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(Some Guy)   Harry Connick Jr. to American Idol contestants: You're doing it wrong   (nextavenue.org) divider line 46
    More: Obvious, Harry Connick Jr, American Idol, Idol, Great American Songbook, human beings, Americans, Idol contestants, contestants  
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6497 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 06 May 2013 at 6:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-05-06 07:43:41 AM
13 votes:
To Harry Connick, Jr:

mobilegeeks.de

Thank you for saying what everyone else has been thinking since this worthless waste of airtime started.

Sincerely,

The American Public
2013-05-06 08:52:53 AM
11 votes:
i.imgur.com
2013-05-06 07:16:11 AM
11 votes:

SockMonkeyHolocaust: I'd die of embarrassment if I let a soulless, watered-down Frank Sinatra whose albums are cookie-cutter crooner 101 dress me down like that.

Seriously, watch anything of his on YouTube. It has all the soul and spontaneity of a Disney animatronic exhibit.


Thank you for letting us all know that you don't know how to listen to music and that you have no idea what you're talking about.  You think that you do, but you don't, not really.  I appreciate the heads up!
2013-05-06 06:00:55 AM
7 votes:
Melisma kills songs. The Star-Spangled Banner is NOT 8,000 notes. If you were to transcribe a typical modern power-diva's rendition of our national anthem, it would read like a Rachmaninoff concerto.
2013-05-06 01:46:25 AM
7 votes:
And then they ignored him.

I don't know why real musicians ever give shows like that any of their time.

Good on him.
2013-05-06 08:18:50 AM
5 votes:
Connick gave these kids the best professional advice they have ever had. If any one of them is truly serious about a singing career, they would listen and learn.
2013-05-06 11:43:50 AM
3 votes:

busy chillin': Finally someone said it.

I watch here and there and these vocal gymnastics drive me bananas. I watched the Voice for about 5 minutes the other night just to see. And these two girls were duetting and doing these runs and a million notes and trying to dazzle people with bullsh*t. I couldn't stand it and thought it was way over the top. The song ends and the judges went apesh*t with love and approval. I guess that stuff just ain't for me.


The only vocal gymnastics that impress me are Opera singers.  They can use their voice like a person plays a piano, and it actually becomes a part in of the music playing.  But yeah, I hate people embellishing just for the sake of embellishing.  Just sing the song, if your voice is great, you don't need embellishment.

/I blame Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
2013-05-06 09:35:34 AM
3 votes:

bborchar: I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.


You seem to be under the impression that singing and writing require the same skills. Umm, they don't. I'm an excellent writer and a horrible, horrible singer. I sound like the lovechild of Popeye and Fran Drescher.

Even those who "write" their songs often don't. Someone like Taylor Swift might write "My Boyfriend is bad" on a napkin. After that, 2 pro writers take it, write a song around it  (with actual intros, structure, verses, bridge, chords that are more advanced than the 3 Taylor knows),  hire arrangers, orchestrators, session players (who are basically "writing" their own parts), synth programmers, engineers, and a producer who knows every studio trick under the sun. The result? Taylor Swift "being herself".
2013-05-06 09:08:47 AM
3 votes:

Cyno01: [i.imgur.com image 460x345]


Love the advice, but Dave Grohl's (and Herry Connick Jr.'s) idealism is misplaced. Everything you need to know about these contestants' ambitions is right in the title of the show. They don't want to be musicians; they want to be idols. They want to be famous singers, not singers who happen to be famous. If you think about it from that perspective, shows like American Idol and The Voice are the paths of least resistance.

I always cringe at promos for results shows when the voiceover guys ask "WHO DO YOU LOVE?" or "WHO DOES AMERICA LOVE?" It's a little heartbreaking thinking that these people are not only starved for love and validation but are confusing it with artistic success. I want my friends and family to "love" me. I want the people who sign my checks to respect my work. But that's the industry and that's what they signed up for.
2013-05-06 08:34:44 AM
3 votes:
What the contestants fail to realize is that they need to be able to sing the song without the melisma before they add it in.

All the runs do is show that they don't really know the song.
2013-05-06 08:17:06 AM
3 votes:

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Are you his mom or a 14 year-old fangirl? Because that's the only reason why I'd imagine anyone would type those words in defense of a melted blob of wax hitting pitch-perfect covers of songs that sound vaguely familiar.


Witty, but not a musically convincing argument.  Try again?

This time, consider how you might do in a one-on-one debate with Connick over the artists and music contained in The Great American Songbook.  If your feel that your level of knowledge reaches the encyclopedic proportions as his, then by all means show us your stuff and prove me wrong.

Until then, you're a comparative musical ignoramus who confuses personal taste with qualitative critique.
2013-05-06 07:40:16 AM
3 votes:
I've never seen Idol, but my kid watches the Voice, and those people make me cringe at the way they oversing al most everything. Its nauseating, so yeah, I hear what he's saying.
2013-05-06 07:37:15 AM
3 votes:
Next up: Stephen Sondheim night. A composer who crafts tricky music without a single unconsidered element, and who is capable of coaching inexperienced singers brilliantly.

Sondheim, teaching a voice student "My Friends" from "Sweeney Todd":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBCVaFqGJwg

Randy, after the performance: "Yo, I was bored. I mean, seriously. You're singing about friendship. You don't sound happy, man. You should have done that like Timberlake rocked out 'U N Me N No Body' at the VMAs. Not your best."
2013-05-06 02:26:39 AM
3 votes:
While his dad was a...questionable...district attorney (New Orleans, for appx. 193 years) that old man could throw down a piano and vocal. He's just as interesting to watch as his son. The whole family can cook a stage. While the Connicks' styles aren't always my cup of my tea, there's no denying the craftsmanship.

As for the Idol bit, if Connick Jr. ever deigned to offer me free artistic advice, I'd be thrilled. Would probably cry a little inside for how vicious it would be, but I'd be thankful for it nonetheless.
2013-05-06 02:03:59 AM
3 votes:
FTFA: The point Connick tried to make, which Jackson didn't want to hear, was that the show's contestants didn't know these classic songs well enough to take liberties with their melodies and lyrics. In doing so, they were murdering the music.

He's absolutely right about this. On the other hand, the whole idea of this show is to see people murdering the music. The contestants on this show are attempting to take a huge shortcut to singing stardom, so why would he think that they would put any effort into researching the background of the songs they're singing?
2013-05-06 04:35:42 PM
2 votes:

Tyrone Slothrop: karmachameleon: SockMonkeyHolocaust: Are you his mom or a 14 year-old fangirl? Because that's the only reason why I'd imagine anyone would type those words in defense of a melted blob of wax hitting pitch-perfect covers of songs that sound vaguely familiar.

Witty, but not a musically convincing argument.  Try again?

This time, consider how you might do in a one-on-one debate with Connick over the artists and music contained in The Great American Songbook.  If your feel that your level of knowledge reaches the encyclopedic proportions as his, then by all means show us your stuff and prove me wrong.

Until then, you're a comparative musical ignoramus who confuses personal taste with qualitative critique.

Just because a person is knowledgeable about music, doesn't mean they are a great performer.

/or: those who can't do, teach


Connick has a musical pedigree a mile long in both his upbringing and formal education.   He's been doing this since he was about four years old.   He is a great performer, a great musician, and a great teacher, who was taught by the same.

You, on the other hand, are an idiot.
2013-05-06 02:22:31 PM
2 votes:
2013-05-06 11:24:42 AM
2 votes:
Finally someone said it.

I watch here and there and these vocal gymnastics drive me bananas. I watched the Voice for about 5 minutes the other night just to see. And these two girls were duetting and doing these runs and a million notes and trying to dazzle people with bullsh*t. I couldn't stand it and thought it was way over the top. The song ends and the judges went apesh*t with love and approval. I guess that stuff just ain't for me.
2013-05-06 09:47:44 AM
2 votes:
Love the advice, but Dave Grohl's (and Herry Connick Jr.'s) idealism is misplaced. Everything you need to know about these contestants' ambitions is right in the title of the show.

I agree. And I think it's always been this way, at least to a certain point. The teen idols of the 50s, the bubblegum rock of the 60s and 70s, the boy bands of the 90s, and the American Idols of today. There has always been manufactured pop music and let's face it, there always will be. The upside is that good music is out there, and it's easier to find now than it has ever been. The other upside is that there's nothing wrong with enjoying some manufactured pop once in a while, especially now that I have the internet to keep me supplied with more, shall we say, authentic fare.

Still, kudos to Harry and Dave for at least trying. I've never been a Dave Grohl fan but his recent work with Stevie Nicks kicks some butt.
2013-05-06 09:29:02 AM
2 votes:
We're past due for the next musical counterculture.  Way past due.
2013-05-06 07:33:27 AM
2 votes:
Hasn't that been going on since day 1? The horses have left the barn there. Idol--and the current pop music scene that Idol has spawned--is loaded with intellectually lazy sing-bots that serve themselves instead of serving the song. They eschew artistry and musicality in favor of one-upping their Billboard rivals with vocal gymnastics and fashion gimmicks.

But it sells so any well-meaning musician who wants to act like a mentor to this new generation is just wasting this or her precious time. I don't know why they even try anymore.
2013-05-06 07:27:30 AM
2 votes:
I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.
2013-05-06 02:33:33 AM
2 votes:
I haven't watched Idol all season, and just happened to catch this episode. I know nothing about any of the remaining contestants.
And it was brilliant seeing Harry Connick tell these kids straight out that they have no idea what t they're doing. It's one of my biggest complaints about past contestants. They have absolutely no idea what songs mean. They memorize lyrics and notes, and try to outdo each other with never-ending runs.
SING THE DAMN SONG! You are not better than Lena or Etta.
2013-05-07 11:33:19 AM
1 votes:

Waldo Pepper: Ai judges did a great job not picking decent male contestants for this years show. I've never seen such a obvious bias against one gender on AI before this year


It's my opinion that Idol has turned into The View, only with more screeching. And we thought such a thing wasn't possible.
2013-05-07 10:14:21 AM
1 votes:

GreatGlavinsGhost: And then they ignored him.


If there'd been any male singers around they would have paid attention. Harry has been waking up next to Jill Goodacre for the past 20 years.
2013-05-06 07:54:40 PM
1 votes:

whatshisname: I'm not sure the fans of American Idol are interested in understanding or authenticity. They want the next big hit. They'll pay 99 cents for it, tire of it in three weeks and move on to the next big thing.


I think you under estimate the viewers. This Connick/AI issue has been about the only interest generate this year with AI.
2013-05-06 07:45:22 PM
1 votes:
I'm not sure the fans of American Idol are interested in understanding or authenticity. They want the next big hit. They'll pay 99 cents for it, tire of it in three weeks and move on to the next big thing.
2013-05-06 07:24:13 PM
1 votes:

Tyrone Slothrop: Just because a person is knowledgeable about music, doesn't mean they are a great performer.


Not necessarily, no.  But your qualifier doesn't apply in Connick's case, so why bring it up?

I'm going to give you, and anyone else disparaging Connick, the same advice Connick gave to these singers (which they apparently ignored):  go look up Connick's resume and pedigree and career timeline.  If you're going to bring it against Connick, you better bring something big.  I just don't see that happening in an internet thread, ever.
2013-05-06 04:52:21 PM
1 votes:
Dave Grohl had his own take on AI and The Voice:

"When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, 'Oh, OK, that's how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight f*cking hours with 800 people at a convention center and... then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it's not f*ckin' good enough.' Can you imagine?" he implores. "It's destroying the next generation of musicians! Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old f*cking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they'll suck, too. And then they'll f*cking start playing and they'll have the best time they've ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they'll become Nirvana. Because that's exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some shiatty old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-ass shiat, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again! You don't need a f*cking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol."

Like him or hate him, you have to admire his candor.
2013-05-06 03:19:33 PM
1 votes:

Mentat: I think the winner probably closest to Connick's ideal would be Kelly Clarkson, though it's taken her ten years to get to that point.


I agree. She showed flashes of it during her time on AI (I watched the first season - her performance on Big Band Night was excellent). She's managed to walk the line between doing her own thing and being commercial.
2013-05-06 01:24:15 PM
1 votes:

freetomato: basemetal: Meh, American Idol is just a bunch of mostly raw, true amateurs who have done little more than some pageants or talent shows.  They have not payed their dues and have the mind set that anything can be fixed with computers and auto tune.  Well, computers and auto tune have no soul, no feeling, no personality, all of which can overcome mediocre talent.  Pay your dues, kids.

I've watched the show off and on, and I have to say, my favorite in the recent past has been Crystal Bowersox.  She had been performing since she was a child, headed to the city at 17 to play open mike nights and on the street.  She had dreadlocks, and crooked teeth and blew everyone else out of the water.  You could tell she wasn't comfortable with the staged aspects of AI, especially those horrible group numbers. She came in second place to a mediocre pretty boy who nobody remembers.   She's got some really great originals and played the Opry a couple years ago.


Heh, I actually remember her......because the girl had talent.
2013-05-06 12:24:12 PM
1 votes:

Madbassist1: mjones73: The Why Not Guy: EyeballKid: How many grandchildren do you have?

Hey, it makes absolutely no difference to me whether you share my taste in music or not. Enjoy what you like, and I'll do the same.

Lighten up, it's just an age joke. ;)

The whole Sound City Real to Reel album is good IMHO.

He does it in every music thread tho. Always the same schtick. It gets old.


Saying pop music has existed since people began making money off music, and that people shouldn't care about what other people listen to its an old schtick? I'd say it's right on.
2013-05-06 11:50:56 AM
1 votes:

Mistymtnhop: I'll beat you with my cane, Kid. Don't you ever, EVER! SAY anything even a little bit negative about Ms Stevie Nicks. Damn kids these days.


Stevie's actually a good person to bring up as the anti-American Idol. For all her faults - and as much as I love her I admit she has more than a few - she's real, which makes her music far more compelling to me than a cookie-cutter American Idol contestant with great pipes but no idea what to do with them. Stevie's also a great example of a good collaborator. She's at her best with a strong writing/production partner, from Dave Stewart to Lindsay Buckingham to Jimmy Iovine or even Sheryl Crow. Watch her sing a duet sometimes. She's a great harmony singer, and she goes out of her way not to hog the spotlight even when she easily could. Meanwhile the American Idol kids are too busy trying to get face time in the group sings to worry whether the finished product - the song - is any good. That's not entirely their fault. The show has created that environment.
2013-05-06 11:24:42 AM
1 votes:

EyeballKid: The Why Not Guy: I've never been a Dave Grohl fan but his recent work with Stevie Nicks kicks some butt.

How many grandchildren do you have?


I'll beat you with my cane, Kid. Don't you ever, EVER! SAY anything even a little bit negative about Ms Stevie Nicks. Damn kids these days.
2013-05-06 11:09:17 AM
1 votes:
You want a great example from a good artist.
Go back and watch a video from the 70's of Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now. It seems trite and naive for someone so young to be seeing those lyrics. Then listen to her more recent version off the Love Actually soundtrack, the pain of loss and of friends/loves gone by is palpable in her voice and can bring you to tears.

Understanding what a song is about makes all the difference.
2013-05-06 09:54:34 AM
1 votes:

EyeballKid: How many grandchildren do you have?


Hey, it makes absolutely no difference to me whether you share my taste in music or not. Enjoy what you like, and I'll do the same.
2013-05-06 09:42:49 AM
1 votes:

propasaurus: bborchar: I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.

Hmm... you've never watched it, yet you know that they're only talentless karaoke singers who don't sing original music.


Seriously?  You don't have to watch it to know about it, since they promoted the hell out of it for a while, and everyone around me talked about it constantly.  Talkshows, late night, news- it was unavoidable for a long time until all of the other contest shows came out.

Musikslayer: bborchar: You seem to be under the impression that singing and writing require the same skills. Umm, they don't. I'm an excellent writer and a horrible, horrible singer. I sound like the lovechild of Popeye and Fran Drescher.

Even those who "write" their songs often don't. Someone like Taylor Swift might write "My Boyfriend is bad" on a napkin. After that, 2 pro writers take it, write a song around it  (with actual intros, structure, verses, bridge, chords that are more advanced than the 3 Taylor knows),  hire arrangers, orchestrators, session players (who are basically "writing" their own parts), synth programmers, engineers, and a producer who knows every studio trick under the sun. The result? Taylor Swift "being herself".


And no, I don't think that every singer writes or composes their own songs- but even then, they can perform the song how they want to, instead of being compared to the original singer.  That's the part that bothers me.
2013-05-06 09:24:52 AM
1 votes:

ecmoRandomNumbers: Melisma kills songs. The Star-Spangled Banner is NOT 8,000 notes. If you were to transcribe a typical modern power-diva's rendition of our national anthem, it would read like a Rachmaninoff concerto.


4.bp.blogspot.com
2013-05-06 08:53:39 AM
1 votes:

The Why Not Guy: Tom_Slick: nmrsnr: bborchar: I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.

Some other people who only sing other people's stuff you may want to avoid:

Frank Sinatra
Bing Crosby
Tony Bennett


Ella Fitzgerald
Louis Armstrong
Lena Horn
Peggy Lee

I get the point you folks are trying to make, and I agree 100 percent. A gifted song interpreter is every bit the artist a singer/songwriter is. However, Frank, Louis and Peggy all had songwriting credits. One of my favorite songs is "Whee Baby" sung by Miss June Christy, and co-written by Miss Peggy Lee.


To be fair, most of the big name record label crooners from that era really didn't write their owns songs. I've always been impressed by the sheer volume of music Elvis put out across different styles, and yet never wrote a single song.

You probably have to look at the more traditional country and blues artists who did their own writing who weren't a part of the corporate record label industry.
2013-05-06 08:50:22 AM
1 votes:

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: vudukungfu: Isn't this the douchetard that tried to sneak a gun on a plane in '92 and plea bargained away jail time while any of us would have been in GITMO?

Probably not.


Actually yes, he avoided jail in exchange for doing a PSA. Of course it was pre 9/11 so I'm not surprised by the slap on the wrist...
2013-05-06 08:48:59 AM
1 votes:
What are the chances that this whole brouhaha is nothing more than a scripted plot element designed to get some much-needed buzz for an aging "reality" show?
2013-05-06 08:41:37 AM
1 votes:

Rotter: Next up: Stephen Sondheim night. A composer who crafts tricky music without a single unconsidered element, and who is capable of coaching inexperienced singers brilliantly.

Sondheim, teaching a voice student "My Friends" from "Sweeney Todd":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBCVaFqGJwg

Randy, after the performance: "Yo, I was bored. I mean, seriously. You're singing about friendship. You don't sound happy, man. You should have done that like Timberlake rocked out 'U N Me N No Body' at the VMAs. Not your best."


Wait, Idol is doing a Sondheim night???  That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I can see Idol doing Andrew Lloyd Webber music since his stuff is usually very "pop". But the intricacies of Sondheim's stuff are so, I don't know, delicate and complex, and are about as far away as you can get from the danceable, hummable sing-a-longs that Idol requires.
2013-05-06 08:28:18 AM
1 votes:

bborchar: I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.


Some other people who only sing other people's stuff you may want to avoid:

Frank Sinatra
Bing Crosby
Tony Bennett

ecmoRandomNumbers: Melisma kills songs. The Star-Spangled Banner is NOT 8,000 notes. If you were to transcribe a typical modern power-diva's rendition of our national anthem, it would read like a Rachmaninoff concerto.


So I take it you're not a fan of Jimi Hendrix's version?
2013-05-06 08:22:17 AM
1 votes:

propasaurus: bborchar: I have never watched that because people are basically singing karaoke. They only display the talent necessary to sing someone else's songs. Sing your own stuff, be yourself. And don't be stupid enough to think that there is a shortcut to stardom.

Hmm... you've never watched it, yet you know that they're only talentless karaoke singers who don't sing original music.


I've never watched an episode myself, but in the years it's been on the air it's nigh impossible to have not seen some of it. It's televised karaoke. That's it. No more "talent" than you'd find on display at your local bar on a Thursday night. Better looking, perhaps (it's really interesting how there are no ass-ugly people with vocal talent out there... the contestants that I've seen make the cut are all very tv-friendly, imagine that).

The old masters could move an audience without breaking a sweat. These folks look like they're gonna bust a vein every time they hit the stage... that's not masterful, nor is it healthy.

CSB: the female lead of a local cover band felt she had to hit her limit for every song they did (likely overcompensating for being a mediocre vocalist, which is being generous). It played well for a couple of months, and they pulled some decent audiences for a bar band... until the night she stroked out on the bathroom floor during a set break. Sad, but our frontman called it a few weeks before when he looked at me and said "she's gonna give herself a stroke doing that constantly", and she damn sure did.
2013-05-06 07:36:42 AM
1 votes:

The Great EZE: But it sells so any well-meaning musician who wants to act like a mentor to this new generation is just wasting this or her precious time. I don't know why they even try anymore.


Get on TV, try to stay relevant. This message is on a constant drone in the minds of the "well-meaning" oldies acts telling the whippersnappers how the music bidniss used to be 20 years ago.
2013-05-06 07:19:17 AM
1 votes:

dickfreckle: While his dad was a...questionable...district attorney (New Orleans, for appx. 193 years) that old man could throw down a piano and vocal. He's just as interesting to watch as his son. The whole family can cook a stage. While the Connicks' styles aren't always my cup of my tea, there's no denying the craftsmanship.

As for the Idol bit, if Connick Jr. ever deigned to offer me free artistic advice, I'd be thrilled. Would probably cry a little inside for how vicious it would be, but I'd be thankful for it nonetheless.


There's a great movie in there somewhere. New Orleans vampire attorneys who play music?
 
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