(Source: TV Fanatic)

There are covers and covers and doing covers and covering songs.

Without banging on about the Plight Of The Hotel Lounge Singer again, they are very often forced to be something of an impersonator- husky, dusty like Norah 10 years ago, then Liza Minnelli, then Tony Bennett etc.


(Source: Cartoon Stock)

In Asia, there are then the letter-perfect copyists- great musicians, mainly from the Philippines, and average vocalists- sold into the musical slavery of sounding like Rihanna one minute, Prince the next, Journey after that etc.

It’s Glee without any concept and brilliant musicians trapped in Nowhereland.


(Source: Oyag)

What pisses me off is seeing almost all of these bands having truly world class guitarists like Dan and Ben below playing incredible leads to the usual group of expat drunks down in clubs in Wanchai- men and women.

Then there are those young karaoke singers on “American Idol” who often come across trying to be Celine Dion- even the guys.

Mercifully, new judge Nicki Minaj is trying to bring some “new currency” to show weighed down by the old school thinking of Randy Jackson and even Jimmy Iovine who hardly impresses me with his ideas for contestants- not for someone with such an incredible CV.

Perhaps “Idol” is, first and foremost a business- the business of votes and here, mainly white Christian Right Wing votes from Middle America- and if a great, original singer is accepted- and voted in, well, that’s a bonus.

Last night, with Thor hammering down on Hong Kong, I stayed in and watched AI.

In fact, I have now watched it SIX times as Star World which airs the show is another of those Repeat Channels.

Is anyone actually RUNNING the channel other than the night watchman?


(Source: Enjoying Wonderful World)

Right now, I can repeat every comment the judges have said- all the stupid ones and the tediously long ones- and the reason I keep watching it for an incredible cover of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s You Keep Me Hanging On by young contestant Janelle Arthur.


(Source: Ace Showbiz)

I have seen this girl, on and off, and picked her and two other girls- Angie Miller and Aubrey- as winners.

Last night, Angie Miller, the girl with the Eighties Bon Jovi hair, teeth and legs did an awful off-key version of “Shop-A-Round” whereas Aubrey is part of the “Idol” Tour and whom I still expect good things from.

As for Janelle Arthur, she has already been put into the Country Box, but her version of You Keep Me Hanging On- and which she arranged when 14- is quite extraordinary and not needing to be weighed down by stupid labels.

It received the right rave reviews from the judges though Miss Minaj’s comment came out sounding like right crap as “Marshmallow” became too smart for her own good.

In very simplistic terms, she was telling the contest to stop all that cheesy smiling when tackling an angst-ridden song like this- a classic for the Supremes, surely the sexiest female group in the world led by the incredible Diana Ross- and also a hit as a Blue Flattened out psychedelic version for Vanilla Fudge.

Bottom line is this- and where I came in: There are covers and there are original renditions. Karaoke versions are all about impersonations and mimicry. It’s nothing about taking music further.

But, being able to find a song recorded one way and then turned on its head to sound completely new, well, that’s half-owning a song and giving the world something new.

  1. scott moyer says:

    Lately I see Carmine Appice (a-peace) often at local LA clubs with brother Vinnie. Carmine has a torn rotator cuff and is out of commission until it heals. Tonight Bassist Nathan East from Clapton and Four Play was at Cafe Cordiale ,the club of choice for the best musicians in LA ,where session drummer,Bernie Dresel, brought his 12 piece horn band to play for a packed house…and no cover!! Some nights it’s just as good as it gets….Next month, drummer Dave Weckl, from Chick Corea’s band, brings in his own jazz quartet. LA is non-stop music and if you know where to go to see it, you will enjoy a very diverse and fun night life of the finest Blues, Jazz, Latin, R&B, Country, Classic Rock, Acoustic, songwriter’s nights and many more styles of music. Set me Free Why Don’t You Babe……..come to LA for the best Music around.

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