The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Auckland United, and Rock Star vs NZ Idle 

Well, well, well ... that's Michael Cullen, John Key, Dick Hubbard, George Wood and Bob Harvey in favour of a single unified council for Auckland. Sure would beat the current 4 cities, 3 districts, 1 region crap ... complete with 264 elected representatives and
5200 employees.

I figure 30 councillors and 1 directly-elected mayor might do it. That's still more representation per head of population than Brisbane (1.6 million people - 25 councillors, 1 mayor).

So, what's the hold up then? Get on with it. Auckland United by the next local government elections I say. This is no time to be ponderous ... not because of any rhetoric about a "world-class city-region" (whatever that might mean ... how will we know when we've got there ... it will have nothing to do the the Union world cup I can tell you), but because we all want rates relief. PS. Scrooge - take the bloody GST off rates, now! A rate is neither a good nor a service.

Now, on to Rock Star Super Nova and its poor, illegitimate 3rd-cousin once-removed, NZ Idle. Russell Brown blogged about it yesterday, and took a somewhat critical tone. I don't think the format for Rock Star is perfect ... in particular they struggle to recruit/secure women who are going to be competitive. While the gender ratio starts out evenly (and full credit to the producers for giving it a go), it's clear that women make up most of the weaker singers. A fair reflection of the fact that, well, most rockers are men?

But speaking for myself and the rest of 1970s-bred lower-middle class west auckland, I think it's fantastic to see rock on TV. For so long there has been nothing to appeal to our musical tastes ... the endless, tuneless/overwrought covers of Whitney Houston on the various Idle franchises just don't cut it for us, y'know, dawg? We likes what we likes, and it ain't that.

Dilana ("the freaky South African girl" as RB calls her ... but cleverly listed as a Texan for the purposes of the show) is a notable exception to the general rule of the women being weaker singers. But isn't Storm Large appropriately named ... thanks for the link there pal.

Other things in Super Nova's favour:

Excellent production values (contrast with NZ Idle, which has all but given up on things like, err, lighting and a set)

Skillful, perfectly scripted MC-ing from Brooke, and often insightful and appropriately supportive commentary from Dave N (shameless LA hussies they may be, but less so than the snarky, scathing, self-promoting hacks judging American Idle).

Competitors who can generally (a) sing and (b) play instruments. At various intervals, and without fanfare, the Rock Star singers will do things like, well, play the piano or the guitar. Go figure! They might even be able to read music, I'd wager.

And hey, the "serious guy" doing "Losing My Religion" (that'd be Ryan) on the piano last week did a pretty damn good job I thought, especially with his first adaptation (it was more than a cover). No "ambiguity"? Bah, humbug. In the view of Ms_Red, Ryan turned a "whiney REM piece of crap" into a "good rock song". So there.

In terms of the final three for Supernova, I'm mindful of the need for their probably to be at least one American ... so luckily for us (and for gender representation) Dilani is competing as one (so it seems). She should secure one spot. It will likely be non-American males in the other two spots: Magni from Iceland, and the weird spikey-haired Lukas from Toronto who did the such a crap job of the Hole song last week.

Who will be under pressure tonight: clearly, the crazy Zayra (another Texan - when she "performs", one cannot look away ... it's like watching the proverbial train wreck), the mighty New York midgit Jill, the sneering Josh, and the relatively untalented Australian Toby.

As for NZ Idle ... I cringe if I accidentally catch 12 seconds of it while channel-surfing (we only have 5 channels, so it happens more often than you might think). It reminds me of a high school talent quest, at a particularly untalented school, where the 20 kids who can actually sing are away on a choir tour or something.

Ahem. Dilana, born in Johannesburg, 1972. Which makes her 34, so I'll retract the "girl" part. She's bloody good though.

But when Dilana appears on screen her home is given as "Texas", and no mention is made of her South African background, as best I can recall.

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