Friday, February 22, 2013

Idol Sudden Death? More Like Euthenasia

Man, did that sangin' stank!
OK, before I go and make a bunch of snarky, smarmy, sarcastic, sardonic slams of the stanky sangin' on Idol Sudden Death, allow me to give some praise for the new format. You see, I think not knowing a thing about the un-pimped talent when live shows start has been one of the show's biggest flaws since I've been watching.

How many deserving singers have been cut in semifinal voting because viewers just weren't as familiar with them as the producer's narrative-laden Chosen Ones? Who knows, but I do know that early in Season 10 the largely unknown Haley Reinhart had her smokin' hot ass perilously close to the chopping block virtually every week. What a sad, empty world this would be if she'd been whacked in the semis thanks to Nigel's useful idiot sycophant (aka, Randy Jackson) shitting all over the uncasted fodder who threatened the script?

Anyway, I digress...

The point is, being able to have strong familiarity with ALL the Top 20 semifinalists strengthens the connection viewers have with all the contestants come live show voting. It levels the playing field, if you will. The producers will still pimp their chosen ones thru the willing judges, but at least we the viewers have a chance to make up our own minds based on our own impressions of their performances.

That being said, the performances this week, both guys and girls, were overwhelmingly odious stink bombs. I'm not going to waste my time on those who were eliminated, because I'm quite frankly glad all of them were eliminated. Really thin on the talent crop far, or perhaps intentionally thin to fit the narrative of a female winner (or, if that fails, a homosexual male, or a black R&B male...just anything but a White Hetero Male).

Of the ones who made it through, they were mostly for shit, too. There were however a few who stood out with REAL talent, and as along as you have a few super talented singers at the top all will be well.

So, with that, I'm just going to focus on my Top Two. You may disagree with me, but it's all about me around these parts, so Kenny-Kenny-Poo-Poo.

1. Curtis Finch
2. Amber Holcomb

Finch is edited to be an arrogant douche. I know it, you know it, we all know it. And he may very well be. But, keep in mind Phillip was edited to seem like he didn't give a shit. Haley was edited to be a stuck up bitch. Crystal was edited to appear aloof and negative towards Idol. You know what? It was all bullshit.

Then again, they do occasionally get it right. Stefano was edited to be a pretty boy douchebag in Season 10, and they damn sure nailed that one.

Meanwhile, Amber has been largely kept hidden from us until now. What a way to crash the party! She was phenomenal. What an incredible tone.

Anyway, point being we should pay a lot more attention to the performing and a lot less attention to the edited personas. Based on sangin', these two just crushed the competition. No coincidence that they closed the show both nights, either,

Here are their performances. What say you?

~Kenny Poo

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Now that I'm back on dry land, and drying out from all the excesses of  a cruise, I see my favorite Idol alums had mucho activity while I was gone. Time for Kenny Poo to catch y'all up!! Let's lead off this post with Crystal's big single news, and my take on the song.

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Click here to hear Mama's jazzy new single Movin' On
So, as it turns out, Mama's new song Dead Weight was actually released as a 'buzz single' to promote her upcoming album (All That For This), and not the single sent to radio for official adds. That distinction goes to her track Movin' On, which went for AAA adds today, and I couldn't agree with the decision more.

Much as I enjoyed the country-folk harmonies of Dead Weight, I had reservations about its potential for radio success do to its length (4:32) and lack of wow factor. Movin' On on the other hand has all the elements to be a hit, especially for the AAA format her label (Shanachie records) has sent it for adds. It's still organic, but also has a jazzy, catchy, more sophisticated vibe, and is the perfect length (3:11) for a single.

In fact, of the three tracks on the album available to preview (also Dead Weight and Stitches) this Movin' On is by far my favorite. It's just pure fucking awesomeness. Well crafted, ear-wormy, soulful, jazzy, bluesy, with plenty of brass sass, it struck me from the opening bars that this was a statement to all that Crystal can stretch out her music well beyond the confines of country-tinged folk.

Not sure when the song will be available for purchase, but hopefully very soon. Don't want a track hitting radio without an option to buy. Meanwhile, click on the picture caption above to hear a full length streaming preview of the song. You won't be disappointed... Movin' On flows smooth as fine silk from beginning to end.

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P2G3FTW? What am I talkin' 'bout, Willis? 

I'm talkin' 'bout Phillip Phillips - who just released his official video for Gone, Gone, Gone, the 2nd single off his smash debut album The World From The Side Of The Moon - For The Win! It's another infectious, feel-good song with a great sing-along vibe, and Kenny Poo predicts GGG will become another huge hit single.

In fact, if the explosion of radio adds and the rapid march up the iTunes charts are any indication, it may hit big even faster than his 4X Platinum smash Home did. The video itself will keep you singing and smiling. Check it out above, peeps.

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Casey's Homeless

Get Out!

Been a fun time for Caley fans (fans who love the combo of Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams). This weekend Casey debuted his official video for his single Get Out, plus an opening trailer parody clip of him being a homeless bum his friends express "concern" for. Included in the fun is his Caley partner Haley, who also helped spread the homeless gag on twitter along with many other Idol Season 10 friends.

While Get Out is far from my favorite track on Casey's self-titled album (too pop for my tastes), the videos above are a lot of fun. Check them out... they're great stuff, people.

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 Groovy Caley HOB Set

Want more Caley? OK, I saved the best for last. The full, 31 minute audio of their House Of Blues set from Friday, Feb 15th. The entire set is jazz/blues centric. Even when Haley sings her own tracks from her album Listen Up! she gives them a jazz/blues spin that best maximizes and highlights her vocal gifts.  

There is really something special here. The fun-loving banter, music and improvisational comfort they display when performing together is fantastic. All I can say is please, please, please give us more Caley Collaboration!

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If you love Caley you also gotta love Japia. Pia Toscano and Jared Lee have had multiple duet performances over the past year, and have also displayed a naturally hilarious banter together that makes them impossible not to love. The above Valentines Day video clip is a perfect example of how much fun they are together, and why we need to see more of Japia in the future!

~Kenny Poo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cruising Away

Heading out on a cruise tomorrow, people! Gonna get my party on in the Caribbean with my family for four days/nights of boozing, gambling, food, shows, and a camp on board for the kiddies to have their own fun while we get a break from parenting a few hours each day.

On Saturday, this old geezer turns 46. Forty-fucking-six. Time flies by so fast, peeps, so you better not take anything for granted. One minute you're in high school checking out girls and colleges, the next you're taking blood pressure meds as your beard turns gray and belly expands. Yes, it happens THAT FAST! Hours may inch along slowly, but years whip by in blinks of an eye.

Anyway, I won't be blogging or tweeting from the ship, so to tide you over while I'm gone here's a few of my favorite chill songs that go perfectly with my all-time favorite activity: Drinking in the pool.

Catch y'all on the flip side!

~Kenny Poo

Friday, February 8, 2013

Inspirational Friday

This past week I found myself very moved by the continuous flood of inspirational tweets that so frequently fill up my timeline. Consequently, I felt compelled to contribute inspirational tweets of my own to help others get through their difficult times, and hopefully I accomplished that.

Here I will share with you my most inspirational creations of the week. Enjoy, and may you feel as inspired by their messages as I was in writing them. Follow my twitter (@KenOstroff) if you'd like to see my precious nuggets in real time.

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"Always see the good in every situation, because truth is you'd have probably fucked things up worse if given the chance."

"In order to find love you must first love yourself, which means only self absorbed douchebags find love. Be a douchebag."
"When all seems hopeless don't give up. You're one day closer to makeup sex, pity sex, or blind luck sex." 

"People can be so cruel. You can help make a difference by peeing in their shoes."

"You get out of life what you put into it, and get into life by putting out."

 "I may be growing older, but what is age but a number quantifying maturity and wisdom, butt face?"
"Don't mimic others, focus on being the best possible you. i.e. the best unemployed, internet gamer and porn downloader."
 "If life knocks you down get back up, brush yourself off, make excuses, blame everyone but yourself, and have a scotch."

"The secret to a rich, rewarding life is love, kindness and acceptance... you stupid piece of shit."


"Hurting others only hurts yourself in the long run, and right now your face is killing me."

"Being a good leader means learning from your followers. I've learned you guys are seriously fucked in the head."

"Respect yourselves, girls. Don't go after bad boys and douche bags. Stick with 45yo sarcastic men who drink in the pool."

"You're good enough, smart enough, and doggone it people don't really give a flying fuck."

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Thank you for reading my heartfelt pearls of wisdom. Please feel free to communicate your feelings to me by leaving comments below. 

Kenny Poo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Single: Dead Weight by Crystal Bowersox

This morning, Crystal Bowersox premiered her soon-to-be released single, Dead Weight, on the Ryan Seacrest show. The song style is folk-tinged, acoustical country with a comforting, reassuring message about leaving behind life's negative baggage, and moving forward with a clean, positive outlook.

Her sophomore LP, All That For This, is scheduled for release in March. Being a Mama/Frankie purist, no Crystal album will ever be able to surpass her gorgeous EP Once Upon A Time, but my opinion is VERY favorable of what lies ahead based on what I heard today.

Although there's some similarities between Dead Weight and certain tracks from her debut LP Farmer's Daughter (think Mine All Mine, Arlene, Holy Toledo and Finally Got It Right), this departs a bit from the overall roots-rock formula. Rich harmonies give Dead Weight a sing-a-long anthem appeal so prevalent today in modern folk-rock artists like Phillip Phillips, Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers, though softer and gentler in nature.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the song overall, and think the more you listen the more it grows on you. Mama's pristine vocals are beautiful as ever, and it should be ear-wormy to a wide audience. My only criticism would be it went a bit long for a single (4:32). Chopping off the final repeat chorus would've definitely helped its radio appeal, and made it tighter.

What say you?

~Kenny Poo

Friday, February 1, 2013

Live Performances That Pleasure Kenny Poo

I'm a bit bored this afternoon, so I've decided to post a few of my favorite live concert videos. Criteria? Artist needs to be lost in the song,  I need to like the song and the crowd has to be totally committed. Dig?

Well, alrighty then.

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Dropkick Murphy's 
The Dirty Glass 
LIVE on Jimmy Kimmel
St. Patrick's Day 2007

The Murphs are unbelievable live, and this performance was a perfect example because the crowd is sick, the song is awesome, the band tears it up, sound is perfect and the setting was St. Patrick's Day. Total McAwesome sauce.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan
Texas Flood
LIVE 1983 (I think)

Stevie Ray was the definition of Texas blues in every sense of the word. Calling someone a prodigy is  an overused adjective these days, but it truly is the case with SRV and his gun slinging guitar brilliance. He was virtually in a trance, touching God perhaps, as he blasted thru this before wide-eyed crowd that was almost stunned into rapture. Shredding the blues like nobody ever has before or since, this performance is amazing to behold.

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Phillip Phillips
Lose Yourself/All I Do Is Win
Live at Notre Dame 
January, 2013

Phillip mashed this up in a mosh pit like setting, and the video is practically right on top of the stage allowing the viewer to feel the intensity and almost smell the beer flying. Crowd is completely berserk, and he is completely lost in the song. PP is incredible live, and after seeing this you'll be forced to agree that it belongs on this list.

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Joss Stone
The High Road
Live 2012 - Brazil

Joss is hot and can fucking wail. This fan vid is right on top of the stage, and like the Phillips video above, you can almost feel, taste and touch the performance. Joss kills it, though it does cut out just before it ends. Ya gotta see it.

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Dropkick Murphys
Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced
LIVE Boston, 2009
Is it wrong to use two Muph songs in such a short list? Not if it's the signature Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced that I believe is the greatest concert video of all time. Check it, because my words cannot do justice to this party.


Hope you enjoyed. This is just a few of my faves, and is in no particular order. I may have to make this a Friday ritual. What say you?

~Kenny Poo