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I’ve never been a huge fan of American Idol but I caught myself sucked into this season’s first episode last week. It was entertaining to see so many songs tortured by well-meaning singers with delusions of grandeur, I admit, but I found myself a little annoyed afterwards.
American Idol is destroying the very thing that makes rock-n-roll what it is. Chuck Berry would never have made it past the tryouts. Elvis Presley would have been laughed off the stage. Little Richard would have been ignored. Joey Ramone would have been censored. Bob Dylan would be crucified and Mick Jagger would be told to stick to his day job.
I tried to think of anybody who I really like to listen to who might have what it takes to be the next American Idol, and I couldn’t think of any. Sufjan Stevens is too whispery. Robbie Seay is too gravelly. Michael Nau is too sad. David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand) is too depressing. Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou) won’t even try to sing. Jesse Coppenbarger (Colour Revolt) screams too much. Aaron Strumpel’s range is too limited. Vincent Voss (The Singing Mechanic) has an odd vocal style. Daniel Smith… well Daniel Smith wouldn’t even be allowed to sing on American Idol if he wanted to.
Pretty much anybody I like to listen to would probably not even be allowed past the tryouts. And chances are that anybody who would do good on American Idol wouldn’t last long on my playlist.
When rock-n-roll came on the scene, it was fighting against staid, overly-perfected songs that dominated American listeners, replacing that with music that burst forth from the gut. By its very nature, rock-n-roll emphasizes experimentation, self-expression, and raw emotions. American Idol is destroying all that.