Friday, 26 June 2009
I've already spent way too long on this and am rather sick of trying out and learning different software, reformatting, resynching and fiddling around with the aspect ratio, audio and colour on each segment, but it was pointed out to me by fellow obsessives (thank you) who put me to shame that there was a snippet missing from the video. So I got back to work, tracked it down and re-compiled it, otherwise what kind of obsessive would that make me? Test your obsession and see if you can spot what it is. The answer is in the comments section of this post. Thanks go out to LaStupenda and Blue*Rose from IDF for providing the original HQ clips.
It's been over a month since Idol finished and I'd decided to do something I thought wasn't too taxing on the brain so I spent the last couple days toiling over and piecing together all the audition bits and pieces to make a continuous video. How little did I know. It almost cost me my sanity because of all the different incompatible formats, codecs and crappy software that just kept crashing. I never imagined it would be so friggin' complicated as it's the first time I've converted or edited any vids and my pesky perfectionism wanting everything to be frame-perfect kept on shifting the finish line. Perseverance won out in the end though, and this is the fruit of my labour of obsession, which I hope you'll enjoy. It contains the pre- and post- audition interviews, Rock With You, and Bohemian Rhapsody.
I'm very saddened to have learned about the death of Michael Jackson while working on the video. It doesn't feel like a strange coincidence because his sphere of influence is so wide and penetrates deep into popular culture. Adam was a fan who was strongly influenced by him in terms of music, singing, dancing, performing, fashion and re-invention. I think Michael's life ended up a tragedy after he seriously lost his way. He was someone who I thought was never comfortable with the colossal price of fame making him public property. I'm glad that Adam seems grounded enough and well equipped to deal with playing that game. I was really curious to see what Jacko would have done at his upcoming concerts in London. I wondered whether it would have breathed fresh life into his career and felt excited thinking about the possibility of a collaboration of stellar proportions if the comeback were successful. Sadly we'll never know and it'll never happen, but he'll live on through his music. His powerful influence will continue, perpetuated through artists such as Adam. I hope he is now at peace.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Want' is available from today and an album called 'On with the Show' is to be released by HiFi Records/Wilshire Records.
Am I alone in thinking that this is just a storm in a teacup? HiFi/Wilshire is blatantly trying to cash in on Adam's celebrity status, and while it can be annoying, to paraphrase his words, it comes with the territory. 'Want' isn't train-wreck awful and there are plenty of worse ways people could be selling him out, so I really don't buy into all the fears about it harming his career before it has even taken off.
Firstly, let's get the negative over with. The single seems to be very far from the direction in which Adam wants to go. It may fragment the perception of his style and image to make establishing his artistic identity a little more difficult to new audiences. He's tried to distance himself from it via the following statement:
"Back in 2005 when I was a struggling artist, I was hired as a studio singer to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else," he said. "I was broke at the time and this was my chance to make a few bucks, so I jumped at the opportunity to record for my first time in a professional studio. The work I did back then in no way reflects the music I am currently in the studio working on. I'm thrilled to be working with some of today's hottest songwriters and producers and can't wait for people to hear what my music really sounds like."
The record company issued a conflicting statement that many feel is deliberately misleading though, and I can see how it can cause outrage, claiming that Adam "co-wrote many of the tracks" and that they are "drenched in Lambert's pop/rock sound and style" when he has made clear that he didn't write the songs, and they're not his sound. There is a definite contradiction between the two statements with HiFi/Wilshire coming off looking decidedly less favourable. The fact that his 'first single' isn't his style and lyrically quite cheesy with a substandard production that leaves much to be desired, coupled with anger turning many fans to boycott the single, combined with the fact that he won't be promoting it will give ammunition to his critics to view it as a failure.
There are many positives though, and the fact that I am writing about it now means that it is publicity. The key thing is that we know it's old material and know that it's not the kind of sound Adam is going for. Due to it already making so many headlines means we will be aware of the tracks being old material that HiFi/Wilshire are just trying to cash in on.
Come on, I think they're actually doing us a favour. What fans of Adam aren't excited about getting different material we haven't heard before? We may not love the material but will still love his vocals, and it'll keep up the interest while he's busy touring and recording. It'll keep us ticking along while we're waiting for his proper tunes. If you're not an Adam fan, it's unlikely that you'd come across the material anyway as it's not going to be a big release that's heavily promoted. And I think that blander ballady material might even appeal to those who aren't currently fans of his.
I think of it like the Ten Commandments releasing 'Is Anybody Listening?' on iTunes, or Fonzerelli releasing 'What's Love Got To Do With It' under Brazen, or someone posting more of his Upright Cabaret performances. They haven't done Adam any harm but in fact have helped him to showcase his range and widen his appeal to different audiences. It's highly unlikely that anyone will be exposed to 'Want' without first being familiar with some of his other past material. After seeing his musical theatre or club performances, you're not necessarily going to jump to the conclusion that he's going to be like that as an artist because they were just paid gigs. I think we can extend that to 'Want' too, as his identity, because of the media spotlight, has already been established enough for most to know that it's not his individual sound.
Like I'm assuming with 'Want', Adam also makes nothing from all the pre-Idol material, but I think the issue that most fans have, being so fiercely protective, is that someone else is misrepresenting him and exploiting him for financial gain, perhaps detracting from his real material and raining on his parade. Clouds have silver linings though, and it keeps Adam in the public consciousness while throwing us a small bone to chew on while we're waiting for the main course. I personally think there'll be little more than a fine mist, and again, looking at the positive, you don't get rainbows without it.
Monday, 15 June 2009
It's now become quite a distant memory, but I think Adam considered the consequences beforehand and made a concious decision, perhaps even rehearsed his reaction for when he didn't win. After much thought, I can't see how he could've handled it better. His broad freckled shoulders carried the weight of many projected hopes and dreams. He did us all a favour by lifting us and making us focus on the positive, even if he was hurting on the inside. His optimism carried us through the dejection. Can you imagine how distraught his fans would have been if he openly displayed his disappointment? Fandom manifests itself in some extreme incarnations and his fans are most rabid. It's not beyond reason that lives may even have been at stake so he probably felt some responsibility to hold them up.
I can completely understand all the reasons for keeping up his happy appearance with the result. Perhaps I just felt uneasy that he could hide any negative emotions so well, presenting a calculated exterior and proving what a good actor he is in his ability to dupe. That's why I felt somewhat relieved and pleased when his snark emerged. It made him seem more real, more believable and it allowed me to reconcile Nice Guy with Showman.
There had been early indicators of Adam's wicked and sarcastic side from various sources. From his old MySpace profile, he listed shows such as Weeds, Dexter, Six Feet Under, The Office and Nip/Tuck amongst his favourites. I also love these shows for their dark humour. There were all his crazy friends with all their hilariously far-out comments that they left him. Then there were Eber's wry comments about Adam not really liking sports, said with a smirk. I interpreted it as his amusement of skirting around the subject of Adam's sexual orientation on the show. And let's not forget Negative Neil whose acerbic blog is built from snark.
There were some hints during the show when Adam responded to criticism from Simon. There was his confident 'I can' during Hollywood week, the shrugging after Satisfaction to the remark about parts being terrible, and he just managed to check himself and bite his tongue after RoF. The Rocky Horror comment he cleverly chewed up, twisted and spat back with a sweet smile as his riposte, and he brushed off the Phantom of the Opera criticism. There was also the glee at singing or sneaking in smutty lyrics such as his 'seven inches in the midday sun', 'do what you do down on me', and his 'playing with the boys all night'. Then there was the encounter with the TMZ pap who he confronted head-on and swiftly dealt with by slapping everything back at the biatch to make him feel awkward.
It was only after Adam got out of the Idol bubble that I felt we got to see him unshackled and free from worrying about staying on the show. We saw the slightly sniggery way of dealing with questions about the cheesefest that is No Boundaries. After a few days of keeping up appearances, the snark began to emerge, first in his retort towards Clay Aiken's bitching, then his hilarious reference to the pink elephant, his swearing at Hair, his 'liking the top' double entendre and then his Idolatry interview where he bit back at Gene Simmons's comment about his voice. And of course we have the very frank interview with Rolling Stone and his bi-curious teasing during the 20/20 interview.
I admired the way Adam bitchslapped Clay Aiken after his scathing criticism. There was no resorting to crude insults or outright rudeness, just a snap putting him back into his place. I loved the snarky comment about helping him out, which was probably even more infuriating because he couldn't really dispute what Adam said as it actually rang true. I'm guessing Adam has little respect for the way he lied about his sexuality from the Rolling Stone article. In those early post-Idol interviews, the best ones seemed to be where the interviewer went in with the assumption that he was gay and didn't try to find some convoluted way of trying to trip him up and get it out of him. I thought Adam seemed most natural in the Idolatry one, which was helped by him and Michael Slezak understanding each other's humour. Much of what he said on it he would not have said during AI, like sticking up for RoF, regarding dissing country music as 'bull' and telling people to 'buy the other guy's record' if they don't understand his trying to shake up Idol. And I thought they actually talked quite openly about Adam's sexuality. His swipe back at Gene Simmons was pure genius and was a wonderful demonstration of snark. If not for Slezak cracking up, the irony would probably have shot over the heads of many. If quoted in print, there was nothing incriminating, but the subtext for anyone paying attention was that Simmons's boots were the best thing about him because in his glass house his own singing is rubbish and he only pretended to play guitar. From his reaction to criticism on Idol, you may have been led to believe that Adam would take it quietly, but he's made it clear straight away that he would be a formidable adversary, taking no shit from anyone. Good on him.
Some other things that have made me laugh are his mock scolding of people pretending to be him, his stand mid-song against hecklers after simulating masturbation, his deadpan Best Week Ever appearance, and his wanting to play Judas alongside Kris's Jesus.
I like the fact that Adam is slightly more brazen than he was during the AI run and I can finally see why he thinks he lacks a filter. I'll be covering my thoughts on the Rolling Stone article in a different post but I just want to end by highlighting one of Adam's qualities that will serve him extremely well in the future, and that is his ability to build a rapport with anyone. You often see him leading others to mirror his body language. In interviews, he manages to adapt himself, setting the appropriate tone for the situation and interviewer. There were huge differences between his formal but charming manner on 20/20 to the snark on Idolatry, to the surreal comedy of the Best Week Ever interview to his audacious turn on Rolling Stone. He's been networking for years and one of his greatest skills is knowing how to work people. Before they know it, he's left them in a puff of glitter, standing there semi-naked, confused and wondering what the hell just happened after he cheekily charmed the pants off them without their knowledge because they were too busy entranced by him. I'm glad to see that other facets of Adam are unfolding and no longer being kept under wraps because they're such fun and add extra colour to this already fascinating chameleon.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Having said that, writing this blog has allowed me to indulge in some welcome escapism and I've realised I've enjoyed my first foray into blogging. I do have ideas for more articles which I'll post when I have the opportunity, but in the meantime, here's an old post which I think has become increasingly relevant in light of recent pap encounters. Thanks for your patience.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
The intense speculation over Adam's sexual orientation makes me wonder how long he has before his ass bursts into flames under the gigantic magnifying glass that's focussed on him. It's continuing to annoy me and seems to be completely overshadowing everything else. One thing that came out recently which I think is just as important (or unimportant) as his sexuality is that Adam has confirmed that he's Jewish, but this received little or no media attention.
I can see some parallels and as far as I'm concerned, his being Jewish was just as 'ambiguous' during the Idol run as his sexual orientation because Adam had never confirmed it outright. We had evidence from his singing in Hebrew to doing Jewish fundraising events, and his dad had stated on MySpace that he'd been to Hebrew school. We'd also had evidence regarding his sexual orientation from his social networking sites, photos and videos.
The American media are piling on the pressure for Adam to make a statement about his sexuality yet no one needed him to make a statement to confirm whether or not he was Jewish, even though in both cases, the evidence was similarly conclusive. There were plenty of media articles claiming that he was Jewish before his confirmation, even though I believe he identifies only ethnically and not religiously (he has stated that he is agnostic on his Tribe page). People were happy just presuming that he was Jewish with few questions asked. Why could this more mature attitude not be adopted for his sexual orientation? Why is the question of sexuality so much more important to the media?
I can't see the point in forcing Adam into a formal confirmation if he's not keen on bearing the heavy responsibility of being the champion for gay rights. What right do people have to feel angry or frustrated by Adam's refusal to make a statement about his personal business when he just wants to make music? He owes us nothing but unfortunately the speculation won't disappear until he gives a direct answer. It could be argued that Adam's sexuality plays a greater role than being Jewish in defining him as an artist, but it still doesn't justify the demand for a declaration. What will it change? I see it as pointless as making Obama tell everyone he's black.
Attitudes clearly need to evolve because I see a smacking of double standards. I'm led to believe that the American media are just a bunch of sniggering nosy perverts when it comes to anything non-heterosexual. I still hope Adam doesn't make that formal announcement in Rolling Stone, but above all, I hope he can shift attitudes to make them all grow up.
Monday, 1 June 2009
- Adam's other choice during Michael Jackson week was Thriller. (Idolatry1)
- He enjoyed slipping every inch of his love into WLL and was glad the producers didn't catch and censor it. (Idolatry2)
- He almost did War instead of ToMT because it was subversive and controversial. (Idolatry2)
- He didn't know Smokey Robinson was mentoring until after he chose the song. (Idolatry2)
- He was very happy with the arrangement and outfit for RoF, which he considers one of his best vocal performances and thinks Cash would have liked it. He also thinks it would have been better received later on in the competition. (Idolatry3)
- Contrary to rumours, PTFM wasn't his second choice but the theme wasn't defined until after the song was chosen. (Idolatry3)
- He was grateful for having been given the opportunity to do something in the style of ACIGC in the final. (Idolatry5)
- His least favourite performance was BoW, which he thought was shouty and pitchy. (TVGuide1)
- He rehearsed for 45 minutes each with KISS and Queen before the show. (TVGuide3)
- He would've liked to have done Muse's 'Supermassive Black Hole' or 'Starlight' or Prince's 'How Come You Don't Call Me?' on the show. (TVGuide3)
- The kids of Led Zeppelin are fans, which may have helped with the WLL clearance. (OKMagazine)
- Adam's other choice during Michael Jackson week was Thriller. (Idolatry1)
- Adam has admitted to not getting along with someone in the Idol house but won't say who because they have to tour together. I think we all know who that person is. (BestWeekEver)
- He always considered AI to be a platform, not a competition. (Idolatry3) (ElvisDuran)
- He wanted to stir things up on Idol. (Idolatry3)
- He was amused by Kara's Adamgasm after WLL. (Idolatry5)
- The food in the Idol house was really fattening. (RopeRadio)
- He believes he might have opened the door to new types of talent. (ABCNews)
- He thinks the AT&T text-gate was blown out of all proportion. (ABCNews) (TodayShow)
- He was most stressed before the finale. (USMagazine)
- His favourite mentor was Slash, with whom he felt he had the most authentic experience. (People) (Mike&Juilet)
- He tried to find a balance between giving the audience what they wanted and what they didn't know they wanted. (ResultsPressConference)
- He feels the judges helped to get him support (OKMagazine)
- His theatre background helped him in being able to move the audience (Broadway)
- Gene Simmons wasn't keen on Adam wearing his platforms, afraid he would fall over but Adam was experienced in them and wanted to stand tall. (Idolatry5)
- Adam liked wearing the really cool tie on ACIGC. (Idolatry5)
- He thinks the most exciting part of the tour will be his outfits. (USMagazine)
- He's a fan of Alexander McQueen and his style icon is David Bowie. (Regis&Kelly)
- Adam wants to appeal to an international audience and his aim is to entertain people with his music. (Idolatry4)
- He doesn't think the label will stifle his creativity on his album. (Idolatry4)
- He doesn't play any instruments apart from his vocal cords. (RopeRadio)
- He sees himself as more of a solo performer but collaborating with a band. (TVGuide3)
- He thinks AI allowed him to break out so has given him the freedom to straddle different music genres. (Idolatry4) (ABCNews)
- He's not concerned about switching from being a live performer to a recording artist. (ABCNews)
- He didn't expect to appeal to such a broad audience. (ABCNews)
- Being different helped to define him as an artist. (AP)
- Adam was a bit surprised that people felt he was championing so many social and politcal issues at which he felt honoured but a little intimidated. (Idolatry1)
- He did not want the responsibility of representing a cause/movement. (Idolatry1)
- He found it a bit ridiculous for Billy O'Reilly to have censored his photo that he wasn't embarrassed by. (Idolatry1)
- BoW was chosen for being more of a statement and appropriate for the times and current civil rights issues. (Idolatry1)
- He stated that very very soon everyone will have the answers they are looking for. (ElvisDuran)
- He thinks parents should support their children, encouraging them to be creative and participative. (Broadway)
- Adam is also a businessman and wants to buy a house. (Idolatry4)
- He has confirmed that he is Jewish. (BestWeekEver)
- He likes the movie Beetlejuice but his favourite is Velvet Goldmine. (BestWeekEver)
- He has concerns about his weight. (BestWeekEver)
- He thinks he's kind of ridiculous and is self-deprecating. (Idolatry5)
- He is very skilled at recognising people and faces. (Fox13NowUtah) (BestWeekEver)
- He is glad to be responsible for causing 'gasms'. (TVGuide2) (ElvisDuran)
- He has no plans to grow a moustache, as it will be the wrong colour. (TVGuide3)
- He likes the top (bunk) and making double entendres. (USMagazine)
- He thinks the term 'Glambert' is hilarious. (OKMagazine)
- His essential items for the tour are his iPod and a book. (People)
- He loves the Twilight books. (People)
- His favourite ice cream is Dreyer's French Silk. (People)
- He is envious of Kris's ability to fall asleep easily. (TVGuide2)
- He likes to stay in bed, listen to music and hang out. (People)
- Since the age of three, he could make character voices and recite books verbatim. (Momlogic)
- His mother is going to be moving to LA. (Momlogic)
- He is fucking funny. (BestWeekEverPreview)
- As Clay Aiken (AccessHollywood) and Gene Simmons (Idolatry5) have learnt, never start a bitchfight against Adam - you won't win. He's way too sharp.