'The Next Great American Band': We wuz robbed!

Dominicbowden_host_nextgreatamerica OK, what the hell happened here, America? Because the band you voted off from The Next Great American Band rocked, and the bands that are still going... well, some of them aren't really floating my boat. When even the band that gets through looks disappointed that the band that didn't is going, you've got to know something is wrong.

You  ain't nothing but a spoiler-dog, cryin' all the time.

Franklin Bridge? Really? They seriously didn't get enough votes after last week? And Tres Bien! did? That's messed up, folks. Franklin Bridge was one of the best bands there, and Tres Bien! -- well, they weren't. Cute and goofy and fun, yes. Great musicians? No. Le sigh.

Yes, Curt, the lead guy in Franklin Bridge, obviously had an ego, but damn, folks -- he has the talent to back it up! Oh well -- I hope the exposure they got on the show leads to them getting the fans and acclaim they deserve.

And to Tres Bien!'s credit, they looked pretty shocked and upset when their name was called at the end. Michael even introduced their song thusly: "This one's for Franklin Bridge, the best band here." That was graciously done. I still don't think you should have gotten through, though. Their song, "Some Other Guy," sounded very early Beatles, and they did a decent job with it. Dicko warned them that they sometimes look like the house band from Hairspray, and I think he's got a point.

But that's how the show ended. It began with Light of Doom, playing a metalled-up version of "Jailhouse Rock," which worked very well. Good guitar solo, great vocals. Sheila compliments the drummer -- "I can't even play that fast" -- and Dicko admits that they're tremendously watchable, although "I still think it's going to end in tears recording-wise."

The Clark Brothers chose "Saved," a rockabilly gospel song that's perfect for them. It makes me wish I could have seen them when they were playing tent revivals with their preacher-man pappy. They give the sort of performance that would make you get religion -- or, as Dicko says, "even a wretch like me feels closer to salvation after that." Great stuff.

Dot Dot Dot plays "Love Potion Number 9" with 80s synth-rock panache, and I loved it. Rose and Lisa get showcased, and the judges single them out as great musicians. They do rock (much more than the ladies of Rocket did, I'm afraid.) All the judges are complementary -- even Dicko. I kind of love this band.

I'm not as enthusiastic about Cliff Wagner and the Old #7, which does a pretty straight-up version of "Poison Ivy." I'm surprised they're still in this -- they don't strike me as a band that would send people scurrying to the phones (but then, I thought people would scurry for Franklin Bridge, so what do I know?) All three judges wish they'd put more edge into the song, and Dicko warns that if they keep doing sort of slowpoke versions, they're not going to stay.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra scorch up "Ruby Baby" with 70s dance-band funk -- Sheila nails it when she refers to Donald Fagen and Steely Dan. I absolutely love it -- the horns are on fire, and I quite liked Denver's take on the lyrics. John disagrees -- "You're funk skills are really, really limited." What? Are you nuts? Sheila goes with Wild Cherry reference (as will happen when anyone pasty plays that funky music), which makes more sense to me. She loved it. Dicko thinks they've got to consolidate their brand, which has nothing to do with the music they just played. Feh.

Sixwire takes on "I Keep Forgetting," adding more of a rock edge than they've had recently. I think it really works. John is apparently determined to undermine me, as he thinks it was technically good, but that they were going through the motions. Sheila again gets lustful toward Andy, and Dicko says they need more edge. But... that just had more edge. How much edge do you want from them?

Quotes, highlights and odds and ends

  • Seriously -- Franklin Bridge went home? I'm still wrapping my head around that. So is Sheila, who predicted they'd win the whole shebang. "America got it wrong this time," she says. I agree.
  • In the canned sections where the bands talk about themselves, Erik from Light of Doom says "hell." Gasp! Sheila tells them to be a better role model by not swearing. What I think is unprintable.
  • John asks The Clark Brothers why they hate drummers. When Ashley protests that they don't hate drummers, John says "Yes you do, everybody hates drummers!" And then he realizes who he's sitting next to. "Except for Sheila, she's the only singer drummer in the world!" Perhaps he was so cranky for the rest of the episode because Phil Collins, Dave Grohl, Don Henley, Levon Helm, Ringo Starr, Roger Taylor (from Queen, not Duran Duran), and the vengeful ghost of Karen Carpenter got together and kicked the crap out of him during the commercial break.
  • I love the guys from Denver and the Mile High Orchestra not just because I think they're great musicians, but because they always look so grateful when their name is called. That said, they all looked slightly ill after the judges' comments this week.
  • Dicko on Denver and the boys bringing the funk: "If I want to buy soul-funk, I'm going to buy Breakestra or Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings; I'm not going to buy it from a bunch of super-straight white dudes in business-casual dress." OK, Dicko, they're in business casual dress because you mocked Denver's suits. Now pardon me while I Google those other bands you talked about.
  • Dicko on Sixwire: "You play and chicks swoon, or get hot flashes, but it shouldn't be music as hormone replacement therapy. We need more of an edge."
  • Sheila tells Tres Bien! they should have their own Saturday-morning cartoon show. They took it as a compliment. I'm not entirely sure she meant it that way.

That's it for this week.  My picks for the weakest bands are, again, Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 and Tres Bien!, but obviously America doesn't listen to me. (Mutter mutter grumble harrumph.)

I think the show ran a bit long, because my TiVo switched channels before I could hear who next week's artist was. Did anyone catch that? Tell me in the comments if you did.