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Rock Star: Supernova ~ Week 1 Performances

Posted in Rock Star: Supernova | No Comments »

Meet the Rockers from Rock Star: Supernova!

Tonight’s CBS Premiere of Rock Star: Supernova is going to make this a wild summer. While thinking about how I’d approach my recaps, I decided to give a more personal angle, for the other musicians out there. We all walk a similar path toward rockstarhood, and I think it’s a good idea to think of this show as the closest thing anyone will get to attending a graduate level course for being a rock star. And why not? Success leaves clues, and if you pay attention to how the Rockers compete with each other, deal with their own demons, and rise above their shortcomings, you’ll have an insight that may one day apply to your particular situation.

What am I looking for? I’m a sucker for a singer with power and range, but stage presence is crucial. Choosing the right song that shows off your gifts while also impressing the judges is also important. Watching the Supernova members Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke, I also had to consider how each Rocker contestant’s particular singing and performing style might fit with Tommy, Gilby and Jason. These guys are hard rockers, so dreamy singer/songwriter types need not apply!

Three months of rock and roll life lessons just waiting to begin. By the time this show is over, I hope the musicians watching at home learn something they can use in their own shows. It’s gonna be a fun ride! Vive La Rock!

My descriptions and predictions:

Storm Large – Pinball Wizard

She was a great choice for first Rocker of the night. Storm is a great performer, and comfortable on stage. She held back from the power singing til the very end of the song, but I would not have minded more of “rock power voice” earlier in the song. She held her own with Tommy and the band, and admitted to being unafraid. “I like being first” she says.

She has potential but it’s too early for me to tell. She automatically gets kudos for going first. Her name is real, which reinforces my theory that it’s important to name your children with greatness in mind. I have a feeling that Ms. Large has a few tricks yet for us.

Ryan Star – Iris

His vocal delivery was a little too mumbled for my taste, and his beginning was a bit subdued. At the climax of the song, he grabs the mic from the stand, and does this sort of slide thing across the stage. The audience reacted instantly. He had a good voice, but I wasn’t sure that Tommy Lee was feeling it.

Toby Rand – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

First acoustic performance of the evening. I found his voice soulful, expressive and powerful, but perhaps a bit overdone. I wasn’t crazy about a slow song, but he obviously chose the song to highlight his vocals. I felt like he just wanted to sing, but not to necessarily to perform. But trust me, he can definitely sing. He sat on the floor at one point, and he just looked so comfortable, and he could sing his heart out. Tommy Lee thought that Toby’s sitting down was a good choice, and that the ladies liked it. But surprisingly, I actually wanted him to move around, to work a little harder for the audience. But hey, that’s me.

Patrice Pike – Somebody to Love

She owned the stage immediately. She has power, range, and interacted with the band. She also worked the crowd. Okay, she killed it. Gilby said it best when he told her “I can tell you want the gig” Most definitely.

Magni – Satisfaction

According to Magni, his band in Iceland in number 1, and he is one of the top ten recognizable faces in Iceland. To see him onstage, I’m sorry, but I wondered why they picked his audition tape over mine Seriously, I felt like I was watching somebody’s brother air guitar along to classic rock radio.

First thing – he didn’t look enough like a rocker to me. His outfit is fine if you’re going to see a band, but not to be in a band. He has a great voice, and he’s comfortable onstage, but I feel like he could have given more of himself. You can’t come to LA and give us the same old thing we’ve seen forever. Dave Navarro said he was “a little on the Vegas tip”, and Gilby told him that he needed more “dirty rock and roll”. Not sure about this one…

Zayra Alvarez – Bring Me to Life

Gorgeous, talented girl, but I’m officially undecided. She started the song with a latin-inspired Spanish guitar intro, while wearing a dramatic red and black outfit. My biggest problem with her was that her articulation made it very difficult for me to understand what she was saying. I don’t know this song very well, and her singing did not help. But she does have something. Will she fit in with the rest of Supernova? Hmmm…not sure, but she’s definitely going places.

Jenny Galt – How You Remind Me

It’s interesting that Jenny says that she feels that she’s “always on the verge” in her musical career, wondering when her break will finally arrive. She played electric guitar on this song, and she can definitely rock, but I know she’s holding back. She’s blonde, leggy, has a distinctive voice that I like, and can play some mean guitar. My only wish is that she’d throw away the guitar, and let us know that she can rock out without it. I wondered how she’d be onstage without her guitar. She’s not necessarily hiding behind it, but I want to see more of this Rocker, big time.

Josh Logan – She Talks to Angels

Josh has a soulful style, perhaps too soulful for this band, but I don’t think he knows it yet. I love gospel vocal riffs like everybody else, but is it too much for a rock band? Is it too much for Tommy, Gilby, and Jason? Josh took us to church, he did. Had me raising my testify hand and everything. Even got a standing ovation from the other Rockers. This guy is gifted, no doubt, but will he lead Supernova? Hmmm…

Matt Hoffer – Yellow

Matt has a good voice, but there was nothing that stood out about him. He jumped around a lot, but that was about it. The song choice was questionable, and even Dave Navarro commented on it, suggesting that next time he try something “a little uglier”. I’m neutral.

Dilana Robichaux – Lithium

Great, gravelly vocal tone. Her voice speaks of a hard childhood, but man she knows how to use it! She stayed in one place, barely moving as she sang, using her face and intensity to tell the story (reminded me of Marty last year), and then she EXPLODED onstage. She was perfect. When she was done, no one in Supernova, not even Tommy Lee had anything to say. She was that amazing. Wow.

Dana Andrews – Am I the Only One

She has great pipes, and the confidence that comes with it, but she’s still a bit green in my opinion. She could be stronger onstage, but it’s still early, Folks. Anything can happen.

Phil Ritchie – Cult of Personality

I love this song cuz I’m a Corey Glover and Living Colour fan, but I don’t know if this was the right choice of song for Phil. He had range, but not power. And he needs to work on stagecraft. And I needed him to be more crazy onstage. Am I wrong? It’s still early…

Jill Gioia – Piece of My Heart

I really wanted to like Jill. She’s from New York, and she’s representing the rockers here. She has a great voice – tough and powerful. BUT her delivery made me think Wedding Singer. I do NOT mean to sound snarky. I just found it hard to take her seriously. She was just too cute, and too clean. The Supernova members were complimentary, but I’m not convinced that they were feeling her vibe.

Chris Pierson – Roxanne

Chris Pierson was singing for his life. He was just energy going out, but not really giving anything, nothing meaningful. His reworked version of Roxanne, instead of making him look like good actually showcased how limited his range was. Tommy gave a quick lecture to the Rockers about how important song choice is. But Gilby said what many were thinking, “That song sucked, man”. Ouch.

Lukas Rossi – Rebel Yell

I got him from the start. Excellent song choice – he knows his strengths, and he came here to RAWK! I couldn√Ęt understand the lyrics but it didn’t matter. He tore it up on stage. He has the goods, and the Rockers gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. Awesome!

What’s interesting right off the bat was that pre-show comments made by Tommy Lee made it sound like only a guy could be mean and dangerous enough to front Supernova. After seeing some of these women tonight, I bet they’re not so sure.

My predictions:

Bottom Three (in no particular order):
Chris Pierson
Jill Gioia
Magni

Top Three (in no particular order):
Patrice Pike
Dilana Robichaux
Lukas Rossi

But after all of this, remember that the first show is not necessarily the be-all and end-all. Even JD Fortune had less than perfect performances before he won last year’s Rock Star: INXS. Now we get to see what the Rockers are made of. Will they have the goods to last three months?

Tune in tomorrow for the first elimination show of Rock Star: Supernova!

Went to a Nude Beach for Independence Day!

Posted in A Day in the Life | No Comments »

NudeBeachSign

This July 4th I wanted to go skinny dipping. After September 11th happened, I thought of all the things that I wanted to do before I died, and skinny dipping turned out to be number 1 on the list. I had gone skinny dipping only once before, and it was one of those cool experiences that I wanted to have again. Of course, life has been crazy busy, so I didn’t get around to it until yesterday. Rock Star: Supernova starts tonight, and I have gigs coming up. I have a feeling that I’ll have to squeeze in my summer fun or I won’t get it!

G and I woke up before 9am and headed to Sandy Hook, NJ to the federal beach that has a clothing optional section meaning its totally legal to walk around in your birthday suit. I’m not exactly an exhibitionist, even if I play one on stage I’m more of a sensualist, preferring to enjoy water on bare skin, and the bathtub does not have the same effect.

So we park the car in the beach parking lot, and walk over (still wearing clothes). We pass a sign that warns “Nude Bathers May Be Present”, but at the same time, I’m surprised to see many so people going the same way. I mean, they didn’t look like nudist types (whatever that means). There were families, as well as more older folk around, and I actually started to hope that they wouldn’t be the ones taking their clothes off.

I figured that if I was going to go through with this, I didn’t want to hang with the crowd. We took a shortcut that led us far, far away from the rest of the beach goers, and set up our towels. As I looked at the crowd again in the distance, they all appeared to be dressed, so I got cold feet. I announced, “I’m just going to keep my bikini on”, and sat down on my towel. When I turned to G, he was as naked as the day he was born. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was going to remain dressed too. “I didn’t come here for nothing!”, he said. At that, I removed my bikini, and started rubbing on the suntan lotion.

It felt great to lay nude under the sun until the bugs came. The coconut suntan lotion must have acted like a love potion because I continually felt the stings of insects that I could not see. At first I thought it was the tiny grains of sand sticking to my skin. Each time I’d rub sand off a body part, I’d brush twice as much sand on another part. And then I’d get bit again by the no-see-ums (I think they’re also called sand flies). After about 15 minutes or so of this, I sit up and frustration, and suggest going in the water. G was game to go in naked, but the bugs were driving me nuts, so we put our bathing suits on before heading to the water.

At the water’s edge, however, I saw that the rest of the beach goers were pretty far away, and they really couldn’t see us, so I got bold again, and whipped off my bathing suit. G did the same and we jumped in the water. It was AWESOME!!! It was cold at first, but there we were, swimming NAKED in the ocean. The water felt fantastic. My hair was floating all around me, and I felt like a mermaid. A mermaid with legs, of course. G and I swam together, jumping over waves, and it was one of those lovely experiences.

Soon, two guys walked by on the beach. I worried at first that they were going to steal our clothes from the water’s edge, but it turned out that they had left the beach crowd to smoke a joint, and they weren’t even paying attention to us. So we ignored Cheech & Chong, and went back to our water play. They headed back towards the crowd, and then a park ranger truck passes by on the beach. Then the truck stops near us. G and I hope that the truck stopping has nothing to do with us. But then a ranger gets out the truck, and motions for us to come out of the water.

Um, did I happen to mention that we were NAKED?

So with all the rock star bravado I have, I calmly walk out of the ocean, like I do this all the time. I covered one breast with my long red locks, and impersonate the goddess Venus making an entrance from the ocean. G is a guy, so of course, he’s fine. We walk up to the ranger, who looks us in the eyes. He tells us that were not allowed to swim outside the guarded area, and we have to move towards the crowd. “You mean, where the people are?”, I ask. He says yes, and also adds that the clothing optional area is on the OTHER side of the beach.

Oops!

And of course, while he’s talking to us, the naughty nudists, there’s Cheech & Chong in the distance, getting a good laugh to go with their buzz. Some other guy passes by, and is staring at us with his mouth open. Instead of making a smart remark, I simply blow him a kiss. What else can you do?

We grab our clothes, and head back to the towels when the ranger drives away. G still wants to sunbathe nude, so like a dummy I take my clothes off again. The bugs immediately descend on my coconut scented skin, so less than 15 minutes later we left the beach for good.

Now that we know where to go, we’ll go skinny dipping again. But next time I’m bringing insect repellent!