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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 8:46 pm 
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This week, the show is actually getting an American Idol contestant as a guest voice. Unless they break with recent tradition, it's doubtful they're going to make any jokes at either her or that crappy, glorified Karaoke show's expense. Then again they got Simon Cowell on the show.

What the hell's with this show? It just digs deeper and deeper...remember N'Sync? It SUCKED then and moreso fifteen minutes later when their fame dried up. Occasionally they score aging rockers like the Stones, or Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, REM, etc. but the last time they got any decent contemporary artists, it was 1995.

I hope they don't reach the same depths as SNL. Just look at the list of past SNL musical guests: Spice Girls, N'Sync or Timberlake for the nth time, Kelly Clarkson back in February, Clay Aiken, Avril Lavigne, etc. The decade's not over yet and ALREADY their most recent guests seem more dated than the older ones. Hard to believe this was once a show where one of the head writers protested ABBA because they were an "enemy of rock n' roll" (ABBA was ultimately booked anyway. This was early on and with poor ratings, they didn't have much of a choice.). Yeah, they get BECK or OutKast once in a while, or a surprise like Modest Mouse, but that's as 'edgy' as it gets. Lorne Michaels has the shittiest taste in music. Wilco, the Flaming Lips, the Shins, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Drive-By Truckers, the Roots, Jill Scott, Common, etc...most if not all of these artists have the backings of major labels and have played on Letterman and Conan (which is the same building), but you'll never see them on SNL, not until NBC kicks Lorne's smarmy, dinosaur ass out of Rockefeller.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 12:47 pm 
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Seems like you have problems with two different shows, but I think both shows share the same problem: a deference to potential ratings and/or network promotion.

It's no coincidence that American Idol folks are showing up on another program on the Fox Network. The network is obviously dictating to the Simpsons' folks that they must cross-promote with other programs during May sweeps. And since the Simpsons isn't the powerhouse program it was back in 1995, it has to play along.

As for SNL, that show has always tried to book guests that would attract comtemporary music fans. It's more a comment about the shitty state of contemporary pop music than a comment on Lorne Michaels' taste or lack thereof. Remember, they had Nirvana on in the early 1990s, and back in the '70s they had amazing musical guests. But again, the show has grown more corporate over the years, and they've tried to stay contemporary. Be honest...all of the potential acts you've mentioned are great, but have you heard ANY of them on the radio? If you haven't, it's unlikely you'll see them in studio 8H.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 4:58 pm 
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Actually, more like three shows, but I only liked two of them at some point.

Good point, I know Wilco and the Lips have yet to go platinum (they both had songs on the SpongeBob soundtrack, so there's got to be some reach...), but Franz Ferdinand's debut got a modest push and with good word-of-mouth went platinum; "Take Me Out" was a hit, too, it's now making the rounds on TV commercials.

Kanye West was dismissed by some execs as a 'producer-rapper' (just like Kanye says on that last track), but he proved them wrong with the best album of last year AND a multiplatinum hit that was nominated for a truckload of Grammy's - if Ray Charles hadn't died, he probably would've swept.

The Roots, they've got a lot of props in the hip-hop world, they're not HUGE like Eminem (who they played with on the Grammy's), but they get some decent radio-play.

Anyway, outside of that, the Shins, Arcade Fire, Drive-By Truckers, Jill Scott, and Common all have had a degree of commercial success, if not multiplatinum success. Hell, Kanye and Franz Ferdinand did much better than Janet Jackson and Timberlake's last albums, at least they should be on SNL.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 12:34 am 
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MK wrote:
This week, the show is actually getting an American Idol contestant as a guest voice. Unless they break with recent tradition, it's doubtful they're going to make any jokes at either her or that crappy, glorified Karaoke show's expense. Then again they got Simon Cowell on the show.

What the hell's with this show? It just digs deeper and deeper...remember N'Sync? It SUCKED then and moreso fifteen minutes later when their fame dried up. Occasionally they score aging rockers like the Stones, or Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, REM, etc. but the last time they got any decent contemporary artists, it was 1995.



Just try watching that one where Bart makes friends with the guy who thinks he's Michael Jackson. It sucked when it first aired, and now it's unwatchable.


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I hope they don't reach the same depths as SNL. Just look at the list of past SNL musical guests: Spice Girls, N'Sync or Timberlake for the nth time, Kelly Clarkson back in February, Clay Aiken, Avril Lavigne, etc. The decade's not over yet and ALREADY their most recent guests seem more dated than the older ones. Hard to believe this was once a show where one of the head writers protested ABBA because they were an "enemy of rock n' roll" (ABBA was ultimately booked anyway. This was early on and with poor ratings, they didn't have much of a choice.).



Then again, SNL's idea of rock and roll in the 70's was pretty much the Rolling Stone/west coast/ex-hippie cokewhore idea of rock and roll: lotsa American singer/songwriters, little hard rock or British rock unless it's Beatles/Stones/British Invasion-era. You'd never know from watching the first few seasons of SNL that bands like Led Zeppelin even existed in the 70's, much less were getting most of the FM rock radio airplay. You'd think it was all Paul Simon and his ilk. Or *Leon Redbone*, for christ's sake.

Don't believe me? Here's a chronological lsiting of SNL hosts and musical guests. Can you tell who Lorne was snorting lines with in '75?


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Yeah, they get BECK or OutKast once in a while, or a surprise like Modest Mouse, but that's as 'edgy' as it gets. Lorne Michaels has the shittiest taste in music. Wilco, the Flaming Lips, the Shins, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Drive-By Truckers, the Roots, Jill Scott, Common, etc...most if not all of these artists have the backings of major labels and have played on Letterman and Conan (which is the same building), but you'll never see them on SNL, not until NBC kicks Lorne's smarmy, dinosaur ass out of Rockefeller.


Word.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 8:49 am 
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krabapple wrote:
Just try watching that one where Bart makes friends with the guy who thinks he's Michael Jackson. It sucked when it first aired, and now it's unwatchable.


What? That's a *great* show!

"I had a cat named Snowball. She died! She died!"

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:43 pm 
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I concur ("Careful men, he wets his pants.") Also amusing (and sometimes creepy) is the commentary on the DVD. They also talked about it on previous DVD sets, but MJ only did the voice work not the singing: they got an IMPERSONATOR to sing, someone hand-picked by MJ. When the cast was watching this, supposedly one cast member leaned over to Yeardley Smith and said "Why is that guy singing all of Michael's numbers?" and Yeardley's response was "I think we paid enough to use Michael for the character, but not enough for him to sing..." I think it may have been MJ's idea of a joke, but people also mentioned that he insisted that he'd have scenes with Bart because he was his favorite character and went on to write "Bartman" for that CD they put out.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:01 pm 
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Yeah, they really gave punk the short-shrift. The New York Dolls and the Ramones would've been perfect - the fucking show's in NEW YORK for Christ's sake - but even if they weren't popular enough, at least they got Patti Smith and even the Talking Heads in their early years.

The singer-songwriter shit is way too dated, but Randy Newman did give a great performance of "Sail Away" (much better than "I Love L.A." that was used for the DVD), I liked Paul Simon's stuff, some of the early reggae is cool even if they couldn't get Bob Marley or Toots in his prime.

Some interesting ones:
Frank Zappa (twice!), the Meters w/Dr. John and Levon Helm, and Paul Butterfield, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello c.1977, Sun Ra, Devo, Van Morrison c.1978, Kate Bush, Blondie c.1979, Dylan (actually wasn't too good, but he was on just once), David Bowie c.1979, The B-52's c.1980, The Specials, Captain Beefheart, Prince c.1981, Miles Davis, the Replacements, Laurie Anderson...

You've got some real curve balls there: SUN RA? BEEFHEART? They may have had some deviant chart success, but still hardly mainstream stuff.

Michaels is more about the 'comedy' anyway (even if that left town years ago). He was the only one with a problem when Elvis Costello did "Radio Radio" (smarmy fucker gloats about it being a great moment after the fact - read EC's account and the only one who made a fuss was Michaels, who made obscene gestures off camera during the whole performance). I can understand his reaction to the Replacements - he never got them, but considering the damage they did backstage and at the hotel... - but he didn't bother to stand up for Rage Against the Machine either. The guest was Steve Forbes, then the latest wealthy nut running for President with essentially a single-issue platform of a flat-tax. Pairing him with them was genius, but after the first number, Forbes was so outraged by their music - didn't he hear them at rehearsals, for crying out loud? - he supposedly demanded they leave or he was going to walk off the show. Michaels obviously caved. I suppose he had no choice, but he didn't really make a fuss about it later, either.

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 10:58 pm 
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MK wrote:
Elvis Costello c.1977

That was the first time I'd ever seen or even heard of Elvis Costello. Watching his performance, I spent the first minute or so trying to figure out if it was some kind of a gag. I had the same reaction the first time I saw Peter Allen perform...wasn't he on SNL once? I didn't see him listed.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 1:23 pm 
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The ga-ga fan worship of MJ that Bart evinces, simply doesn't date well, I'm afraid.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 1:41 pm 
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I didn't think this was possible, krabapple, but you both suck *and* blow.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:39 pm 
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Gotta go with krab on this. It sounded off back then, too. When it aired I was about the same age as Bart, and I don't remember ANYBODY in grade school going crazy for MJ. Guns N Roses, LL Cool J, and Nirvana I can remember. MJ? People talked about the cool fx on the Black and White video, but that wuz it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:47 pm 
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Well, I think that was actually kind of the point - that Springfield was going ga-ga over a star already past his prime.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:05 pm 
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MK wrote:
The Roots, they've got a lot of props in the hip-hop world, they're not HUGE like Eminem (who they played with on the Grammy's), but they get some decent radio-play.


Not that it really affects your basic point given the nature of their appearance, but the Roots actually did appear on SNL backing Busta Rhymes a few seasons back.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 1:53 am 
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lukpac wrote:
Well, I think that was actually kind of the point - that Springfield was going ga-ga over a star already past his prime.


I *highly* doubt that was the point. The Simpsons has a record of cultural bandwagon-jumping. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it dates *really* badly. (Ponder this: Luke Perry was once famous enough to be on the Simpsons.)

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 3:29 pm 
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I still find the Luke Perry appearance funny. Making him Krusty's half-brother and showing Krusty's deep-seeded disgust for the guy makes it funny (plus they made a funny stab at Perry on the monorail episode - a Luke Perry knock-off dressed in 90210-teenybopper clothes smiles for the crowd, revealing the wrinkles of his leathery, 40+ face).

Missed the Busta Rhymes performance, but at least it's something for the Roots.

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