Thursday, March 30, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 25 Recaps

Wow, wow, wow. A shocking result episode. Shakira was in the house with Wyclef Jean of The Fugees, performing live 'Hips Don't Lie', woohoo! The sexy songstress did her own thing, stole the show with her breathtaking, mindblowing, don’t-watch-when-parents-are-around performance. I think the single should make a big leap on the charts soon, based on the huge ratings of the show. Oh and I spotted Justin Guarini aka That Loser From Season One in the audience. More shameless promotions from Fox, this time it involved the contestants going to an advance screening of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and coming out with, of course, ass-kissing comments.
The bottom three tonight was confusing. I can understand why Ace and Lisa didn’t get many votes, but how the hell can Bucky still sat there safely while Katharine, one of the most authentic performers of last night, stood still in the middle of the stage. Be very ashamed for your choice, America! I never thought I would say this this soon, but I have to: Lisa got dropped out tonight, as I predicted. So wrong. She used to be so good in the top 24, but then she just kept losing it with bad song choice. But her reactions to it is adorable, yes there’s no need to cry, it’s just a competition.It’s okay, she’s only 16, she’s gone a long way since that awesome audition, she’s got plenty of time to work it out. Her encore was the most dramatic one this season, with the whole crew came join her on the stage, and Paris so teary-eyed. I don’t why but her encore sounded so much better than last night. Lucky for her because Fox gave her air time to finish the performance, for the first time since the final round. Keep smiling and keep your dreams alive, Lisa. It’s kinda funny how I always root for the one that never got too far, this time last year I was rooting for Nadia Turner but she only made it to the top 8. Guess I never go with the mass’ choice.
Next week’s theme will be country, so Kellie and Bucky will stay safe while the others have to try to adapt theirselves to the theme. Let’s wait and find out how well they’re gonna do it. Stay tuned for more idolicious recaps. Zeon…Out!

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 24 Recaps

I was really excited when I found out that this week’s theme will be Songs From The 21st Century. It will bring a breath of fresh air to the show and the contestants will have a chance to prove they can do contemporary stuff too. However, the night didn’t turn out to be exactly what I expected. Song choice once again is the problem. Seems like many of them just chose their favorite songs, which have been listened so many times that they can hardly do anything new and different with them. And most of the songs these days aren’t as vocally challenging as before. The shining star tonight’s gotta be Paris Bennett aka Princess P. She definitely worked it out, man. Katharine McPhee was also brilliant with her version of Christina Aguilera’s ‘The Voice Within’. I started to hate Ace now, he tried too damn hard to take advantage of his hunky image. I also agree with Simon that it’s time Chris stepped out of his comfort zone and did something he’s never done before for a change, and stopped taking other artists’ arrangements to do his rocked-up cover versions. Mandisa, Elliott and Taylor both did a quite good job as usual. The one that let me down the most is Lisa Tucker. Her version of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Because Of You’ is so uninspiring and a bit hollow. She didn’t make me feel the song the way Kelly does. That’s the big risk she’s bravely taken considering the song’s still in Billboard Top 40, so comparison is unavoidable. I can’t believe I would ever say this, but I think Lisa will be the one going home tomorrow, although I would prefer Bucky to have the lowest votes.
Here are my ranks for tonight’s performances:

1. Paris Bennett
2. Katharine McPhee
3. Mandisa
4. Taylor Hicks
5. Elliott Yamin

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Picks Of The Week #16

Lyrics Of The Week

This song was orginally sung by Ron Sexsmith, but I prefer the beautiful cover version of Feist. This is just of one of those songs with lyrics I found personally connected with. Check it out.

Secret Heart
Feist

Secret heart
What are you made of
What are you so afraid of
Could it be
Three simple words
Or the fear of being overheard
What's wrong

Let em' in on your secret heart

Secret heart
Why so mysterious
Why so sacred
Why so serious
Maybe you're
Just acting tough
Maybe you're just not man enough
What's wrong?

Let em' in on your secret heart

This very secret
That you're trying to conceal
Is the very same one
You're dying to reveal
Go tell her how you feel

Secret heart come out and share it
This loneliness, few can bear it
Could it have something to do with
Admitting that you just can't go through it alone

Let em' in on your very secret heart

This very secret
That you're trying to conceal
Is the very same one
That you're dying to reveal
Go tell him how you feel
This very secret heart
Go out and share it
This very secret heart


Download This!

The Fray/ Over My Head (Cable Car)

This song is slowly, but safely rising up on the charts. A catchy, though not original adult contemporary power-pop song with fun-to-sing-along hooks. You'll need more than one listen to let it grow on you.


Flashback

Kim Richey/ A Place Called Home

I recently heard this again after watching a rerun of season 5 Angel episode 'Shells' (in which Illyria was introduced). The song is appropriate for a midnight listen, because it's just so stripped-down and sad with melancholy vocals and simple acoustic guitar. Nice country stuff.


Music Video Of The Week

Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean/ Hips Don't Lie

Directed by the one and only Sophie Muller, this video is another attempt of Shakira to flood our eyes with her very sexy dance moves, and in the end, the Latin songstress was right. Her hips don't lie, at all.


Contest Of The Week

Win some cool Yeah Yeah Yeahs merchandise, including a copy of their new album 'Show Your Bones'! Click the link to enter:

http://www.emilystrange.com/beware/contests/77yeahX3.cfm

Thursday, March 23, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 23 Recaps

Elimination night! Barry Manilow performed! Lisa in the bottom three again! Kevin get hyped up again in the music video! Too much. Just too much. I was so relieved when Ryan said Lisa wasn't in the bottom 2, so that means she's in 8th place now. And I'm so glad Kevin book his tickets home this week. Now that the nerd's gone, the show's less annoying, leaving Bucky the only contestant I don't like now. Can't wait to see in what's in stores next week. More idoliffic recaps coming up. Zeon...Out!

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 22 Recaps

Tonight's theme was songs from the fifties, with special guest appearance, uhm... Barry Manilow (seems like we'll get one each week now). Song choice was no more a problem, all the contestants know who they are now and therefore all have songs that suit them best. Everyone's got an equal chance to shine. Katharine McPhee delivered her strongest performance so far, I think. Mandisa, Taylor, Paris still stayed on top of the game. What started to bore me is Chris Daughtry's refusal to compromise. That was a great thing to stay true to himself, but that rock rendition of Johnny Cash's 'I Walk The Line' was just out of place and I don't like the way he stared when he sang it. I'm a little bit worried about Lisa now, her performance this week was just alright, there' s a chance she's gonna be in the bottom three again. Work harder, girl, I'm rooting for ya. Paula Abdul also get on my nerves now with her ridiculous behavior: the way she stood and clapped her hands and kissed the contestants' asses like everyone's gonna be the next American Idol. That was just overpositive. I actually found myself agree with Simon many times, except his comment on Taylor's performance this week.My pick to go home would have to be Bucky. Kevin should be out too, but maybe next week.Here are my top 5 for this week, in order:

1. Mandisa
2. Taylor Hicks
3. Paris Bennett
4. Katharine McPhee
5. Elliott Yamin

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Picks Of The Week #15

Lyrics Of The Week

The lyrics of this song is one of my all-time favorites and I can’t help listening to it at late nights whenever things get sour. It just touched me emotionally in so many way. This one is a classic, people.

Fallen
Sarah McLachlan


Heaven bent to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

Truth be told I've tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.

I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
You'll slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...



Download This!

Belle And Sebastian/ Another Sunny Day

This is by far the catchiest track in the Scottish indie band’s great new album ‘The Life Pursuit’. It’s like a little lullaby with sunny sing-along tunes and soothing harmonies. It’s at its best when you’re in the mood for a walk in the park, on a sunny day, of course. This I strongly recommended checking out.


Flashback

Feist/ One Evening

If you need a song to fill your soul after the sun goes down and dinner’s ready to go, then this song is perfect for chilling out times. The Canadian songbird, with her classy, jazzy voice, will definitely warm up your heart with delicate tunes and gorgeous musical arrangements.


Music Video Of The Week

Yeah Yeah Yeahs/ Gold Lions

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re back with a kickass single, and the video for it is freaky, too. You got explosives everywhere, a wheel of fire, and Karen O’s scary dance moves! Good freaky stuff!


Contest Of The Week

Win tickets or CDs from Blondie! Go try your luck!

http://www.slantmagazine.com/interact/giveaway.asp

Thursday, March 16, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 21 Recaps

I was right. Melissa went home tonight (funny how they cut off her last performance on Idol stage due to the lack of air time, poor girl). I was really hoping she would go, after Ace went back to his seat, leaving her and Lisa standing still on the stage. I just can't believe it when Ryan called out Lisa's name. What's wrong with American, man? Lisa's only 16 and she's a prodigy with an old soul and one hell of a voice. Maybe that wasn't her best performance, but that was her first upbeat performance, why can't you be more supportive? Seems like she should stick to the old school ballad formula.
By the way, more interesting things happened tonight. Stevie Wonder stopped by for a fabulous performance. And Simon, for the first time, wore a button-down shirt. Oh and our first Ford music video for this season, it was kinda fun.
I'm excited about next week's theme, which I don't know yet. If you're feeling the same way, come back next week for more idoliffic recaps! Zeon...Out!

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 20 Recaps

Last night, I was struggling to get out of my hectic, busy schedule to see the premiere of the finals for 2 hours. This week's theme is Stevie Wonder, the contestants were lucky enough to meet and sing to him in person, which made most of them turn all into crybabies. I don't know what had got into them, maybe pressure or nervousness, but most of the performances didn't feel connected, some were off-pitch and hard to enjoy at all. Kellie's performance was hugely disappointing. Mandisa was the hot one that night, now she's become my most favorite now! Lisa, Taylor, Paris, Elliott, Katharine were all good. Chris' moves were incredibly smart, the way he turned a Stevie Wonder into a Red Hot Chili Peppers rock version to stay in his comfort zone. The first to be voted off from the top 12 can be Melissa McGhee, obviously. Messing up lyrics in front of the man himself was foolish, messing up again in front of millions of people of the whole nation and all over the world was career-destroying. You came to this round and cannot even get the lyrics right? Way out.

So here's my top 4 for this week:

1. Mandisa
2. Lisa Tucker
3. Taylor Hicks
4. Paris Bennett

Let's see if my prediction is right, see ya after the elimination show.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Picks Of The Week #15

Lyrics Of The Week

Now this is real inspiring. Every time I feel let down, I would just listen to this great song and realize that I know I can.

I Can
Nas

I know I can (I know I can)
Be what I want a be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I want a be (I'll be where I wanna be)

Be, B-Boys and girls, listen up
You can be anything in the world, in God we trust
An architect, doctor, maybe an actress
But nothing comes easy it takes much practice
Like, I met a woman who's becoming a star
She was very beautiful, leaving people in awe
Singing songs, Lena Horn, but the younger version
Hung with the wrong person
Got her strung on that heroin
Cocaine sniffing up drugs all in her nose...
Coulda died, so young, now looks ugly and old
No fun cause now when she reaches for hugs people hold they breath
Cause she smells of corrosion and death
Watch the company you keep and the crowd you bring
Cause they came to do drugs and you came to sing
So if you gonna be the best, I'm a tell you how,
Put your hands in the air, and take a vow

I know I can (I know I can)
Be what I want a be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I want a be (I'll be where I wanna be)

Be, B-Boys and girls, listen again
This is for grown looking girls who's only ten
The ones who watch videos and do what they see
As cute as can be, up in the club with fake ID
Careful, 'fore you meet a man with HIV
You can host the TV like Oprah Winfrey
Whatever you decide, be careful, some men be
Rapists, so act your age, don't pretend to be
Older than you are, give yourself time to grow
You’re thinking he can give you wealth, but so
Young boys, you can use a lot of help, you know
You thinking life's all about smoking weed and ice
You don't wanna be my age and can't read and write
Begging different women for a place to sleep at night
Smart boys turn to men and do whatever they wish
If you believe you can achieve, then say it like this

[Chorus]

Be, before we came to this country
We were kings and queens, never porch monkeys
It was empires in Africa called Kush
Timbuktu, where every race came to get books
To learn from black teachers who taught Greeks and Romans
Asian, Arabs and gave them gold when
Gold was converted to money it all changed
Money then became empowerment for Europeans
The Persian military invaded
They heard about the gold, the teachings, and everything sacred
Africa was almost robbed naked
Slavery was money, so they began making slave ships
Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went
He was so shocked at the mountains with black faces
Shot off they nose to impose what basically
Still goes on today, you see?
If the truth is told, the youth can grow
Then learn to survive until they gain control
Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
Read more learn more, change the globe
Ghetto children, do your thing
Hold your head up, little man, you're a king
Young Princess when you get your wedding ring
Your man is saying "She's my queen"

[Chorus]

Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music



Download This!

Sugababes/ Red Dress

Fabulous new single from this UK girl group, now with vocals from new member Amelle. Just a fantastic dancefloor hit that’s cool enough for a guilty pleasure.


Flashback

Tristan Prettyman/ Love Love Love

Think about her as a female version of Jack Johnson, and you’ve quite got how her music sounds like. She’s got this kind of smooth, breezy voice that really did the song good, after listening to this one, all you’ll gain is positive thinking and good feelings.


Music Video Of The Week

The Cardigans/ Don’t Blame It On Your Daughter

Another great video directed by Johan Renck, who also directed Madonna’s ‘Nothing Really Matters’. It’s a weird indie video, with strange costumes, magic crystal balls, scary pale faces and all. A must-watch. The song’s pretty good, too.


Contest Of The Week

Win some Fort Minor goodies! Click on the link below to enter.

http://www.popyoularity.com/variables/fortminorcontest.shtml

Friday, March 10, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 19 Recaps

Tonight we finally got the list of the top 12, and that means 4 contestants with the least votes had to go home. What ahappened to Kinnik and Will wasn’t a surprise at all, but I do feel sorry for Ayla Brown and Gideon McKinney. Ayla seemed to have worked so hard for this and she deserved to sit in that seat more than Melissa. Gideon’s also a good vocalist but maybe he’s playing too old school for the show? I personally them two’s got what it takes to be in the top 12, too bad they didn’t make it. I truly wish them luck with whatever they decide to do next.
By the way, Bo Bice's performance was very disappointing. He couldn't even hit the high notes in the chorus. What happened to his voice? Maybe too much touring?

So next week, we’re gonna have a 2-hour live special with the tribute theme to Stevie Wonder. It should be interesting to see the contestants step out of their comfort zones and adapt themselves to something different. I’m so glad that there’s only 2 episodes a week now, less air time, more quality performances! Watch and vote. Don’t let your favorite one down! More idolicious recaps from Zeon soon. Good night.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 17 & 18 Recaps

Tonight was the last night the girls performed separately from the boys.
Now since most of the less capable has gone, the night was quite enjoyable. Lisa Tucker looked amazing, love her new straight hairstyle, her performance was good, but not mind-blowingly good. Katharine McPhee 's got more props from me with this week's performance. Kellie Pickler is still adorable and cute but now I admit her vocal abilities aren't that great, which will slim down her chance of winning. I think it wasn't right for Simon to guess which one'll be going home publicly like that, because that's kinda manipulative, just let people decide for themselves.
However, I totally agree with him on that Kinnik Sky and Melissa McGhee obviously will be cut out of the competition on Friday night, they're just the least talented in this group of 8 now. By the way, did anyone notice Brandy in the audience?
So here are my ranks judging on the girls' performances this week:

1. Lisa Tucker
2. Paris Bennett
3. Mandisa
4. Katharine McPhee
5. Kellie Pickler
6. Ayla Brown

Move on to the guys' night. It was idolicious (yes, new vocabulary for ya)! Taylor Hicks was on fire.I'm so gonna practice those signature moves. I can already imagine an impersonation contest of him. Chris Daughtry 's comtempopary performance was also great! One word for Kevin Covais 's performance: Booooring! Sing it to your grandma, nerd. I also hate Ace Young 's performance, can't stand his falsetto. My choice of elimination would be Bucky Covington and Will Makar. The rest deserve to move right up to the top 12 and get their best shots.
Here are my ranks judging on the guys' performances this week:

1. Taylor Hicks
2. Chris Daughtry
3. Elliott Yamin
4. Gideon McKinney
5. Ace Young
6. Kevin Covais

Come back tomorrow to read my reactions about the elimination (you'll never know what's gonna happen, so VOTE!)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Picks Of The Week #14

Lyrics Of The Week

Yellowcard’s been one of my favorite bands (see, I’m a member of their online fan community), and this is the first song that introduced me to them. The lyrics of this song just touched me in so many ways with its bittersweet honesty.

Ocean Avenue
Yellowcard

There's a place off Ocean Avenue,
Where I used to sit and talk with you,
We were both 16 and it felt so right,
Sleeping all day, staying up all night,
Staying up all night.

There's a place on the corner of Cherry Street,
We would walk on the beach in our bare feet,
We were both 18, and it felt so right,
Sleeping all day, staying up all night,
Staying up all night.

If I could find you now
Things would get better,
We could leave this town,
And run forever,
Let your waves crash down on me
And take me away, yeah, yeah.

There's a piece of you that's here with me,
It's everywhere I go, it's everything I see
When I sleep, I dream and it gets me by,
I can make believe that you're here tonight,
That you're here tonight.

If I could find you now,
Things would get better.
We could leave this town,
And run forever
I know somewhere, somehow, we'll be together
Let your waves crash down on me,
And take me away, yeah

I remember the look in your eyes,
When I told you that this was goodbye
You were begging me not tonight,
Not here, not now.
We're looking up at the same night sky
Keep pretending the sun will not rise
We'll be together for one more night,
Somewhere, somehow.

If I could find you now,
Things would get better.
We could leave this town,
And run forever.
I know somewhere, somehow we'll be together.
Let your waves crash down on me,
And take me away, yeah, yeah.


Download This!

Corinne Bailey Rae/ Put Your Records On

This songtress has been on every critic’s mouth recently, they have all been hyping her up as the UK’s next big thing. Good news is, they’re actually quite right. This astonishing debut single showcases a fresh, young, soulful vocalist with beautiful, breezy, feel-good melodies that leave you asking for more. Perfect song for a Sunday morning. This one I strongly recommended.

Flashback

Kings Of Convenience/ Misread

Another Sunday morning song. Delicate acoustic guitar and piano tunes played along with soothing, Simon & Garfunkel-esque vocals. The kind of song I always fall for.

Music Video Of The Week

Pink/ Stupid Girls

Everyone should have watched this by now. If you haven’t, shame on you! You missed a bunch of funny, in-your-face spoofs of Lindsay Lohan’s driving skills, Jessica Simpson’s carwash, Paris Hilton’s night vision X-rated tape, and way more making fun of stupid girls. Dave Meyers’s always at his best when it comes to stuff like this. The wildest Pink video ever!

Contest Of The Week

Get a chance to win a new Tori Amos DVD The Video Collection: Fade To Red! It's a collection of all of her cool music videos, and deadline is March 15, so be quick!

http://www.shakefire.com/contests/toriamos.html

Friday, March 03, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 16 Recaps

Tonight, the elimination happened live on TV, and 4 got voted out of the game because they had the lowest number of votes. We said goodbye to Brenna Gethers, Heater Cox, David Radford, and Jose 'Sway' Penala. It was predictable, but David came as a suprise, I thought he got a huge fanbase of teenage girls and desperate housewives. Sway deserved another chance, he just picked the wrong song choice. By the way, current American Idol champ Carrie Underwood did stop by to give a kickass live performance of her single 'Jesus, Take The Wheel'. She's still got it.Can't believe we're only week away from revealing the final 12. So tune in next week, and support your favorite, don't hesitate to vote, they're counting on you. Zeon...Out.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 15 Recaps

Tonight, the guys' performances were way better than last week's. A lot of them were actually impressive. But the most impressive one has to be given to Chris Daughtry. Credits to rocker dad! I started to get annoyed by whiny Kevin Covais. Such a geek, he's nowhere near as a sex symbol. Taylor Hicks and Elliott Yamin continued to rule. Stevie Wonder should be happy because three guys chose his songs to sing. Chances are that Sway and Bucky will be going home tomorrow night. Here are my ranks for the guys so far:

1. Taylor Hicks
2. Chris Daughtry
3. Elliott Yamin
4. Gideon McKinney
5. Ace Young
6. David Radford

More recaps coming your way after the results.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

American Idol Season 5 - Episode 14 Recaps

There was a big problem throughout tonight's girl performances. That was song choice. All of them either chose a boring song which can't help them show off their vocal range or chose a song too big to handle. However, brown sugar continued to be the flavor of the night. Lisa Tucker, Paris Bennett both went old school and they pulled it off quite well. Mandisa was on fire! Kellie once again proved that although she may not be the best female vocalist, she still reigns as the most likeable one. Brenna didn't live up to my expectations, so she did try to show her claws, but these are overtrimmed claws. I've got a feeling Kinnik Sky and Brenna Gethers will get back home this week. Stay tuned to find out!
By the way, I noticed that Heather Cox is a real Eliza Dushku lookalike. And Lisa kinda resembles Aaliyah in some ways.
So far, my ranks for the top 6 girls haven't changed.

1. Lisa Tucker
2. Paris Bennett
3. Mandisa
4. Kellie Pickler
5. Katharine McPhee
6. Ayla Brown