed. Johns left Film and joined The Rising which was subsequently signed to Maverick Records. Before being dropped by Maverick, The Rising recorded Future Unknown which was scheduled to be released in September 2003 but did not drop until recently when it appeared on Itunes. Looks like Carly isn't the only one with label experience.



Overall the show was not as exciting this week which is unfortunate because Dolly is a great artist and highly accomplished songwriter.

Results tonight.

Anne