Yevgeny Sudbin: Rachmaninoff Prelude in Gm (in lieu of Scarlatti)
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Oh Lord! What an atrocious outfit!

I was asking myself after I posted that why it is that although I love so much pop music, I find so many mainstream pop stars (and their music) so irritating. I'll have to think about that.

Wow. Well I typically turn the sound down for the anthem -- I don't really see why it needs to be sung before a football game anyway -- but recently I left it on by accident...I think it was for one of the NFL divisional finals, probably Seattle vs. Chicago. They had a classical tenor doing it, and wow, he just completely nailed it. Best national anthem performance ever. Simple, technically perfect, and very stirring. Awesome.

But yeah...part of the reason for avoiding it is to avoid performances like this one. Then again, at least it's not Rosanne Barr.,28804,1889754_1889752_1889689,00.html

I remember reading about the Roseanne rendition but didn't hear it, and am going to skip that experience now. I can't believe it was 20 years ago. (I assume there was only one.)

Pop stars seem unable to resist the urge to embroider the song with a lot of cringe-making ornamentation. Maybe Christian Aguilera will come out in decent clothes and just stand there and sing the song straight. I'm sure she actually has a good voice, but...

Pop stars seem unable to resist the urge to embroider the song with a lot of cringe-making ornamentation.

So true.

I was asking myself after I posted that why it is that although I love so much pop music, I find so many mainstream pop stars (and their music) so irritating.

Is it that much pop music is just mass-produced crap? Whereas some is more like something that's been hand-crafted?

I was at the cricket last night with Nick and the kids. They had "cheerleaders" in the interval between innings. Cheerleaders are not part of Aussie culture at all, so it really grated on my nerves from that POV. In addition, the "cheerleading" was probably not really like your cheerleaders in the US. They were realy only doing erotic dancing. And of course the costumes were appalling.

In addition to this, I had the distinct impression that the lassies were not there to entertain the women! All in all - really horrid and completely unnecessary. Men are not going to go in order to see these dancers - we have strip joints and the internet for things like that - and the men who are at the cricket (with their wives and children in many cases) would go regardless.

Very irritating.

Your cricket cheerleaders sound like our professional football & basketball cheerleaders. I presume no one needs me to supply a link to pictures or video of them..."erotic dancing" is not an unfair description.

Cheerleading ain't what it used to be. It has almost nothing to do with leading cheers anymore, it's a performance in its own right. Going to Clare's high school football games, I was always griping about the fact that what the cheerleaders were doing had nothing to do with the game at all, it was just a sequence of dance and acrobatic routines. This is one of the gripes that, when I engage in it, really gives me the feeling of being a grumpy old man. "When I was a boy, the cheerleaders led cheers, by golly."

Pop music being mass-produced crap is only part of the irritation. Gigantic ego is a bigger reason.

Aguilera, unlike a lot of pop stars, actually has a very good voice. She seems addicted to the current popular melismatic wailing, however, so you don't get to hear it very often.

A lot of them do, actually. Mariah Carey, for instance, judging by what little I've heard of her. But what they do with it...gaahhh.

I have a background in choral singing (strictly amateur) and I vastly prefer straight singing with very little ornamentation (especially to pop variety). Although, ornamentation features in Gregorian Chant, which I love, but there's still something properly musical about it, which often isn't the case in pop.

When it comes to cheerleading in the cricket, England's "Barmy Army" is pretty good.

I haven't yet worked out why Australians can't get it together in similar fashion.

There was a really hilarious song which some Aussies made up and would have been a great asset to the cricket this summer. It had lots of lyrics like this:

"we are the best at every sport and you do the best you can

we have a working political system and you do the best you can"

... only we were thrashed! That was the third Ashes series in a row we lost!

But Aussies are very strange really, it's not unusual to hear people say "It does them [our cricket team] good to lose sometimes - otherwise they get swelled heads."


Well, it's a real risk. Look what's happened to Auburn.:-)


So, I guess that means that this year has been good for Alabama?


I can't say about the players and coaches, but I'm afraid no, it probably has not helped the fans one bit, just enraged them. Or at so it seems judging by the phone calls and online forums.

Aguilera was bad -- tried to out-Whitney Whitney Houston with all the vocal gymnastics, and botched the words to boot. Horrible.

The Black Eyed Peas were worse -- just dreadful. No real talent in evidence whatsoever.

But lots of technology.


The first half was almost over when I started watching, so I missed Aguilera (whom as noted I would have tried to avoid anyway). Some morbid curiosity drove me to watch the BEPs, and I found it really quite depressing. The combination of extremely elaborate technology, the "let's party!" mentality, and the simultaneously lewd and robotic dance moves that are popular now...all I could do was murmur "we're doomed, doomed."

And that Fergie woman was, I read in Wikipedia this morning, raised by devout Catholic parents.


Tony Esolen has a good piece over at Mere Comments about the commercials and contemporary "humor."

I just read that Esolen piece. Very good. My impression of the commercials, to the extent that I paid attention, was not so much their spiteful humor as their craziness. I don't mean zany playfulness, I mean frantic derangement.

I did for some reason pay attention to that Chrysler/Detroit commercial and found it slightly touching.

Yes, that Detroit ad might have been the best one.

Most of the commercials seemed like they were just variations on old commercials that might have been funny the first time around, but have been ground into the dust. They were just lousy.


I think I was brooding about the Black-Eyed Peas show so much that I didn't notice most of the commercials.

It's terrible to insult black-eyed peas that way.


The only Fergie I know of is the Duchess of York.

Well, there was also a girl at my school called Fergie.

There is something really wrong with calling a woman Fergie.

But, Janet, I did check out the Fergie you mention. Briefly... but not brief enough. :(

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