Teavana, fragrant, natural teas

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues asks, is there to be Fro-Patro? (no, that's not a typo)

Of course I watched American Idol last night. My day comes to a screeching halt at 7:00 p.m. for this program. I cannot fight it, I am an addict. This year the auditions have been largely an American Idol blooper fiesta. Most contestants being provided face time are the 'definitely nots' to go on to Hollywood. I still haven't decided why this year seems to be concentrating on the odd and delusional over talented, but then perhaps I'm just forgetful and this has been the standard. I have one friend that likes Idol just for the audition phase and then when that part of the American Idol experience is over he tunes out until the end to see the winner. I just can't understand that thinking, yet we are friends. I guess it is his sad and twisted sense of humor that captivates me.

One contestant from last night stood out, Chris Sligh. He's a rather round chap with a fluffy mop of poodle curls. Chris performed Seals', "Kiss from a Rose". He did a good job, and Paula Abdul was fittingly moved to stand and seal clap for him. I don't think she's been this excited about anyone else we have seen televised so far.

I had heard buzz about Chris Sligh weeks ago and checked out his myspace.com. He's a blogger, too, his site you can find here, Musings on American Idol in this blog he talks about that should he be accepted into the American Idol competition, his fan base would be the Fro-Patro. Last night, while his singing was good, that wasn't all he brought to the Idol parque stage; he was actually funny. Many wanna-be contestants enter the audition interview attempting to be funny by wearing wacky ensembles, or foisting some sort of gimmick. Chris Sligh just brought his curls and his wit. Simon Cowell asked him why he wanted to be on Idol, and Chris's response, "I want to make Hasselhoff cry" referring to the ending of season five when The Hoff shed tears while Taylor Hicks belted out his assigned song, "Do I Make You Proud?". The producers, ever vigilant for a good television moment cut to the Hasselhoff footage. Chris, explaining his looks, made a comparision of himself and Christina Aguilera saying that when he looked in the mirror that is how he saw himself. A stroke of comedic evil genius.

Wandering off the topic of Chris for a moment, I've had a decent record in selecting the A.I. winners. The only season that gave me a hiccup was season two between Clay Aiken and Reuben Studdard. I was voting like mad for the big man, but thought Aiken might take it. Turns out it was the closest race in the show's history. It has been disappointing, Studdard's lack of commercial success. I blame it on his relying and trusting management that did not have his best interests at heart. Criticisms have arisen over his lack of success because he is overweight, but I point out the great Luciano Pavarotti as argument; a sexy talented, big man. To review my other past choices, Kelly Clarkson, season one, then in season three - Fantasia won it with "Summertime"; season four - Carrie Underwood, I knew she was going to win it but my heart belonged to Bo Bice. Of course, it is apparent who I selected season five.

Fittingly, the American Idol boards and MJ's Big Blog are aflutter with fans already trying to map out their favorites. We've got folks naming fan bases and the final 24 haven't been announced. From what I've seen so far, the jury is still out for me, who I'll be rooting for - I haven't seen all the ones that have moved on to Hollywood. I've blogged about some of the contestants that we viewers have seen so far which have caught my attention at my other blogspot, Observations from a Cluttered Mind.

Returning to the original topic of this post, Chris Sligh, it is interesting to see 'certain' folks that played a part in the success of Taylor Hicks, venturing to his side. Remember the goldfish guys, (of course you do) they portrayed Lamont and Ray? These two guys were huge proponents that helped to push Taylor through to his win. Well, it seems they may be approaching Chris to see what they can do to help him. I'd ask Sligh, you got cats, dogs, hamsters? Hamsters would be the ideal virtual pet, the whole hamster habitrail environment would leave open all sorts of internet fun. "Wheel Talk" a segment in which the furry cagemates held question and answer while working out on their wheel, naming one possibility. There are some cute hairy, fluffy varieties on the market, too. This way while 'Daddy' Sligh is away doing Idol the two hammies could keep all the fans interested with stories of 'Daddy'.

Whoa, wait! What am I reading here? (Not to mention it has come forth from these fingers on the keyboard.) Fro-Patro (no it's not a typo)... hmm, Soul Patrol, the goldfish guys, morphing into hamster pals? Perhaps it would be all too similar. (you think?)

Then there are these questions to consider: would the Soul Patrol get offended? would the American Idol public just be bored by the similarities and the sameness? Whereas imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery the opposing idiom, familiarity breeds contempt could turn Sligh's Idol run into more of a comedic spoof on Season 5 than an out and out bid to become a successful artist. Or maybe a guy like Sligh, wanting to make Hasselhoff cry has this in mind all along. Evil genius. You go Chris Aguilera, I can see the resemblance.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues Looks to the "Neon"

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues Admired some John Mayer in my last posting, now to back up my assertions regarding John's prolific talent on the guitar, here is a video with him playing acoustic guitar. It just doesn't get much better than this:

"Vultures" as seen on AOL Music is a grooving, pulsing song journey. Guitar solo inspiring, John's playing weaves into the mind's curves and fissures, dancing and firing all the pleasure synapsis of the brain. One of the most impressive facets of John Mayer's talent -the ability to meld his vocals into the instrumental sound like soft, thick, molten candy.

"Gravity" as played during a VH-1 benefit concert for Katrina victims. The infusion of John Mayer's soul touching vocals, blues riddled guitar, pure art.

Yes, "Keep me where the light is".

Friday, January 26, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues Admires some John Mayer

Taylor Hicks fans usually are in agreement with the talent found in the artist, John Mayer. Mayer is one of the few young musicians I would attribute with the term 'genius'. He warrants that praise.

A Jazz man in a Pop Star body, he can play the guitar reminiscent of Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, including certain licks haunting Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers. John Mayers does it all with the looks worthy of Teen magazine covers.

Since I've mentioned John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, one of the best concerts I have ever attended had, performing together, Paco de Lucia, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin. It was an amazing time, an emotionally involving experience that left all of us in attendance slick with sweat and deliriously musically satiated. Chick demonstrated some new avant guarde methods of playing the piano, he did this climbing inside the instrument, strumming the piano strings like a guitar, part art - part just having a great time; John, Paco and Di Meola had a guitar segment that had all of us on our feet (and some of "us" on the tables) absolutely crazy. A few phenomenal Jazz guitar albums, Passion Grace and Fire , Friday Night in San Francisco, and the great, Return To Forever , are absolutely killer selections for your collection if you adore the art of jazz guitar.

In that, John Mayer emotes and reminds me of greats such as these, and like Chick Corea, he possesses an innate savvy to know what works. He has an amazing band, displaying with a real musician's knowledge, who and what works best to create the intended results. Top this with marketability intuition, he has been successful in the production of tunes Pop radio friendly. "The John Mayer Effect", I could dub it; in sublimnal form he sends and transcends, containing ability to send waves of joy and beauty through your mind by the use of his guitar chameleoned into art combined with the perfect melding of his vocals, melting with the guitar.

Musical genius in the making.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues Goes Political

Texas Border Patrollers Rewarded with Prison Time. Anyone feeling like delving into the politics of border security? This is one of my rants about the state of affairs for two Texas Border Patrollers sentenced to prison for doing their jobs.

Illegal alien walks for talking and they are incarcerated. President Bush's concern for the country's security? Walk the talk Bush.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Taylor Hicks: The Silver-haired Soulman Goes Platinum

Taylor Hicks' self-titled CD released a mere five weeks ago has hit Platinum. In an announcement over the PR Newswire it is revealed that Mr. Hicks really has reason for celebration while he's golfing in the Bob Hope Classic.

Considering the CD has been released without the benefit of a single to hit radio play and now has gone platinum speaks volumes regarding Taylor's fan base. Many music critics have questioned whether Mr. Hicks would be able to market his style of music successfully and this represents a concrete and tangible response.

Many Taylor Hicks fans have spent time wasted worrying about how he's going to do in the music industry, they watch the charts regularly for ups and downs, and heaven forbid if anyone says or writes anything other than complete compliments about his CD. Whereas the CD is not a perfect work, it is a good beginning, especially coming into light that it is a product of American Idol. I have not doubted whether Taylor Hicks will be a lasting force in the music industry, he has always reminded me of a boxer, a fighter, a very charismatic fighter. He knows his gift and is driven enough, dedicated enough to make it happen.

I'm not speaking as one of the Taylor Hicks' Kool-Aide drinkers that rave non-stop about his looks, haunt fan forums and rant about his 'thud' appeal. I don't do any of that - I've always gone with my instincts on this man. Success will be his for as long as he desires. He may have been singing in bars and dives for ten years, but now is when his career formulates, now is when he writes his own history. The time has come for Taylor Hicks, Idol was just his stepping stone.

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Taylor Hicks NPR Review on new CD

This reviewer on National Public Radio, to which I listen to - catches the greater nuances in Taylor Hicks' self-titled CD release. She targets the essence of the criticisms being shot toward Hicks regarding too much Pop not enough Soul. Favoring his self-penned songs over the Pop themed tunes handed to him by the record producers, she acknowledges rising to the level of fame that he has includes the pressure handed him to deliver a top 40 hit. Main problem from my stand point, the producers (and all concerned) have not yet released a tune for radio play. Hard to achieve top 40 when there's no tune to hit the airways. Call me impatient. Overall the flavor of the review is just and fair and positive. This clip is approxiamtely 4 minutes long; catch the link NPR January 16th.

Groove on Soulman.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Taylor Hicks 'Somehow' falls from #36 to #47

Taylor Hicks: Taylor Hicks continues its downward spiral. Tales of single releases abound but none in site - yet. I do wonder after listening to this video which I first viewed on "Sueann's Silliness Blog" that "Somehow", which happens to be the name of the tune we're about to hear, whether the CD would have done better with a hell of a lot more of this style of tune versus the tone of the material that runs rife within his CD. Not knocking the CD as a whole, I do like several of the tunes very much; I'm just thinking that this feel, this musical vibe would have been better to have been explored, recorded and presented on the debut CD. One other puzzlement to me, why was "Georgia", one of Taylor's best vocal performances not included on the first CD?

It is saying a lot that his first CD went Gold in such a short time; the tour he has in the works should bump sales as well.

Kudos on the montage.

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Taylor Hicks; Idol Blues Roaming Off Topic Again

I'm in one of those strange, spacey all is calm, all is groovy moods. Found this video of John Mayer, man, this guy is brilliant, amazing. Some kinda cool.

While exploring for more music videos, I travelled South, er, Southern Rocker-vibey, and dug up this American Idol 4 video of none other than Bo Bice. This song also fits my 'feel like sway dancing through the streets' mood. (No, no 'pharmaceuticals' involved...) It's a Great Day to Be Alive

Add to My Profile | More Videos which I found in the myspace vaults.

That's what I'm talking about.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Boogie Board Survey

Thackeray over at Taylor is the Boogie site, is conducting a survey on what You, Taylor Hicks enthusiasts (or not), think of the new CD. Have your anonymous voice heard. It's fun, enlightening and all about Taylor Hicks. Visit Thackaray, click *here* and take the survey, be fair or be square.

Survey Groove on Soulman.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Taylor Hicks; Someone toss the CD a Life Boat: Finally a Single to be Released.

Taylor Hicks: Taylor Hicks is in dire need of rescue. Man the lifeboats, it's time to release a single! Thankfully that day is at hand. Currently his self-titled CD has sunk from the #2 spot on the Billboard top 200 charts to #36. Normally a single hits the radio waves when the CD drops, so it is noteworthy that Taylor Hicks has gone Gold, within a matter of weeks without that radio play boost.

Considering he's been limited, in promotional performances to performing the first track on the CD, "The Runaround", it seemed an inevitable choice for first release, with all the play it has heretofore received. Now I'm not knocking the track, "The Runaround", it is a fun, energetic song. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance of it during the Orange Bowl - he was absolutely "Taylor Hicks", bursting with energy, a powerful, uninhibited force, but time is ripe for more.

I'm please to read, as reported by Mary Colurso, that the first single will be "Just to Feel This Way". I like really like the lyrics, encouraging a love interest to give it a try, the feeling is so special, not to fear the future, concentrate on the now. Musical score and Mr. Hicks' vocals compliment, the tune carries the tone of Rod Stewart's delivery of Cat Stevens', "First Cut Is the Deepest".

Potential is high for radio success, a definite fit into the Pop scene. American Idol's Simon Cowell puts a lot of emphasis into 'likeability factor' equalling success in Pop, well, this tune possesses that likeability factor in spades.

Groove on Soulman.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Taylor Hicks, Gladys Knight at the Orange Bowl

Taylor Hicks' gave his best performance yet, of "The Runaround", the first track off of his self-titled CD. Taylor gave the Orange Bowl crowd (and televison viewers) a white hot performance loaded with extreme passion and energy during the Orange Bowl's half-time show which aired Tuesday, January 2. Gladys Knight joined Taylor onstage following his mega-watt high-energy performance, singing, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine", with Hicks accompanying her on his harmonica.

Gladys Knight, reigns as one of my favorite music mavens, she's always been able to identify great tunes, evidenced in the selections of music she's opted to record during her career, examples, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", "If I were Your Woman", and "Midnight Train to Georgia". I remember the first time I heard "Midnight Train", I was driving my '68 Buick GS with it's newly purchased FM converter attached to the AM radio, flipping stations to see what was up on the FM radio waves, and there she was, singing in all her lovely soulful glory. She still looks so beautiful and sounds amazing.

Groove on with your extreme-energy-self, Soulman!