Tagged: american idol

The Triumph of Vulgarity in Popular Singing

Of the many nefarious effects televised singing contests have had on American culture, the most harmful and lasting one is the debasement of musicality and the apotheosis of vulgarity. This syndrome has been simmering forever; lately, it’s boiling. We’ve been conditioned to embrace and celebrate the elements of popular music that are least musical and...

Jazz Competitions, In and Out of the Marketplace

One of the 20th Century’s greatest artists, a cat named Thelonious Monk, the pianist and composer of countless jazz standards, including “Round Midnight” and “Well, You Needn’t,” left behind, among other things, a brilliant son (the drummer, T.S. Monk), a lucrative publishing catalogue, and a legacy of musical encouragement. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz...

American Idol Crib Notes

If, unlike me, you don’t have a partner who forces you to watch the Fox karaoke competition “American Idol,” you may be living in a state of blissful ignorance, utterly unaware of what’s happening on America’s most-watched television program. You may not know that after weeks of schmaltzy build-up the shrinking talent pool questing to...