Adam Lambert, 21st century rock star

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You might have seen Adam sing Change is Gonna Come on American Idol. But casual fans probably don’t know that he first sang that song exactly 6 years ago. On 12/15/04 he made his debut solo performance for the Zodiac show at the Music Box in LA and blew people’s minds with his makeup and his outfit, and oh yeah, that VOICE! He sang it with the depth of emotion of someone who was feeling every last syllable of the lyrics. It was personal. Raw. Angry. Challenging. Powerful.

But it wasn’t enough to launch a full blown career as a pop star. As he explains in video, oh, there were obstacles. So he made his way to American Idol to put himself on a show that would be the platform he needed. And the most of it in a way no other artist on the show has. He proved winning is not everything. The producers asked him to sing Change is Gonna Come on the finale. No outrageous outfit. No sparkly makeup. Just Adam and his heart and his voice. He had already blown people’s minds by that point. But this more elegant, understated Adam knew he was on the precipice of his achieving his dream. So again, he squeezed every ounce out of the song. Not as angry. Not as raw. But, still powerful & this time, hopeful.

Last night, as he wrapped up the next to the last of his Glamnation World Tour concerts, he sang it again. This time as a celebration of those six years and what change really has happened for him. But also now taking on a role he was once reluctant to take – that of an activist. A year into this rock star experience and he sees the power that his voice – speaking & singing – can have for people. And he’s starting to me more comfortable about using it. On the same day that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal passed in Congress – closer than we’ve ever been to abolishing it – Adam speaks of the more universal meaning to this song for our generation. And after singing about Change – he has a little fun with another old school rock song.

Ladies and gentlemen, rock & roll 2010 style. Some activism, some cursing, and a whole whole whole lotta soul.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Adam Lambert didn’t have to win American Idol – clearing up a rumor.

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(This blog will return to regularly scheduled programming next week. Need to continue the brain dump from the last two weeks)

Clearing up what I call the BIGGEST misconception about American Idol. I heard this while talking to fans at all three shows this week and while I know my little barely visited blog wont stop this rumor from continuing, I have to try!

Here’s the deal: As soon as you make it to the round of 13 (or 12, or 14 or however AI wants to do it that season) – you are automatically under a preliminary recording contract with them. Any song you perform as a contestant on the show will also have an accompanying studio version released on iTunes so you are technically at that moment a recording artist. The parent company (19 Entertainment) then holds a ‘right of first refusal’ on any post Idol records. So, it does not matter whether you come in 10th or 1st – 19E becomes your management company and WILL sign you to a record deal IF they think you are good enough. The only one who they HAVE to give a deal to is the winner. The way it worked out in Season 8 was that the official recording deals with Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta were formally announced pretty much as soon as the show ended. That’s your #2 and #4 contestants. Kris Allen – who won – did not have a deal announced until after them. Of course it was a given for him, but 19E has to decide which of their labels they want the artist to be under. They knew well into the show where they wanted Adam and Allison to be and got to work on it early. Plus, regardless of winning or not, Adam had such a passionate group of fans that any smart production company would start to bank on that popularity right out of the gate. Once the show is over, it is then up to the artist to make something of the opportunity they have been given.

So – stop saying (in any year) – that “it’s better if he/she doesn’t win because then they aren’t tied to American Idol!” because that is BUNK! First of all – any one of those singers would KILL to be ‘tied to American Idol’ because that is your publicity making machine. Secondly, oh yes they ARE tied! Adam has stated in dozens and dozens of post Idol interviews that he was given plenty of room to roam creatively on his album. Whatever misconception people have about 19e, I truly don’t understand because there is no evidence to support the statement that it is so awful to be ‘tied’ to them. Was it a Kelly Clarkson thing? Maybe, but that was season 1 which was, at this point, ages ago. I certainly don’t hear Carrie Underwood complaining about 19e!! Wouldn’t be able to hear her past all those grammy’s anyway 🙂

And if you don’t believe me that Adam and Kris have the same deal – well, here, listen to HIM tell you! (and yeah, I shake my head at the dj who works in the business repeating the same damn misconception. I hope he was just playing dumb to lead into this topic because otherwise he just looks really…dumb!):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Oh – and since this interview also includes the Dusty Madrid tale and since Adam did just tweet a pic from Vegas – here’s the infamous Dusty Madrid photo:

Dusty Madrid (Lambert)

Enough Ranting – here’s some sunshine for you

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Before I lose my status as Little Miss Sunshine, here are a few things from the last couple of weeks that made me smile:

  • Spring has sprung! It’s warm enough to open windows and with the star jasmine in full bloom the whole house ends up smelling just fabulous! Stepping into the backyard to water the plants or re-fill the bottomless pit that is the bird feeder is an olfactory version of heaven right now.
  • SportsBoy & I did enjoy being around our old pop warner friends on Saturday. We are particularly happy that we do *not* have to participate in any of the usual team formation drama. He knows exactly where he will be next fall & I am not responsible for voting on coaches or rosters. Yay!!
  • Less than 30 days (April 13th) to Glee!!!
  • New Saturday trainer. I was scared about the switch. I was so happy & comfortable with the previous guy & my two previous classes last year with the new guy were *intense* and I had not been able to crack through his crusty exterior. He’s still a ton harder than the previous guy, but I’ve now seen his softer side and gotten his sense of humor to spring out so I am at least having fun while I feel like my lungs are going to burst. Seriously – if you live in San Diego you cannot beat this deal! $10 per one hour workout with a group that hovers between 5-10 other people. I know a few people who still belong to a gym, but come and train with us at least one class per week (which is all I have time to do).  And yes, I said it was tough – BUT – they also do a great job catering to different abilities. I’ve been at it for almost a year now so I deserve some ass kicking. They will gladly assist with a gentle transition from couch potato status. Contact them here. You will NOT regret it. And if you come to the Saturday class you can watch me trip over myself & utterly fail at jump rope.
  • New high schools that opened in the past 10 years make me very happy. We went last night for the first mandatory meeting for incoming freshman registration at SB’s school of choice. Which also happens to be where his brother went 11 years ago. Back then, I remember the gym being overflowing with people. Jammed to the rafters, shoulder to shoulder on the benches, standing in all available areas. I think the incoming freshman class was well over 1000. Last night, the gym was quite comfortably *maybe* 2/3 full. The principal said the incoming class would probably land at around 600-650. Meanwhile, instead of portable buildings, there is now a beautiful new two story building of classrooms. Since 2000, one public high school and one private have opened in the area. Which makes this current version seem so much smaller & easier to navigate. That, and everything being on the internet!  All forms are online, the counselors have a great web site & are easily accessible via email. Night & day for a parent I tell ya!
  • I actually sat through all of American Idol last night AND a couple of the gals made me sit up and pay attention and a couple others were quite pleasant. And no one completely stunk! My favorites are Siobhan & Crystal. The girls really should come out ahead this season. No guy was a stand out in my eyes at all. *Maybe* 16 year old Aaron who has a very nice voice. But those two girls really owned the stage & were original with really strong vocals. I’m not invested enough to care who gets the boot, but I may at least watch the performances after they record on the DVR.
  • Finally – two authors I’ve enjoyed. Robert Ludlum who I know is well known for his International Espionage type novels. Well written, not too complicated that you lose track of things as they twist around and an overall sense that the hero is firmly in control. I like that. I mean, in general you KNOW the good guys will prevail, but I like that it’s pretty clear in Ludlum’s books that they are never totally in the dark out of control. Just my preference. A pleasant surprise has been Janet Evanovich. I’m reading out of order since this is book #6 in the Stephanie Plum series (I do have #7 to read right after) but this is the first of her books I am picking up. I *will* go back and read the others! This girl has me laughing out loud constantly! Stephanie is seriously the funniest heroine I’ve ever met in a book. I’m not even done & I know I will read all the rest next year. If you haven’t already picked up one of her books – do it now. It will be nothing but snort out loud fun, I promise.

Book 11 of 52 – Back in the saddle again!

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Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008 Why Obama Won: The Making of a President 2008 by Greg Mitchell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A pretty cool compilation of editorials written during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Gives a fascinating glimpse into the reactions of the political right and left leaning media to the unfolding events. Naturally the articles on Sarah Palin are the best 🙂 Watching the evolution of some of the conservative journalists switch from support to “what the hell was John McCain thinking?” is pretty fun.

Mitchell also tracked newspaper endorsements throughout the year and provides some stats from prior elections when Editor & Publisher kept count and then how the results panned out comparatively.

Of course, I enjoyed it because I am a total geek for these things, but it is pretty dry and certainly not for just anyone to read.

View all my reviews >>

No, it didn’t take me 3 weeks to read this book 🙂 It DID take me three weeks to write a review! However, I do admit to falling of the reading wagon for a bit thanks to the Olympics and then the writing I had to do. Also, this was my last Obama book, I promise! I’m going to be hitting the fiction pretty heavy for awhile since that’s the bulk of the pile on the dresser. Do you have any idea how hard it is to ignore new books that come out though? I mean, just flat out ignore them? Even when I wasn’t reading regularly, I would buy interesting books as they came out – that’s why the pile got so high originally. Now with Jacqueline’s books though – I have to shut down ANY new acquisitions. That’s hard! I’m trying to at least mark them on my To Read list on Goodreads so I don’t forget about anything I know I would enjoy for next year.

Seems weird to be March & I’m not posting at least something now & then about American Idol eh? Is anyone watching it? I tried. I really did. Waited until they were live in Hollywood with the top 24 and it was AWFUL!! I love Ellen, but she’s no Paula. Paula brought the crazy man. You just *never* knew what she would say, how loopy she would be,  what she would wear, or what kind of spat she and Simon would get into. It was unpredictable & fun and saved the show if the contestants were bad. And really – man, how GOOD did we have it last year with the contestants? Not just Adam, but really that whole top 10 is better than anyone on there this year!! Jeebus, you know Michael Sarver is looking at this group thinking “Dammit! I could take any of them with one vocal chord tied behind my back!” Let’s be real – the only reason to tune in any further is simply to make fun of them & to pass the time until Glee returns. With that, I *might* give it one more shot next week. Simply FOR the mocking factor. We’ll see. All depends on how much I am into whatever book I’m reading really.

Meanwhile, can someone please explain to me why Sportsboy & are spending tomorrow at Pop Warner football registration?? As volunteers?? I mean, besides that we’re nuts and gluttons for punishment and such. Ah hell, SB isn’t even being *dragged* there for duty – he WANTS to go! As soon as I mentioned that I had offered to fill in for the new treasurer who cannot be there tomorrow he started trying to figure out how he could at least drop by for a bit with me (he’s supposed to be with his dad this weekend). THEN we both remembered that he is with me tomorrow since his dad had to go out of town & also that the wrestling is now on Sundays so he’s free tomorrow to help me ALL DAY. Turns out he wants to see all the people who will be there. His coaches, old teammates, heck even some of the Board members he got to know from previous days he’s helped out. Turns out – I do to! So yeah, it’s a little bit crazy, but we are both excited about being around the football peeps again.

If I do any more than a day here or there though, please feel free to reach through your monitor and smack me 🙂

What I loved about 2009

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Ah yes, the dreaded end of year list. Hey, be happy I’m only doing end of year, not DECADE – gawd, those are already gnawing at my sanity!

Also, since I am totally a Power Of Positive Thinking (POPT forever!) kind of gal, and because I already did my airing of grievances, well this is just stuff I love from ’09. I knows there’s a lot of reason to say SUCKIT09! but sometimes you just gotta focus on the bright spots.

And it’s not obvious stuff like my son’s entire football season (sob) STOP IT FOR CHRISSAKES! (oh fine), or my dream come true trip to Washington DC, or getting to meet so many awesome people in Pittsburgh (did I mention Coach Gruden in all that stuff? Yeah, I got to shake hands with the man who perfected The Scowl). No no, I shall avoid all of those personal things & obviously heart filling things like family & boyfriends blah blah blah. You all know they rock already.

I’m thinking today of all the things that ’09 provided that will keep me smiling, laughing, dancing, singing on into 2010. Not one time moments, but things that have brought and will continue to bring me joy no matter what else is going on.

In no particular order…ok, I’m going alpha since that’s how the pics are stored:

Adam Lambert – whether it be the first version we met on American Idol:

American Idol Adam

Or the current glammed up Glittery Alien Adam:

Glittery Alien from the Planet Fierce Adam

I’ve loved everything he has done. His For Your Entertainment CD is constantly being played in my car. SportsBoy walks around humming tunes from it all the time 🙂 I’ve seen every tv appearance and performance and this man is just a musical, entertainment monster who I know will keep me smiling and dancing for years. It is rather fitting that the opening song on his CD is called Music Again and the chorus is “You make me want to listen to music again” Oh yes, Adam, you did indeed do that. For the first time ever I have an itunes account and I’m exploring more new artists (such as Lady Gaga & Kings of Leon) based on Adam’s tweets and I feel like a whole new world of music has been opened up to me.

GLEE!!

The single Best New TV Show of the year hands down!! It’s not just me, friends from all walks of life are watching this show and loving it. Of course I see a connection between the rise of Glee just after Adam walked onto the AI stage. A product of years of Glee Club and youth theater productions himself, it was just perfect that the show debuted right after his season of Idol. He is the ultimate Glee Club success story. And he MUST appear on this show!! Although, I must say, that the cast is just brilliant as it is.

The only one I knew really well previously was Jane Lynch – and lord knows her character was an instant classic. I think by now we all know how Sue C’s it! But the rest are all legitimate Broadway level stars (many coming straight from Broadway to Glee). The covers of the songs they have done are just fantastic revivals of some classic songs. Shoot, some are right from this year! I used my itunes gift cards from Christmas to download the two volumes of songs and I am LOVING them! The Musical genre is BACK and I am dancing and singing and laughing (and sometimes crying) with these characters. I sure hope they keep up the high level of work in Season 2. Which starts in April. Because of that damn American Idol show and haven’t I already mentioned that they can just stop that already because I already HAVE my ultimate Idol?

iPhone

You don’t need another picture of that. But my little orange and black buddy is my constant companion. It carries the music of the two prior honorees, pictures, and access to all my social media that keeps me connected to all of you guys. During the week unless I really do have work to do at home, I don’t even open my laptop anymore and I love it. It’s made my life more relaxed just having it around. While I should not be spending money on anything extra, this one was worth it Big Time.

Twitter (and Facebook)

While I was on these back in ’07, it was ’09 that saw the explosion amongst the general (non geek) population. Thanks to Facebook I was able to see a high school buddy twice this year. My experiences in Pittsburgh were enhance because I felt less nervous around some of the public figures since I follow them or have them as friends. The rise of Social Media sites such as these has made the world even smaller still. I’ve maintained closer connections with far away friends than I could have EVER done via phone or snail mail or even email! No matter what your religious beliefs or non beliefs may be, it’s a very warm fuzzy feeling knowing that if needed, I could enlist the power of prayers,  good vibrations & healing thoughts from literally hundreds of people should *anything* go sideways in my life.

Working out

Thanks to my friend Asa (need a Swedish keyboard to do this properly, but that’s pronounced Oh-sah) who invited me to her 40th birthday party in April, I’ve gotten myself into the best shape of my life. Sitting here on the precipice of 45 & I gotta say I’ve got some pretty nice abs 🙂 I’m sorry if it sounds braggy, but I have to sing out the praises of these workouts. Shoot, I gave up getting my nails done in order to pay for them! My nails gals!! You old timers know – I’ve been getting those done forever and then some, right? No more. At least once a week and maybe twice I go to the group sessions and sweat my ass off. You all know that I didn’t make it through that first session. Had to sit down & stop the room from spinning. But now? Well last night, class was canceled but I was ready to move so I did a home version of their exercises and I damn well kicked my own ass with it! 4 lb hand weights turned into 10 here at home. I’m regularly using 12 at the gym and sometimes 15.  15?! That’s nuts!! But I feel noticeably stronger in my upper body – my arms always were my weak spot. I’ve got more aerobic stamina (tho still not great with running) and my energy levels are way more steady overall throughout the day and I sleep like a rock at night. I also don’t feel like I *need* 8 hours every night. 6 or 7 does just fine I think because I am sleeping more deeply overall so I’m rejuvenated more easily.  Shocking, I know, but I’ve stayed up past 10pm quite a bit with no ill effects!

So there you go – a few of my favorite things from 2009 which thankfully will NOT go away in 2010. They better not, because I need them ALL to keep the joy flowing and the sanity in check 🙂

American Idol San Diego tour stop review

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Purse at pre-concert dinner

Purse at pre-concert dinner

Other side of The Purse - I want one!

Other side of The Purse - I want one!

Kris Allen signing

Kris Allen signing

Adam after he signed my picture and stopping to listen to Jan's question

Adam after he signed my picture and stopping to listen to Jan's question

And now, here’s is a VERY LONG review of the concert last night which is currently also posted at Mjsblog. I sat down to write this when I got home after midnight so that I wouldn’t forget anything. I’ll have to put most below the fold since I really do kind of go on and on!

Hi, my name is Christina and I’m a 44 year old mother of two boys and Adam Lambert can turn me into a puddle of goo through the TV. So you can imagine what happened when I saw him perform live, AND, had him look in my eyes and smile at me as he signed a photo after the show. I shall try to reform myself to do a proper write up. Continue reading

Adam Lambert made me clean my room!

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Seriously.

You see, he and Kris were sitting in for Ryan Seacrest for the American Top 40 radio show this weekend. In San Diego that gets broadcast from 8-12 on Sunday mornings. So I stayed up in my room with the alarm clock radio and listened while reading the paper and having breakfast. My plan was to take the portable radio over to SportsBoy’s room and tackle that mess. But first I thought that since I was in my room anyway, why not hang up the clothes? Which was a bigger task than usual since I had two loads plus a load of sheets AND the clothes I picked up from the dry cleaner which needed to be re-hung on my wooden hangers so I could dispose of the plastic coverings and such. Well that lead to me cleaning OUT some clothes and starting a donation pile. Meanwhile my dresser condition really caught my eye and with an “enough is enough” scowl of disgust I got out the dust cloths and started throwing away random things that had made their way there to collect the dust. Then I cleaned off my night stand. By the time the AT40 radio show was over (which was really fun because Adam and Kris are so good together and really funny), one side of my bedroom was nicely cleaned off and all clean clothes in their proper place. Never made it to SB’s room though.

Hey Adam – can you host another radio show so I can finish that up? 🙂