I just spent two days newspapering the entire interior of my home to prepare for the coming weeks' onslaught of moments that might cause me to shit myself. You see, we're just weeks away from the conclusion of one of the most unique, vibrant displays of American authorship and Queen covers. Yes'm, that clever spectacle of democracy – FOX's Next Great American Band finals.
Our lovable benefactors at FOX have provided for us the service of deciding the next truly Great American band. Just a heads up, its one of them.
Like its parent show Idol, America will end up deciding the victor of the bandstand, however, America will need some help along the way. Help coming in the form of Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Sheila E., and Goo Goo Dolls front man John Rzeznik, whose name means “butcher” in Polish.
These guys really know how to pull together an image. They know exactly what audiences want. Topping the list, of course, is having a font that looks vaguely like Star Wars and heavy metal played by kids who weren't alive to see it die.
I have never seen Australian Idol, and I assume most Americans haven't either, which is why I was displeased to find that when I googled Ian Dickson, I hadn't found the right one. In earnest, however, I do commend Band's commitment to formula – as seen here, we still need an outsider, albeit a White one (read: Brit, Aussie) to let us know how America is matching up with the rest of the world.
The man's honest though– as he publicly outed his history with alcoholism in a series of interviews last year. At one point saying: “I've done drunk, I want to try sober for a bit.” That kind of commitment to alcohol is just what American television needs: someone who may flirt with sobriety “a bit” but gives us the notification that “he'll be back” joining the fine ranks of Simon Cowell and David Hasselhoff. Ah yes, the days of “sitting on a street corner urinating in your trousers and shadow boxing” will be here soon.
In the 9-week competition, each band covers a well established recording artist each episode. Of the 7 bands so far covered, 4 have been British. I assume this is because of the show's creators' deep devotion to American History, not getting stoned and listening to rad music.
I also assume the highly successful remake of American Idol, Season 1 will lead to more reality contest branch outs in the coming years. For only good can come from publicly displaying a platter of Americans that I can choose from.
To credit this, I give you FOX's next amazing achievement of culture creationism: “The Next Great American Novel” as judged by a drunken Anglo-Saxon, Paula Abdoul clone, and John Rzeznik, whose name once again means “butcher” in Polish.
Round 1 Title: A Self-Aggrandizing Grouping of Extenuating Circumstances
Aussie: “Yoi sentence structure es shiit, I 'wear to God ni dawnt know oos talkin'!”
PA clone: “I loved it.”
The Rzez: “A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio”
Round 2 Title: Bloke
Aussie: “I looov the 'art where he farts and gets the blowjob in the hospital closet'oom!”
PA clone: “I liked it a lot.”
The Rzez: “Well, you used to be a folk singer, now you're just a joke singer / Ain't no smokin' dope singer, swingin from a rope singer .”
Round 3 Title: Oliver Twist: The American Version
Aussie: “Whut the fuck is all this, then?”
PA clone: “I loved it.”
The Rzez: “When everything's made to be broken / I just want you to know who I am.”
But in any case, they have done it. FOX is officially the cultural liaison bridging the distance between the common man and the fine arts. There's a little piece of us in every single goth, prog, indie, smooth jazz, rap, folk Christian rock group; and FOX allows us to see this.
Somewhere in the two-minute clips of less-than-subtle modern Americana, I see a faint mirage of Abe Epperson, awesome lead singer, amateur photographer, and overall great band mate. And those kinds of visions deserve titles like “great” and “idol” - because deep down, these people are America.