We don’t watch a lot of television. I’ve said that here many a time. So, last night, after getting back from an awesome bike ride in Lawrence with D and Gimpy*,
imagine my surprise to come home to Sarah watching the season finale of American Idol. Thankfully, she was watching because we got to catch a killer live performance by Prince.Â But I digress. My wife was in a state of shock andÂ awe. Not because of the show itself, but because of the reaction to the show and how many damned people were in that theater and how many people voted (“more than have ever voted in a Presidential election” Sea Breeze was quick to point out) and how many people actually care. I’m sitting in my basement, covered in mud, dazed with my wife at the hubbub before us on the telly. Why so much hullabaloo? So one bland singer can have a shot at __________? Don’t get me wrong. I think Castle Greyskull can sing like a champ – and I’m sure he’s got a long career awaiting on Lite Rock stations across the nation – but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…that dude’s an American Idol? I repeat zzzzzzzzzzz. I demand more. I demand my American Idols to be more like Karen O. or John Ferguson. In fact, I’m going to e-mail John and suggest he try out for the next season of AI (no, I don’t know him, so that should prove all the more interesting).Â
In other music news, yesterday after work I kick on the ol’ 96.5 and hear the Dixie Chicks and I think I’ve got the wrong station but then I remember the furor that the Dixie Chicks have created in their genre’s camp* and I think Lazlo’s fun enough to play them and sho’ ’nuff, he is. Then the calls started coming. Most were supportive. But there were a few who called and legitimately thought that these girls were a disgrace and I thought,Â well,Â country music has never had much a space for protest songs but what takes more courage: welcoming voices of dissent or shunning them? More importantly for country music artists and fans, why is free speech OK only when speaking about kicking someone’s ass to defend the Red, White and Blue?Â
*This is Michael McDonald:
I shit you not – NPR just played a Michael McDonald song after talking about last night’s Idol.
* poor gimpson. his shoes got wet and he had crappy pedals so his ride was cut short. 🙁
* key quote: “…when asked, programmers and consultants that listened to the project were virtually unanimous in saying we should put the politics behind us and concentrate on all this other great music we were hearing.” We’re in a war for fuck’s sake! Is there some better time for music that expresses a political opinion? This attitude pisses me off.