Friday, February 20, 2009

Current Melodic Obsessions & Am Idol: Fiction vs Truth - (I had to write about it eventually!)

I am trying to make a conscience effort to blog more... I use to be an incredible journaler. (Sidenote: "Journaler is coming up as a "non" word, if you will... I am using it anyway.) I use to write in my journal every day to every other day and record every major AND minor detail, event, and/or conversation I had. I look back now and realize that this was a bit superfluous at times... For exmaple, when I was writing about the way a boy said a certain thing, or what each of my friends was wearing at a stake dance... Yea. I was an avid journaler. However, as "superfluous" some of these writings may seem, I am grateful that I have them and that my kids can one day look back and laugh at "dear, old Mom" and her passionate dabbles.

Now, I was contemplating what to write about today and decided of those things listed two entries ago, I have written about two and have a few more to write about it in order to record what is desired by me at this time. I write so cheesy sometimes... :) Thus, today I will be again combining two as I discuss things that again may appear "superfluous," and yet I know I will be grateful one day for having recorded.

I want to discuss my Current Melodic Obsessions, along with my thoughts on he current season of American Idol: Fiction verses Truth...

Okay, so everyone who knows me should know that I am obsessed with music... Well, currently I have been downloading like mad as I have been sick in bed. I have found a few new bands/artists that I believe others should bask in.... (Man, this is not a very in depth entry, but there is always room for a bit of "superfluousness!")

First, Cash Cash... I posted one of their songs as one to check out last entry, but I just have to mention them again... These four boys are from New Jersey and have recently released their debut album. Frankly, they are a pop/rock band that has a huge 80s twinge, and their songs do NOT all sound the same. Each song is unique, the lyrics are decent and inventive - perhaps a little bit "sarcastic" about trends at times, and the vocals are good too. They sometimes wear clothing that should be illegal past 1989, and yet they make it look fun. I love them, and as I said before they are the perfect dancing-around-your-room or driving-around-on-a-Friday-night music! Check em'... ( )

Second, Take That. This is a British boy band formed in 1990... So, needless to say, they aren't really boys anymore - haha! They have made lots of great records, won many awards, and their tours in England still sell out in minutes. My favorite song of theirs is a single from a few years ago, Patience, however they have MANY great songs! There most recent album is called Circus and is rather good as well... A lot of people know about them, and I discovered them five or six years ago, but a lot of Americans focus only on Robbie Williams (a former member of the band), when the band as a whole is even better - in my opinion... Look em' up and take a listen is you haven't heard them before... I'm sure you'll find you have indeed heard them before - haha!

Next, Justin Nozuka. Many of you know this guy from his hit song this past summer entitled After Tonight. He has a very similar sound to Jason Mraz, as well as past Am. Idol contestant, Jason Castro. I adore his music (new single Golden Train is awesome!) and if he was coming close enough on his tour this next month I would go see him... I still might head to LA the last week of March and try to see him play live cause I think it would be an amazing show. He is touring with Missy Higgins, who is also AMAZING... Plus, he's a good lookin' kid, so... Haha! Check out Justin Nozuka, and you will most likely love him if you like "neo-soul, folk, old-time blues and pop." (

These next few are going to be shorter in listing... Hayley and Marlee are two girls from Cali who have some very awesome songs on their myspace page ( and Hayley was actually a girl we met this summer at EFY. Her and her sister have great voices, and their songs have awesome, unique lyrics... They're stuff is "un-digitized" too, which is cool.

Jesse McCartney's last album Departure is awesome. Don't be a hater... He is fun to listen to even if his stuff is a little "ghetto wannabe," he's a cutie-pie, and he wrote Bleeding Love, performed by Leona Lewis - talent on her part singing, his part writing. Listen to his album.

VOTA (Formerly "Casting Pearls") - Their song is free on ITunes this week, and there is nothing more than a GOOD, free song on ITunes... A lot of the ones they make freebies are decent at times, and often downright horrible. However, I have plans to buy their entire album! They are a gospel/christian rock band, and are influenced largely by the Casting Crowns (a group I like - I have some of their stuff). I have listened to many of their songs online and I like their sound and songs A LOT! Go download their song for free, and you'll see what I mean... You'll love em'!

Erin McCarley was another person that was featured on ITunes's as their weekly free song a few months back... She is incredible. I bought her album on the spot and listen to it very frequently... She sounds like Sara Bareilles a bit (also compared to Lenka, Ingrid Michaelson, and Missy Higgins), which is why I fear she has not taken off yet. Sara is SO good, and popular right now, that I feel people are stuck only to her for that particular sound... Erin McCarley is equally good and unique, as are her lyrics - so great! She is featured on the "He's Not That Into You" Soundtrack! myspace

- I encourage everyone to check out the new album from The Fray.
- The Veronicas' album Hook Me Up from last year - you probably know the song "Untouched" - as they are my FAVE band right now!
- Provo, Utah's locals, Ben Truman (or The Trumans) who has a great voice and classically fun lyrics and guitar style. Also, check Benton Paul (his album, Grey), who has been mentioned by The Jonas Brothers recently and is also a big deal around Utah - that's starting to spread.
- Flo-rida's album.... I just love him and his beats... can't be BEAT! Haha - I am so punny. Nevermind... Hm.
- AND, I will always give a shout out to little David Archuleta's album... classic pop with a GREAT voice behind him. I love that kid!

LAST, I will get to my most current vocal, melodic obsession, which leads me into talking about this season of American Idol.... My most current musical obsession is this Anoop Desai from my beloved side of the the country - the south! Anoop, also known on the show as 'NoopDog, has not had a lot of air time, but don't think I'm crazy when I say I've already checked him out, along with the other front-runners in the competition. When the audition rounds were on TV I took note of those that I liked, the judges or producers raved about, and those who just stood out. Then, I looked em' up on YouTube to see what came up, as I was recently told that this can have a huge effect on making it onto multiple rounds of judging. In fact, I was told that producers check out those who make it past first round online, and have a pre-made list of people to look for- info created via YouTube, Myspace, and music sights... I have NO doubt that this is true.

Anyway, back to the current topic...

Anoop was one that I liked from the get go, the judges seemed to like, and he definitely stood out. He's not a guy who looks or talks like he would sing R&B well, but he knows how to use his golden tones, and he blows your mind with his random hip hop swagger. This 22 year-old from North Carolina dresses like a preppy, southern college boy - which he is, and that reminds me completely of home (VA!). He is a bright grad student at UNC and talks rather respectfully in interviews & during his audition, and with quick wit. He made is to the top 36 after not very much air-time, but already appeared popular with America. He does not carry the normal R&B persona in dress, speech, action, or swagger, but he sings like a smooth R&B angel!

Speaking of angels, he sang "Angel of Mine" by Monica this past week during the show and did really well... Randy commented on him being sharp in places, and I can pick it out twice... Otherwise, he sounded on to me (and I have nearly perfect pitch) and sounded AMAZING at that. Plus, his stage presence was great. Now, the new format of the show is important to know. They have twelve of the 36 sing each week for the next three weeks, and only three make it through to be in the top 12. Then, 9-10 are called back by the judges choice on the fourth week and three of them make it to the next round, by the judges choice again. Anoop was number four this week in voting, and thus was "sent home." However, I have no doubt by comments that were made that he will be a wild-card contestant and picked as part of the top 12...

In all honesty there aren't that may really great voices this year (esp. girls, actually), so I think that they kind of need him, but need to keep him down at first and build him. It's all about the show aspect you know... I think people forget that sometimes... That the main thing about Am. Idol is it IS a show first, and a competition second. People think it is the other way around, but it's not... It's all about how they show contestants, the air time someone gets, and the ones that the producers push even affects how those at home vote. I mean, look at last year... David Archuleta was praised from the beginning and received a lot of air time. For example, when someone else was singing they would show him in the audience watching or his reactions over the other contestants... Those few seconds of air time are crucial, and if presented right can sway voters opinions. Then they really made-over David Cook and began to talk him up, adn give him more air time too... They started putting Archuleta down from time to time, but never Cook, but would claim one or the other "winner of the night" before the top five were even chosen. Early on, you could tell that the ending competition would be between those two.

You can see this year that Danny Gokey will at LEAST be in the top two... hands down. And, he's really good and seems like a genuine guy, but he also gets more air-time, more talk about him, and more praise than any of the others put together.

That's what one has to remember about the show... It's all about what the producers want you to see and the judges want you to hear.

This season there is also this girl named Tatiana (pictured right, and I struggled bolding her name) on there... She's got a pretty good voice actually, but she is CRAZY. Serious, crazy! I mean, I am sure she is a very sweet girl, but... Yea. Anyway, she is shown on TV as purely fame driven, and insane - part of this persona has to be true, but the other half could be completely misconstrued. She doesn't choose what film shots and moments go on air... Anyway, the real reason I wanted to mention her is because I felt like her presence on the show was all about publicity and causing drama... The fact that she made the top 36, and others who were much better were cut - like David Osmond or Michael Castro, made me realize how staged this show really is. I knew that before, but this was a whole new level... She is there to cause conversations, drama, and make a show. It's all about your story and the story you can help create with who you are...

That's why I should be on a reality show - haha! I would make a GREAT addition to making a fun story to watch...

Anyway, my point now? When Anoop is back on, which he will be - no doubt - watch him and vote for him... He would have a great album and be a good role model. Plus, he's representin'' for us southerners! Haha... :)

Here is a video clip of Anoop performing with the UNC Clef Hangers - their Ac Capella group that is QUITE awesome if you ask me... He is singing Boyz II Men's classic song, "I'll Make Love To You," apparently Anoop's "classic song" and "senior solo" choice - a good one if you ask me... (Check out their performances of Buy You A Drank, Sexy Love, Crazy Love, Kiss Kiss, and She Has No Time) I love me some Vocal Point, but Anoop does lead for these guys on a lot of R&B stuff and is GREAT! Enjoy, and check out some new music this week!


P.S. If you can think of music that I should try checking out that I might not have already, let me know - I LOVE finding new artists and sounds!!! :)

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