Wednesday, March 29, 2006


(half-way live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

It's time to see the results of the worst set of performances ever in the whole history of the show. Seriously, it was wretched last night. I sort of wish we could eliminate the whole lot of them and pick a new Top 10.

Jessica Sierra, my favorite hottie from last year, is in the audience tonight. Good to see she's still doing well and stalker-free.

I wonder if Randy will ever accidentally flip Seacrest the bird while he's doing those gang signs. Paula and Simon are there as usual, and now it's time to move on to the video.

Apparently these Idols stay busy, what with rehearsals and production and all. Seriously, did any of you think they sat around and sipped cocoa all day? I mean, come on, Kellie doesn't even know what cocoa is! I find it funny to watch Bucky getting his eye makeup painted on. There's just not enough foundation in the world to cover that much ugly. Apparently the Idols get to go to a free screening of Ice Age 2, which incidentally is a Fox movie, and this is not in any way an attempt to sell tickets, nor a way to get the Idols to do a commercial with no form of compensation. Also, grass is blue and the sky is green. The Idols are just all one big happy family, y'know. It just warms my heart thinking about it.

After the break, in one of the most non sequitur moves ever, the show will feature Shakira and Wyclef Jean....


Time for another Ford commercial, because we haven't seen enough commercials yet, and Simon Fuller is going to have to finance that spare yacht somehow. Mandisa single-handedly cost Idol any future endorsements from Levi Strauss. These "music videos" are just bad.

Shakira and Wyclef Jean are on stage, and she sure is shaking that booty. I have to admit that I like this song, even though the phrase "hips don't lie" makes my head hurt when I try to make sense of it. Kellie Pickler should take note, because it's a performance like this that could win her the whole competition, even though I know she doesn't know what a "shakira" is. Actually, all the kids need to pay attention, because this is what it looks like to be a real pop star and not just some Creed or George Michael impersonator. So after a little bit of Shakira's hips shaking a few stage hands end up flying across the stage, and Wyclef stage dives right into a Paula mack, then he assaults Simon with headbutts.

Ryan feels guilty watching, because he's having impure thoughts, and it makes him question his sexuality. He never knew Wyclef was so hot!

Time for a recap of the wretchedness last night. Yuck. I need say no more.

It's crunch time. On the bottom row, Mandisa, Chris, Taylor, Paris, and Kellie are all safe. And the Pickler gets another pass.

Someone from the top row will be going home. Who will it be? I know (teehee) but you'll find out after the break!


On the top row, let's see what's up. Elliott is dancing, and he is safe. Lisa is most likely gone, in my opinion. She is in the bottom three. Ace tanked last night, and he is in the bottom three again. One more week for his guy, seriously, and that's it. Katharine or Bucky is the next victim. WHOA.... Katharine's in the bottom three tonight?????? Well I'll be a monkey's red-butted uncle! Still, I think either Ace or Lisa need to be getting ready for their last Idol after-party tonight.

We'll find out who's going where, after the break.


Ace just knows it's him, and you can almost see the pee stain on his jeans. Ace gets to sit back down which leaves Katharine or Lisa in the bottom two. Could it be a shocker tonight?? Simon says that any of the Top 10 could have been in the bottom three because every performance last night was wretched. Ryan reveals his bias when he says "Paula, why do you think Lisa and Katharine are standing here, ESPECIALLY Katharine?" Hmmm... Is that last minute pimpage? Lisa is smiling nervously, because she's already moved past the denial of the fact that she's imminently going home. Kat is not so comfortable with it, but it doesn't matter because Lisa Tucker is going home.

No big surprises here. Lisa wowed me consistently throughout the initial competition, and I thought she could have gone all the way, but things have just imploded in the last few weeks.

I don't care if I ever hear that PUTRID STUPID BAD DAY SONG EVER AGAIN!!! There, I got it out of my system.

Gee whiz, could they possibly pimp Kellie more?? They're giving her a country week next week!?!? I hate you Idol. I hate you so much.

Pickler is grinning like a jackal because Lisa is gone, and she sits there singing her song, because obviously it has to be all about her. At least Paris has the dignity to fake tears for it.

Well, at least they let her finish her song! And that wraps it up for Idol this week. Check back during the week for all kinds of goodies here, and next Tuesday, it's more Idol coverage!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


We're down to five men and five women, and if I take my shoes off and count my toes, that adds up to the Top 10! These are the people that will be touring the country with the American Idol concert tour this year, so start saving your tomatoes and rotten eggs to throw at Icky Pickler.

(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

It's time for the show to start. Tonight's theme is songs from the current century, which comprises the vast era ranging from 2000 to 2006. Does everybody remember what you were doing when the century turned? Yup, pretty much the same thing you're doing now. Kind of a let-down, huh? We have country and rock-n-roll being performed tonight, and you get no more than three guesses which contestant will do which genre.

Lisa Tucker is going to be singing a Kelly Clarkson song that everybody has heard WAY too many times by now. Seriously, is it possible to turn on the radio without "Because of You" spilling out of the speakers? Even when the radio is turned OFF it sometimes comes on. That's just how overplayed it is. Lisa is not doing a very great job with the beginning of this song. She can't hit the lower notes and she's reaching a bit much for the high notes and straining her limited range. To be honest, I didn't really realize just how limited she was until she tried this song. With all the flats and the sharps, the song has almost become unrecognizable. Lisa, girl, I like you, but this is a going-home performance. Randy thinks it was a very interesting way to start out the night by just doing an OK version of an Idol winner's song. Seriously, he's got a point. What a way to show people every single shortcoming you have as a singer! I get the feeling she chose this song to appeal to Idol fans. Paula attempts to stroke Lisa's ego but doesn't do a very good job, and she ends up dealing the first real criticism from her this season. Simon calls the performance occasionally painful, and he's right. She has an "oh crap" look on her face, and I'm betting on her bags being packed by the end of the night. Seacrest gets into some inane banter with the judges, and I swear he's gotten a thousand percent more irritating this year. This could be Lisa's swan song. No votes from me. 1-866-IDOLS-01

After the break, we'll try to reboot the show...


Kellie Pickler looks a lot different tonight for some reason. Somebody must've gotten a hold of her stylist, got her high, and then gave her a curling iron. I know you'll be surprised by this, but Kellie's singing country tonight. I'll give you a moment to recover from that shock. And she's singing it all straight through her nasal cavity. It's screechy, like nails on a chalkboard. Kellie tries this weird kick, as though she started to line dance but then just said the heck with it. She's not breathing well tonight, apparently, and she is keeping it staccato. That little thing at the end was just highly unnecessary, and it hurt my ears. Randy says he can already tell this is going to be an interesting night, which means everybody has really bitten it tonight. Randy and Paula think "Suds in the Bucket" isn't a good song choice, though it did work for Sara Evans. In case you didn't know, the main difference between Sara Evans and Kellie Pickler is...well...everything, but talent in particular. Simon thinks it was a horrific song choice. All they could say is song choice?? No sharp, no flat, no dear goodness Pickler sing from your diaphragm for the love of all that is good???? No votes! 1 866 IDOLS 02

Is that Deborah Gibson in the audience? I told you she'd be a great replacement for Paula.

Ace Young flats out a Train song straight out of the gate. Good grief, Top 10!! Get on pitch!! I'm so bored by this performance that I might just fall asleep. I am so not feeling it. Maybe it's just this category and the fact that I hear these songs beaten purely to death on the radio everyday, but the contestants are just falling flat all over the place tonight! Randy says it's the wrong song and that Ace didn't sing it well. Paula is not going to be as harsh as someone, which is the understatement of the year as well as the winner of the Miss Obvious 2006 medal. Ace is showing his autopsy scar from when he died and became a vampire, and Paula says "one day you'll have to explain that to me," and that's quite enough said for this year's Corey Clark from Paula. Simon thinks it wasn't a great vocal. I'm bored with Ace. Next! 1 866 IDOLS 03

Bring back Dunkleman. Please. And we get the reason for Ace's scar which is that (a.)he was playing basketball and (b.)I don't care.

After the break, Taylor and the most ridiculous nickname I've heard this year. Mandiva indeed...


Taylor Hicks is back from his romping at the Playboy mansion. He has picked up a fan, apparently, in the form of a corpse-looking 10 year old. Taylor explains the whole "Soul Patrol" thing, because Ryan Seacrest is perhaps the most inadequate interviewer in all of history. Taylor isn't busting out of his comfort zone by singing Ray Montagne's "Trouble." Vocally, I've heard worse, and I'm thankful that Taylor's standing still for a moment, even if he does look like he's holding back on an urgent Number 2. The only thing I can really complain about is that this, like every other song Taylor has sung, doesn't require a lot of range to sing. Otherwise, I agree with George Huff and Amanda Avila who are both enjoying the song in the audience. I wonder if they're dating? Mmmm, Amanda.... Okay, back on track... Randy thinks it wasn't the best. Paula likes it though, calls Taylor an old soul, and Randy has a look on his face as though Paula had just wet the floor and it was getting on his shoes. Simon likes the song, but he doesn't like Taylor's style. He compares Taylor's wardrobe to Clay Aiken. Ryan says that Simon's wardrobe looks like Kelly Clarkson's, which makes absolutely zero sense, such that it almost dips into the negative IQ numbers. 1 866 IDOLS 04

Mandisa gets all religious on us and breaks the Gospel soul groove out by singing "Shackles" by Mary Mary. The first part is kind of weak, but she works into the groove, and it's just very obvious to me that this is the arena that Mandisa needs to be in. Again, nothing against fat people, but for the love of all that is right in the world, somebody stop this girl from wearing blue jeans. Randy again doesn't like the song choice. He is almost impossible to please tonight, which is wonderful! Paula makes a comment about Mandisa being a new religion. Mandisa looks with near-contempt at the concept of "Church of Mandisa," which makes me like her. Simon doesn't enjoy her performance and calls it self-indulgent. Ryan continues the blasphemy, wanting us to not only attend but also worship at the Church of Mandisa, and she's got this look on her face that says she wishes Seacrest would shut up or at least move away before the lightning bolt hits him. Ryan reaches in for a smooch on the cheek, and Mandisa clearly rebuffs him. 1 866 IDOLS 05

After the break, Katharine McPhee...


Chris Daughtry attempts to save face by debunking the whole "made it my own" thing from last show by giving credit to the band Live. Nice save there, Chris. I wonder who has been reading the Idol messageboards? Ryan is obsessed with worship, and Chris looks at him as though he wants to punch him square in the groin. I know this will come as a surprise to any of you out there without a pulse, but Chris is going to do a Creed song. I so saw this coming. He is doing the least vocally challenging song they do, which is "What If." So basically he gets to scream the words. I've done this song with a cover band once, and all that's really necessary is lung capacity, not vocal control, not pitch range, and really not even remembering the lyrics. This wasn't good. Randy thinks he was sharp, though I'm not sure how he can tell. Paula further disgraces her joke writers and calls herself Chris's biggest fan. Simon thinks he went too far with this song and that Chris needs to show another side. I'm glad somebody on this show finally gets that. Seriously, Chris wants to pop Seacrest one right in the kisser. 1 866 IDOLS 06

Katharine McPhee is going to sing a Christina Aguilera song, and she goes on and on with some catty comment about the back-biting that goes on behind the scenes of Idol. I don't really like this song from the outset, and I think she's not really on top of it either. She needs to stop rooming with Pickler, because she's picking up the same "sing-through-your-nose" habit. I'm gonna pick on song choice this time, because I didn't like that one on her. Randy does, though, and thinks that she didn't bring anything new to the song. Paula gushes all over Katharine, and I really don't care what she thinks anymore. Seriously, someone go snatch Debbie Gibson out of the audience and plop her down in between Randy and Simon. Simon says it's the best performance of the night so far, which isn't saying much, and he further says that it's almost (but not quite) as good as Christina. 1 866 IDOLS 07

After the break, Bucky and Paris...


Bucky Covington is gonna sing a song by Tim McGraw because he flat-out likes it. He definitely looks the part tonight. I am going to stand by my previous opinion, which is that Bucky has one whale of a country music voice, and he would be unbelievably singing cowboy songs and honky-tonk beer-swilling anthems. You don't have to be perfect vocally to sing what he's singing, and I honestly think he did a really nice job of it tonight. Bucky might be this year's Josh Gracin. Randy thinks the song was perfect for him. Paula says to be careful of his diction. Oh come on, Paula!! This is country music!! Sheesh. Simon thinks he would've left if he'd paid a ticket to be there, but I suppose since he's there for free, he'll stick around. 1 866 IDOLS 08

Paris Bennett, who I will still never vote for, is up now with yet another weave in her hair. She's going to sing a Beyonce song, and it's quite obvious she tried to look like her and failed miserably. Again her performance is all style-over-substance, and she tries to work her booty, which on Beyonce is intoxicating, but on Paris, it's just creepy. I don't care what the judges say, I hated it. Randy says words like "fearless," "da bomb," "hot one right here," and blah blah blah. Pimp pimp pimp. Paula thinks Paris should be a Pussycat Doll, which is YUCK! Paula thinks it was precocious and that it was like a little girl pretending to be Beyonce (which it was.) Paris further endears herself to nobody by telling Simon "oh please!" Little Miss Smarty Pants gets no votes from me. 1 866 IDOLS 09

What's with all the contestants getting all egotistical and back-talking Simon? I thought that was Ryan's job.

After the break, some real talent, in the form of Elliott Yamin


Elliott Yamin is pulling a Bo Bice and singing "I Don't Wanna Be" as done by Gavin DeGraw. Elliott claims he is going to bring a soul and funk vibe to it. Well he doesn't do it so much as the band does, but I'll take it. I don't know how I feel about this as a whole, but I do know it's pretty good compared to everyone else tonight. I like Elliott. Randy says it's a hot one, and I suppose it is. I'm just ready for a different theme. Paula calls Elliott "one funky white boy." Simon hates the arrangement and the dancing but says the song was great.

Bottom three: Lisa Tucker, Kellie Pickler, and Ace Young. Bucky is my alternate.

Who will go: Kellie will have a bottom three scare, but she won't go, which will leave Ace and Lisa as the bottom two. Lisa will go home.

See you tomorrow night. For some reason, Shakira will be performing live on the show tomorrow night. Tomorrow night will NOT be live blogged, but look for my recap of the events to be posted later in the evening.


Due to a change in my schedule, tonight's episode of American Idol WILL be live-blogged. Some of you had questions concerning this, but Tuesday night A.I. live blogging will continue on as they have been previously. Wednesday night results shows will be blogged later than usual, and will not be covered live. Tonight, though, is live.

Hope that's clear as mud!

Monday, March 27, 2006


It looks like I'm not the only one who enjoys a good biscuit and gravy in the morning. This past Saturday, I ran into recent American Idol eliminee Gedeon McKinney at the Shoney's here in Memphis.

Now I've not always been complimentary of Gedeon's performances in this blog, but in this case I'll have to cut the kid some slack, because it's quite obvious that he put at least an hour or two of preparation into coming out to have breakfast. Gedeon's very particular about his appearance, and he dresses immaculately, even if it's only to go out and mingle with the great unwashed, and believe me, there are some scraggly characters waiting in the breakfast buffet line on a Shoney's Saturday morning.

He's a little taller than I'd imagined, so I kind of have an idea of exactly how short Ryan Seacrest is in real life now. His Macy Gray-esque hair is meticulously combed and doesn't look quite as Buckwheat-ish as it does on TV. Also, he's either got the clearest skin I've ever seen on any male, white or black, or he wears lots of foundation. I suspect the latter. Clothing-wise, he's an immaculate dresser.

He's so not gay though. I got a glimpse at his smoking hot girlfriend. Wowsers.

We didn't exchange much more than a glance, a smile, and a "good job" and "thanks," because unlike a lot of other writers, I can't bring myself to interrupt a man's breakfast with his family just to pitch an interview.

As he left the restaurant, Gedeon carried himself very gracefully, though I know the penetrating stares from everyone around him had to be unnerving at best and annoying at worst. Still, Gedeon took time out to speak to whoever spoke to him without any sort of malice or any indication of irritation. He stopped to take pictures with a young girl, and he gave us all his trademark toothy grin that Simon Cowell loved so much. He made it obvious that whatever cockiness he may have shown on TV that he is at the very least a class act.

So, anyway, I'll pitch the interview now. Gedeon, if you're feeling it, holla at your boy. We'll go grab some of those tater tots and biscuits on me!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


(with a photo of me on the beach in Florida for no particular reason)

It's hard to believe it, but this is my 100th post to Musical Ramblings. It's been a fun ride, and I hope to post hundreds more. It's been so much fun interacting with all of you, and I'll mention some of you (if only to boost your Technorati ratings!)

I can always count on Michael to come up with something interesting I haven't seen before (and probably shouldn't see again!). I've enjoyed sharing musical insights, including an almost psychotic obsession with the Nettwerk label with Mack over at BMA. Curt has always been good for a political debate. Kristin, what would I do without your insane adventures that make me laugh, punctuated by photos of the adorable Eva Jun? Hannah, you may be young, but you're wise beyond your years (or is that your ears? Heehee!) Mike, we may disagree on some pretty big issues, and you may be nuts for endorsing Pickler, but we're still having a blast with the A.I. thing this year, eh? Kat, keep on filling that not-so-empty blog, k? Julie, you've inspired me throughout the years with your skill, and you continue to do so. Dancewriter, I want to know more about the India trip, so keep posting! Texas Biscuit, don't ever let go of those Wonder Woman underoos.

I'd like to thank all of you guys out there who read here regularly and don't post. I know there are lots of you, and I appreciate each and every one of you. Musical Ramblings gets about 1000 to 1500 visitors per week, and all this goes out to you guys with every ounce of appreciation that I have.

To the musicians who have spoken with me, emailed me, and given me feedback, I tip my hat to you, and this blog is in your debt. I'd like to especially thank Ashley Melnick for her kind words recently. Also, big shout outs to Brooke Barrettsmith and her band Goodbye, Everlife, Hastang, Jessica Sierra, Line of Fire, T-Bone, Tabitha Hope, and Roxie Mae.

A special thanks at this time to the American Idols from this season who are out there, in particular Katrina Yaukey, Seth Strickland, Rhonetta Johnson, Justin Sticht, Kevin Mitchell, April Walsh, Brooke Barrettsmith, and Gedeon McKinney who have made this blog a lot of fun to write. Talking to y'all has been a trip, and I'm still proudly a fan of all of you, even if you looked goofy on screen.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Today's post isn't about music. Nothing in pop culture today excites me, because along with my family, I've been sitting and watching the news in shock and horror while the talking heads report on the unspeakable tragedy that is Matt Winkler's homicide.

I know it's not the first and certainly won't be the last murder of the year, but this one hits really close to home.

Matt was around my same age, and he went for a short while to the same college I went to before he transferred to Lipscomb. I remember seeing him around, though we never properly met, and I recall him as a friendly smiling face. I don't remember much about his wife, Mary, though she was there around the same time. It's a small Christian college, and there's just a different vibe there than in any other school, such that you feel sort of a bond with the other students, and when tragedy strikes, it feels very personal.

It also hits home because, as some of you may know, I spent a (very) brief time in the ministry, and the church that I worked with was in the same town and literally five minutes down the road from the Fourth Street Church of Christ where Matt was the minister. In fact, I baptized my now-ex-girlfriend in that very building. Matt wasn't there at the same time I was, but I knew his congregation, and I enjoyed the people there. I knew the members, and there's no finer group of people anywhere.

I also know the town of Selmer. There's no way that they were ready for this. Things like that just don't happen in that town or even in surrounding McNairy County. It's always so quiet, and about all the police have to do, usually, is to stop somebody from running the one or two red lights on the main street. It's sort of a Mayberry, with the barber shop, the video store, the Wal-Mart, and the mom and pop shops. The people there are simple God-fearing folk. It's no surprise that when the preacher didn't show up for Wednesday night that the church would go looking for him.

I don't know what happened between Matt and Mary. All I know is what you know: she shot him in the back and then hit the road until she ended up in Orange Beach, AL. I'm sure the sordid details will all come out, and there's already plenty of speculation in the court of public opinion over whether Matt abused her or if she just went nuts. I will say this: she wouldn't be the first girl I knew from that school who lost her mind and did something stupid. And if he did, in fact, abuse her, it still wouldn't have given her the right to cap him from behind. In my humble opinion, I sort of doubt that a battered woman would've left the scene, locked the doors, had the wherewithal to pick up the children from school unnoticed and gotten all the way to the Alabama coast. However, again, I don't know what happened, and all I can do is guess.

What I do know now is that three beautiful children are going to be for all intents and purposes orphaned, though thankfully the Winkler family has stepped up to take custody of them. They will have to live the rest of their lives with the events of the past two days haunting them forever, and they will know Mommy killed Daddy for whatever the reason might be. It will stick with them as they grow up and will forever be a hindrance to them in developing their own relationships.

With Mary's confession, it's all over but the court proceedings, and time will tell whether we'll hear any insanity pleas, post-partum depression, abuse allegations, or whatever the case may be. For now, though, a community that I care for very deeply is hurting, and I ask those of you who keep a personal relationship with God to pray for the town, the church there, and most especially the children. Faith, even in the dark hours, can heal.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


--by Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Caught, in an endless time
Waiting for a sign
To show you where to go
Lost, in a silent stare
Looking anywhere
For answers you don’t know

On the wire
Balancing your dreams
Hoping ends will meet their means
You feel alone
Well does it help you to
Know that I believe in you
You’re an angel waiting for wings...Emily

You, going through this stage
It’s a restless age
Young and insecure
Sill, there are doubts to fade
Moments to be made
And one of them is yours

On the wire
Balancing your dreams
Hoping ends will meet their means
But you feel alone
Oh does it help you to
Know that I believe in you
You’re an angel waiting for wings
Oh, you’re an angel waiting for wings...Emily

(Click the picture to enlarge. I sent these to Emaboo yesterday!)


There's so much noise out there. Music, car horns, people the next apartment over, dogs barking, TVs blaring...all of it comes together into one big cacophony that is life. And some of the noise out there is not so much something that's audible; rather, it's something that just sort of clouds one's mind and makes one less aware of one's own surroundings. With all the noise, sometimes we tune out important things.

Here lately, things have been all noise for me.

Still, one clear but small voice caught my attention in all the din. The voice belongs to someone who I believe to be beautiful from the inside out. She doesn't say these things outright, but leading by example, she has pointed out a few things to me.

It's difficult to know what I should do when trying to make this blog the best it could be. First of all, I want it to be good, because I want it to represent me well. If somebody reads things here, I want them to think of me as a good writer, occasionally witty, occasionally deeply introspective, and occasionally a mix of all of the above. I'll be the first to admit that I floundered a bit at the beginning, but with the beginning of this season of American Idol, I hit my stride. This blog owes a lot to that show.

Unfortunately, live-blogging of Idol has come between me and other commitments that I promised myself a long time ago I would keep. The show has inadvertently become exactly what its name indicates: an idol. I have missed out on opportunities to be with others who want me to be among them and fellowship with them, and I've missed too many opportunities to feed myself both emotionally and spiritually. I've prided myself on live-blogging each event, and I feel like I've done a good job. I've rationalized it by saying that I'm trying to build up a good writing portfolio. But these posts have come at a cost, and I've sacrificed things that my soul yearns to be doing in order to bring commentary to you live.

So tonight I looked myself in the mirror, then I looked at the TV show that has been monopolizing my evenings. I can't justify it any more. I have priorities, and this TV show (and it is but that, no more and no less) must move out of the way of other priorities.

Don't get me wrong. I'll still bring you recaps of each show, but they will no longer be posted live. Rather, I will be pre-recording the show and giving you my analysis after the fact. You'll still get the same comments and smart remarks, but I'll just be giving them to you at a later hour, or possibly even the next day. There's just some things I have to do first. Stick around. This blog is here to stay, but in order to be the best person I can (and therefore, hopefully, the best writer I can be) I need to take care of some things for myself.

To Emily: Thanks. I owe you more for these last few weeks than I can ever repay.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Yesterday night, the top 11 contestants tried their hand at songs of the 50's. The performances turned out...well, let's be honest, mediocre. Some were good, some not so much, but just about all of them were just a bit dull.

Speaking of just a bit dull, Barry Manilow was the guest last night, and he'll be performing tonight. I think Idol hates us. I can't imagine a programming executive deciding to feature Manilow on a youth-driven show, where the vast majority of the audience wouldn't recognize anyone who is not currently dating Jessica Simpson. I'd like to imagine it was some fuddy duddy old man making the decision to use Barry, but the truth is that Barry has a CD coming out and he and Fox need anything they can get to promote it.

Stay tuned to see who's going home!

(live blogging, keep refreshing!)

Seacrest is in all black again tonight and it looks like he got a haircut. Sami is not here tonight, so far, even though she would be perfect in all her 7-year-old-ness as the host for this show. There were 35 million votes last night, you slackers. Seacrest introduces the victims and then the judges. Simon and Paula are still feuding, supposedly, and there is a cacophonous sound across America of people not caring.

Recap time, and they just give Kellie and Chris a big old sloppy french kiss. Taylor and Bucky get a slap in the face. Kevin gets some big pimpin' while Lisa gets crapped on. Katharine and Mandisa get the usual treatment. There's something about Ace, but they're being ambiguous about him tonight.

After the break, we'll waste more time to sell more ads...


Speaking of half-baked performances, I bet Belinda Carlisle is protesting outside the studio at the treatment of the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat." I needed very little more reason to dislike Kevin, but there's the whole underage sex symbol innuendo yet again in the Ford commercial. It makes me thankful that I drive a Chevy, I tell you.

Apparently Barry Manilow debuted at number one on the pop charts, probably because some near-sighted parents thought they were buying a Barney album for their toddlers. Seriously, I know none of you bought the album. Barry decided to skip going to his gig in Vegas to perform for us. Oh, Barry, you shouldn't have. Barry gets all spastic with Ryan, and I just want to take that blue tie and shove it into his pie hole. He's going to sing "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing." Listening to Barry's baritone, I can say with all certainty that Mr. Manilow would've never made it past the first round of American Idol. Barry sort of looks like he got beaten around the head with a stick and then spent about five hours hanging from hooks in his ears and nose. By the way, who let Bobby "Copacabana" Bennett back into the building? Have the security guards flogged! Maybe Bobby should've sung the song. Couldn't have been much worse.

Alrighty then, now that THAT torment is over, we can go to a commercial...


Ace looks like he's about to wet himself. Ryan is talking crazy fast. Ace is safe this week. Mandisa is safe. Elliott is safe. Slow down Ry guy, I'm having trouble typing this fast! Kellie needs to be in the bottom three. Oh my dear mercy, Kellie actually asked what a "ballsy" is, not realizing the difference between a noun and an adjective. There are just no words, except I am going to step up my Kick Pickler campaign to the next level next week. Icky is safe. Chris is safe. Paris is safe. Would it have taken so much to just say "top row, no worries?" Katharine is safe. Taylor is safe.

Bucky, Lisa, and Kevin are in the bottom three. My bets are on Lisa. We'll find out after the break.


I definitely think these are the right people in the bottom three, though obviously I want Kellie gone just as soon as possible, and I hope that statement she made during elimination really comes back to bite her in the butt next week. Kevin is the least talented of this week's bottom three, but I suspect it will be Lisa saying goodbye to us tonight.

Time for the moment of truth. Well, my prediction falls short, because Lisa is going to get to go sit down! Good on ya girl, and remember to wear it out next week! Now it's time to choose between Bucky and Kevin. Paula pretends like either of these guys will have a career in music after the show. Bucky gets to sit down right quick, and glory be, Kevin is finally going home!

I am pulling out a cannon now to blow my TV away because Idol has now officially made me hate that Daniel Powter song.

Oh, I am so glad to see this kid go home!!! This means no Kevin on the Idol tour! People, do you realize what a wonderful thing this is??

So, the palate is clean for next week, where we'll see the Top 10 and let's hope that Fox cuts off Kevin's goodbye performance like they did Melissa's last week. Well, no luck, so I guess it's up to me. CLICK!

Keep coming back to Musical Ramblings during the week for more music and entertainment news and for next week's Idol coverage!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


It's time yet again to interrupt a rousing round of Need For Speed: Most Wanted to slog through another excruciating two hours of American Idol. Honestly, I love the show, but do we really need this much of it?

So who will blow it out of the water, and who will just plain blow it? We'll find out today as the best of the rest (oh, and Kellie and Kevin too) perform tonight.

(live blogging, keep refreshing!!)

And we're off. Ryan is standing next to someone who is smiling as though she might have heard Seacrest fart before the cameras went hot. Cue the opening and all the audience clamoring as we wade through tons of posterboard signs with different names emblazoned on them, declaring varying levels of adulation for random horrible contestants.

The contestants come out, and it looks sort of like it's a funeral or Johnny Cash night for a bit, since most of the first group is wearing black. Kevin is just so annoying already.

The theme for tonight is songs from the 1950's, which pretty much makes it identical to the Hollywood auditions. Paula thinks the contestants will be stellar, though she also predicted that New Coke would be the drink of the 80's. Ryan challenges Simon on his weekend press stint and his prediction of the top three (which, incidentally, is Kellie, Taylor, and Chris, with Chris and Taylor making the finale.)

Good grief. What did we ever do to you, Idol, that you have decided to curse us with Barry Manilow? Please, make it stop! The Idols sit at the feet of the alleged "master," and most of them succeed in feigning interest in what he says, with the exception of Chris, who seems to be wondering when it will be Tommy Lee night.

Up first is Mandisa. I don't mean to be one of the makers of fat jokes, but tonight totally disproves that black clothing is slimming. Mandisa went against Barry's advice in opening soft and ending big, which is what she does all the time anyway. Barry says that Mandisa has no range, but I don't think he meant it as an insult, even though it clearly is. One thing is for sure, though. Mandisa is the spitting image of Aretha tonight. I think Mandisa should have started out big too, because the soft opening exposed a bit more shortcomings. However, once she gets it crunk, she really delivers. Tonight she's more in her element, and this is a nice performance. This performance tonight proves what we've known all along, and that is that Mandisa NEEDS to be singing soul. It was definitely hot, and I'm just waiting for Randy to back me up on that. Randy is speechless, with the exception of a barrage of "dawgs" and "yo's." Paula looks very tore up tonight. She calls Mandisa a thorobred, which again is not an insult, even though it is. Simon thinks it was a sexy performance and that the song should be used as a stripper performance song, which I repeat is not an insult. Wow, Mandisa has some thick ankles. Still, I want to vote for her tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 01

After the break, Bucky and Paris...


We’re back, and naturally Blogger thinks that it would be a great idea to go down for maintenance right in the middle of prime blogging time for the most popular show in America.

Bucky Covington is up next. Barry criticizes and de-pimps Bucky by saying his song is too repetitive. This is the guy who wrote “Mandy” by the way. I’m ready to drop kick my TV. Bucky will be singing “Oh Boy.” At least that’s what passes for singing from Bucky. I’ll tell you this: the song doesn’t make ME want to scream “Oh Boy.” Rather, it makes me say “Oh Crap” as I mute the volume. This is just wretched. His stage moves just look mechanical, and he sort of seems to just be marking time. I didn’t like that at all. Randy thinks the song was a good choice and compliments his hairstyle choice. Paula has bunnies and puppies on her mind, so she’s not going to say too much in the way of negativity. Simon brings it back to reality, saying it’s nothing more than a pointless karaoke performance. And again, Paula and Randy attempt to shout her down. Paula lays the hammer down by saying “people love you,” as though that is supposed to absolve him for a complete lack of talent. Seriously, Paula, you know as well as I do that you’d never sign him to your own record label. No votes for a bad performance. 1 866 IDOLS 02

Constantine Maroulis and Ryan Cabrera are in the audience. Someone has a record to pimp.

Paris Bennett, whom I shall never ever ever vote for again after her moronic singing ham-fest last week during the Ryan interview, is up next with her pitiful baby voice. Barry strokes her ego for just a moment more. Apparently I missed it when Congress passed a bill that said "Thou shalt not ever under any circumstances say anything negative about Paris." I think Barry and Paula must have been in the same high school choir or something. Paris is going to sing “Fever.” It’s really about time for this girl to consult a stylist. I can say okay to the yellow Marilyn Monroe dress, as long as she’s not standing over an air vent, but the hair and the 95 thousand wigs have to go. I’m bored with the song choice, and overall, I’m just bored with Paris herself. She’s been a one-trick pony this whole time, and while it’s great that a 17 year old can sing classic songs with some degree of soul, I find myself uninterested in her. Randy thinks she really blew it out the box tonight. Paula and Randy seem to forget how much they told Lisa to stop singing old folks’ songs, and they spread praise all over Paris with a shovel. Pimpage galore. Simon also forgets how much he almost always criticizes people for not getting out of the comfort zone and for singing safe songs, and he says that Paris is doing what she does well. Pimply pimpage. No votes for Paris tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 03

After the break, Chris….


Ryan gets a seven year old to teach him how to use a cell phone. She is way under-impressed by Mr. Seacrest. The seven year old manages to pimp Ace.

Chris Daughtry is going to sing "I Walk the Line." Barry Manilow doesn't really know Johnny Cash music apparently. This is quite disingenuous of Chris, since this will almost certainly capitalize on the popularity of the recent Joaquin Phoenix movie. Unfortunately, Chris is going to turn it into a Toad the Wet Sprocket song. This may be Chris's first mis-step. The opening notes are a bit low for his voice and he falters quite a bit. Once he kicks it up into the next octave, he's fairly steady. This is not all that bad, but again, it's Chris doing the same song he's done every other week. Picking a performance by Chris is sort of like deciding which Creed CD you want to listen to; it really doesn't matter what you decide on because you know no matter which song you select, it's going to be all pretty much the same. I want to see some diversity. Some of the latter parts of the song fall a bit sour. What can I say? It's not my favorite performance of his, and I didn't like the version of this song, but it's quite obvious he's going to sail through the competition like a child running through a McDonald's playground. Randy says some sort of blather that I ignored, because his comments are becoming more cut and pastable than Paula lately. Paula again states that he should already have, at minimum, the Nobel Prize. Simon compliments him on taking the song and "making it his own." Simon thinks it's great that he refuses to compromise. I can vote for Chris on this occasion, but I want to see more next week. 1 866 IDOLS 04

After the break, Katharine McBabe...


Somebody give Katharine McPhee's stylist a raise. She looks crazy hot tonight. Katharine gets a pre-pimp chat session with Ryan Seacrest. Maybe the VTR machine was stuck and they needed to kill time. Who knows? Anyway, time for the production piece. Katharine gushes over Barry the same way she gushed over Stevie. I would rather swallow a box of tacks than have Barry for a vocal coach, personally. Wow, we're spending a ton of time on Katharine tonight. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. This song is hitting me in all the right places. It's a bit slow, a bit soft, but her voice is just right for it. I can't really find anything to complain about with the possible exception of one slightly sour high note, but otherwise this was a pitch perfect performance, and my phone will likely come down with some McPheever tonight. Loved it. Randy says it wasn't his favorite vocal performance but that it was strong and that it was a tough song to sing. Mad props from the Randy. Paula encourages Randy to criticize her for some reason that I'm sure doesn't involve tranquilizers. Paula states that she thinks Katharine will win the competition after having criticized Simon for making similar predictions earlier in the show. Simon says Katharine has become a star tonight. It's good to know that Katharine has just one or two strips of double-stick tape between her and a serious wardrobe malfunction. 1 866 IDOLS 05

After the break, the ... wait a minute...the Silver Fox????? Much more of this and it'll be back to playing Madden for me....


Ryan is in the audience annoying people.

Taylor Hicks felt the need to impress Barry by walking up to Barry while butchering "Mandy." Barry calls Taylor a "whiskey tenor," by which he probably means you need a fifth of Jack to like what Taylor's doing tonight. Barry pimps Taylor, calling him the best male vocalist this year. I like Taylor, and maybe I'm just hard to please, but I'm not hearing much diversity from him either. And all the pimp-walking while performing is just taking away from whatever vocal he might have. The band is overpowering him tonight. Taylor is all style over substance tonight, and this is the first time I've really actively disliked his performance. It's just sort of getting to be a bit old. On the other hand, I'd definitely like to hear more from the saxophone player. Taylor, love ya, love Birmingham and a certain girl from there who knows who she is, but tonight just didn't do it for me. Randy doesn't think that the song was challenging, since it was yet another four or five note range type of song. Paula extols how everyone danced to this song back in the day (and that day was a Wednesday, apparently, and Paula was turning 30 for the first time.) Simon is going to rip him a new one, and he isn't able to get his criticism out before the useless sycophantic audience tries to drown him out. Simon says it's a huge mess and that it was a stupid party performance. Paula shouts him down with some inane crap about how Simon can't dance. In case she forgot, Taylor doesn't know how to dance either. Paula says something insane about a medicalert bracelet. Ryan compares Taylor to George Clooney, Jay Leno and Phil Donahue, which isn't an insult, but really it is. I mean REALLY it is. 1 866 IDOLS 06

After the break and some domestic violence counseling for the judges, Lisa...


Lisa Tucker is up next and is looking as cute as always. Really, is there any chance for this girl unless Paris gets booted? We can hope, can't we? Barry says Lisa shouldn't know "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" because he isn't aware of recording mediums such as CDs and tapes, due to the fact that nobody ever buys any of his. How did the casting director for Lord of the Rings miss casting Barry as a hobbit, or perhaps as Gollum? Time for Lisa to sing, and unfortunately she's just turning in yet another performance. I mean, she's very talented, but it's like she phones it in every week. What Lisa MUST have is something to set herself apart, and tonight it's just not clicking. She missed a lyric there too, and somewhere in the void, the ghost of Melissa McGhee cringes. There's really nothing to complain about with the vocals, but there's really nothing to just jump up and down about either. I wouldn't NOT vote for her, but still... Randy thinks it was a good performance, but you can tell by his tone of voice that he is seriously about to de-pimp her. Paula likes that she brought back some youthful energy. Simon continues his beef with Paula over dancing. Paula is choking to death next to him so it's hard to hear his comments. He thinks that it was nothing better than a high school play performance. Ryan pleads with us to pick up our phones and vote for Lisa because even he knows she's likely to get the heave-ho this week. 1 866 IDOLS 07

After the break, the Anti-Sex Symbol...


Kevin Covais is up next, and I no longer feel bad about making fun of him. Barry thinks "When I Fall in Love" is perfect for Kevin's age, because in twenty years, when Kevin has developed from his current state as a sperm into what might pass for a full-grown adult, Kevin might actually attract a girl. Though I wouldn't bet on it. Kevin is really buying into his own hype as a sex symbol. Oh dear, he's sitting on the stage risers. This song is completely wrong coming from him. Kevin, dude, get your hand out of your pocket. There's way too many ways to make a joke about that. Do I need to say anything about his vocals? They haven't changed from their previous pattern of suck. Kevin sure does blink an awful lot. One day he is going to watch the tapes of this and be very embarrassed. What a horrific singer! Even Jasmine Trias can't make this performance enjoyable. Randy sees himself in Kevin, although five hundred pounds lighter and milky white. Paula thinks it took courage to sing the song, and she wants to adopt Kevin. Simon likes Kevin as a person, says it wasn't the best performance but that Kevin's target audience (the deaf population) will love that performance. Wow, some surprise pimpage there! For a more honest opinion given by Simon, listen to his recent Howard Stern interview. Still, no votes for me from Kevin. Ryan babbles something, and I'm thinking that if I were Kevin, and Ryan called me "Chicken Little" just one more time, I would haul off and belt him in the mouth hard. 1 866 IDOLS 08

After the break, Elliott...


Elliott Yamin has his shirt untucked. Why the tie? Elliott didn't like Barry Manilow going into the show, but he apparently changed his mind, which is something you sort of have to say to not hack anybody off. Barry is de-pimping Elliott as well. Wow, this 2 hour Idol crap has got to go. My butt is growing roots into the seat. Does the fact that I'm actually bored enough to type the previous sentence tell you anything about the excitement level of these long production pieces about the contestants and Barry? Elliott continues to be a one-trick pony as well, and call me crazy, but is ANYONE going to leave their comfort zone and try something wild tonight? Paula has two fingers up in the air, but that's only because she's demonstrating to Simon how high she has learned to count. Elliott's performance is fairly okay, but to be honest, I'm finding myself daydreaming and just sort of bored by it. The only thing that has really got me crunk is seeing my girl Lindsey Cardinale in the audience. I still sort of want her. Randy says Elliott worked it out. Paula has goose bumps and a glaze over her eyes. Simon and Paula have their witty banter again. Simon thinks his singing was fantastic. I can vote for Elliott tonight. 1 866 IDOLS 09

After the five millionth break, Icky Picky will be singing (surprise!) some country...


Note to Idol contestants: we know what you all LIKE to sing. Now it's time to show us you have range.

Ick Pickler is up next, and she had no idea that Patsy Cline was in the 50's, but that's only because she doesn't have any idea about anything. Kellie is still working on learning to spell her own name, and she's still can't believe that Kellie is not spelled "P-I-C-K." Barry is pimping the bejeebers out of Kellie tonight. Kellie is singing "Walking After Midnight," and she does this lame pimp strut onto the stage. Yet again we get to hear the interior of the Pickler sinuses invading our ears. She has quite a bit of trouble making it down the steps and making love to the camera at the same time. She's just sort of traipsing about, sticking her butt out in the air and inexplicably singing to Paula. I'm going to say something that I'll probably regret later, but the very last part of the song was actually not horrific. She then messes that up by shuffling around and breaking her mic pack. It's a wonderful thing that her mic is off. She still thinks Simon was calling her a mink coat. She's amused that someone has drawn a pickle, probably because she's never seen a pickle before. Randy likes her, Paula likes her, and Simon calls her ballsy. Kellie says "I don't know" for what must be the millionth time in her life when Ryan asks her what's up. Then she makes some moronic comment about her eyelashes before being completely mystified for a second time by the pickle poster in the audience. Once again, no votes from me, based simply on the annoyance factor. 1 866 IDOLS 10

After the break, Ace is liable to do something involving eyes and cameras...


Is it over yet?

Sammie the seven year old does a better job hosting the show than Ryan. Seriously. Hire her, please.

Ace Young wants to do a jazz rendition of "In the Still of the Night," which Barry thinks is a bad idea. Early bold prediction: look for Ace in the bottom three again tomorrow. Thankfully, this is the last we have to see of Music Teacher Barry for the night, though I'm sure we'll be cursed with a performance tomorrow night.

I'm serious, guys. Hire Sammie.

Ace didn't need to do this. This isn't really a jazz rendition of the song as much as it is a 98 Degrees or Backstreet Boys version of it. Ace's voice isn't even right for this song, and it lacks soul. Ace flubs the lyrics, and Melissa's warming a place up for him. That falsetto at the end was wretched and his voice almost cracked a million times during it. Ace's brother is rockin' that unibrow thing. Paula completely has caught the vapors. Randy says that Ace is back. Paula actually counted the number of signs containing marriage proposals for Ace, but that's only because she made most of them. Simon says it's not the best vocal and gets to say little else because of the stupid audience. Simon thinks he won't be in the bottom three this week. I won't be voting for him. 1 866 IDOLS 11

Well, that's it for another torturously long episode of American Idol. Be back tomorrow at 9/8c for the results.


Lisa is going home. Kevin should be, but I'm pretty sure he'll get carried for another week or so.

Monday, March 20, 2006


The lineup for this year's Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis TN has been announced. The show is always huge and the bands are almost always well known. This year is no exception, as the promoters seem to have pulled out all the stops to bring quality entertainment to the Bluff City.

Performers featured this year are as follows:

Friday, May 5, 2006

B.B. King
Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Puddle of Mudd
Bryan Adams
Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Three 6 Mafia
Big Star
Jason Mraz
Duwayne Burnside & Mississippi Mafia
Zac Brown Band
Marty Casey & Lovehammers
Billy Gibson

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Huey Lewis & the News
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic
Shemekia Copeland
Jerry Lee Lewis
Little Richard
Three Days Grace
Bruce Hornsby
Eric Sardinas
John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Bo Diddley
Gin Blossoms
Al Kapone w/ Bo Keys
Big Jack Johnson
Richard Johnston & Jessie Mae Hemphill
Slightly Stoopid
Honeytribe with Devon Allman
Yonder Mountain String Band
Lazy Lester

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Blues Traveler
James Brown
Johnny Winter
Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women
Booker T. & The MG’s
Gov’t Mule
Hubert Sumlin with G.E. Smith
Paul Thorn
10 Years
Robert "Wolfman" Belfour
Billy Lee Riley
Janiva Magness

I hope to be there this year. Anybody needing any travel information or hotel recommendations can feel free to leave a comment. Maybe some of us will meet there!

Individual tickets as well as three-day passes are on sale via Ticketmaster. Three-day passes are the best value as they only cost $49.50 plus tax.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I was chatting with a friend of mine online today, and we were having a conversation about celebrities. She asked me if there had ever been a time that I had met a celebrity and had been really star-struck.

I had to think about it for a while. For one, I don't meet a lot of celebrities, and for another, I'm usually pretty cool about it when I do. I mean, I met the guys from the band Sister Hazel and it was more or less a "what's up" sort of thing. I shook hands with the Vice President, and I was just matter-of-fact about it. I had President Carter sign my book a couple of months ago, and I conversed with him just like I would any other person. I didn't even break a sweat when the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry spoke to me and signed my football.

Then one instance stuck out in my mind.

Back in high school, I worked at the town library, and it was there that I was introduced to the work of a great Southern writer. Lewis Grizzard was his name. He published a column every week in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and I read it religiously, along with his colorful books. He was a humorist of the highest order, and I would while away the hours after homework with one or another of his books, driving my parents crazy with my random laughter and causing them to wonder what was so funny.

Lewis could write such down-home, country-spun humor and make you feel like he was your next door neighbor. He wrote about the things that we Georgia boys understood, from the first kiss from the girl down the road to the passion of UGA football. He wrote about his mama's old brown hymnal, the death of his father, his black Labrador retriever named Catfish, and growing up in the South. He did it with such flavor and such wit that to this day when I pick up one of his books, I can't put it down until the end.

His books were worth the titles alone. I found Shoot Low, Boys, They're Riding Shetland Ponies to be inspirational, Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night to be knee-slappingly hilarious, Don't Bend Over in the Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes to be just the least bit naughty, and My Daddy Was a Pistol and I'm a Son of a Gun to be tearfully nostalgic. He had so many different sides, and I just loved to read them all.

When it came time for me to do my junior year project for literature class about an author of our choice, I figured it would be natural to work up some things on Lewis's work. I breezed through several book reports, a couple of essays, and even part of the final project before the teacher dropped the bombshell on us: we each had to personally interview the authors we had chosen.

Now I love Mrs. Cowne, and I still say she's the teacher that gave me the necessary tools I need to make it in this writing business, some of which earned me 100s in my college lit classes, but in this instance, I could've just screamed at her. How was I, a little high school junior, supposed to get a personal interview with one of the most in-demand (to say nothing of highly paid) author/journalists in the South? I tried explaining this to her, but she would hear nothing of it, and the challenge stayed on the table.

I tried contacting the Atlanta Constitution and quickly got nowhere with them. No way were they about to give out information on one of their most famous columnist, much less the phone number. Dejected, I slogged through the rest of the project without much hope of being able to complete it, comforted only by the fact that I knew two other of my classmates weren't going to be successful in trying to contact Lewis either.

My dear mother, on the other hand, wasn't willing to give up quite so easily. As I was in school, she was on the phone with the Constitution until finally she had wrung the name of Lewis's agent out of the staff there. Then she spent quite a bit of time on the phone with him. Fortunately, the agent agreed with my mother that my lit teacher had to be out of her mind to expect the students to do such a monumental task, and after speaking with Lewis, he gave my mother his home phone number to call, on the condition that I not share it with any of my classmates and that I tear the number up as soon as the phone call was done.

When I came home and found that my mom had gotten through, it was almost more excitement than I could bear. I, one of Lewis Grizzard's most ardent--and possibly youngest--fans, was going to not only get my interview questions answered, but they were going to be answered by him through a personal phone call to his personal residence. It was to be my first interview ever with anyone of any sort of celebrity status.

I honestly can't remember much of the phone call. I remember what he sounded like and how gracious he was to answer what must have been some really juvenile questions. Still he never let it bother him, and he patiently waited while my small voice quivered out the questions. After I was done, he thanked me for my interest and I thanked him for saving my grade and for talking with me.

I was the only one who got the interview. The other two classmates hated me for it.

That was my first time being star-struck. I will never forget Lewis for that one moment in his not-always-perfect life when he had compassion on a young student and aspiring writer and gave an hour of his busy life to help me get my grade. I hope that if I ever become a famous writer that I'll do the same.

Lewis died not long after that. His ashes were scattered over Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA, and the world lost one of its best writers. But he's not gone. Every now and then he comes out a little bit in my writing, and I must believe he appears every now and then in the writing of others who enjoyed his work.

Okay. So I'm still a little star-struck...

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Roxie Mae and I have been trying to help our friend Hannah over at the Candace Cameron forums to get cultured in 1980's music. We've had some success, but since Hannah's only 13, we've had to work a bit harder to introduce her to the music that defined our childhoods, so what I've worked up here is a list of songs that everyone should know to familiarize themselves with the 80's. These songs defined a decade and the genre they were a part of.

38 Special - Hold On Loosely
AC/DC - For Those About to Rock
Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes
Aerosmith - Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Air Supply - Making Love Out of Nothing At All
After 7 - Can't Stop
After the Fire - Der Kommissar
A-Ha - Take On Me
Al B. Sure - Night and Day
Alabama - Tennessee River
The Alan Parsons Project - Eye in the Sky
Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
Alice Cooper - Poison
Andy Gibb - Desire
Animotion - Obsession
Ann Wilson and Mike Reno - Almost Paradise
Aretha Franklin - Freeway of Love
Atlantic Starr - Always
Autograph - Turn Up the Radio
The B-52's - Love Shack
Babyface - It's No Crime
Bad English - When I See You Smile
Bananarama - Venus
The Bangles - Eternal Flame
The Beach Boys - Kokomo
The Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is a Place on Earth
Benny Mardones - Into the Night
Berlin - Take My Breath Away
Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - I've Had the Time of My Life
Billy Idol - Mony Mony
Billy Joel - Uptown Girl
Billy Ocean - Get Into My Car
Billy Squier - The Stroke
Blondie - Rapture
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - Shakedown
Bobby Brown - Every Little Step
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
Bon Jovi - Living on a Prayer
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Boston - Amanda
Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy
Boy Meets Girl - Waiting for a Star to Fall
Boz Skaggs - Jojo
Breathe - Hands to Heaven
Brenda K. Starr - I Still Believe
Bruce Hornsby and the Range - That's Just the Way It Is
Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA
Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
Buckner and Garcia - Pac-Man Fever
Calloway - I Wanna Be Rich
Cameo - Word Up
Captain and Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time
The Cars - Drive
Chaka Khan - I Feel For You
Cheap Trick - The Flame
Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
Chicago - You're the Inspiration
Chris DeBurgh - Lady in Red
Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme
Cinderella - Gypsy Road
The Clash - Rock the Casbah
Club Nouveau - Lean On Me
The Commodores - Night Shift
Corey Hart - Never Surrender
Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
The Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
The Cure - Friday I'm in Love
Cutting Crew - I Just Died in Your Arms
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You
David Bowie - Let's Dance
David Lee Roth - California Girls
The Dazz Band - Let It Whip
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round
DeBarge - Rhythm of the Night
Debbie Gibson - Electric Youth
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Deniece Williams - Let's Hear It For the Boy
Devo - Whip It
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
Dino - I Like It
Dionne Warwick - That's What Friends are For
Dire Straits - Money for Nothing
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Parents Just Don't Understand
Dokken - Slipping Away
Dolly Parton - 9 to 5
Don Henley - The End of the Innocence
Donna Summer - She Works Hard for the Money
Donny Osmond - Soldier of Love
The Doobie Brothers - The Doctor
Doug E Fresh and MC Ricky D - Lodi Dodi
Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town
Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
Earth Wind and Fire - Let's Groove
Eddie Money - I Wanna Go Back
Eddie Rabbitt - I Love a Rainy Night
Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue
Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - What I Am
El DeBarge - Who's Johnny
Elton John - Club at the End of the Street
Eric Carmen - Hungry Eyes
Eric Clapton - Layla
The Escape Club - Wild Wild West
Europe - The Final Countdown
The Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
Expose - When I Looked at Him
The Fabulous Thunderbirds - Tuff Enuff
Faith No More - Epic
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus
Faster Pussycat - House of Pain
The Fat Boys - Wipeout
Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy
A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran (So Far Away)
Foreigner - I Want to Know What Love Is
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
Garth Brooks - The Dance
Gary Numan - Cars
Genesis - In Too Deep
George Benson - Give Me the Night
George Clinton - Atomic Dog
George Michael and Aretha Franklin - I Knew You Were Waiting
George Thorogood and the Destroyers - Bad to the Bone
Georgia Satellites - Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Glenn Frey - The Heat Is On
Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine - Don't Wanna Lose You
The Go-Go's - We Got the Beat
Great White - Once Bitten Twice Shy
The Greg Kihn Band - Jeopardy
Gregory Abbott - Shake You Down
Guns N Roses - Sweet Child O Mine
Hall and Oates - Kiss On My List
Harold Faltermeyer - Axel F
Heart - Alone
Huey Lewis and the News - The Power of Love
The Human League - Human
Icehouse - Electric Blue
The Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine
INXS - New Sensation
Irene Cara - Flashdance (What a Feeling)
J. Geils Band - Centerfold
Jack Wagner - All I Need
James Brown - Living in America
Janet Jackson - Escapade
The Jeff Healey Band - Angel Eyes
Jeffrey Osborne - You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)
The Jets - Crush on You
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - I Love Rock and Roll
Jody Watley - Real Love
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes - Up Where We Belong
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band - On the Dark Side
John Cougar Mellencamp - R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
John Parr - Man in Motion (St. Elmo's Fire)
John Waite - Missing You
Journey - Be Good to Yourself
Juice Newton - Angel of the Morning
Karyn White - The Way That You Love Me
Katrina and the Waves - Walking on Sunshine
KC and the Sunshine Band - Please Don't Go
Keith Sweat - I Want Her
Kenny Loggins - Footloose
Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton - We've Got Tonight
Kentucky Headhunters - Dumas Walker
Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
Kim Wilde - You Keep Me Hangin' On
Kix - Tear Down the Walls
Kool and the Gang - Get Down On It
Kool Moe Dee - I Go to Work
Kylie Minogue - The Loco-Motion
Laura Branigan - Gloria
Level 42 - Something About You
Levert - Casanova
Limahl - The Never-Ending Story
Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville - All My Life
Lionel Richie - Hello
Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam - Head to Toe
Lita Ford - Kiss Me Deadly
Los Lobos - La Bamba
Lou Gramm - Midnight Blue
Loverboy - Working for the Weekend
Luther Vandross - Here and Now
Madonna - Crazy for You
The Manhattans - You Are My Shining Star
Martika - Toy Soldiers
Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride
M.C. Hammer - Let's Get It Started
Megadeth - Hangar 18
Melissa Manchester - You Should Hear How She Talks About You
Men at Work - Who Can It Be Now
Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
Michael Bolton - When I'm Back on My Feet Again
Michael Damian - Rock On
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Michael Sembello - Maniac
Mike and the Mechanics - The Living Years
The Motels - Only the Lonely
Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood
Mr. Mister - Kyrie
Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok
Musical Youth - Pass the Dutchie
Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me
Natalie Cole - I Miss You Like Crazy
Neil Young - Rockin' in the Free World
Nena - 99 Luftballons
New Kids on the Block - You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Night Ranger - Sister Christian
The Noise Club - Obsessed
Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
The Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster
Oingo Boingo - Weird Science
Olivia Newton John - Physical
The Outfield - Your Love
Ozzy Osborne - Mama I'm Coming Home
Pat Benatar - Invincible (The Legend of Billie Jean)
Patti Austin and James Ingram - Baby Come to Me
Patti LaBelle - New Attitude
Patrick Swayze - She's Like the Wind
Paul Carrack - Don't Shed a Tear for Me
Paul Young - Everytime You Go Away
Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl
Peabo Bryson - If Ever You're In My Arms Again
Pebbles - Mercedes Boy
The Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
Peter Cetera - Glory of Love
Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
Phil Collins - Sussudio
The Pointer Sisters - Neutron Dance
Poison - Nothin' But a Good Time
The Police - Every Breath You Take
The Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong
Pretty Poison - Catch Me (I'm Falling)
The Primitives - Crash
Prince - 1999
The Ramones - Psycho Therapy
Ratt - Round and Round
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Higher Ground
REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling
Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
Robbie Robb - In Time
Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me
Rod Stewart - Love Touch
Quarterflash - Harden My Heart
Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
Quiet Riot - Bang Your Head (Metal Health)
Randy Travis - 1982
Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters
Ready for the World - Oh Sheila
Real Life - Send Me an Angel
R.E.M. - It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Restless Heart - I'll Still Be Loving You
Rick Astley - Together Forever
Rick James - Super Freak
Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl
Robbie Neville - C'est la Vie
Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistible
The Romantics - Talking In Your Sleep
Ronnie Milsap - There Ain't No Gettin' Over Me
Roxette - The Look
Run DMC and Aerosmith - Walk This Way
Rush - Tom Sawyer
Sade - Smooth Operator
Samantha Fox - I Wanna Have Some Fun
Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55
Scandal featuring Patty Smyth - The Warrior
Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane
Scritti Politti - The Perfect Way
Seduction - Two to Make It Right
Shannon - Let the Music Play
Sheena Easton - Morning Train (Nine to Five)
Sheriff - When I'm With You
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
Simply Red - If You Don't Know Me By Now
Skid Row - 18 and Life
Sly Fox - Let's Go All the Way
Smokey Robinson - One Heartbeat
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
The SOS Band - Take Your Time (Do It Right)
Spandau Ballet - True
Squeeze - Tempted
Stacey Q - Two of Hearts
Stan Bush - The Touch
Starship - We Built This City
Steely Dan - Hey Nineteen
The Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
Steve Perry - Oh Sherrie
Steve Winwood - Higher Love
Stevie B - Love and Emotion
Stevie Nicks - Stand Back
Stevie Wonder - I Just Called to Say I Love You
Stryper - Honestly
Styx - Mr. Roboto
The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
Suzanne Vega - Luka
The System - Don't Disturb This Groove
T'Pau - Heart and Soul
Taco - Putting on the Ritz
Talk Talk - It's My Life
Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
Taylor Dayne - I'll Be Your Shelter
Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Teena Marie - Lover Girl
Terence Trent D'Arby - Wishing Well
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
The Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now
Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now
Timbuk 3 - The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
Timex Social Club - Rumors
Tina Turner - The Best
Todd Rundgren - Bang the Drum All Day
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Free Fallin'
The Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love
Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 Jenny
Toni Basil - Mickey
Toto - Africa
Tracey Ullman - They Don't Know About Us
Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
Tyler Collins - Girls Nite Out
Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)
USA for Africa - We Are the World
U.T.F.O. - The Real Roxanne
Van Halen - Jump
The Vapors - Turning Japanese
Vixen - Cryin'
The Waitresses - I Know What Boys Like
Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Was (Not Was) - Walk the Dinosaur
Waterfront - Cry
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson - Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men
Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
The Whispers - Rock Steady
White Lion - When the Children Cry
Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias - To All the Girls We've Loved Before
Winger - Headed for a Heartbreak
Yello - Oh Yeah
Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart
Young MC - Bust a Move
Zapp - You Dropped a Bomb On Me
ZZ Top - Legs

And there you have it. If you guys can think of any important songs that I didn't put on this list, I'm sure Hannah would be better educated if you left your picks in a comment!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


It's time for someone else to go home. Will it be Kevin, Ace, Kellie, or maybe Melissa? We'll find out after about five million commercials and whatever filler Idol has in mind, so stay tuned!

So, here's my picks for this year's A.I. Bragging Rights. In order of elimination, they are...


I made these predictions prior to last night's show, so let's see how well I did.

Hmmm, it appears Fox played a little trick on everyone tonight. Bones must not be doing so well, because Fox switched its time slot with American Idol so that everyone tuning in at 8/7c thinking they would be seeing Idol results might sit through an hour of this putrid Bones crap. Well, they can think again. Perfect timing for me to leave the house and slip back in around time for the real show to start.

Somebody actually made a sign for Ryan Seacrest. Naturally, he must stand next to his lone fan.

Only 32.5 million votes this week? I thought last week we had 48 mil? Slackers. Randy flashes his gang signs, Paula claps like a seal, and Simon borrowed his wardrobe from Andy Gibb.

Flash back to last night, because apparently A.I. fans have no memory of what happened 24 hours ago, and we see the same dreck we saw last night. Ryan talks about how Kellie and Bucky only had to worry about image. Umm, Seacrest, what about how horrible their singing was??? Remember that?? They seem determined to downplay anything bad that these two do. On the flip side of that coin, Melissa gets de-pimped as they point out every single thing she did wrong last night. Mandisa gets plugged as a great singer, as do Chris and Katharine. Our two male alleged sex symbols, Kevin and Ace...ugh, can't finish the sentence because I was suppressing an involuntary gag reflex. Both did horribly last night. And really, do I need to remind you of anything else?

After five million commercials, we might actually get to see some action...


Oh wow, here's the first A.I. Ford commercial. I can't believe they're ruining "All I Want" like this. And who is that funky looking troll? Oh wait, it's Ace. That was stupid. Katharine in a cop uniform is hot though.

Now it's time for Stevie Wonder to do his thing for us. Turn up your TVs folks, because this singing is as good as it's going to get for the rest of the show. Ryan asks Stevie some inane questions, and Stevie tries to answer honestly without destroying the confidence of any of the contestants. Stevie's going to be singing "My Love Is On Fire" for us. Can somebody fire the tech crew? How do you not mic Stevie Wonder right?? I'm in lust over Stevie's keyboard though. I want that thing. I'm wondering if it's even on, though, because it doesn't look like his finger movements are matching the music I'm hearing, especially in the close-ups. Kevin and Paris are swaying to the music and hoping against hope that they're not going home tonight. The whole group of kids look like a bundle of nerves. Nice job, Stevie. As always.

Ryan pimps the cast of the new Fox show The Loop, which needs just as much pimpage as Kellie.

Ok, so now that we've killed the first half of the show, here comes the bottom three.

Either Ace or Kevin are in the bottom three. Kevin is safe, but Ace is in the bottom three! Paula doesn't get it, because she can't believe a pretty-boy wouldn't survive. Either that or the Percocets are really kicking in.

After the break, results....


I still can't believe Kevin is safe. So now on to Paris, who we will have to endure more of next week, because she is safe. Kellie, who couldn't have been worse last night, is unbelievably safe. Stupid Pickler. Taylor, whose phone number was unreachable last night due to the volume of votes, is naturally safe. Chris, who was the best of the night last night, is safe, DUH. Melissa is SO not safe, in my mind, even though she was good last night. Elliott didn't do so hot last night. Guess which of Melissa and Elliott is in the bottom three? That's right, it's Melissa. Mandisa, who sang barefoot last night, will sing again next week, because she is safe. Katharine blew it out last night and is safe. Lisa or Bucky will be in the bottom three. My guess is Bucky. Well, I'm wrong. Bucky is safe, and inexplicably, Lisa is in the bottom three.

After the nine millionth break, we'll learn the fate of Ace, Melissa, and Lisa. Things don't look good for Melissa...


Time for the moment of truth! Ace is going back to safety. What a crock.

Now, will it be Melissa or Lisa? Is it really even a question? Melissa is gone, even though she was NOT the worst last night. This is what happens when you don't have air-time early on. Thanks a lot, Idol, for reminding us that Ayla got eliminated.

I have come to a decision. If I ever invent a time machine, the first thing I will do is go back and make sure that Daniel Powter does not record "Bad Day," so that A.I. can't use it EVER AGAIN.

And in a big screw you to Melissa, Fox cuts her off right in the middle of her first line of her send-off song.

Well, I called it, didn't I? Let's see who goes home next week, and stay tuned to Musical Ramblings for more music news, including some new developments in the works!