Category Archives: Glee

Girls on Film – the Glee version

I will not lie, I winced when I read the news last week that Glee would be doing their own super-special version of this song.  I did, and I am not necessarily proud of that response.  The fact is, I have been trying to be more open minded about this sort of thing. DD’s music is begging to be covered, and Glee is a popular show.  It makes sense, and I should be puffing out my chest with pride, not wincing as I read a tweet, right??

Well, I still have memories over what was done to Hungry Like the Wolf and Rio. They were performed as a medley by Matt Bomer and Darren Criss.  I just didn’t want to see or hear of that happening to another DD song.  However, on the same token, a cover shouldn’t necessarily be a carbon copy of the original, should it?  Isn’t a cover version supposed to be another artist’s interpretation?  Shouldn’t I be applauding that?

Well, yes.  Yes I should, which is exactly why I’m no critic. The cheesy, whiney, blood-curdling version that Glee did of Hungry Like the Wolf simply isn’t my thing, regardless of what other fans may think. (Want to tell me I’m wrong? Get your own blog.)  I know that Glee sometimes often borders its writing and production on the cornball side of syrupy sweet. Overdone? Probably.  The way HLTW and Rio were done definitely fits that methodology, but would they go that route again?

Well, take a listen for yourself.

Girls on Film – Glee Style

When I listened, I had to admit that the music sounded pretty close.  Close. Not dead-on, so Duranies don’t be sending me hate mail saying I’m a bad fan! The chords at the beginning are not like the original, they’re clearly mellowed out for TV, and a lot of the very small elements in the music feel a little flat as opposed to the band’s writing, but it’s close.  Chord Overstreet does a reasonable job, although like everything he sings, I would swear he has a permanent smile on his face as he performs.  He’s not Simon LeBon of course, but you know – it’s not terrible. He has the right range. They didn’t go for cheese here, at least not in the way I had thought in my head.  I’m curious to see how the song is written into the show tomorrow night, so I’ll probably take the time to watch — something I haven’t really done all season.  And that’s really the point, isn’t it?

-R

 

Thursday News Roundup!

Since I couldn’t quite decide on one topic…we’ve got a few to cover today.

I’m sure everyone, at least those here in America have heard that Dick Clark died yesterday at the age of 82 from a heart attack.  Dick Clark was many things, but for me personally he was the host of my favorite Saturday morning TV show – American Bandstand.  I can still sing the theme song from the show. (Not well, and no, you will not find a video of me singing it on YouTube or any where else, thankyouverymuch)  I find that I tend to romanticize the images I have of people from my childhood, and Dick Clark is certainly no different.  Much to my mom’s chagrin, I would stop everything I was doing in order to stand and watch the show before she would come down the hall or out of the kitchen to shoo me away from the TV in order to do my chores.  I can remember watching videos or hearing music from Duran Duran, Madonna, Romeo Void, Janet Jackson…and many, many others on the show were interviewed and performed.  To me at that age, Dick Clark was a bit of a hero simply because he was able to meet so many of the people I was so interested in.  I paid zero attention to his life away from American Bandstand, although I knew he had created the AMA’s and had his own production company.  I simply didn’t care because he was “Dick Clark of American Bandstand”, and later as I grew up he became “Dick Clark of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”  I was much sadder when he had his stroke than I was yesterday because for me, his era ended back when he gave up the helm of Rockin’ Eve to Ryan Seacrest.  It pains me to think that for my kids – Ryan Seacrest is liable to be their Dick Clark, but I suppose that’s how it is all meant to work.

Anybody ever heard of Greg Ham?  Greg was the flautist for a group called Men At Work.  He was found dead today in his home at the age of 58.  The saddest thing about Greg was that he feared that he would only be remembered for the law suit involving the flute melody from “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”.  Reality?  I only remember him for being one of a mere handful of woodwind musicians that made it in a rock band, which makes him a hero to me. Yes, he played a beautiful flute melody for a song that I dearly loved as a kid.  I’ve never cared about that lawsuit, although sure – many did. I’ve seen many an interview with Mr. Ham over the years, and he never struck me as intentionally copying the melody, even though I can’t deny how similar it really sounds.

From a file marked, “No kidding?”…Album sales have now hit a 12 year low, according to the bean counters who are responsible for keeping track of this sort of thing. It does not seem to be the sort of announcement that should shock anyone, especially given that even Madonna can’t seem to sell her albums these days.  All this news does is continue to convince the world that album sales should not be end-all as a determining factor for success in this business, and if your band is still thinking that sales is where it’s at – you’d better think again.  On the other hand, the sales of singles (single tracks off of an album) is up nearly 12% from this time last year.  So the moral of the story is that people are still buying music (even if in amounts that are a fraction of what they once were), but they refuse to buy entire albums.  Should we be thanking or slapping Apple??  
Lastly, I am revisiting Glee.  No, I’m not rewatching the smooshed version of Rio and HLTW, but I did take notice that they are treating the likes of Beyonce, New Radicals, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Queen, Alice Cooper, The Bravery, and Green Day among others to the Glee treatment for their season finale on May 22nd.  It’s the “graduation” episode, and I have to admit, I’m morbidly curious as to what they’ll do to/with the songs by this group of artists.  Hey, I sat through the disco episode on Tuesday night and lived to tell about it, so how much worse can it get?
Don’t answer that.
Happy weekend everyone, and for those of you in England, I hope it stops raining soon. I still don’t know what a hosepipe is or why it’s been banned…and I’ll ponder that as I’m sitting on the beach or at the pool here in Orange County California this weekend!  No yachting for me, our boat is drydocked at the moment.  
And in Very Late Breaking News (as in, this blog went to press just as I received word)…Dom Brown announced that Pre-release copies of his new album, Blue to Brown are now available to be ordered beginning today!  If that doesn’t excite you enough to go to his website dombrown.com and order, Dom sweetens the deal by saying that the first 100 copies are signed AND if you order now, packing and posting are FREE worldwide!!  I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one!    
-R

Not all that gleeful…

I’ll admit, I may have watched a few episodes of Glee over the past few years. I may even admit that I have actually enjoyed some of what I’ve watched. I’ve mentioned on the blog that my oldest goes to an arts high school near where we live, and this particular high school is the same school that Matthew Morrison (Mr. Will Shuester) attended. Matthew is a gracious alumni to the school, and so we’ve checked out the show a few times. It’s a very big deal that one of their alumni has done so well, and the school is very proud. I might even have Matthew’s solo album on hand here as well, because I’m nothing if not supportive of the kids who have gone to my daughter’s school, right?

I’ve been hearing a horrible, nasty rumor for months now that Glee is going to do a Duran Duran song or medley. I won’t lie, shivers went down my spine when I first read the rumor, and no, they weren’t good ones. I felt a terrible sense of foreboding, and so it took deep mental preparation (as well as the preparation of a reasonably large vodka martini) before the show began last night.

For the uninitiated, Glee is about a high school “Show” choir. This isn’t the choir of our generation where kids wear robes and stand on risers as they compete or sing concerts. No, Show Choir is a completely different animal. Show choir is as much about the theatrics as it is the singing – it’s similar to a musical but without dialogue and plenty of dancing. Naturally, the television take is that these kids are supposed to be the nerds of the school, but somehow because they are all together – they transcend the labels that come with participating in such a group, and they seem like the cool kids, even though they still get plenty of “slushie” tossed in their faces by the football team. The premise of the show isn’t horrible, but the execution is downright cheesy, and in my expert opinion as the closet marching band nerd I really am under this “super cool adult blogger” exterior – it’s gotten worse over the years the show has been on the air and at this point is an embarrassment.  The saving grace of the entire show (the ONLY reason to watch at all in my opinion) are the well-executed musical numbers. A select of the performances I’ve seen are outstanding and even go the distance to upgrade the original song to a better level. Most of the numbers are great. Then there are the stinky few that make you wonder why they bothered at all.

So before the show even began last night, I was hearing horrific rumors that the songs they’d chosen were Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course they’d choose those songs.  To begin with, the entire world is apparently on some sort of mission to make sure a single day never goes by that I don’t hear HLTW. I can be at the grocery store, minding my own business and it’ll come on. I heard it at the gas station the other day as I was filling my tank. The winery I visited over the weekend had it playing outside as I was enjoying a glass of wine with my husband.  I’ll have you all know that song even played when I was giving birth to my youngest, and it wasn’t a particularly easy birth – I literally flatlined on the table and that was the song I heard as I was coming back “to”. (I am so not kidding about this. I thought I was arriving in hell!) So sure, why wouldn’t it be on Glee? As for Rio – it’s pretty much a given, as that’s the main Duran Duran song outside of the aforementioned HLTW that every American citizen has to know. I think it must be some sort of preschool graduation requirement at this point. The truly frightening thing was that I’d read they were going to mash the songs together. I still get chills when I think about it.

Promptly at 8pm I took my spot on the couch next to my daughter, called the bartender for my martini, and prepared to face-palm my way through the show. As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait long. I really wish I’d had my husband take video of my response, because I just don’t think I can properly describe the type of horror that went through my body as my eyes and ears were assaulted by witnessing HLTW and Rio being smooshed together. I really can’t go on enough about how truly awful the entire idea to force those songs together really was – and I wondered why they’d even be so mean to even do that. Did someone on their staff feel as though Rio and HLTW personally attacked them at some point and this was their chance for revenge?? I know that Glee does song medleys quite often, and I know they do like to put new spins on songs so that they can showcase more than just one song by any particular artist. My problem is that there shouldn’t ever be a time when I hear Rio with “I smell like I sound” in the background. (Although in this case, I didn’t even have to be in the same room with the singer to know that what he was singing was indeed truthful.)  If the singing weren’t enough, we were treated to dance moves that not even Simon LeBon could replicate. I watch this show regularly enough to know that these kids really can dance, although some better than others. Let’s just say that I couldn’t decide if they were trying to do an impression a la Simon LeBon, or if they just didn’t know the dance. It didn’t help the song at all when the camera panned to show that Jane Lynch was singing right along (I love her character with all of my heart, but not even that could save this mess), or that Matthew Morrison genuinely looked happy to have someone singing Rio in his classroom. I’ll say it again – nothing was able to save this train wreck. It was as though whomever thought up this mess felt that Duran Duran was the cheesiest 80’s band out there, and this was that person’s way of making it even worse so it matched the cheesy-ness of the show. If that was the goal, it worked brilliantly. I can honestly say that this ranked right up there with the Jonas Brothers singing Rio completely off key for me. Even my daughter, after she was finished laughing hysterically, agreed that it was truly awful in every way. To make matters worse, I watched the entire show, and the very last song of the show was Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know.  It was done beautifully.  It’s a shame they couldn’t have afforded Duran Duran the same luxury and dignity.

At 9pm, I promptly switched the channel and took to Facebook and Twitter to see what others thought.  There are actually fans out there that thought it was great.  I give those fans full credit for seeing the good in what I believe ranks up there with one of the worst Glee performances to date.

For those of you who thought you’d escape, fear not.  The video is up on YouTube and I have brought it here for your pleasure.  Misery loves company.

For those who think I’m being harsh, watch what they did with Gotye’s Somebody I Used to Know.

I’ve searched and searched, but I can’t seem to find Rockapella’s medley of Duran Duran on YouTube or anywhere online for that matter.  If you have the inclination, you should do a search and find it, because that is what could have easily been done by the cast of Glee, and it would have been a perfect way to do the band proper justice.

-R

**I feel the need to edit this post due to a large amount of comments I’ve gotten elsewhere in a relatively short period of time about this blog.

This is just a REVIEW.  This isn’t about me being a fan of Duran Duran, or even about Duran Duran songs.  It’s a critique of a performance that took place on a show. However, to constantly remind that we should all be thankful that a show is recognizing Duran Duran has absolutely nothing to do with a review.  I’d like someone to show me a review where a critic takes into account that a particular band or show has taken the time to create another album.  That simply doesn’t enter into the picture, and I wouldn’t be doing my job as a writer if I just allowed myself to be in full fan mode all of the time, even when our readers insist otherwise.

Secondly, this is one blog.  One person’s view.  There are thousands of fans out there.  I’m sure many of you enjoyed the song. That is OK. I don’t worry about that – nor should anyone else. My review should be read for the comedic benefit, and just realize that it’s not rocket science. It’s a television show, and it was one two minute portion of the show at that.