Don’t do Janis

Is there a reason why bright and shiny middle class kids somehow think that they can tackle certain songs when auditioning or performing on American Idol?

Take this bright pastel train wreck:

Beyond her entitled princess attitude, she auditions with Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” When she gets to the lyric “I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana,” it occurs to me that the singer is probably talking about doing heroin. When someone like Kris Kristopherson or Janis Joplin sings about doing heroin, I can believe it because those people have done a whole lot of fucking heroin, so much so that Joplin died as a result.

When someone like this girl does it, I get the sense that she doesn’t understand what it is exactly that she’s singing. I don’t think she’s so much as smoked a cigarette, lest it interfere with her weekly blues vocals lessons.

I know this show isn’t about producing singer/songwriters or, well, good music for that matter but these kids auditioning are trying to be intepreters of songs and the audience needs to believe what they’re singing is real. Otherwise, they may as well just sing in some made-up language for all these songs mean to them. They put so much energy into the vocal performance without understanding what’s appropriate for the song.

The show is really about people who are into singing but who aren’t all that into music. In that sense, Canadian Idol is the better show in as much as the singers are encouraged to bring something of their own personality and talents into their performance.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t do Janis

  1. Funny thing is, that chick, as whorrible as she is, has sung the anthem at Sox and Bruins games. Gawd, what a delusional bint, though.
    I’ve never watched Canadian Idol, if only because I can’t bear to see Mulroney on my screen. It’s not a joke, I get violent.

  2. No, you just wish you did, because you’re a dirty old man.

    I can handle Mulroney, as smarmy a bastard as he is.

    I mean, he’s no Ryan Seacrest but then, who is?

  3. I agree 100%. My first thought was ‘ do you even KNOW what you are singing ABOUT?’

    It’s painful, and a trainwreck, and tawdry and cheap, yet like a train wreck I still watch.

  4. I believe harpoon is musician slang for accordion… makes more sense than a heroin reference when you look at the next line:

    I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna,
    I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.

  5. I’ve heard that interpretation as well but also heard the heroin interpretation. I prefer to believe the latter because I prefer to suspect the worst of people. 😉

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