1 Comment

  • tara says:

    This is probably close to 30xs I’ve listened to this song. I’m not sure what u meant that he was too technical. Istopped watching on a consistent basis after devin got eliminated. His voice was and is the best on the show candace is perhaps the top girl. Those 2 would should have been in the final. I hope devin keeps singingand someone signs him 2 a contract. When a singer sings a song and it moves u or goes thru ur soul. That was devin. Nice to hear ur comments as I say goodbye and play somos novious for the 31st time

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American Idol Season 12, Devin Velez, Somos Novios, Elimination

Every once in a while I like to post something on this dead blog just to mess with people.

Anyway, here’s the parting song (“Somos Novios”/”It’s Impossible”) for American Idol Season 12 contestant Devin Velez. I’ve always liked Devin, though I do appreciate why he was eliminated. He is an amazing technical singer, and he has a lot of confidence on stage, but he does have a tendency to get so caught up in technique that it disconnects him from the song–as if maybe he’s inside his head a bit too much. As a result, I suppose he wasn’t the most exciting performer, and after a few weeks of being at the bottom of the pack, it wasn’t surprising that he was eliminated.

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  • fuwalda says:

    I read a novel by Donald Westlake once. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was about a reporter at some National Inquireresque tabloid. It was very funny and very good. And, of course, you and I both saw Donald Westlake once back in college. Remember that? He was very funny very good. I should check out more of his stuff. Maybe I’ll walk over to my local library.

    I read Connecticut Yankee years ago and didn’t love it. I’ve never been able to get into any of Twain’s stuff. Then again, I don’t think I’ve read any of his stuff since I’ve been an adult. Maybe I’d appreciate it more now. But when I go to the library later, I’m going to look up Donald Westlake first. I’ll never forgive Mark Twain for trying to double cross Data and Guinan.

    And I don’t know nothing about any of this music, except for Teagan and Sara who are pretty great. At least their first album was. I should download Spotify. Actually, I do have it… I just never use it. I think I found it confusing and gave up. When I’m at the library I’ll ask somebody how to use it.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I generally like Mark Twain, but I haven’t read much by him except what I was compelled to read for school. It did take me a little while to get into this one, but once I got into it, I found it to be pretty funny. The character’s arguments with people who think they’re being logical but are actually being the opposite of logical based upon some sort of specious reasoning kind of reminded me of some arguments I’ve had.

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and I love Black Knight. Great movie.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      Well, in any case, I’d say it was probably better than the 4.4 rating it has on the IMDb. Or maybe it’s not. But I do remember laughing.

  • fuwalda says:

    It’s no Blue Streak.

  • fuwalda says:

    I just gave it a ten. Why not?

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and the guy in that Connecticut Yankee picture… he’s totally playing pocket pool.

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Reviews of some random stuff

No movie reviews today, so I’m going to do away with the customary star ratings that I usually attach to things, since I’m even worse at reviewing non-movie media than I am at reviewing movies.

The Hunter by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)

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  • fuwalda says:

    Ah, the Eurovision Song Contest. You’re lucky I read this blog, because I’m among the few people in American who have watched this farce multiple times. Not since I left Europe, however.

    I heard something about the contest once that might explain why some of the acts aren’t great, but I’m not sure if it’s true or not: The winning country is expected to host the next year’s contest, and the expense has gotten so great that most countries don’t even want to win it any more. Again, I’m not saying it’s true, but it might be somewhat true.

    I kinda liked that Ed Nortan guy. That was the best one you posted.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Yeah, I was having that conversation with my wife yesterday. I asked her what a country like Moldova would do if they actually won, since it’s a struggling nation that could never afford to put on the kind of elaborate show that seems to be expected with this thing. She told me that she had heard something about Spain specifically asking people not to vote for them for that reason. The easiest way to go about that is to simply send up an act that isn’t fantastic, so that makes a lot of sense what you say.

  • fuwalda says:

    I’m looking at the list of winners now, since other than ABBA and Lulu, I couldn’t think of any others, but I figured some other famous names must’ve won.

    Celine Dion won in 1988… for Switzerland. That’s odd, since she’s Canadian, right? How could she possibly compete for Switzerland? Is she a Swiss citizen?

    I also perked up a little when I saw that Secret Garden won in 1995, until I realized I was thinking of Savage Garden. I have no idea who Secret Garden is.

    Lordi won in 2006. Remember them? Their winning performance became an internet sensation because it was the weirdest thing ever. I’m sure you’ve seen it.

    And that’s all.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Yeah, I remember Lordi. I think that was the first year I watched it with my wife. That was a big WTF. That was when I realized I would never truly understand people from Europe, my wife excluded.

  • Andrea says:

    I was a little bored by Sweden. I couldn’t tell you a single word she said. Was she speaking English or Swedish? I loved Moldova! Best thing since O-Zone! I did love those Russian ladies too. Reminded me of my babci.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Yeah, Lili told me she read some article that indicated that Sweden’s victory was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I’m not sure why. I think because it was considered such an amazing song.

    I wouldn’t mind the Russian ladies if they were performing in the park or something, but it just seemed kind of absurd to have them performing for all of Europe.

    • Lili says:

      They also predicted that the Russian babushki would come in second place, and they did… I don’t know on what basis they make these predictions, because I was sure nobody would take that performance seriously. I thought the Swedish performance was nice, but I couldn’t understand one word either (well, except “euphoria”). I liked Moldova’s performance, too. And I did like the show overall. It’s interesting to see what kind of music is popular in each of those countries.

      • Justin Garrett Blum says:

        I’m going to have to listen to that Swedish song again to see if I can understand the lyrics. I have to confess that I pretty rarely even pay attention to the lyrics the first few times I hear a song.

        All things considered, this wasn’t a bad show–at least, what I saw of it this year. There weren’t too many terrible entries, anyway. πŸ˜‰

  • Mariana says:

    Justin, I think Loreen is amazing and the song is amazing. Sometimes you don’t need to analyze things. Just to enjoy the performance as it is: her voice, the rhythm, the music. It just clicked with me (and with the rest of Europe). And don’t care if it’s outdated Eurodance or whatever the critique is. I just love it and she rocks. She is genuine and simple and does it from all her heart. The fact is also I have listen to it more than 100 times – I can’t listen to anything else now. I’ll see when I get tired of it. I will probably. And I will also forget it in one year from now. But for now – I enjoy it. Here is the link on you tube with more understandable English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5qURKt4maw
    About Nina – she was great and she rocks. She was my second favorite. I supposed she’d get critique for resembling Winehouse to much. But what the hell – she is amazing. And if she doesn’t drink (too much) and take drugs, I believe she can do it better than Winehouse. No offence for Winehouse – I like her too:))

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      I wasn’t criticizing it at all, really. I said it was all right. I just didn’t think it was objectively so much better than some other entries that didn’t rate even half the votes. “Amazing” is a word I tend to use fairly sparingly, but I guess I’ll let you get away with it since you live in Europe and maybe you know better. πŸ˜‰

      Me, personally? I didn’t even watch the entire song the first time I put it on, and I actually prefer something like what Moldova sent, purely on the basis of it being catchy and danceable. But that’s a personal thing.

    • Lili says:

      I liked Nina’s song too, but I still couldn’t get over the fact that she was trying so hard to look and sound like Winehouse… Aside from that, I thought it was a very nice song and she has a nice voice.

  • fuwalda says:

    I rewatched the Swedish video.

    This chick definitely has some serious pipes. She can *sing*. But who cares because after about thirty seconds it’s boring. This just isn’t a very good song. Maybe with a song by a better song writer (Sammy Cahn, perhaps, or George Gershwin) her vocals would be able to shine, but this song is way too repetitive and boring.

    But it’s definitely in English, but other than a few phrases (something til the end… of… time…), I have no idea what she’s saying, either because of her vocals or because of the mixing of the sound.

    At the end of the day (to use a Europhrase), this sounds like a pretty decent rip off of Celine Dion from circa 1997. Or, in other words, like a top 40 song from Europe now.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      In fairness, anything that’s in the top 40 in America would be terrible. This song is at least aiight.

  • fuwalda says:

    I also rewatched the Russian video. If that’s really the best the country had to choose from, then… well… that’s sad, because they really were terrible.

    Having said that, do I read that they came in second place? That’s awesome! Sure, they were terrible, but they were very cute and very charming and I bet they’re all very nice, cool ladies. They should’ve won!

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      You read that correctly–they came in 2nd place out of something like 26 countries. It was a fairly distant 2nd to Sweden, but they still got a ton of votes. People loved them, apparently.

      Fair enough. My wife told me that’s the best that Russia has ever done in Eurovision.

  • fuwalda says:

    I also rewatched the Moldova video. This song is so fucking awesome. How many people are in this band? That might be the entire population of Moldova on the stage for all I know. I’m glad they got to take a field trip.

    But, seriously now, this guy can also *sing*, and he’s damn handsome. He’s the Justin Garret Blum of Moldova. I remember that one time we went to Karaoke.

    • Justin Garrett Blum says:

      ha! I’m cracking up. Maybe I’m the Pasha Parfeny of the United States.

      Yeah, karoake. That’s when I realized that being able to sing Mozart in a chorus and being able to sing…I dunno…Pearl Jam or whatever it was that I sang, are two totally different things. The problem with karoake–and I have more recent experience with this as a result of those Karaoke Revolution games for PS2–is that you have to sing them in the key of the original singer, which is kind of a pain in the ass because so many pop songs are sung in a pretty high register. I’d do better if I could specify the key.

  • fuwalda says:

    I think you sang Nirvana and Nat King Cole, both of whom were featured on “Now that’s What I Call Music 1956/1996.”

  • fuwalda says:

    True story: I came back to the blog today specifically to listen to that Moldova song again.

  • fuwalda says:

    When he says (I think), “You heff neva been to mah show!!” it’s like he’s talking right to me, cause I haven’t.

  • fuwalda says:

    Or maybe he’s singing about “The Man Show.” Maybe that show just made it to Eastern Europe.

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Eurovision got trolled by Russia

Eurovision is a song competition about which I knew nothing before I met my European wife. And that’s not hugely surprising, since almost nothing that vies for victory in Eurovision ever makes it over to this side of the pond…and perhaps rightly so, since a lot of it is kind of generic. On the count of being generic, I suppose I would probably say that Russia’s entry this year at least avoids that. But at the same time, the fact that this pack of warbling octogenarians took second place and hundreds more points than some entries that were actually decent, makes me think this may be one of the most successful Eurovision trollings by any country ever.

But you be the judge:

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  • fuwalda says:

    Did you know that I posted this video on facebook a couple days ago? I posted it on the wall of somebody who isn’t a mutual friend, so you probably didn’t see it. If not, that’s a funny coincidence.

    Anyway, this is a cool cover, and that chick is still the most beautiful woman on the planet.

    So… do you think Bieber got that girl pregnant or what?

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    No, I didn’t see that. Wow–that’s a bizarrely strange coincidence.

    I’m going to give Bieber the benefit of the doubt. I’m just surprised it took this long for somebody to claim that he’s her baby daddy. Also, going by what I read on YouTube, Bieber is teh ghey.

  • fuwalda says:

    I dunno. Bieber can’t walk down to the Redbox at the 7-11 next to his mansion without every teenage girl going ape shit. How could anybody — as a human being — not just give in and fuck everybody?

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Good question. But the Justins of the world need to stick together.

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Tom Jones, The Cardigans, and the Talking Heads?

I’m sharing this if only because I like these serendipitous moments on YouTube where you discover something that has existed for more than a decade but you never knew about it.

As to the why of this video…I don’t know. It’s a pairing that really shouldn’t work at all. I’m not even sure that it does. But I love Tom Jones and I love The Cardigans. I have no opinion about the Talking Heads, whose song they’re covering here.

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Hatsune Miku, Nicholson vs. Ledger

By far, the most popular (only popular?) post on this blog is the one I did back on January 3rd of this year comparing the disparate film portrayals of the Joker as delivered by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. I just approved another two comments to that post, though I’ve long since given up on attempting to answer them all, because really, how much can you say about this shit?

It’s largely down to opinion, anyway, though it does strike me funny that it seriously gets under some people’s skin when you say something negative about Chris Nolan’s Batman films. These people should read what I had to say about Inception so they can just write me off as a hater (which wouldn’t be accurate, of course, because in general I kind of like Chris Nolan as a filmmaker).

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Song of the Day: Life Is So Peculiar

Was Louis Armstrong ever involved with anything that wasn’t great? I love the whimsicality of this track, and the lively interplay between Armstrong and Louis Jordan. If this doesn’t put you in a good mood, you must be a real sourpuss.

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Auto-Tuned

I have to give credit to my brother Josh for leading me to this series of videos by posting “Bed Intruder” on Facebook. That was a real head-scratcher (I honestly couldn’t figure out if it was a real news story that had been mashed up or if it were merely some sort of off-color music video made up to look like a local news story) until I discovered the rest of these “Auto-tune the News” videos on YouTube.

There are a number of these that are actually very catchy (Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!), but I’ll post up this one if only for the Pootie Tang reference (“main damie”) and the hilarious faux-banter between Karzai and Zardari in their courtship of Hilary Clinton.

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