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Listen To the Band

The folks that brought us American Idol and So You think You Can Dance are trying again with a competition to pick the next great, or at least marketable, band.

American Idol plugged the show this week with a call for musical resumes from the next Green Day, My Chemical Romance or Five For Fighting (OK, I had to ask my daughter, Virginia, for those band names).

I'm not sure there is more lighting in that bottle.

I've never watched the dance-off, but its ratings suggest it is certainly no American Idol in terms of inexplicable cultural touchstone. But at least maybe Idol won't be breaking up bands, with the lead singers having to skulk off to the audition then break the news to the rest of the group that they can't make that gig at the high school because they are off to Hollywood.

But there is just something particularly entertaining about the musical gladiator alone in the arena trying to belt out tough-to-sing Barry Gibb songs–even he can't get too much falseto no more–then facing the music when Simon weighs in with the observation that it was a disaster.

I'm not sure that translates to a group, which outnumbers the judges and can provide each other moral support. As the Idol folks have figured out, we like to rubberneck at the musica train wrecks.

And yes, the title of this item is a reference to the Michael Nesmith song on that Green Monkees album. Did I ever tell you about the time I met Mickey Dolenz at a NATPE party….

By John Eggerton