Finalewatch 07: 'The Next Great American Band'

Clarkbros Look, let's face it: This was 50 minutes of filler eating up time until we could get to the real point of the show -- telling us who had won. Some of it was enjoyable, some of it was pointless, and some of it was awful. Fortunately for me, I'm watching this from my parent's  house, and my dad, from whom I inherited the curmudgeon gene, provided color commentary. Hey, it kept me more or less awake until the end.

Your Next Great American Band is -- Spoilers!!!

The important stuff
The Clark Brothers win it all. Whoo-hoo! I'm thrilled, the judges are thrilled, the audience is thrilled and the boys themselves are completely gobsmacked. They actually fall to the ground when they find out they won. Then Austin starts jumping up and down like a madman. It's kind of awesome. I love these guys -- they're talented as all hell, but humble and real at the same time, you know? I hope they can keep that as they move through the industry.

However, I'm damn glad they didn't play tonight's song earlier in the competition, or we may not have seen the same result. However, I do give them credit for performing an original tonight -- Sixwire and D&MHO stuck with covers.

The original, "You Are Still the Same," was a sweet song, but kind of slow. You'd call it swoony and contemplative if you were being complimentary, sleepy and boring if you weren't. I can see it being a decent album track, but it's hardly something I'd play to get people to call in and vote. So good job, guys, holding this one until the end.

Sixwire and D&MHO are both great bands, however, and I'd be amazed if someone, somewhere didn't offer them a record contract based on their performances on the show. Here's hoping...

The obligatory Christmas cheer
I'll admit it, the Christmas-song medley with a bunch of past bands was a lot of fun -- obviously filler, but it was good to see some of the musicians again. However, a lot of the bands really didn't mesh well together.

  • Light of Doom sounded pretty god-awful doing "Merry Christmas Everybody," but even worse, I found myself agreeing with my dad that it was "just noise." When the hell did I become a crotchety old woman?
  • Dot Dot Dot with a couple of the guys from Tres Bien! were kind of all over the place -- something that could be said about both bands throughout the entire competition.
  • Cliff Wagner and the Old # 7 did "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," one of the most horrific Christmas songs ever written. I'm afraid I was too distracted to comment on the performance in any depth -- my dad insisted he really liked that song, so I spent much of that time staring at him in horror.
  • Light of Doom drummer Mitch's high-energy sleighbell performance with Tres Bien! On "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" was possibly the best part of the whole medley. It was ridiculous, but that was the point. 
  • Why oh why did anyone decide to have the Clark Brothers perform "Last Christmas"? Wham? Seriously? I'm an 80s aficionado, and I don't even like the song.
  • D&MHO's take on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" was a bit too corporate Christmas party for my tastes. Dad agreed: "Who's he trying to be, Bobby Darrin? Actually, they're not bad -- it was kind of an insipid song." That it was.
  • Everyone getting together for "Another Rock 'N Roll Christmas" was complete chaos, but hey, it looked like they were having fun.

Thoughts, highlights and odds and ends

  • Sixwire brought the energy and fun with "The Last Time," and D&MHO rocked "Vehicle." Dad was particularly impressed by D&MHO -- "They were clearly musicians; they were playing music, not noise; and I could understand most of what the guy was saying." Tragically, my dad didn't vote, and D&MHO was the first band out.
  • Northmont's lead singer and guitarist sang Santana's "Smooth" with an assist from D&MHO's horns, Sixwire's rhythm section, and Austin on that sweet flying-v Dobro. Northmont was the band that got two chances at the audition, but didn't make it in because the band wasn't up to the singer's level, remember? Yeah, well, the singer was nothing to write home about, either, as proved by this song. Snore!
  • What the hell was going on with that jazz piano break in "The Glamorous Life"? Totally jarring.
  • Why bring in Geoff Byrd and The Likes of You to sing in front of the crying montage? The song was boring and forgettable, and they got bounced the first week -- why give them time on stage? Actually, why have a crying montage at all? Oh well -- at least it wasn't Fifi LaRue, the Psycho Killer Clown.
  • I love Sheila E., and the Goo-Goo Dolls are just fine, but why have them play? Yes, I know they're famous musicians, but  Paula Abdul never sings on American Idol, does she? Do Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman do a quick paso doble on Dancing with the Stars? No? Then why give Sheila and John the stage?
  • Notable in their absence: Franklin Bridge, The Hatch, The Muggs and Rocket. Were they not invited? Or did they decline an invitation? As The Hatch's lead singer made an ass out of himself, saying "I guess 300 people in Nebraska have spoken," I can see them not inviting him back. I'm guessing The Muggs and Rocket were feeling pretty bitter about how their lead singers were (deservedly) raked over the coals. I'm bummed about Franklin Bridge, though -- they were awesome, and the judges loved them. Busy schedule, or deliberate snub? Considering the attitude Curt had when the judges spoke, I'm guessing it's the latter.
  • After their win, The Clark Brothers perform their original "Billy the Kid" -- with drums and bass this time. I liked it better without. Were they bowing to pressure from the judges or the record label by adding them in? That doesn't bode well.

Did the right band win? Will you seek out a Clark Brothers CD, or are you holding out for Sixwire or D&MHO releases? Who were you most glad to see again -- and who should have been denied entrance? And do you think this show has a chance in hell of coming back for another season?