Thursday, February 26, 2009

WHAT is happening?!

I'm dying to know if Norman Gentle (Nick, whatever) made the cut into the final 12. We find out tonight!


In all honesty though, he's the best thing to ever happen to Idol. Outside of the awesomeness that is the cringe-fest of the Hollywood auditions, the show is so sickeningly disturbing that I normally don't watch past the first 2 weeks. By Hollywood week, it's just a row of 40-50somethings sitting back and telling teen-20somethings how marketable "they" are or could be if only "they" were completely different from the person that was on stage performing.


But this is why I love Norman/Nick. He's totally, hysterically true-blue regardless of what the judges think or say, which makes him incredibly lovable.

And I think it's enough for him to make it; and for some reason that makes me happy. Due to the underdog quotient? Probably. But that's a stretch ... he's going up against some Latinas Fantasticas (the producers really seem to be pushing a Latin-American winner year), a blind guy, and -- the most dangerous of all -- an early favorite of the judges, a 20something widower who has the face of Robert Downey, Jr. and a voice that melts buttah.

More likely it's due to the fact that a completely odd duck has forged a nook in the most ghastly display of the commercialized monstrosity that is the recording industry.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The American Version

Musically speaking, Philadelphia continues to surprise and impress me. In 1998 it was the Delta 72. In 1999 it was The Friggs, only I didn't realize they were Philadelphian until just recently. 2006 was Mazarin. In 2007, Dr. Dog and Man Man.

The 2009 Philly band du jour (thanks to Brian, as was Dr. Dog) is The Swimmers, an indie-pop outfit that composes harmonious rockers a la New Pornographers way. Only non-supergroup. And, you know, non-Canadian (yes, I'm aware that Neko isn't Canadian).

The 2008 album is quite good, and I'm wondering where I can get my hands on a copy; for the meantime I'll just have to stream the entire album, Fighting Trees at their website.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dear John, I'm Sorry To Disturb You, But ...

(Forgive the XTC reference.)

The current focus of my audiophilistic obsessions is the weepy, mournful, and almost cute vocals of Loney, Dear. His newest release, Dear John, is nothing short of exceptional. His new richer, more layered and lush compositions make his former releases seem simplistically precious by comparison; which is no small feat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's the opening track:

And here are some tracks from his 2007 release Loney, Noir (courtesy Loney, Dear's own website):

Hard days
I Am John
The City, The Airport

He's on tour right now with Andrew Bird and, regrettably, I don't live in a sufficiently cosmopolitan city to deserve a hometown visit, but I have aggravated everyone I know to be more fortunate than I to go see him.

Enjoy, and if you are able, go see him live!