Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

This one's probably going to be a shortie- am tired after a long day & the gym after work.

Plus, this first show wasn't too interesting... my hands-down favorite "Rock Clinic" was definitely the style one, despite Dave Navaro in his white feather boa. Monday's "Rock Clinic" was all about vocal technique & training, hence the subject heading. But first! Who can forget the dramatic elimination episode last Wednesday, and the ensuing competition for biggest show of hysterics? Off we go to the Rock Mansion...

Once again, the banquet table is heavily laden with sensible snacks, and once again again, the rockers are clustered about it, toasting to... the fact that they all hadn't been eliminated! Actually, there was a bit of moaning and pissing about the two recently dispatched ladies, Daphna and Heather. A few quotes...

"The house feels empty- we lost two people!"
"... give a big bomb... a big shake... we can't afford to not be 100%"
"The loss you feel is something you have to come to grips with!"
"I miss Heather and Daphna so much..."

See any difference from last week, when Neil's huge energy went away? Yes, the tide has turned- they don't seem so much sad that the two were kicked off; instead, the remarks and toasting to the newest losers had a perfunctory feeling to them. Several people make comments about how they feel more motivated this week by what happened. Yep, nothing like a faded 80's pop group's power tripping on their own show to give you the kick in the pants you need.

Then, a surprise! An ordinary woman with brownish hair is seen entering the back patio area where the mourning rockers are toasting (isn't it sort of weird to have them sitting around the pool? Somehow I don't think of bright sunlight when I imagine a rock lifestyle... would Keith Richards be out by the pool snacking in the midday sun? I don't think so). It seems that Marty, as an additional treat for performing well during the last competition, has been granted a visit from his sister! I find this a little odd- nice to have family visits and all, but can't they invite people over if they want to? Are the sequestered in the Rock Mansion? And what's the deal with the ongoing sister fixation? Another sister will turn up in the next episode, but you'll have to wait to find out whose sister it is!

Marty's mind is blown by the fact his sister has visited- doesn't take much to blow his mind, I guess. He introduces her around and shows her all his rock stuff, his room, his guitar, tells us that having her there was "like having my whole family walk up!". Aww. It's kind of sweet, actually- after she is seen saying goodbye to everyone, Marty says to the group, "Thanks guys for being so nice to my sister". See, rockers can have good manners, too. Then, an annoying moment- Suzie is shown weeping; one person asks why she's crying and she sobs out how much she misses her family. Sure you do- and you wanted a little camera time by making a dramatic scene. I hate the weepy "pay attention to me" quality of this outburst. We also get a moment with Mig, who says that if having a family member visit is part of your reward for getting the encore performance, he's going to perform like crazy this week (something to that effect- I got bored and stopped taking good notes this week).

So, on we go to vocal coaching. The rockers spontaneously wander en mass into a room, to find DN, an INXS guy, and some other guy who is introduced as one of the top vocal coaches in the music business- his list of clients include Courtney Love (hmm), Axl Rose (great singer, if you like the sound of Ethel Merman screwing a cat), Chris Cornell (i have the feeling he was already a good singer), and Eddie Vedder. I guess this dude was really busy in the 1990's... I didn't write down his name, but I think it was Ron? I'm going to call him Ron.

Jessica the pantiless goes first- she is asked to hum and swallow at the same time. I bet it's not the first time our girl Jessie has been asked to hum and swallow, nudge nudge. She fails! She ends up learning some trick of putting her fingers on her skull and singing; somehow it amplifies her own voice inside her head, and indeed she is suddenly on pitch and sounds much better singing "Never Tear Us Apart". Who knew?

The rest go up one at a time... we get to see all of the doing silly humming, la la la la, ooohhhh, waaaahhh, weee-ooo wee-ooo, noisy embarrassing vocal gymnastics. Brandon shares with us that he's 31, damn'it, and he likes his voice just fine, damn it. If he was watching this show, he'd clearly see that he is in fact the only person who sees no room for improvement. Ty gets yet another "theatre" comment- whenever he gets vibrato, it sounds theatrical. Ty tosses his mohawk and sniffs petulantly. Poor Deanna gets the worst treatment- I know I've not commented much on her performing because I find her pretty dull, but she really doesn't deserve this... Ron informs her that she's got a problem, because if you haven't gotten your vocal technique down by the time you're 35, you can't ever really be a great singer- at that point age changes your anatomy, "begins to break down" and you're just screwed since the flexibility to change is gone. I don't know how old Deanna is, but it really sucked that this guy Ron felt the need to say this in front of INXS guy. She is seen off camera saying she wish he hadn't said that in front of everyone- in a competition for a new singer, it doesn't help to be branded as a hopeless cause. Later, Dave Navaro is softly talking her down, as they sit on the sofa... "Deanna, you need to show us your vulnerability"...I'm sure DN has something he'd like to show Deanna, especially since we now know Susie cannot hum and swallow simultaneously.

Song choices! Gotta wrap this up quickly- getting bleary tired and typing the same things twice typing the same things twice. The usual stupid stupid (I meant that two times) J!D! Fortune! shenanigans ensue as he wants a song badly... but must outwit another singer from choosing it! He needs a lesson in direct communication- just say you want to sing the f*cking song. He does some weird bait and switch thing so he can sing "The Letter" instead of her. Whatever... another cringing moment as we see J!D! singing alone in his room, over-emoting to his biggest fan, himself. Jordis chooses "The Man Who Sold the World", and says it makes her cry, because it makes her think of a friend who died. Brandon chooses "If you could only see" by Tonic- I thought I didn't know this song, until I heard the rehearsal & realized it's one of those MOR pop tunes that was all over the radio a few months/years ago. Ty ends up with a Foo Fighters song, "Everlong"... says the timing is challenging, he doesn't know the song at all & isn't sure it's going to work out for him. Mig takes "We will Rock You".Jessie gets stuck with "Blister in the Sun", which is a fun song, but wouldn't be called a vocal showcase- involves much sneering attitude, which I don't think our Sorority Girl can muster up. There is also much time spent with Jessie confession to another rocker how lousy she feels that she's been in the bottom three two weeks in a row, and everyone must hate her. But, she has the magical ability to not wear underwear and sing simultaneously, so she might pull it off...

I leave you breathless- I said do you speak my language? He just smiled and gave me a vegamite sandwich!


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