Monday, January 26, 2015

Phillip Phillips Takes On 19E

Phillip Phillips Tells Big Brother He's Walking

"Hey Nineteen
No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all" 

- Steely Dan 
In a world where the big label music machine calls all the shots and treats their talent like toilet paper, we have a little ant that's daring to try and move the rubber tree plant. That ant's name is Phillip Phillips.

Phillips, who came to fame winning American Idol in Season 11 with the ubiquitous, multi-platinum coronation hit "Home", the biggest hit single of any contestant in the history of the long running iconic show. He then followed it up with multi-platinum hit "Gone, Gone Gone" off his platinum selling debut album "The World From The Side Of The Moon", and followed that with a strong sophomore effort, "Behind The Light".

Seems all hunky-dory, right?

WRONG! Phillips is mad as hell, and he's not taking it anymore. He was pissed when they made "Home" into the signature sound he was supposed to adopt on all future singles. He was pissed they put his brilliant track "Take Me Away" on the Target bonus track list with no iTunes presence. He was FURIOUS when on his 2nd album they kept him entirely in the dark on the title, and he only found out about it reading social media.

However, what put it over the edge was when 19E forced him to do promotional shows supporting Idol 2 years after he was on the show with NO compensation. Then, made him do private appearances, again, for NO compensation.

At this point, Phillips said he had had enough. No control over his music style, no control over his album titles and no compensation for gigs he was never consulted on led to Phillips firing back with guns blazing. He was not gonna be nobody's pop-folk pretty boy doing free shows with minimal creative control over his album titles and singles anymore.

But what could he do? Nobody takes on Big Machine Label and has a career to live another day. They are the big shots, and fighting them means a certain black list. He surely wouldn't risk everything for principle knowing the consequences were dire, and the cards all in the hands of the slave master labels, right?

WRONG! In a shocking display if substance over narcissism, Phillips dropped a bombshell lawsuit on 19E, one of THE biggest labels/management entities in the world.

It's David vs Goliath.

It's Rocky vs Apollo Creed.

It's Kenny Poo vs Political Correctness.

Yes, Phillip Phillips has given the middle finger to The Machine and in the process gambled he may "never work in this town again".

Why would he take such a risk, when playing bitch to the master would safely give him the means to a life of comfort? Well, for the same reason he refused to wear multi-colored Tommy Hilfiger prep-wear on American Idol, opting instead for his typical gray t-shirt and jeans against the wishes of the big corporate sponsors and producers: He is his own man.

Of course, being newly engaged has probably helped fuel that strength of character even more, as his wife-to-be is a preachers daughter who by all accounts has shown a fiery determination to make sure her future hubby does the right thing.

So, what now?

Well, a very long court battle is likely to ensue. The powerful lawyers of 19E will extend this case out for years, and Phillip will be in a no-man's land in all likelihood until it's resolved. I'm no high powered attorney, so don't ask me what options he has within this time frame, but hopefully he'll have some avenue to push out the inspired music that will no doubt be created from this challenging period.

I know one thing: Every Idol ever born, from the Kelly/Carrie top of the food chain down to the low place finishers trying to find their way, all owe Phillip a measure of gratitude for having the stones to take on corrupt mountain and not back down.

Strength to you, Phillip. We the people are rooting for you.

Poo out.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Phillips Rocks the Hard Rock

Phillips struts his stuff for the Seminole Hard Rock crowd in Hollywood, FL

Having seen Phillip Phillips last summer opening for John Mayer at the Cruzan Amphitheatre (West Palm Beach), and post-Idol the year before doing a few acoustic songs at Mizner Park Amphitheatre (Boca Raton), this would mark my first time seeing Phillips headlining a concert tour of his own.

One thing you can see right from the start is Phillips, while still ever the humble and gracious southern gentleman, has evolved from a deferential leader into a truly confident front man fully embracing the spotlight of his own tour. He may say he gets nervous (as he claimed after he played my personal favorite Phillips song, "Take Me Away", a killer, dark rock bonus track from his debut album, "The World From The Side Of The Moon"), but it certainly doesn't show. He is in complete command, always appearing comfortable in his own skin as a performer, artist and leader of the band.

The capacity at the venue is 5,500, but they curtained off the back third of the theatre so capacity was probably about 3,000 for the show. It was pretty packed, so my guess is he drew at least a solid 2,500. Not too shabby for a first solo tour.

The crowd itself was a mix of all ages, as one would expect from his older Idol base mixed with teenage fangirls of his popular singles, and couples looking for a fun Saturday night out to catch a good show. As a couple in our 40's, my wife and I were probably about the median age.

The crowd understandably seemed less familiar with tracks from his sophomore album, "Behind The Light", than TWFTSOTM. That's to be expected considering BTL has sold roughly 125k copies compared to the million plus selling blowtorch of his platinum selling debut.

It doesn't mean the crowd wasn't into it, just trying to absorb what for many was new material with lengthy jam sessions that probably left them simultaneously impressed and a bit confused. My wife was one of those, as she's much more familiar with TWFTSOTM than BTL, and didn't realize he was such an instrumental-driven jam band performer at heart.

I see this as a transformational period for Phillips that will include some of these growing pains. He's morphing into the artist he is at heart, and some fans of Idol and his popular singles may not be coming along for that ride.

"Home" and "Gone" are still huge crowd favorites, and will be for the rest of his career. The crowd goes nuts for the familiar hits, and the songs are close enough in style to where he is heading as an artist so that old and new fans will remain equally excited to hear them at his shows.

Therefore, I seee Behind The Light as more of a bridge album than a destination record. Poppy songs from his album, like his single "Unpack Your Heart", while performed with gusto, are somewhat overshadowed with instrumental jams that are really the centerpiece of his show. More complex rock songs like "Fly" and "Trigger" seem far more in line with where he is heading as an artist, along with the haunting "Thicket" and intricate acoustic jam "Face". These songs are enhanced by the extended intro and outro jams, not overshadowed. Like they are truly part of the songs rather than a diversion.

What I would like to see as the next step for Phillips is to establish a permanent band, even change from being a solo artist to The Phillip Phillips Band. If so, David Eggar, his virtuoso cellist, is an absolute must to be in this group. He's simply brilliant at his instrument, while also a highly charismatic live performer, and the one musician of the group who is truly irreplaceable outside of Phillips himself.

I'd also like to see Phillip embrace taking on some instrumental solos of his own. He is an extremely skilled guitarist, and I think the crowd would appreciate seeing him be part of the jam session element in that respect. It would expand his presence in a positive way, and complete his role of band leader and headliner.

My summary takeaway from the show is that he was still a hit with the crowd, but we're really only scratching the surface of this journey. It'll be fascinating to see the makeup of the audience when he is touring with the 3rd album under his belt. By then he'll be a more established with a bigger catalog of music to choose from for his tour, and perhaps a somewhat different audience demographic mix at his shows.

I personally can't wait to see how it all plays out, because I'm a huge fan of where I see this train headed.

Poo out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Poo Review: Phillip Phillips - Behind The Light

Sophomore jinx, you say? Bah, with a name like Phillip Phillips you should have known the second would be just as good as the first.

A mere 18 months after the release of his platinum smash debut LP, "World From The Side Of The Moon", P2 is showing us he has a prolific streak with the release of his fresh 15 track, self-penned album, "Behind The Light".

I gotta confess, I was a bit nervous at first. So often after a taste of debut success, we see artist's shit the bed on the sophomore effort, seduced by the allure of studio overproduction and synth. The result is invariably a collection of formula dreck with no value other than milking the first album's popularity for a quick buck.

Fortunately, my fears were unwarranted.

In a nutshell, BTL offers up a unique, individual expression while maintaining enough characteristics from WFTSOTM to give fans a sense of continuity with Phillip's signature style and sound.

That's not to say there aren't many different flavors and spices here. The album is cohesive variety, and has the right mix of styles for extended listening. Every track moves with a nice groove, and is overall a bit tighter than the debut effort.

While a large string section contributes to give a generally bigger sound to much of the album, special props need to be given to Errol Cooney, Dave Eggar and Jason Thomas for some phenomenal musicianship. Along with Phillip, this group forms a truly talented band of musicians, and I look forward to seeing them push the envelope even further in the love shows.

So, what if anything would I change about the album, you ask? Well, maybe it's nitpicking, but I would like to see him go heavier still on the rock, reduce the anthem pop choruses, and just get edgier he does live. That said, I respect that he has to appeal to his label and his teen pop audience, in addition to older, hardcore fans like myself who want to see him dig even deeper.

With that said, I should emphasize that it's really a great CD . I've been looping it for two days, and haven't needed to skip a song yet. That was also the case with his 1st album, which I've happily worn out, and is testimony to how consistently strong Phillip is as a singer, composer and musician.

P2's future Behind The Light is indeed very bright, and I give his sophomore effort the FULL FOUR POO'S.

Here is my track-by-track brief summary.
  1. Searchlight - A catchy, poppy tune with an infectious beat. Phil's growling voice gives it some needed heft.
  2. Raging Fire - Inspirational pop rock anthem
  3. Trigger - A haunting hard rock track with early Genesis influences. REALLY, REALLY dig this one.
  4. Lead On - A cool, funky, upbeat jam that provides a nice mood counterbalance to Trigger.
  5. Alive Again - Driving, inspirational pop rock.
  6. Open Your Eyes - See "Alive Again"
  7. Fool For You - GREAT song with an unmistakeable Bruce Springsteen vibe. This needs to be the next single.
  8. Thicket - The dark, instrumental masterpiece of the album which reflects P2's Dave Mathews side. Think "The Stone".
  9. Fly - This track ROCKS! Clever use of steel guitar (I'm guessing) to simulate the sound of a fly.
  10. Unpack Your Heart - Inspirational pop rock...the Can't Go Wrong of the album.
  11. Face - Reminds me a bit of the classic Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats. Great acoustic guitar work. LOVE this tune. 
  12. Midnight Sun - The Gone Gone Gone of the album.
  13. My Boy - Wonderful acoustic number. Rich and full with a nice groove. Think Bill Withers. Great shit. 
  14. Don't Trust Me - The "Man On The Moon" of BTL. Get up and dance with a drink in your hand!
  15. Armless Crawler - Mid-tempo rock with a refreshingly anthem-free chorus. Ear wormy.
Order Phillip's great new album "Behind The Light" from iTunes today by clicking here.

Poo over, Poo out.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Poo's Idol Meusing

Been awhile since I've posted, but I feel like it now so just back the fuck off, man!! Give me a break. I don't work for you, asshole!

Ok, ok, I'm calm. Just hate it when imaginary people give me imaginary shit, causing me to satirically blow my stack. 

Anyway, Idol is heading into the home stretch, and this week they are having contestants choose each other's songs. I like this idea. In fact, so much so I'll post what they should be sangin.

Below are Poo's picks in no particular order. Well, the part about Jessica beng first is particular order. I'm all in for this girl. Love her whole everything. The rest, however, are in no particular order. 

Jessica - What Have I Done:

Caleb - Hot Summer Night:

Alex -  Man Who Can't Be Moved:

Jena - Paradise City:

Dexter - Toes:

What say you?

Poo out. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammys, Mama, Mama, Bieber and Weed

Just got back in town, and need to dish out my latest Poo...

* * *

Grammy Poo
So, here are my quick thoughts on the Grammys!
  • Cindy Lauper - Congrats on that highly convincing celibacy advocacy look! Just in case anyone may have been having sex during the awards show, you did your part to put a stop to it.
  • Same Love - STFU already with the gay preaching shit. Be gay, don't be gay, I really don't care how you like to fuck. Live your life. The spectacle is getting old and overplayed. Enough.
  • Lorde - What a youthful 41 year old she is! Can you say this generation's female Keith Richards?
  • Love the memoriam montage the most. Always chokes up the Poo.
  • Phillip Phillips - WTF, how did he get shutout of the nominations? Dude had a platinum album with two multi-platinum singles in his first shot out of the box, and nothing? Something smells wrong here.
  • The old fart country duets with Willie, Kris, Merle and "youngster" Blake was epic. Especially the awkward moment when Merle came on after Willie singing about being an Okie not smoking marijuana or having long hair. lol 
* * *

Mama I
So, I spent a wonderful weekend visiting my mother in Clearwater. She loves to drink as much as Poo, so we had great bonding and lots of good booze. Had the hangover drive of drives today back to SoFlo, but it was really a nice time and worth the pain.

I will never drink again. By never, I mean today and tomorrow. 48 hour detox sounds about right.

* * *

Mama II
Crystal (Mama) Bowersox had a NY Rock Exchange "Shareholders" meeting, which was a Q/A with fans who bought special promotional songs she released. Fellow former Idolette Didi Benami showed up as a special guest, and brought a light and fun mood. Also sang some sweet background harmonies. They both seemed to be feeling no pain during the "shareholder meeting", and their bantering was most entertaining.

Best part: Crystal gave Poo a very kind and special shoutout, and finished it with a magnificent belch. Love ya, CB! You are a true Poo favorite. Hope you meant it when you said you were planning a SoFlo show down the road.

Also, Poo asked Crystal if she would dig opening for another Poo favorite Phillip Phillips, and she said definitely. She considers him a true artist and is thrilled for his success. Therefore, Poo is "putting it out there into the universe" (as Crystal loves to say) with the hope it can help make this happen.

* * *

So, who ever woulda thought a teenage kid with shitty parents, who gets a windfall of unimaginable fame and fortune, would become a spoiled, dysfunctional little punk on a dangerous road to ruin? I know I'm shocked. Seriously, I hope he'll get his life together before it's too late. These stories all too often end badly.

* * *

Straight Dope
Florida has taken the first step towards legalizing medical marijuana by getting the necessary signatures to put it on the ballot. It's beyond shameful and hypocritical that cigarettes and powerful narcotics are legal, but a kid with seizure disorder, like my son, can't get medical marijuana to treat it because it might be a gateway? Fuck off to all the lying sacks of shit who are trying to peddle this horseshit.

In fact, legalize it period. I don't even like weed, gives me an unpleasant high so I don't smoke it, but there is no justification beyond total corruption to keep it illegal. Enough is enough. End the charade, and make pot regulated and legal like it is in Colorado and Washington.

* * *

OK, I'm done Pooing. Until next time...

Poo Out!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

View From Poo's Couch #3

Now that the View From Poo's Couch has grown into an international phenomenon, how can I possibly stop now? Can't stop! WON'T STOP!

Onward with more glorious Poo!!!

* * *

Went on last night in an attempt to navigate the turbulent Obamacare waters, and am proud to report that the website is still a dysfunctional clusterfuck. The site crashed twice while attempting to process. Finally, after a couple hours of complete and utter futility, I just gave up.  Big government entitlement at its finest, baby.

* * *

Sabres lost yet another agonizingly close game last night. Being a Buffalo sports fan is so much fun! We get to experience everything from the embarrassment of being blown out, to losing in crushing, dramatic fashion! So blessed to have been given the opportunity by the Sabres and Bills to learn how to cope with painful disappointment from cradle to grave.

* * *

LADIES! Insight into GUY WORLD!

Crotch scratching is truly an art form. Scratch too much and you get raw and chaffed. Don't scratch enough and you will be left wanting more. The true crotch scratching artist knows just how to nuance the line. For some odd reason, wives and girlfriends never seem to appreciate such talents.

C'mon ladies, stop the hate and appreciate the wonder of our handiwork!

* * *

For those of you who dig good scotch, but spending well north of $30 a bottle for anything drinkable is cost prohibitive, I have the answer for you: Grant's.

William Grant & Sons also distill Glenfiddich and Balvenie on the higher end, but for just $15 a bottle you can get their standard Grant's blend and it's REALLY FUCKING GOOD! Great flavor, no burn, deep caramel coloring...yum.

Try'll thank me.

* * *

OK, that's enough Poo droppings for today. Check back tomorrow, my loyal and faithful followers, for the next mezmerizing installment of the View From Poo's Couch.

Poo Out!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

View From Poo's Couch #2

After receiving glowing self acclaim on reviews for my first official installment of the View From Poo's Couch, I am now puffed with the bravado of a thousand hot air balloons. Now, prepare to be dazzled by my brilliant quips of insight and observation!

* * *

Again with the Polar Vortex? Would someone please bring me Al Gore so I can put my fucking carbon foot print right up that lying sack of shit's ass? Thank you, and have a great day.

* * *

Pooaliscious...I like the sound of this. How is it possible it took until now for me to put together this selfy nickname? I have a feeling it's gonna catch on. Try it...POOOOOO-AAAAA-LISCIOUSSSSS!!!!

Wasn't that nice? Sorry, no refunds on the last 30 seconds of your life.

* * *

Watched Blacklist last night, my new most favorite show. Nothing against Megan Boone (plays Red's FBI daughter) or anything, but this show is about James Spader and his killer character, period. The rest is filler. I want and expect more Spader on the show, stat.  Kenny Poo is getting upset!

* * *

The lovely and talented (translation: hot as hell and totally awesome) Pia Toscano has formed a duo with longtime singing BFF Jared Lee. Aptly named "DUO", they are recording an EP set for release this March or April.

A longtime friend of Poo Nation, Pia featured a Kenny Poo question on her weekly Q/A Monday with Jared. You'll see from the video how obvious it is she's crushing on Poo, but we keep it strictly platonic since Mrs. Poo wouldn't approve of me accepting Pia's steamy advances.

Anyway, check it out here, and give them a YouTube/Twitter follow if you haven't already. Poo comes in at the 4:19 mark, but watch it all. Their unscripted banter is fun and worth the watch.


* * *

WTF is the deal, DirecTV? No Weather Channel? My all-time favorite weather chicky poo, Kait Parker, who was down here in SoFlo for about 4 years, recently got a nice gig there but because of the dispute I can't watch her!! This cannot happen, people. Time to light the torches, bust out the pitch forks, grab the battering ram, and storm the DirecTV gates so I can see her in the morning before work.

* * *

OK, that's enough magnificence for today. I'm sure by now you've laughed, you've cried, you may have nearly died, so rather than risk anyone's health any further it's time to say...