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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

American Idolization

While my intern Ben was working out the travel details with I’m with the Cult winner, Jimhill, one thing became apparent … he is definitely one of us.  Below, he rants about drinking in Penn Station while trying to reform pop music against Pandora’s best advice.  This makes him the very first outside contributor to thedailyjim.com, allowing me to start drinking even earlier than usual.

In order to pre-game for the Clapton/Beck concert at Madison Square Garden, I went to the TGI Fridays (better known as Charlie O’s) in Penn Station with a buddy of mine from work who happens to have seen Mr. Eric Clapton every decade since Cream’s 1968 Farewell Tour. Now for some reason we were discussing American Idol. He, being a man of 55 years breathing, said, “The only thing to amount to anything on that show is Kelly Clarkson and the ‘Underwood chick.’”  Well, as much as I’d like to play the fool and agree, my guilty love of pop tells me too many have gone on to a hit or two. Has AI, in fact, killed the radio star? Well no, they’ve just become half of the radio stars.

At any time you can turn on the radio or walk through the mall and blaring out of some radio is Wadda Ya Want from Me or Live Like We’re Dying. Now it’s not that I don’t like them…Well … No, I really don’t like them … But why not?  Well I’m a purist, I don’t like watered down, which brings me to my hate for the band One Republic, more specifically, their lead singer, Ryan Tedder.  He has written several hits for voices over the last few years, but it became a crime against music when, in March of 2009, he sold Already Gone to our ol’ AI friend, Kelly Clarkson. You see, six months earlier this song was released by Beyonce, only it was titled Halo. It’s the same song written by the same guy and the stupidity of radio has let it slide! Unacceptable!  In my day, Bruce Dickinson or Blackie Lawless would have dealt with this guy over a few beers in the parking lot behind Nassau Coliseum.

Now, is there a parallel with why popular music and popular movies suck worse than ever? I believe so. With technology, we’ve become lazy. Musicians are lazy, getting up at noon, counting on their girlfriend’s parents to get them through the next week. All the clichés are true, but now a bad formula has been established for rap (see Kanye), rock (see Nickleback), and country (uhh … it’s not really country just because you have a southern accent) that everyone is following, and it usually involves a pitch corrector. Movies on the other hand will not invest in new scripts, so we’re left with forgettable remakes of Psycho and even worse, movie versions of your favorite TV shows. (Did we really need SWAT?)

There are plenty of really good bands and music out there; you just have to be lucky enough to fall across them. It used to be that your friends would lend you a tape or make a mix and viola, new discoveries. Throughout the ‘80’s I discovered a lot of music in BMX and skate videos. Today we have Pandora to tell us, “well you like Eric Clapton so you’ll probably like Jeff Beck, or Beck, or Daughtry, or …” And this is why I have an iPod.

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Dailies

Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…