Wow. Just...

Sep. 22nd, 2004 01:19 pm
rj_anderson: (Kalan Shy)
[livejournal.com profile] melissa_tlc, if you haven't seen this yet, you really, really need to. Remember what you were saying about how unfair and inaccurate it was to say that Clay's voice was "too Broadway", and how Broadway-style singing was a whole different kettle of fish? I agreed with you about that, and I even would have gone so far as to doubt that Clay's voice and delivery were suited for Broadway musical-type fare at all.

I've just changed my mind completely on that point, however, courtesy of Clay Aiken singing Alan Menken's 'lost' Aladdin song "Proud of Your Boy". (And yes, it is streaming video, so even dialup connections can see it.)

Why, oh why, oh why, did Clay's first album not have this kind of production? It's about the voice, people, not the lousy instrument track!

Hmm, no Clay icons at the moment. Oh, well.
Normally I wouldn't be even slightly interested in something like A Capitol Fourth -- all that flag-waving, ugh, and I'm not American anyway -- but since That Guy (over on TWoP where he's not supposed to be mentioned except in his own thread, they've gone from calling him "You-Know-Who" to the inevitable "Voldemort" -- talk about When Fandoms Collide!) was singing, I thought I'd check out the videos.

All I can say is, whoa. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how "The Star-Spangled Banner" is sung. Heck, even that horrible piece of cheese "God Bless the USA" sounded good, given the full treatment. Clay Aiken + National Symphony Orchestra = OTP!!!!!111111one!

Ahem. ANYway...

I cannot find my copy of Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics. This distresses me, as I was just getting to the Really Exciting Bit. I read it once before, about ten years ago, but had forgotten about 90% of the plot, so it's almost like reading it for the first time, and I'm quite enjoying it. The recent sequel, A Scholar of Magics, is delightful as well (in fact, it was reading that one that sent me back to the original). I'd recommend both books to just about anybody who enjoys fantasy, especially if you like mysteries and/or historicals as well.

Off now to hunt for the missing book...
You know that maybe, just maybe, it might be time to lay off the Clack when your just-barely-two-year-old son catches a glimpse of Clay's picture and immediately starts singing the chorus to "Invisible".

That being said... his set on Good Morning America was mega-cool. The prospect that this guy might come to Canada sometime disturbs me, because I might actually have to give him some of my money. I had no great desire to buy the CD or any of the singles, and the merchandise appalls me, but... Clay in concert? Hm. I think I might be tempted, because he's just that good.

You know, between being a non-smutty, non-slash writer in HP fandom and genuinely liking Clay Aiken, I will never, ever be cool. But it's OK. I've come to terms with that. :)
...but I just had to share. Because I'm evil that way.

I blame [livejournal.com profile] risti for this. Because she's a Clay Aiken fan, and seeing her username in [livejournal.com profile] pharnabazus and [livejournal.com profile] narcissam's impromptu chat session this evening inspired me with the thought that somewhere in the wild and woolly universe of HP fandom, there must be at least one fic in which Clay Aiken ends up at Hogwarts.

And yes, indeed, there is such a fic. However, I was not prepared to discover that it is not merely bad (which was a given) but in fact intentionally bad, and actually quite funny in parts. So here, for the brave (or insane), is the link:

Professor Pop Star: A Harry Potter/Clay Story.

On the way to discovering this hidden gum gem, I also stumbled across some Aiken-inspired HP artwork:

Remus Aboard The Hogwarts Express.

Um, okay, I can't say that that particular bit of casting had ever occurred to me, but...

Anyway, not that this comes as a big surprise to anyone, but HP fandom is nuts... and Clay Aiken fandom is even nuttier. Heh.
I've just posted a question to the blog about the Wacom Graphire II graphics tablet, which I'm seriously thinking about buying at some point (hopefully soon). If any of you are familiar with graphics tablets in general or this one in particular, would you mind having a look at said post and leaving a comment, here or there, to let me know what you think?

In a completely unrelated bit of news, I watched the recent remake of The Italian Job last night. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it, not after the scathing review I'd heard on CBC Radio when the movie first came out in theatres. Then, the reviewer had said the movie was hopelessly dull, with flat characters, a slow-moving plot, and utterly lacking in the wit and verve that marked the original. Well, I haven't seen the original movie myself, so I wasn't inclined to make those kinds of odious comparisons; still, the review did cause me to approach the remake with some skepticism.

But you know what? I really liked it.

Oh, it's not deep. It's not exceptional. And I can't imagine wanting to sit down and watch it more than once or twice. But nevertheless, I found it engaging, surprising, and fun. I have a weakness for caper flicks (I liked the Ocean's Eleven remake, too), and this had all the twists and turns and logical puzzles, plus the clever teamwork and camaraderie, that make a caper flick enjoyable for me.

It sure is a two-hour commercial for the Austin Mini, though. But at least they didn't subject us to endless closeups of the manufacturer's logo in the middle of the chase scenes (which I'm sure all of us who learned to loathe the Ford Focus last year, thanks to a series of anvillicious product placements on Alias, would approve).

Watching Seth Green as the team's resident hacker was a slightly surreal experience, though. Aside from finding him the most attractive guy in the film looks-wise (which says something about my indifference to Mark Walhberg), I kept frowning at him and wondering who he reminded me of. About halfway through the film I realized it was Clay Aiken. Hee!

Anyway, yeah. Italian Job fun. And it has Donald Sutherland in it. 'Nuff said.

ETA: If for no other reason, it's worth checking out that pic of Clay Aiken just to see that the guy has the biggest feet in the history of the world. They're like pontoons! It's unbelievable!
So Ruben won the final -- boo hoo. On the other hand, it's not like Clay will be suffering either, with a guaranteed recording contract and a humongous fan base.

Even so, I have to admit to some cynicism about the results, not so much because I wanted Clay to win (although I did) but because all the evidence I've seen so far points to Clay having by far the larger fan base* and as such he should have received the most votes. But with phone lines being jammed as they were, a great many votes (possibly on both sides, not just Clay's) would not have gotten through.

It's also been pointed out that 19 Entertainment is now poised to make megabucks off both Clay (whose fan base was already rabid and well-established) and Ruben (since he's now the American Idol), whereas if the results had gone the other way, they might not have made as much money from Ruben's part of the equation. Which is true, I think.

All of which is not to slight Ruben, who seems like a very nice guy and does (on a good day) have a fine voice for those who like that sort of soul/R&B thing. But last night he was lip-synching a lot of the time -- or else his two performances of "Flying Without Wings" were eerily identical. I only wish Kelly (last year's winner, for those who don't know or don't care about such things) had lip-synched as well -- I don't know what went wrong with her performances last night, but man, she was awful.

If the whole concept of American Idol is by definition cheesy, if the show's actual execution is more on a Velveeta level, then last night's appearance by Paul Anka was Cheez Whiz and tonight's skit featuring Paula and Simon was cheese-in-a-can. And there is only so much cheesiness any sane human being can take, so I'm glad it's all over.

--
*Though admittedly, that might just be on the Internet. Clay is, after all, the poster boy for nerds everywhere, so perhaps it's not surprising that active net users would tend to support One Of Our Own.

Eeeeeee!

May. 21st, 2003 03:05 pm
rj_anderson: (Clay Weasleyesque)
Sorry, just had to get that out of my system.

Comments on last night's American Idol )

I have no idea who's going to win, and this last night of competition didn't help. I still think Clay deserves to win, and that if they're really going by number of votes Clay will win, but at the same time the media and the judges have been pushing Ruben so hard that I'm not sure they won't just push him straight through no matter how the votes turn out...

*is happy*

May. 17th, 2003 09:07 pm
rj_anderson: (Clay Weasleyesque)
I was having rather a dull day, and then all of a sudden I got two unexpected pieces of feedback for D&L, both of which were greatly appreciated and one of which nearly reduced me to tears, but I cannot write the person back to tell them what it meant to me because they did not put their e-mail address in their profile. Wah! But otherwise, yay! Because it really was amazing.

In other news, I have finally broken down and made a Clay Aiken icon. With an HP twist, because I blame [livejournal.com profile] firelocks for dragging me on board the Clay Train in the first place, and also because he really does look like a Weasley to me. Plus, well, it's a great picture. If you like skinny geek-boys, anyway.
So Nicholas, my three-year-old, loves to watch Clay Aiken videos. But the ultimate was his one-line review of Clay's "Grease", delivered with great relish while watching the video today:

"He's a silly, silly goofball."

Who needs Simon Cowell?
Just a couple of quick thoughts on tonight's TV before I head off to bed:

American Idol Grousing )

24 Wibbling [Ware Spoilers!] )

*whimpers* I want to go home, mummy.

Oh DEAR.

May. 7th, 2003 08:09 am
rj_anderson: (Sydney fashion)
The unfortunate image of Clay Aiken singing "Grease", accompanied by intermittent hip twitches and pelvic thrustlets, has been wiggling uncomfortably across the surface of my right temporal lobe since last night.

Paula's attempt to put a brave face on it notwithstanding, I am cheered by the obvious conclusion to this episode: you can lead a geek to fashion, but you can't make him hip.

It's all right, Clay, we still love you. Even if we sometimes have to do it with our eyes closed.
So I'm not exactly a rabid American Idol fan, but I've been watching episodes here and there as it gets down to the final few. Anyway, I was trying to explain to my husband what I meant when I said Clay hangs on to his consonants too much*, so I downloaded the video of last week's performance of "Build Me Up, Buttercup" from this site to use as an example.

Well, that would all be fine and good, but I made the mistake of letting Nicholas (my three-year-old) see the video. And the kid got instantly and completely hooked on the song and made me play it again about fifty times.

All of which means, of course, that Clay will be singing "Build Me Up, Buttercup" in my head for approximately the next two weeks. Agh. Why couldn't it be "Solitaire" instead? Not catchy enough for Nicholas, I guess...

--
*Don't get me wrong, I like Clay a lot. He's my pick to win, in fact. But he still needs to stop over-enunciating his r's.

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