I finally ended up renaming my “solo project/band” Electric Love Adventure, among the names I was considering… I intend on collaborating with some of the various musicians I have played with and some whom I have yet to play with, but also continuing to record largely by myself, at home, as I was doing in the post-Exit Drills days. As for playing gigs, well… I’ll wait and see who volunteers to be in the performing band once I get a few of these recordings out.
Anyway, I was working last night on recording a bit of odd-metered metal riffage I invented some years ago but have never managed to successfully craft lyrics for. I was putting down live drums and bass guitar, fitting them to the original guitar track I recorded on 4-track because I liked its sound. At the same time, Leah was online on the American Idol snark/fan/discussion site Vote For The Worst posting in a discussion thread about the supposed Idol Single that this season’s winner will be forced to record and release after winning.
I could go into a much longer post on American Idol, my and Leah’s sincere love and enjoyment of and fascination with it, as well as the many discussions it’s sparked between us about how it illustrates and embodies a conflict between everything that’s wrong with the pop music industry these days and what American music fans actually want. This season is a particularly good example, as the favorite to win next week is probably the most unlikely candidate the show’s producers could possibly have dreamed up when they invented the show. Taylor Hicks is a gray-haired 29-year-old singer from a jam-rock band who sports a voice Barry Manilow described on the show as a “whiskey tenor.” He’s apparently a big fan of classic blues, soul, and classic rock, and of artists like Ray Charles and Joe Cocker, and his spazzy interjections and twitchy dance moves have made for comedy gold on late-night TV. Seemingly, America loves him for all his quirks, and British lead judge Simon Cowell can’t stand him – my theory is, he’s just too American. And above all, the guy really can sing. But he’s about as far away from another Justin Timberlake or Jessica Simpson brand of pop idol as imaginable, yet he’s very likely on the verge of winning American Idol 2006.
Thus far in each season of American Idol, the show has had a first single written in advance for the winner well before it is known who the winner will be. It’s not hard to imagine now why this is a bad idea, but evey year they stick to the pattern, and the song they come up with is almost invariably some of the sappiest, most overwrought dreck imaginable.
So, some tabloids were reporting that Taylor Hicks had a listen to the AI single he’ll be contractually forced to do and hated it. These reports were the subject of a thread on VFTW. The song itself has yet to be revealed to the American public. Leah decided for fun to post some parody Idol-single lyrics and claim they were the real song AI had prepared. She wrote it in about five minutes while I was bashing on the drums ten feet away, posted it on Vote For The Worst for laughs, then revealed the joke a few minutes later, after a number of people believed it was the real song. The lyrics even made their way to the message boards on the official American Idol site, where at last report, there were Taylor fans (members of what’s called the “Soul Patrol”) still believing it’s the real song, and even liking it.
So then Leah and I had the idea of trying to take her parody American Idol lyrics and put them to the music I was working on. It worked surprisingly well, and we shared it with the folks on Vote For The Worst, and the reaction has been positive.
So here it is, folks… the new Electric Love Adventure intarweb single: “Your Next American Idol (Thank You).” Enjoy.
Credits: composition, recording, and all instruments Charles Hoffman; lyrics Leah Hoffman.