What's with the "City Hall on Idol" tweet?

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cmooreNC
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What's with the "City Hall on Idol" tweet?

Postby cmooreNC » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:42 pm

I must admit that I never watch that show, so I have no clue, but Vienna tweeted that some "alternative" version of City Hall made an appearance on American Idol.

Anyone know the details?
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AI Video

Postby aaparallel » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:32 am

Here's the bit of "City Hall" from last night's airing of the LA auditions. I've posted on FB already about this and I'll do it here. In Jeannette's defense, I thought the segment we saw wasn't that bad. We're just not used to hearing such a bright, high voice sing that song. Maybe the rest of the audition was bad, but from the bit that we can see, she didn't go "way off on all the notes" as J. Lo. said. Just on the "seen a sight" line she pushed too hard and went sharp. You could tell from the judges' faces that they had other problems with the song, such as the genre and the lyrics (it cut to Randy at the "stand in line" bit and he looked put off by the song).

I think it's great that Jeannette decided to sing a VT song for her audition. It's not a good song for her voice type or for the show, but I don't think she deserves any of the negative comments currently on Twitter and Facebook, from fellow VT fans. That must really hurt. I'm sure many of us love to belt out to VT songs, but don't have the confidence to audition for something with them. And even if Jeannette were confident, I don't think she asked to be showcased along with all the failed auditions. Shame on the AI establishment in general for putting those out there for attention.

That said, this situation reminds me of why I'm hesitant about covering Vienna's music. I personally don't think anyone can sing her songs as well as she can, even if they have apparent vocal skill (imagine Aretha Franklyn sing VT's songs. No.) I sing and play the piano, but I'm afraid I might not like myself if I attempt a VT song. And I guess I'm afraid of insulting the VT fans, who aren't all as humble and understanding as I had previously assumed...

End rant. :D
"Drowning my pain in lemonade. . . Singing along to 'feelin' alright'"

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Re: AI Video

Postby Fred » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:09 am

aaparallel wrote:Here's the bit of "City Hall" from last night's airing of the LA auditions. I've posted on FB already about this and I'll do it here. In Jeannette's defense, I thought the segment we saw wasn't that bad. We're just not used to hearing such a bright, high voice sing that song. Maybe the rest of the audition was bad, but from the bit that we can see, she didn't go "way off on all the notes" as J. Lo. said. Just on the "seen a sight" line she pushed too hard and went sharp. You could tell from the judges' faces that they had other problems with the song, such as the genre and the lyrics (it cut to Randy at the "stand in line" bit and he looked put off by the song).

I think it's great that Jeannette decided to sing a VT song for her audition. It's not a good song for her voice type or for the show, but I don't think she deserves any of the negative comments currently on Twitter and Facebook, from fellow VT fans. That must really hurt. I'm sure many of us love to belt out to VT songs, but don't have the confidence to audition for something with them. And even if Jeannette were confident, I don't think she asked to be showcased along with all the failed auditions. Shame on the AI establishment in general for putting those out there for attention.

That said, this situation reminds me of why I'm hesitant about covering Vienna's music. I personally don't think anyone can sing her songs as well as she can, even if they have apparent vocal skill (imagine Aretha Franklyn sing VT's songs. No.) I sing and play the piano, but I'm afraid I might not like myself if I attempt a VT song. And I guess I'm afraid of insulting the VT fans, who aren't all as humble and understanding as I had previously assumed...

End rant. :D

You are right. Although there were posts a lot less respectful than mine, any negativity is inappropriate.

You raise an interesting point, though. Some songwriters seem to be much more coverable than others, and Vienna's songs are so idiosyncratic that it would seem very odd to hear a cover. I'm sure there must be some on YouTube. :D
Last edited by Fred on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

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Re: AI Video

Postby aaparallel » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:00 am

Fred wrote:I'm sure there must be some on YouTube. :D


Here's a recent cover of "Blue Caravan" that I liked. I've commented with my thoughts.

And here's a nice cover of "Lullaby" by a guy. My main complaint is that he just loves appoggiaturas too much (meaning he likes to leap up to a non-chord tone and then go back down to the correct note in the melody). They should really just be used for embellishment, maybe at the end. But still, I liked what he did for the song. And I love appoggiaturas too.

Didn't mean to be all lecture-y to y'all. I was just frustrated that VT fans were falling into the American Idol trap. Yes, those bad auditions are there because they're bad! We're expected to react. But this is a fellow VT fan, and she just had a different vocal quality (unfortunately, a bit screechy). In fact, I think they showed only the chorus on purpose...those high notes are indeed painful to listen to when there's no build up to them.
Last edited by aaparallel on Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fred » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:31 pm

Aaparallel,

I listened to the Lullabye cover and agree with you. Not bad at all but the overuse of grace notes makes it sound too "American Idol-y". Not a slip of technique, but of taste (like American Idol, imho). Decent guitar, good voice. And he spells Lullaby correctly, too, lol. What was most interesting was how many *other* covers of the song popped up in the suggestion sidebar. I've never trolled for Vienna covers. Who knew?

The Blue Caravan cover was very well done but had the opposite problem. It was so "straight" that I couldn't avoid comparing it to Vienna's own. Now, most of these folks, I hope, are just singing for their own and their friends' entertainment, and that's great. The problem I was thinking of when I posted was how can a professional cover Vienna, creatively make the song his/her own, and get a good result? At least, that was the question in my mind, if not on the screen. (Once again, look at all the covers in the sidebar! Wow!)

And the hypothetical answer in my mind was that they should probably concentrate on Vienna's songs that come closest to standard folk or Americana/country idiom; those should be the easy covers for a singer at home in those genres to adopt as his/her own, and make them live and breathe in a different way than we are used to. City Hall for sure, but also Homecoming or Mission Street. (If anyone ever covers Radio or Pontchartrain well and creatively, he or she is a certified genius.)

So in my unlimited spare time I'm going to start looking for this stuff on the web. Of course your unparalleled (heh!) Googlestalking skills will probably beat me to the best of it.
Last edited by Fred on Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

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Postby Fred » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:39 pm

Fred wrote:...If anyone ever covers Radio or Pontchartrain well and creatively, he or she is a certified genius...

I wonder what Grandmother Song would sound like covered by the Carolina Chocolate Drops?
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

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Postby Reileen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:22 pm

Well said, Double-A, both in regards to the response to Jeannette's audition and to the difficulty of covering a VT song.

RE: Jeannette's audition, even just hearing about it (before actually listening to the performance itself)), I was like, "Wow, this is gonna be bad! I am both appalled and entertained!" Then I started seeing all the comments on VT's FB about how bad it was and I started feeling really bad for Jeannette. She obviously likes VT's music enough to audition with it for a show that isn't friendly to that sort of thing, and if she saw (maybe she HAS seen) all the negative comments about her performance right on the FB of VT herself...putting myself in her shoes, I'd be horrified. It's one thing if some panel of judges unsympathetic to her chosen genre and to her appearance says she's bad, but having judgment passed upon her from so close to her idol (no pun intended) will really, really sting.

And this segues into what you were saying about the challenge involved in professionally covering a VT song -- i.e., as opposed to just playing it straight for the brainwashing -- I MEAN, entertainment -- of friends and family. VT's songs are so undeniably hers that it's hard to come out from under that shadow. (Although IIRC, didn't Kyler England do a pretty good rendition of "Homecoming"? Even if that was just Kyler singing vocals with Vienna on piano because Vienna was too sick to actually sing it herself.)

The one that I would like to eventually cover is "White Light", since it comes closest (relatively) to the genre(s) I'm poking my feet into, but I doubt I have the talent (and, ideally, peoplepower) to pull it off for another couple of years.
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Postby aaparallel » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:36 pm

Fred wrote:And he spells Lullaby correctly, too, lol.


OK, all this time, I thought there was an "e" in that word. WOW. :oops:

There is a professional cover of "Say Uncle" by David Farkas (Deuce 32). It's on iTunes. He had to choose the most personal-to-VT song to cover, and didn't do ANYTHING interesting for it. Needless to say, I'm not a fan. :D

Now if Hanson were to cover one of VT's songs (check 'em out! Seriously!), that would be awesome. "Hope on Fire," "Homecoming," "Augustine." Yes.
Last edited by aaparallel on Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Reileen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:34 pm

Once again, Vienna's awesome and responded to the AmId thing via Twitter: http://twitter.com/viennateng/status/33985754438832128 (And presumably Facebook as well.)
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."




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Postby aaparallel » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 pm

Reileen wrote:...and if she saw (maybe she HAS seen) all the negative comments about her performance right on the FB of VT herself...putting myself in her shoes, I'd be horrified. It's one thing if some panel of judges unsympathetic to her chosen genre and to her appearance says she's bad, but having judgment passed upon her from so close to her idol (no pun intended) will really, really sting.


I got an FB note from her mother this morning, thanking me for my showing support on VT's page. She says her daughter's devastated that everyone is slamming her singing and appearance on the show. She doesn't deserve this, especially from fellow VT fans. Please send Jeannette notes of encouragement on Facebook. VT fans are much, much better than what's implied by people's responses to this.
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Postby Reileen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:00 pm

aaparallel, do you have a link to Jeannette's Facebook? You can PM it to me if you're not comfortable sharing it publicly for whatever reason.
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."




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Postby aaparallel » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:03 pm

Reileen wrote:aaparallel, do you have a link to Jeannette's Facebook? You can PM it to me if you're not comfortable sharing it publicly for whatever reason.


Just look her up on FB. VT's a mutual friend.
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Postby Fred » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:47 pm

aaparallel wrote:VT fans are much, much better than what's implied by people's responses to this.

I'm a little surprised that there were more snarky fan comments in reply to Vienna's second, encouraging and consoling, post. Vienna was clearly trying to set a particular tone and a bunch of people didn't get it, or didn't care. Vienna's fan community, at least as represented by FB friends and likes, has probably become more diverse as it has expanded. Success has costs--the cozy fan community that sustained Vienna thru her early years (before I even knew she existed) does not define the bounds of her supporters anymore, methinks. Still, it is good to think the best of people until proven otherwise, as you do. Beats the heck out of cynicism.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

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Postby cmooreNC » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:39 pm

Thanks for all the follow-up to my initial question. And for keeping it all civil towards the performer. How easy it is for people to stand behind the curtain of anonymity known as the internet and throw darts at others, when they themselves certainly wouldn't stand up bravely as a dartboard. Tsk. :(
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Postby Reileen » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:44 am

Fred wrote:I'm a little surprised that there were more snarky fan comments in reply to Vienna's second, encouraging and consoling, post. Vienna was clearly trying to set a particular tone and a bunch of people didn't get it, or didn't care.

I noticed that too, and I was really disappointed. It's not just disrespectful to Jeannette, I think it's also disrespectful towards Vienna herself, who was trying to keep her fans playing nice at least in her own sandbox (i.e., her Facebook profiles). It's one thing if you're own in your own sandbox female dogging about the state of AmId auditions, but don't be dragging that shaznit over to someone else's sandbox if they're indicated that they don't want it there.
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."




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http://www.voxgraphicastudio.com


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