Category: Entertainment

Kevin Cossom’s “Runaway” Remixed With Kanye West

“Baby I got a plan / If you run away just grab my hand”

By Any Means

Another shout out to one of the best in the biz: K.C.!  On his most recent mixtape By Any Means, Kevin Cossom remixed Kanye West’s “Runaway” with all new verses and choruses.  In fact the only thing that ties the C-O-S-S-O-M remix to the Ye one is the instrumental as well as some melodic similarities.  I think that K.C.’s version needed a little flavor by way of spoken word so I’ve taken the liberty of re-mixing Kanye’s raps back into the song.  Here is my exclusive remix of Kevin Cossom’s “Runaway” featuring Kanye West (…explicit lyrics).

Kevin Cossom – Runaway [Remix] ft. Kanye West

American Idol’s Blame Game

The judges on American Idol would have America think that it was at fault for last night’s decision. You know what they say about glass houses and throwing stones…

it's all giggles and teeth whitening until somebody gets hurt

How bad does American Idol miss Simon Cowell?  Ratings and viewership aside, Idol revealed its need for a critical voice in last night’s upset that sent Pia Toscano, a judge favorite, packing.

This season, judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson make for a rather soft combination. Encouragement abounds as contestants receive “glass is half full” criticisms. Positivity is a fine thing, but most of voting America don’t have the musical ear to properly engage in a competition that is supposed to revolve around singing ability.  The love-fest goes on completely deficient of the “meat and potatoes” sort of information that viewers use to inform their votes.

American Idol has always been a bit of a popularity contest.  But without a judge that reminds the public that it is a singing contest, the competition’s vocal axis is on tilt.  Contestants Haley and Stefano (sorry ladies), even the bizarre Casey, would likely be gone well before Pia even sniffed the bottom 3 if the judges were — to borrow Randy’s phrase — “keeping it real.”

In fairness, what Pia brings in vocal prowess she lacks in stage presence and personality, but as Simon Cowell was always ready to remind viewers: “this is a singing competition.”  And hellfire, save matches, that girl can sing.

The judges were quick to place blame on America for what surely was its mistake, but the problem of talent being sent home too early has deeper roots. With no critical musical guidance America is left to decide the only way it knows how: with their eyes.  Not their ears.  Just a year ago Simon was closing his eyes while contestants performed in an effort to project how good of a recording artist they might be.

Over the years American Idol has become less about finding talented recording artists and more about making marketable stars, which admittedly is a large part of an Idol winner’s post-show success.  Just don’t be surprised when Cowell’s X-Factor, and maybe even NBC’s The Voice, turns out a better end-product.  And all because their judges won’t be afraid to hurt a few feelings.

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.   ||  Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

The Ghost Of Simon: American Idol Recap [Top 13]

Best of the night: Pia Toscano

"Don't quit your day job."

With Simon Cowell’s departure from American Idol the judging has become a little, shall we say, warm and fuzzy.  I do not consider myself one prone to teddy bear sentimentalities.  I also do not think I have the same discernment for talent as Simon.  A voice of reason — or at least a voice of Simon — is a lacking commodity on this season’s American Idol.  The Ghost Of Simon is what Mr. Cowell might have said if he were still a judge on American Idol.  It works best if you read it with a British accent.

Lauren Alaina – “Any Man Of Mine” – C

“Look.  We’re kind of unanimous on this, it was good but it wasn’t great.  That song was originally sung by a woman, and you sang it more like a little girl in one of those pageants on TV.  It’s supposed to be a bit provocative, but that was rather juvenile.”

Casey Abrams – “With A Little Help From My Friends” – B+

“Well I’m not quite jumping out of my seat, but it was good.  I thought you started to growl at the end there.  I would’ve liked more melody.  But I will say this about you: You’re a unique guy, a tad strange, but you definitely made an impression tonight.”

Ashthon Jones – “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” – C

“Ashthon, unfortunately, I’m not going to be quite as nice.  Put it this way: If we were searching for the best hotel singer in America that would have been quite good.  The simple truth is your voice is not good enough for that song.  And quite frankly, I don’t think you’re as good as you think you are and I think you’re in trouble tonight.” 

Paul McDonald – “Come Pick Me Up” – D

“Quite honestly, it was like someone handed a microphone to the bellboy at a hotel and asked him to sing his favorite song.  I mean, with what you’re wearing and the weird movements you’re making on stage, it’s like a drunk Queen’s Guard or something.  I didn’t get it at all.  Sorry.”

Pia Toscano – “All By Myself” – A-

“Yeah.  Well.  That was the best of the night so far by a long shot.  Fantastic control; it was the right song choice for you.  And Randy is right.  If you’re going to sing a song like that you had better nail it, and you did.”

James Durbin – “Maybe I’m Amazed” – B

“James.  It was good.  I don’t think it was amazing.  Last week’s performance was better but I think it was enough to get you through to next week.”

Haley Reinhart – “Blue” – C+

“Again I’m with Randy on this one.  I couldn’t wait until it was over.  The yodeling thing was almost too much.  It was like you want one scoop of ice cream and you got eleven.  I like you.  I just didn’t like you tonight.”

Jacob Lusk – “I Believe I Can Fly” – B-

“So.  That part in there where you kept repeating the same high notes was dreadful.  It was like the siren on an ambulance or something.  The end was quite good though.  I just could have done without all the rest.”

Thia Megia – “Smile” – D-

“Yeah.  The beginning was great.  However, it completely derailed in the second half.  I mean, Thia, that transition was terrible.  You’re young and you’re a sweet girl, but right now, it doesn’t seem like you have what it takes in this competition.  You don’t seem to believe in yourself.”

Stefano Langone – “Lately” – B-

“Let’s be honest.  That arrangement was horrendous.  I mean, truly.  But as a singer, you’re brilliant.  And I think you have that star quality.  Good job.”

Karen Rodriguez – “I Could Fall In Love” – D+

“Karen.  Sweetheart.  I couldn’t wait for that to be over.  It was just so…boring.  I’m afraid you might be in trouble tonight.  And that’s too bad because you really are a great singer.”

Scotty McCreery – “The River” – B

“Yeah, it was good.  You know who you are as an artist and that’s important.  I don’t have much else to add to what the others said.  But, well done.”

Naima Adedapo – “Umbrella” – C

“I think that you actually played the clown tonight. I thought the performance was ungainly. And the song was a bit gimmicky with all the dancing and stuff.  I think you’re better off with a song that showcases the unique qualities of your voice.  I like you, I do.  But the reality is, as we sit here, there are people singing that song at karaoke bars better than you just did.”

Who was your favorite?  Who should go home?  Comment below.

DISCLAIMER: This site is in no way affiliated with Simon Cowell and this post is intended for entertainment use only.  I do not propose that Simon said or would say the above statements and any similarity to things he actually has said is entirely intentional and is plagiarized for its humorous intent.

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.   ||  Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

The Ghost Of Simon: American Idol Recap [Top 12 Girls]

Best of the night: Lauren Alaina

With Simon Cowell’s departure from American Idol the judging has become a little, shall we say, warm and fuzzy.  I do not consider myself one prone to teddy bear sentimentalities.  I also do not think I have the same discernment for talent as Simon.  A voice of reason — or at least a voice of Simon — is a lacking commodity on this season’s American Idol.  The Ghost Of Simon is a place to share our Cowell-like critiques of the night’s performances.

Ta-Tynisa Williams – C

It was okay.  It had energy and was a good current song choice.  Her vocals were spotty however and it wasn’t very memorable.  She failed to set herself apart as a unique artist.  Anyone with half a voice could have sang that rendition.

Naima Adedapo – A

Here’s a real performer.  She used the stage and commanded with her presence.  The vocals were money and it really showcased her as an artist.  While the song choice was a bit “bar singer” she made it work for her.

Kendra Chantelle – A-

Well, she has a really good voice.  It’s really unique in the high register and would be very recognizable on radio.  She hit all her runs and notes but the whole performance felt a bit subdued.

Rachel Zevita – D

With the jazzy arrangement you have to be spot on with your melody, and she wasn’t.  There wasn’t really any melody to speak of.  She changed the song too much to the detriment of her performance.  Really quite awful.

Karen Rodriguez – B-

A pretty sleepy performance.  The big notes weren’t quite there.  Beautiful tone but I’m afraid it will be lost in the shuffle, except maybe for the Latin population for whom she blatantly sang half the song in Spanish.

Lauren Turner – C+

Song selection is so important and this wasn’t a good one.  I don’t think anyone will remember this performance.  Sure she sang it fine.  She did what she does.  But it’s not going to make an impression on this particular night.

Ashthon Jones – C

Completely over-singing.  It was very screechy.  The arrogant attitude was also a bit annoying.  If she settles down and focuses the swagger she’ll be better off.

Julie Zorrilla – D

Kind of a mess out there.  She was all over the place.  She’s a pretty girl so that will get her further than this performance deserves.  The song choice was fine, it was the lack of artistry that didn’t happen.

Haley Reinhart – B-

Yeah, it was kind of boring.  Lost interest about half way through.  She tried to make it an interesting performance and mostly sounded over-affected with her vocal quirks.  It wasn’t terrible.

Thia Megia – B+

That was a brave way to start her performance.  It was a very bare rendition.  She nailed the vocals.  Good job.

Lauren Alaina – A

Perfect song choice.  It fit her naturally and she owned it.  It was perhaps the most authentic performance of the night and a good vocal.  Finally someone showed what kind of artist they want to be if they win.  She’s great.

Pia Toscano – B+

She has pipes for sure but unfortunately it was kind of old-fashioned.  There’s wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, in fact, she hit some pretty crazy notes, but it wasn’t current.  Again, it seems like the contestants are forgetting to show who they want to be as artists.

Who was your favorite?  Who should go home?  Comment below.

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.   ||  Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

The Ghost Of Simon: American Idol Recap [Top 12 Guys]

Best of the night: James Durbin

With Simon Cowell’s departure from American Idol the judging has become a little, shall we say, warm and fuzzy.  I do not consider myself one prone to teddy bear sentimentalities.  I also do not think I have the same discernment for talent as Simon.  A voice of reason — or at least a voice of Simon — is a lacking commodity on this season’s American Idol.  The Ghost Of Simon is a place to share our Cowell-like critiques of the night’s performances.

CLINT JUN GAMBOA – B

That was a very karaoke song to pick.  It’s overused and doesn’t show individuality.  Plus, the song kind of ate him up; the arrangement and the band were too big for him.  There’s no doubt Clint can hit some crazy notes, but it wasn’t a unique performance.

JOVANY BARRETO – C-

Another very generic song selection.  It’s a karaoke favorite again.  If song selection ate up Clint, the stage swallowed Jovany whole and spit him back up.  Extremely forgettable.

JORDAN DORSEY – D

Finally someone chose a current song.  A song like this will connect with the voters even if it’s not a very good performance, which it wasn’t.  Jordan started too low in his register and was trying too hard to perform.  It resulted in a lot of missed notes.  The dancing was awkward and outside his comfort zone.  There was something dishonest about this performance.

TIM HALPERIN – D+

Again, harping on song choice but this one was too unrecognizable.  It seemed like it was in his wheelhouse, but it felt like he was just going through the motions.

BRETT LOEWENSTERN – C

Okay.  What’s with all the chewing of the lyrics?  Li-yar.  High-yer.  Fi-yer.  A very distracting stylistic choice and kind of weird.  Not a good impression, especially when added to his rather strange stage presence as well.

JAMES DURBIN – A

That was the first genuine performance of the night.  Whether you like hard rock or not, this kid can sing and it was natural.  James was the first contestant who seems to know who he is as a performer.

ROBBIE ROSEN – B+

A good vocal.  Controlled.  As this is a singing competition he seems to understand that it’s about the voice.  He didn’t hit all his notes but he mostly kept within himself and didn’t overreach.

SCOTTY MCCREERY – A

Scotty stands out especially because he’s the only country guy, but he also sounds authentic.  It’s a lot like something you’d hear on country radio.  His stage presence is a bit ham… and i don’t mean the Kanye West/Jay-Z kind of H.A.M. — perhaps more like a canned meat made largely from pork.

STEFANO LANGONE – A-

A perfect song choice and he sang it well.  The high note was rough, but overall it was the right song and a decent vocal.  He’s also a rather likable guy and should do well with the female voters.

PAUL MCDONALD – B-

Paul seemed natural out there in spite of being a quirky guy, both in voice and presence.  Unfortunately, the song isn’t very memorable.  Sorry.

JACOB LUSK – A

Jacob’s voice commanded the stage and the studio.  It wasn’t a great song choice for vote-getting but there’s no denying his vocal ability.  He brought the gospel and his performance was stand out.

CASEY ABRAMS – B+

This guy is a pretty weird dude.  It was difficult to tell if he was taking it seriously or not.  But he went for it and I guess I’d have to say he got it.  It was at least… entertaining.

Who was your favorite?  Who should go home?  Comment below.

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.   ||  Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

Grammy Awards Performances

What was your favorite performance from the 2011 Grammy Awards?

Here are some of the highlights from last night’s Grammy Awards show.  Apologies for the low quality but CBS continues to block high resolution versions.

Jennifer Hudson steals the show here.  That girl can sang.

Mumford & Sons.  If you don’t know, now you know.

Best performance of the night.  LMAO at the puppets.  Hilarious.  And Gwyneth… we love you.

Could’ve done without Bruno Mars but Janelle Monáe kills it.  Firecracker.

“I Need A Doctor” was great.  “Love The Way You Lie” with Rihanna… not so much.

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.   ||   Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

To 3D Or Not To 3D

Love it or hate it, 3D is here to stay.  But some films are better without it.  Here's how you can tell.

2012 will see Star Wars released in 3D ...interested?

The advent of 3D in film leaves consumers with a decision to make before heading to the theater.  Do you pay twice as much for an “enhanced” visual experience or is the film in question better left to more conventional methods?

In 2009 I saw Avatar twice, once in 3D and once in 2D.  I can’t recall whether it was RealD 3D or Dolby 3D but I do remember that the film was decidedly better with the glasses on.  The world of Pandora came alive and I felt like I was living the experience with the characters.  But 3D is not always a welcome indulgence.  I remember years ago seeing Bolt in 3D and being irritated with its usage of the technology.  While the frequent employment of “Before The Window” effects — those that jump from the screen — can bombard the senses, it’s possible for it to work well (see Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk The Audience experience).

I am by no means a connoisseur of 3D films which is why I need a resource that helps me decide whether or not to see one in 3D.  Enter Cinema Blend.  They currently run reviews on the major 3D films to hit theaters and include a breakdown of all the 3D features therein.  Complete with scores for specific aspects of the 3D and a final verdict, To 3D Or Not To 3D is the question they seek to answer.

While it’s not currently an actual “feature” on the site you can use the search bar and easily find that film you’re considering seeing in 3D.  Now you can spend $20 on a movie and feel a little bit better about it.

Garage In A Box

it’s easy to do just follow these steps: (1) surf the web for a box… (2) put your car in that box… (3) ogle car in its box.  and that's the way you do it.

A few days ago my friend @ryanmdaugherty tweeted this:

“It may have taken all day, but

garage-in-a-box is up and awesome. http://yfrog.com/555kmjj

Garage-In-A-Box is a product from ShelterLogic.com that gives you a portable yet durable solution for automobile storage.  I, for one, can’t help but sing the hook to SNL digital short “d*** in a box” when i hear the words “garage in a box.”  Which leads me to the point of this post.

When i was young i used to “Weird Al”-ize songs for fun.  I would take a song and write my own funny parody lyrics to them.  I never recorded any of these fine works of art…until now.  With garage in a box i was unable to resist.  So for Halloween i make a gift to my friend Ryan, and the world, with “Garage In A Box”.  (Bear in mind, i do not pretend to be a gifted singer nor that this song is meant for anything but novelty humor).  For those of you who know Ryan and his brand spankin’ new 2011 BMW M3, this will make a lot more sense…

[wpaudio url="http://afireintheattic.com/audio/garageinabox.mp3" text="Garage In A Box                                                " dl="0"]

(It’s better with the lyrics…)

GARAGE IN A BOX lyrics

hey Ryan, i got somethin’ real important to tell you

so just sit down — and listen

dogg, you know we’ve been friends for such a long long tiiiime

(such a long time)

and now i’m ready to sing you this rhyme

(wooow) you know it’s halloween and a brand new car you driiiive

(yeah you drive)

get some protection so your ride keeps lookin’ fiiiine

(it’s lookin’ fine)

a place real safe, your own parking spot

take a look outside — it’s garage in a box

(it’s in a box)

not gonna get any scratches or dings

but not cuz image is everything

not gonna roll up valet style

it’s driving real fast that makes this worthwhile

not gonna get you a tarp on some stilts

a car like that needs somethin’ reeeeal

you need to get somethin’ safe and smart

somethin’ special, man

it’s garage in a box…garage in a box yeayeaah

it’s garage in a box…garage in a box yo

see your wise enough to know when a car needs coverin’

(yeah)

and you got just the one

somethin’ to hide it from the rain and the sun

to all the fellas out there with cars to protect

it’s easy to do just follow these steps

1. surf the web for a box

2. put your car in that box

3. ogle car in its box

and that’s the way you do it

it’s garage in a box…garage in a box yeayeaah

it’s garage in a box…garage in a box yo

halloween: garage in a box

christmas: garage in a box

new years: garage in a box

every single freakin’ day garage in a box!

over at the bottle room, garage in a box!

midday at the loft with friends, garage in a box!

behind the dance studio, garage in a booooooox!

(yeah-wow-wow-wow-wow)

garage in a box…

HOVAHEAD – The Blackhead Album

The first ever Jay-Z/Radiohead mashup album.  Inspired by Danger Mouse's <i>The Grey Album</i>.

In the gloaming of the weeks before the 5 year anniversary of Jay-Z’s “The Black Album” it seemed appropriate to engage in a collaboration of two of the music industry’s elite artists.  Where the musicality of Radiohead and the truth of Hova collide is in a project aptly named HOVAHEAD.  “The Black Album” acapellas produced one of the most prolific mash-up discographies known.  Yet, no one until now has tackled the marriage of one of rock’s most creative acts with the jigga-man himself.  An album that is both purposeful and playful as Carter’s lyrics find new meaning atop the passionate tunes of some of Radiohead’s best work.  Inspired by the intuitive fusion of “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” with the Radiohead b-side “Paperbag Writer”, Hovahead brings you “The Blackhead Album”.

Download:  DOWNLOAD ALBUM

Track Listing:

1.  Meeting In The Interlude
2.  All The December I Need
3.  What Myxomatosis Can Say
4.  Encore In Its Right Place
5.  A Changed Kid
6.  Dirt Off Your Paperbag
7.  Threat Might Be Wrong
8.  Moment Of Lurgee
9.  National Problem
10.  Optimistic Service Announcement (Interlimbo)
11.  A Thug At A Wedding
12.  Climbing Up Lucifer
13.  The Allure Tape
14.  My 1st Nude