Monday, May 18, 2009

Choose Love.

At the end of last Sunday's mass, the monsignor at my church made a semi-veiled statement about President Obama's commencement speech at Notre Dame University. He did not mention Barack's name, but he did say something about how the Catholic priest who made the Notre Dame school song is probably rolling in his grave.

That's fine to me-- the Catholic church is allowed to protest this visit from a pro-choice politician, and I do not blame them. The University of Notre Dame (I still can't figure out if it's university of OR ND Univeristy) is a Catholic institution and is a private one at that. Both the views of this president and the church are at conflict in the case of unborn babies/women's rights.

But I will say how I don't like it when politics creeps into my weekly mass. Sure, I should have been not paying attention as usual, but the monsignor snuck his message at the end of mass so it was a change in the format. If he mentioned it in passing during his sermon, then I would not be blogging this right now.

Unborn babies/women's rights are a very, very delicate issue that cannot be easily explained, much less solved, by just a single person. But I genuinely agree with both Barack and my monsignor in this case. Long story short, my priest talked about how "God is love" and Obama talked about opening a dialogue. What needs to happen is that both sides need to talk about it but in a less impassioned way so as not to alienate the other side. I'm not saying that both sides should compromise, not immediately at least, but to at least listen.

Yes, I'm biased becasue I go to church on Sundays, but that's it. That's exactly all I do, I go to church once a week. It does not make me anything more or less than a person who goes to church once a week.

But I believe both sides are lacking in love, so I choose love.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top 3 Major Idol Dump

Been gone for a bit, but let's talk Idol.

The top three performed last night and I think the judges just plain suck at picking songs for the contestants (Apologize, or should I say, 'pologize? really?). Of course Randy picked OneRepublic's Apologize for Kris to sing. Why did he pick it? It's because Randy is constantly trying to prove to us that he's "hip" or "relevant" and is "down" with what's "in". Rather than pick a song that would make Kris sound awesome, Randy chose a song because it's a popular song that was popular two years ago and the whole season he's been saying how the contestants should do OneRepublic. Is that the only band that's current? Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the band. I think they're decent, but that song is so played-out. Proof that the song choice sucked is when Chris performed a single/album worthy rendition of that idiot megalomaniac/idiot Kanye West's song Heartless. I won't hate. That song by Kanye ain't bad, but Kris' performance was killer. It was very catchy and he displayed his vocals too at the same time. He did not flounder around like Randy forced him with 'pologize.

Sorry, Kris, if you're not through to the next round, let's hope it's not because Randy is a 13 year-old me-too wannabe.

Speaking of bad song choices. What the eff was Paula's choice? I never heard of "Dance Little Sister". I'm sure it's a decent song, but it seemed forced on Danny Gokey. And while there's plenty of evidence that Gokey was responsible for adding that scatting/improv-but-not-really part in the middle, I'm pretty sure Paula thought it would be a genious idea to have Gokey go all "skippity bopp bopp bee doo". Seriously, I don't know much about scatting, but it sounded like shite. No, it sounded like shit. I felt bad for the saxophonist who had to mimick the scats that Gokey was choking up (wait, you're seriously going to riff the same thing over and over again? I thought you're supposed to improvise and make it sound good). Maybe Gokey isn't used to the improvised part. Maybe there is a limit to his perceived smug, in-your-face-watch-me-sing style, and it's when he's battling another musical instrument.

But give it up to Danny, I really liked his "You are so beatiful" rendition. He toned it down and controlled his singing. And when it came down to belting it out, that's what he did. I don't know about how genuine the emotion was, but it was close to a sincere performance as I think we'll see from him. In the very least, his performance makes him a contender for the finals. Sans scatting, of course.

Adam Lambert. Let me just say, right out of the bat, while I may have some haterade in my genes, I just don't get Adam. It's not really his ability, because he can sing when he's not screaming like a motherfucking banshee. It's just that. Stop screaming all the damn time, Adam. Not every song requires you to stick your tongue out and blow air at a high pitch. Save it for the epileptic inducing funk performances where it really doesn't matter if you scream because the song and the lights and the whole goddam presentation are already assaulting everyone's senses and better judgement that adding yelling to it really makes not difference.

Yes, I really did enjoy the slow performances he's done, specifically the "Tracks of your tears". And I thought he'd learn to tone it back. But I guess that's part of his personality, and I won't knock him for being himself. He seems also to be very humble. But I wouldn't look forward to his album. I may enjoy a broadway musical with him in it though.

Actually, Simon picked a good song for Adam ("One" by U2), but of course Adam had to "make it his own" but singing the melody different and spackiling some screaming for added effect. Come on. This would have been a good chance for Adam to show the world (or me at least) that he can find a happy middleground between screaming in songs and doing slow ballads. U2's "One" is perfect for that. He could have sang it the way it was meant to be sung (sang?) by starting off soft with emotional and then end it loud with authority and meaning. Good pick, Simon, but Adam had to reaarange it.

That's the other thing. I hate Adam's arrangements of certain songs that do not need to be changed up, like that fuggin' "Ring of Fire" that became some weird middle-eastern gamish that made me feel slightly icky at the end of watching it. We get it, okay, you're musically inclined enough to make songs your own. Just don't start owning every song you sing because sometimes the original owner sang it just fine.

And one more thing. Adam's other slow performance would have been great except that Idol tried to play it off as an original rendition of "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. I've actually heard the slow version somewhere else, like in Donnie Darko. So Adam was not being a musical genious when he slowed down "Mad World". What pisses me off more is that everyone loved it so hard like he was the second coming.

Everyone sweats Adam Lambert. But let's see how good his music is when everyone has to readjust the volume of the tracks of his album on iTunes because he's screaming the whole damn mammajammin' time. Ugh, I hate that.

Other than that, Adam is okay. And to be extremely fair, I really did enjoy his own personal song choice and performance of Aerosmith's "Crying". That's an example of where screaming makes sense and sounds good.

I hope Kris gets in though, because, at least, when he tinkers with other peeps' music, it actually sounds better. He also sang "Falling Slowly". Enough said. But for the record, also because I won't get tinnitus from listening to his music.