mac stereo revolution

October 18, 2006

This is not an ad for mac, or airport, or iTunes.

However today, I am one happy camper. By the simple act of moving the stereo into a cabinet next to the “airport” station and connecting stereo to airport we have totally revolutionised our music listening. The sounds now coming out are simply fabulous and I hardly recognise my music, which I was previously playing through tinny iBook speakers.

So now I’m looking forward to loading all the good songs from my CD collection onto trusty iBook and putting the actual CDs in the garage. I can then have fun organising them into playlists and never have to listen to a song I don’t like. I feel there will be a bit of purchasing going on too!

The downside of this is that many songs that don’t initially appeal will get ignored and banished to the garage forever. I can see this whole situation is a bit sad for anyone who owns a CD shop because I’m sure their outlook is now pretty grim.


Certain things became very clear tonight. They are (in no particular order)

1. Damien is really a leprechaun
2. Lisa is crap. Enough pussy footing around “she’s only 16” or “she doesn’t have her guitar” I am so tired of all the EXCUSES. She’s crap already.
3. Jessica has the most beautiful and well-developed voice in the competition (and she’s only 16 too)
4. Bobby is a genius. What was that? Disco turned into the Love Boat on acid. It was amazing, Bobby. I love the way he has taken full advantage of all the recording facilities and great musicians at his disposal to be fuel for his creativity.
5. Dean is not just a pretty face after all. He’s a clever boy with the makings of true professionalism and a tightly honed athlete into the bargain.

As to the others I don’t have a lot to say. No big deal for them. It looked like being a truly awful night until Dean got on the stage, followed by Bobby and Jessica – the last 3 the only ones worth seeing tonight.

What’s going on here? There was a definite 80s vibe tonight, considering it was a Number 1 show and yet again I feel like I’m back at a high school dance. All these young folks are singing songs they must have been bopping to in their cribs. Mind you my pre-toddlers have been showing great rhythm lately (dance and maraca) so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. I digress…

Klancie (Shania Twain, I’m Outta Here) really bummed out. She looked awful. I believe whoever wrote the comment here about the Idol vocal coaches. They cranked her way down in the key and made it sound dull. And the movement coaches have not done her any favours either. She seems to have stopped moving completely, except for some weird head thrashing manoever near the end. That’s sad after some high energy hip-thrusting performances in previous weeks. Let the poor girl just do her thing, people! Mark was right, she is a dag, but not as much as Mark is.

What’s interesting about Idol is that he judges pick on their own flaws in the contestants. Kyle is constantly on about fat people and Mark has accused others of being daggy more than once. I think there’s something about that for us all to take home and think about. Marcia doesn’t make criticisms, maybe because she’s perfect or maybe it’s the script.

Damien sang Tomorrow Never Comes (Garth Brooks) which was lovely and vocally beautiful and perfect yadda yadda. Nevertheless there isn’t much to say. Damien does lack something, besides not particularly ranking in the sex god stakes I can’t quite put my finger on what’s missing. But he’s such a lovely guy he deserves something good to happen to his music career.

Lavina sang Don’t leave me this way (Thelma Houston, but also done by Communards). She did a very nice opening with some very sweet notes, I haven’t heard the sweet notes from her so much before. Then she jigged it up at the end and she really can’t be faulted at all. She moves and sings like a cool black diva. The judges are still pushing the “lack of emotional connection” line for her, I think she is warming up and coming out emotionally.

Chris Murphy committed the serious crime of picking a Phil Collins song (Against All Odds). I did think the song brought out some nice tones in his voice, even though I’m not actually admitting that anything positive comes out of a Phil Collins song. I just don’t like to look at Chris. Sorry, I sound like Kyle now, in fact I sound worse than Kyle. I’m still waiting for someone to reveal that Chris is actually a drug user or wife beater – can I say these things on the internet or will I be liable?

Dean’s song was Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris. Dean is really Mr Perfect – he’s got a lovely personality, drool-worthy looks, and he’s a God fearing family man into the bargain. What more could anyone want. Is this Perfect Match? For some reason his song choices seem kind of nondescript but I suspect that’s an age factor. I predict Dean will be married some time in the next 2 years especially if he’s “that” kind of Christian.

Mutto – again I loved Mutto and disagreed with the judges. The 5 o’clock shadow looks so great on him. I liked his song (The Reason by Hoobastank) and I could somehow sense it was consistent with his experience of life. He seems like everybody’s best friend, or like the guy you are friends with but secretly have a crush on. I really hope he stays in the competition.

Jessica, as Andrew said “very aptly” sang Beautiful, Christina Aguilera. Today we caught a glimpse of the amazing woman that Jessica is going to become, she will be gracious, shining compassionate and spectacular. The world should watch out for Jessica. I really hope she finds a good career direction for her immense talents and I really hope she isn’t peaking too early.

Bobby did a Christopher Cross, Arthur’s Theme, which I was really enjoying. I did feel the Bobby magic this week and after a really pleasant time floating around the stratosphere with him I was brought rudely down to earth by the judges hectoring. “What’s wrong, Bobby?” they whined “Is there something wrong with your personal life?” I’m sure Bobby really wants to discuss his personal issues with you Kyle, NOT! I did not see eye to eye with those judges at all on this.

Ricky sang Hard to Say I’m Sorry (Chicago), quite sappy but nice, you know the one… “After all that we’ve been through, I will make it up to you”. Again I appreciated the beautiful tones in his voice in the slow bits, I liked the reminiscent feeling I get from an 80s number. I thought Mark was too harsh and I think Ricky is a serious contender, he could make the top 5 at least, despite the fact he was bottom 3 last week. I have a feeling the public haven’t embraced Ricky yet because he was too much “the R&B guy”

Lisa did a very creditable performance of 1000 Miles (Vanessa Carlton). Very appropriate song for a teenager. Lisa is a case of no publicity is bad publicity. She has attracted loads of criticism over the past few weeks, but this is better than being a contestant no one talks about. Everyone has an opinion about Lisa, either she should be booted or she’s brilliant. Poor girl just came into the spotlight a bit too soon. There’s no question she has a pretty voice and it’s quite original (except to Missy Higgins it’s not). I don’t think anyone should expect much stage movement from Lisa, let’s just accept that’s not her thing, after Idol the guitar will be back and that is totally fine with me.

In terms of singing Damien, Lavina and Jessica are the outstanding performances tonight, and those 3 are consistent that way. Unfortunately we know the competition isn’t just about singing. Lavina finds it hard to open up emotionally, which I can relate to and Damien’s poor old physical body lets him down. Jessica is the one tonight.

An aside about TV programming. How is it that after a nice cosy evening with my Idol friends in the living room I can be assaulted by some horrific violent thing straight afterwards. Talk about a mood killer. Should we tell the station that men in black balaclavas kidnapping babies are unnecessary on Idol nights??

Here’s this weeks list (best to worst) based on who I like, not who I think the public likes:


I predict Klancie will go.

Tonight’s final is juicy and tasty like a buffet smorgasbord meal… This rock show is great for the non-rock performers because it has rocked some of them right out of their comfort zone into stardom. And it’s starting to differentiate the true stars, Jessica and Ricky were huge standouts, with Damien and Reigan close behind.

Ricky, what a champ! I love Ricky now that he’s not doing R&B – great voice, great look, great charisma – huge talent. I am not a huge rock fan but he’s converted me tonight to a Ricky fan. I quite liked the song, Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. The judges didn’t have a lot to say cos it was all good.

Lisa (Dancing with Myself – The Donnas), again bears out what I’ve said originally. That she is a beautiful young thing with a lovely voice and a “special aura”. But she was almost accidentally good: a professional and performer she isn’t. Sorry. Unfortunately the girl doesn’t know how to move, at all. I really doubt she has the maturity to learn and grow enough for this competition. I sound like a mean old auntie, especially since at the age of 16 I wouldn’t have been able to utter a peep on a stage. Never mind, give the girl a few years.

Mutto, again I love Mutto. When I first heard the name I did not predict I would like such a person, but he’s a great guy. Even stood up for Lisa when the judges compared her unfavourably to him. I like Mutto because he somehow evokes the aura of the 80’s for me – even though it wasn’t an 80’s song (Cold Play, Clocks). I feel like I’m back at a high school dance, and that is wonderful. Go Mutto.

Klancie is supposedly singing rock, but it just sounds like country to me (Georgia Satellites’ Keep Your Hands To Yourself). This is a point against her, unfortunately. I want my Idol to be versatile (like Ricky) and surprise me occasionally. If Klancie is going to do a country version of everything I will get bored. I can’t believe Kyle liked it, but I’m agreeing with Mark who says Klancie is from a bygone era. Having said all this, I still love Klancie’s personality and giggly-ness.

Bobby is unlikely to win Australian Idol, because he’s just that little bit too weird. That’s not to say that Bobby might have a great career if he becomes very brilliant at the songwriting, which is entirely on the cards. He has a certain authority on the stage. The song, Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon) did nothing for me. Mark says “don’t change”, I don’t think Bobby is at risk of changing at all. The other judges and probably the audience love Bobby more than I do.

Reigan is beautiful in so many ways. She did an electrifying and magnetising performance doing the heavy rock thing (Karnivool, Themata), which is probably not her native territory, but she rocks! Unfortunately she really missed that note at the end and it was awful.The judges are down on her song choice, but I say good on her for choosing interesting stuff. I have loved every song she’s done, it shows she is musically more sophisticated than the others. I guess what the judges are getting at is the public is not as sophsticated as her. I am still loving Reigan but actually I agree with Mark, she ought to do what she loves but go harder, she is missing the mark somehow. We are yet to see her really use her potential.

Damien did “Creep” (Radiohead) which was an excellent song choice. He really sang it like a tease, starting off soft and we were begging him to punch it out, which he did, finally but not enough. More big voice from Damien needed. He’s a clever guy and a nice guy. Agreed with Mark about the brilliance of the voice. Agreed with Kyle about the clothes.

Jessica (Kelly Clarkson, Walk Away) absolutely aced it. I cannot believe this girl is so young, she’s such a pro. It was indeed “dynamite” as per Marcia. She moves well and her voice is really brilliant. Go Jessica, no criticism. Again it shows (like Ricky) how a true artist will grow when challenged with different material and expanding the territory. What a gal.

Chris is very comfortable with rock (The Darkness’ Is It Just Me?). But I still don’t really like him, ever since he made a kind of snide comment about Bobby last week. Also I’m a little bored of him. He does look an awful lot like Meatloaf. The judges are more impressed than me tonight, I don’t honestly think he’s as great as they say, he’s just ho hum.

Lavina (Evanescence, Bring Me To Life) as usual was really impressive vocally and did a great performance, but that’s what it felt like, a performance. There’s something missing. I think her problem is that she is a professional musician, and perhaps she’s been doing it too long to have the absolute excitement and enthusiasm of some of the younger ones. I agree with Mark it was like musical theatre.

Dean (Fuel, Shimmer) was pretty underwhelming today. He seemed to do a rather feeble performance, missing notes and looking extraordinarily cute of course. I don’t think he has what it takes. Mark pointed out the pitch issue and Marcia disagreed with him and then pointed out the pitch issue. Kyle summed it up with “you need to take the vocal seriously, the rest of it is great”.

Today’s hierarchy (best to worst)
– Jessica
– Ricky
– Damien
– Reigan
– Mutto
– Lavina
– Klancie
– Bobby
– Dean
– Chris
– Lisa

Repeat to self, 5 times. I will not watch verdict shows, I will not watch verdict shows… It’s a bit like giving up smoking; if someone told me my children had a greater risk of illness or death because of the shows, I would never watch them. Otherwise it’s difficult. Nothing happens in these shows. They are stupid, they employ ridiculous ham-fisted “suspense” strategies that mean nothing! So why am I watching? Probably because I don’t have anything better to do. On the plus side, we finally got rid of the gormless Joseph, thank the Lord.

Speaking of the Lord. It’s no secret that Christians are over-represented in Idol. Why is this, do we think? I have a couple of theories. One is, many of them go to loony charismatic churches where groovy music is a huge focus and singers are stars. Therefore it’s no surprise that big performers will arise from there. That’s the cynical interpretation. The spiritual interpretation goes something like this. God is the creator and music is God-given. How He chooses to communicate his music is up to Him, and not limited to Christians ; however being a Christian is a good way to be standing in the right queue for the musical gifts. Personally, this is what I believe, even though I run the risk of being a loony Jesus-freak. The third and moderate view is that church (especially happening Southern gospel choirs) is a training ground for many singers, and these even include the likes of Whitney, Elvis and Aretha. Go Mutto, Bobby, Dean, Lavina and anyone else who thanked God.

Dean’s vocal performance seemed pretty ordinary, at best, to me. There was a lot of cheering and audience hoo-hah, and the judges danced to the sounds of cash registers clinking. But based on tonight only, he was nothing more than a goodlooking guy.

Joseph delivered a fairly naff little number in wobbly vocal style. He had a little gleam in his eye, but frankly it looked like he was casting a glance at cousin Mal in the audience and suppressing a giggle. Actually it was more than a naff little number, it was one of my least favourite songs ever. Judges were again far too kind – what’s wrong here? I had to say “yay Kyle” at least he’s honest and gave constructive criticism rather than platitudes. We really need to lose Joseph.

Jessica, finally a beautiful voice to listen to. However she bombed out in the song choice again. This girl is so talented, she could give a fantastic performance if only she chose a good song. Even the songs she sang in the intro sounded a lot better than this average bland number. However – song choice much improved on last week, she’s looking great, performing well – all this in a 17 year old, I’m sure the future is bright for young Jess.

Damien is melodious and mellifluous. He is doing a unique version of U2’s With or Without You – great song. He may be overdoing the falsetto a bit. Just a tad. But there’s not really a lot of criticism of Damien, he’s really lovely to listen to. Mark was a bit harsh – and I congratulate James and Andrew for making fun of him!

I have to say, though it may sound patronising or whatever – I am glad Ricky is in. I think Australian idol ought to be about guys like Ricky who work in a factory and play footie. People who might not get their opportunities handed to them. As to the performance: I didn’t like Ricky’s song choice, but that’s just personal taste I suppose. Great technique, good voice blah. Mark’s comments were spot on; too much R&B, he needs to diversify a bit.

Lisa performed again in exactly the same way as before. It’s the beautiful-fragile-wide eyed-waif thing which is already getting old as far as I’m concerned. She’s just too cute for her own good and doesn’t seem to have enough maturity or professionalism to develop enough for this show. It seems as though she just stumbled into the spotlight doing something which was accidentally good, but that’s the only thing she can do. Oh, I’m such a big harsh meanie when it comes to poor Lisa, stone me.

I love the way Lavina comes from a gospel background, I think there’s really something in that, true greatness can come from a gospel origin. I liked her cutie costume and her smooth delivery. I didn’t like the song that much but she did it well, great voice Lavina.

Great shirt Chris! Chris has got a really lovely natural husky round voice. Soo easy to listen to and he chose a lovely song. Nothing to criticise, loved him. Mark’s comments were insightful – needs to get out of the comfort zone like Ricky.

Thundering round of applause from me for Klancie. Love her gorgeous voice, and maybe I’m a secret country music fan. She’s one of my faves, I love her honest enthusiasm and yes she is powerful. Kyle was right, she brings happiness.

Mutto, I loved your song and it took me back to those school dances. Dare to Bare the Hair. Why not, indeed and it was a good decision as it reveals he is quite good looking. I don’t agree with Kyle at all on the fashion thing, he picked on the hair and totally failed to pick up on the horrible under-lip-beard thing. But I digress. Mutto was great! He is handsome, charismatic and has a really resonant moody powerful voice. I like his voice best of the males.

Reigan, I looked forward to seeing you tonight. I was so glad she chose that song from George and indeed she did look incredible. However Mark was right, she didn’t quite do the song justice and I speak as a huge fan of Katie Noonan. I still love you Reigan.

Quote from Bobby “You can’t really hurt a good song, just get out of the way of it and let it do it’s thing” I like that. Bobby is great, original an artist as Mark says. Didn’t particularly like how the voice sounded though, but that’s just me.

I’m not going to vote, but instead I will do a ranking each week. Here’s today’s ranking:


After writing all this stuff on my blog about Australian Idol, I finally discover that someone is already doing what I’m trying to do here, only better. And even worse, its done as part of the official website. Oh well, never mind. For anyone who wants a truly amusing commentary on Idol, try

As much as I hate to admit it, I watched yesterday’s “nothing show” (Australian Idol) and enjoyed it immensely. I have to say these shows do serve a purpose, they allow the viewer to feel they are “getting to know” the contestants. Like, I already feel that Mutto and me are great mates – but maybe that’s just because he’s a guy who has a lot of mates.

Three of my faves got in yesterday and the only one I would change was Chris Graffiti – I would have loved to see him in because he is, as Kyle said “a real muso” and I’m sure he would come up with some interesting and funky tunes. Instead, unfortunately we got Ricky Muscat – blah.

I was thrilled to see Klancie get through, I love her voice and she is just so happy to be there she is improving exponentially every time she sings.

I think Idol does a really great job of creating a big happy family up there on the stage and makes the viewer feel a part of it. Of course most happy families don’t eliminate one of their members every week – but that’s a different story!

Idol has lost some of its intensity now that we’re back to weekly shows. The addicts among us have gone into withdrawal. Last week, when it was on every day someone compared it to a sporting event like the tennis. The wildcard show was enjoyable but not super-emotional like last week. I notice with disappointment that 6 out of 8 wild cards are boys, when I thought the girls were hugely better than the boys in general. This is probably why I’m not over-thrilled this week.

Chris M – well he’s got a natural good voice, but I really don’t like the look (like a boring slightly grotty guy who’s been sitting out the back of the pub a few hours too long) The judges fell all over him, but I think they might have been a bit over the top. I’d like to see him do a variety of material – which I’m sure he’d do well, and try to vary his look a little bit.

Nathaniel – he’s got a lovely voice and looked great in the white suit. He seems to be improving, but some pitch problems.

Amanda – was great at what she does. She does the rock thing very well and is sexy chica. I’m just not into the rock thing. Kyle’s comment “It reeks of try hard” may have some validity.

Mutto – well, he’s growing on me. I can definitely see Mutto’s personality coming out and I’d be pretty glad to see more of him. It was some nice echoey notes with his song today.

Chris G – he’s pretty cute in a goofy sort of way. Did a great job on a Stevie Wonder song, which couldn’t have been easy, so he’s musically good. Again I’d be glad to see more of him too.

Ricky – I’m not a huge fan of Ricky, there’s just something about his face I don’t like. I’m not big on rap. Vocally he’s pretty good though, I have to admit.

Klancie – she’s my favourite for tonight. I like her personality, she seems very honest and I do like a country voice. She looked great and is definitely improving.

Brendan – was kind of unconvincing and average. But I have to admit (sorry to Brendan) I was quite preoccupied tonight while he was singing! So much for the reportage.

My personal picks (who I would like to get in, rather than who I predict will get in) are Chris G, Klancie, Mutto and Chris M. Note I have picked two “rock” guys even though I am not into rock. The easy listening guys didn’t quite match up.

and the wildcards are…

September 1, 2006

Now I remember what it was about Australian Idol that I found really irritating. It’s the nothing show! They insist on putting on these dreadful filler shows where nothing happens, we are subjected to very awkward and boring suspense tactics while winners are announced painfully slowly. It’s all about ratings and ads of course. We could do without these shows, but what I hate most about them is that they suck me in! I can’t help watching this stupid guff.

So here are the wildcards – check them out on the official page (in links section)

Chris Murphy
Nathaniel Willemse
Amanda Streete
Chris Graffiti
Ricky Muscat
Brendan Boney

The judges have done a better job of picking than the Australian public, but who’s surprised there. I was really glad to see Chris Murphy and Klancie the country girl, and quite glad to see Chris Graffiti because I think there’s a lot of potential in there.

I noticed tonight the judges are getting a tad unruly and don’t seem to be cooperating with the process as much as they used to. I suspect some conflict between the management and the judges in the way the show is run.

As to Lisa, the unadulterated worship of this innocent girl continues. I watched her song again a couple of times to see if I missed anything. The girl is beautiful with that fragile quality, there’s no doubt and she’s got a lovely voice, she’s a real musician with original interpretation. There wasn’t a lot of movement and I’m just not sure she’s really a performer. I loved what she did but then again I’ve seen a lot of similar artists at folk festivals. Maybe these judges have never been to Woodford, hehe.