Questionable taste

Phil Ford

Someone emailed me a while ago to ask where the American Idol liveblogging had gone. I’m glad someone liked that stuff enough to ask about it, but in truth I got bored of it by the end. Bored of blogging AI, that is, not bored of the show. Although, I don’t know, maybe I did get bored of the show! It’s possible! It’s also a bore to have to write an analysis of what you’re watching while you’re watching it. So this year I (a) forgot entirely about AI until last week, and then (b) have just been, you know, watching it, without any pretense to having deep thoughts about it. I’ve also discovered a blog whose AI wrap-ups are more funny and on-target than anything I’d write, so here you go.  I’m leaving AI to the professionals this year.

I will say, though, that I sometimes just get annoyed at the limitations — the limitations of the show, the singers, and the various pop styles that the singers use, or, more often, that use them. Beatles night: the moment my son has been waiting for. But no-one was anything more than adequate, and some a good deal shy of that mark. The performance of the evening was supposed to be that girl who sang “Let It Be.” Please. The whole thing was done in a stiff two-stroke rhythm, only in slow-mo, and not at all helped out by her clumsy piano playing, which sounded like what every homesick college freshman sounds like in the dorm common room. And even with the sparse accompaniment she was able to manage she wasn’t good enough to look away from her hands for more than a second, so that when she tried to maintain eye contact with the audience her head was bobbing up and down like an oil derrick. And the sad thing is, maybe this really was the best performance on the show.

On a brighter note, I notice that the University of Arizona now houses the Les Baxter Collection in its archives. You better believe I’ll be doing some research there.

Yeah, like Les Baxter is soooooo much more tasteful than AI pop. Whatever, at least it’s old. Don’t know who I’m talking about? Here’s Baxter’s “Voodoo Dreams,” with a fan-assembled video of cover art images.

And here’s an in-house gag promotional spread for Baxter’s Ritual of the Savage/Sacre du Sauvage I found this morning. Funny.


I’ve got a big article on exotica coming out in Representations in a few months. More to come . . .

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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