This is not my normal post. This is not a normal day.

When I started this, I began with a list of why today is bad. But we know why it’s bad.  We know the person who will be sworn in at noon EST today, and we know what he did to get there, and we know what we’re losing and what we could have had. And the campaign itself did damage to this country in ways we’re still learning.

But we’re still America. Still the United States. This country has faced bad times, divisive times, times we have done things for which we are ashamed. But, we survived them and as a country, and while we haven’t righted all the wrongs we could, or even, at times, come close, we have TRIED. We keep on trying, we keep on growing.

We are a nation founded on the idea, however imperfectly implemented, that we are all equal under the law, we are all valuable, we all have a say, even if it’s just a blog post or a tweet or a wordless scream as loud as a shofar blast.  And that is what we must continue to fight – to not be silenced, to not be erased, to not let the forces of authoritarianism make us disappear.

And if we do that, if we keep information flowing, and ideas flowing, and listen for when it stops, we can stay who we are. We can keep  the  idea alive.  We can keep America alive. We can keep our say and our presence. We can still work for equality under the law and righting the wrongs.  And while it doesn’t seem this way right now, we can even try to heal the harm that’s already happened.

Keep the idea alive.


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Adam Lambert concert reviews Feb 23 and Mar 1 2016

Yes. I got to attend two The Original High shows – the very first US one and the New Brunswick one a week later. I probably could go to the one in Manhattan Mar 3, but I can’t do general admission. Continue reading

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Adam Lambert First in Forbes Top-Earning Idol Report

In what is possibly the last in this series of articles, Adam is on top. As he prefers.
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American Idol Season 15 January 6th 2016

Auditions. Starts with winners being announced, and people dreaming of being on the show, ending with Nick’s victory, and focusing on a Golden Ticket.

Brian Dunkleman!

Montage of auditioners.

First auditioner. Michele Marie. 15. Can name all the winners. Fan since she was four. As old as the show…wow. She scares me.

Singing “Blue” by Leanne Rhimes. Girl can sing.

Where are these auditions?

Jlo – very pretty. Harry – technically very good and stageworthy. Keith loved it.  Made it.

Apparently, someone gets arrested. And they plug a surprise we all know about

Taylor, Rubin, Clay and Kris doing the producer rounds. Oh, and Lee DeWyze. Interesting. I bet none of these gentlemen get a performance spot.

Auditions in Atlanta. Country singer. Josiah Siska. 18. Johnny Cash fan. “Ghostriders”. I’ve only heard parodies of this song. Gorgeous deep voice.

Harry – real commitment. Keith loved his voice. He sings a low scale. Harry likes that he knows about music. Three yeses.

Lindita, singing “Man’s World. Big voice. And bigger heels. Harry – fans would love your runs. JLo – power, great job. Keith – great. Trimming out is easier than adding. Three yeses.

Keith is being silly and Harry wants to be weird. Bored judges. Billy Bob Evett. A honky-tonking man. Large 25 year old. With dimples. Hots for Jennifer. Singing Waylon Jennings. Keith sings with him. It’s cute. I don’t know the song. Keith likes him as a person. Singing wasn’t strong enough. JLo – not consistent enough. Harry – close to say yes but too many pitch problems. Three noes.

Lee Jean, who lost his brother last year. Singing a lovely gospel song in honor of his brother. Heartfelt. Jlo thinks he’s cute and talented. Harry – tremendous a lot of talent. You need to sing in tune. You can work on that. Keith – beautiful tone, and you can tell a story. Three yeses, even with pitch problems.

Now in Denver. Taylor is the guest producer. Girl with a cello. JeneveRose Mitchell. She yodels and lives off the grid. But knows about Idol. No power. Ah. Uses generator to watch Idol. Smug about it. I’m almost surprised she’s wearing pants.

Singing Chainsaw by Band Perry. I’m not sure at all. She’s pretty, but I’m not sure at all. Plays well.  Keith – compelling. Harry – impressive. Work in progress. Jlo is impressed. Three yeses.

Taylor is at the judge’s auditions, too.

“Off the grid” montage. Small towns, Alaska, hitchhiking.

Sonika Vaid, 22 from Massachusetts. Daughter of immigrants from India. Lovely girl. Pretty voice. (I’m not familiar with the song.) Sounds like she has control. Also, I’m staring at the Adam Lambert poster. Jlo loves it. A lot. Harry – sang beautifully. Could win. Pure, Gd given voice. Keith – and you just let it go. You just sang. Jlo – so pretty. Three yeses.

Joseph Kohlrass is 16 and pretentious. Classically trained and “deep and rich, but bright and contemporary.” Gorgeous voice, but SO not pop. So wrong for this song.  Jlo – strong voice but inconsistent. Keith – big flexible range, but you don’t know how to use it. Harry – Challenges to hit F below bassclef. Does scale. No, though. Not the “four yeses” he imagined.

Wasn’t a note at the end. He kinda fried out.

Reanna Molinara. Police officer. Amazing earrings. Will handcuff Harry with real handcuffs. Leave It on Your Mind by Patsy Kline. Nice, jazzy voice. Works very well. Harry – solid performance. Pretty good. Jlo – thought it was good, but could have more performance quality. Keith agrees. Lovely voice. Harry is in pain. Yeses.

Tragic backstory montage.

Happy, talkative, sixteen year old. Very cute. And annoying. Yodels, too. Wins everything. Her name is Sylvia Lee Walker. Keith applauds her monalogue. She yodels for her audition. Seriously yodels. Jlo says she’s awesome. Keith compliments her accent, so she talks more. And more. Your pitch is all over the place. Jlo – adorable but no. Sent home to her show goat.

Returning auditioner. Chevonne Philador. (DJ Shavizzle.) 6th audition. Nice voice. Also a young man. Kory Wheeler. Last chance, after all. Singing Benny and the Jets. Laurel Wright, who was on before. Sweet country voice. They like all of them. All three go through.

And now the judges sing the theme from Laverne and Shirley. For some reason.

Nick Fradiani shows up. Hmm. Interesting. Will he get a slot as latest winner? That hasn’t happened the last few years.

Guy with pregnant wife (three weeks from due date.) MOre nervous to be a dad. Joshua Wicker. “Stay” by Rihanna. Oh, dear.  Run in the wrong place. But sweet voice. Jlo – interesting voice with pretty colors. Harry – compelling. Keith – beautiful. Sang it like you wrote it. 3 yeses. Brings in the wife. Gorgeous baby girl named Branch.

Many babies. Montage. So cute. One plays with Kris. Jordan and Alex Sasser, with a baby and a manbun. Wife is better singer, she says. Adorable baby. Both are auditioning. Alex (wife) is playing ukelele and singing Bruno. Cute. But only cute. Harry – pretty. Not passionate. Keith – too surface. Jlo wanted to hear more of a voice. Three noes.

Jordan (husband) singing Celine, It’s all Coming Back to Me. High and nasal but powerful anyway. Good pop voice, actually. Jlo – really good. Harry – talented vocalist and smart. Keith – bouyant and light voice. Three yeses.

Taylor on harmonica. So we’re back in Atlanta.

Homeschooled guy on guitar. Beard, nose piercing. Big gauges.  Mom died of cancer. Plays for mom. Kerry Courtney. Black Sun (Deathcab for Cutie.) Interesting voice. Works perfectly with this song. Jlo – dark and scary, but beautiful tone. Keith loved the tone, with unique usage. Three yeses.

Everyone knows Keith montage.

Shelbie Z  from the middle of nowhere, Alabama. Hairstylist. Works with her grandmother. Last Night, Carrie Underwood. Big voice. They don’t look happy. Jlo likes her. Harry loves her. Terrific. 3 yeses.  I read them wrong.

And Kanye shows up to “audition.” Pregnant Kim. They pretend he’s new. He raps “Jennifer Lopez.” Sigh.














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American Idol Final Season Thoughts

Before I liveblog at least the first audition episode, I wanted to give a few thoughts.

This is the reality show that actually affected reality. This is the reality show that was such a juggernaut that other stations carefully programmed against it. This was the show that produced Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert. It spawned XFactor and The Voice and other such shows.

It has a legacy. And that is something very few shows, reality or otherwise, can claim. And that, by itself, is worthy of respect.

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Adam Lambert vs Labels – History and Speculation

We are at the beginning of Era 3. At this writing, a new single is a week away, and a new album will be released this summer. In the past six years, Adam has changed publicity agents, management and, most critically, label. This release will test him and his team. I want to revisit his past to guess about the future. Continue reading

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Adam Lambert Label, Single and Album News

Last week was a very busy one. Adam started his European tour fronting Queen (with the most amazing, positive reviews I’ve ever seen), he appeared on American Idol as a judge, AND we finally got the news we’d really been waiting for – who his new label was, and even a tentative date for both his next single and his 3rd album. Continue reading

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Adam comes Home to Idol

Yes, I know it was almost a week ago, and I’m not blogging Idol this year, but I figure I should write about this one episode. Continue reading

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Adam is Naked and he’s Far from Home

Nearly a year ago, the remaining members of Queen plus Adam Lambert had a press conference to announce a tour of North America. Brian May made a point then that he would make multiple times in months to come – these concerts would be “live and dangerous.” Continue reading

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Adam is 7th in Forbes Top-Earning American Idols 2014

It’s become a tradition. The Forbes list is out. And it’s actually somewhat surprising.

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