Category Archives: YouTube

Musical Wednesday: DeWyze & Bowersox, King & Taylor Duets, and a Ballin 6th Grader

This should be a recap of American Idol last night. But I’m not really going to do a recap until it comes down to the final two: Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox. I put this prediction out there weeks/months ago. However, I didn’t know they were going to do duets this week on Idol.

Call it chance or call it timing. I was listening to the radio this weekend while gardening/planting for Moms and they were playing the entire concert of James Taylor and Carole King at the Troubadour (one of my favorite venues in LA, which ironically I went to less when I wasn’t living there than when I was). To you young bucks out there or the musically deficient readers of mine, you have to peep out both of these artists. Not musicians or songwriters, but artists. Individually they are masterful but together they exemplify, duet.  “Up On the Roof” was originally written by Carole King, popularized by The Drifters, but dominated by the duet of King and Taylor. The song reminds me of all the good times on my old rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.

Not at all to compare Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox to James Taylor and Carole King, but figured the last song was a good lead in to this video. I’m a sucker for musicals or movies based around music. Peep the “Who is the Penning Panda?” page and you’ll find a few of such movies. One of the movies based upon musicians is the movie Once. That movie gets me EVERY time for a number of reasons, some personal, but mostly for the story and the music. Keeping that in mind, you’ll understand the next part of this blog.

One of my dearest friends, Mags, lives in the Central Time Zone and she sent me a text before Idol aired West Coast time that read: “Oh God you’re going to have an orgasm when you watch a certain song on Idol tonight!”

This of course had me wondering as she knows me as well as anyone out there… I was out and about and didn’t get to see it “live,” but when I did finally get a chance to watch it on DVR I’d have to say… she was right. Not only were DeWyze and Bowersox paired up, but they sang one of my favorite duets of all time from the movie Once, “Falling Slowly.”

Let’s be honest there are really only two “stars” to come out of American Idol: Kelly Clarkson (probably because she was the first winner) and Carrie Underwood (mmmm, Carrie Underwood). Again not saying DeWyze or Bowersox will be as successful as either of those two, but I’m really vibing off both of them. If they can keep their heads on straight and find a good support team, they can do good things. And hopefully they pull off another duet in the future… best performance all season, hands down.

Speaking of people with musical skill. This was posted by a friend of mine and I can’t help but snag it and repost it. If you haven’t heard of Greyson Michael Chance yet, I have a feeling you will. At least virally online. This kid is amazing and to think he’s only 12. I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time before someone “discovers” him and signs this kid.

This is the video that my friend Jillian posted of Greyson covering Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at his school’s Edmond’s Sixth Grade Festival. Definitely check out his YouTube Channel that also features two of his original songs. A brilliant songwriter and musician, this kid if he can keep his nose clean (all puns intended) could be on the fast-track to stardom. I often have my qualms about the Internet, but it’s amazing how fast something like Greyson’s talent can spread. I mean if Greyson was on American Idol, he’d be getting all the teenie bopper texts (look at the girl’s reactions in the background). This kid is probably all-time dude when it comes to “7 in Heaven” at his middle school parties. Or in the words of my boy Sam, “They want to jump his bones.”

Hey Greyson, do you need an agent?


Pennies Into Political Perspective

It's All Just Pennies

I’ve said a few times that I’m not going to get too much into political debates on this blog. But from time to time I’ll chime in on a few things. My reasoning is simple: one my depth on political issues is not as it once was when I was studying it in undergrad. Further, I’d rather have a face-to-face discussion when it comes to politics. For me when I do talk about politics, it’s a discussion. For many, it’s an argument. If I write about it, for those who like to argue, it looks like what I write is in fact set in stone and explains my entire thought on a topic. But that’s not really how I view politics, I view it as an ongoing discussion, and if someone says something profound or something that can enhance my views or thoughts on a political topic I’m all for it. But the funny part about it, is that people often refuse to talk about politics, but they read what someone writes about politics and they form an automatic judgment about that person… most of the time it’s wrong. That’s why I usually don’t write about politics per se. But I will definitely hold a face-to-face conversation with you.

This by no means represents any of my specific political views. But these videos give a pretty cool perspective to some political thoughts right now. There is no doubt that our culture, especially my generation and younger, are jaded by politics. Most people think that one person can’t make a difference or that the problems are too large for us to even consider. Many will argue and yell about issues that they have no real understanding of. An exemplification of this country’s passive-aggressiveness towards anything political.

That’s my brief political statement for now… with that enjoy viewing these short clips. For those of you who think the political picture is too big to grasp, maybe this might put it into a perspective easier to rationalize or at least think about without having your head spin.

For more about the creator of these videos, Matthias Shapiro, check out his Political Math Blog.

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