Idol Rocks & Twangs & Phunks & Swings

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Part of the fun of watching last Friday’s first installment of The Next Great American Band was seeing just how many oddball outfits were allowed to be seen on this initial “clearing the corn” episode – you know, the cattle call show where they trot out all the wacko groups that didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it through the first round in the Vegas desert.

Middle-aged nimrod doo-woppers from Nowhereseville, big band jazz boys from Nerd Town, mask-wearing, Cookie Monster-growling Slipknot/GWAR imitators, ersatz Blue Man Group artistes who pummeled the trash cans they were wearing, bar-band blues boys that strutted their Stevie Ray fetishes, a Georgia foursome that came off like an emo Blue Oyster Cult, and, of course, the Afro’d Caucasion yelper of Big Provider, who launched into a ditty with the lyrics, “five, four, three, two, and one/it’s all fun from here/if you doubt that for a second/the good times will disappear!”

Yes, it’s brought you by the American Idol folks.

Those, of course, are not the “ensembles” that Johnny Rzeznik, Sheila E, and the Australian Simon Cowell guy will be judging tonight. Those are the bands that went home to tell the wives and daughters that daddy effed it up again (cue poignant farewell footage). The list of the musicians who will make their stand on the show is as follows:

The Clark Brothers (Nashville twang prodigy sibs who started when they were Smurf fans.)

Cliff Wagner and the Old No. 7 (very impressive bluegrass bar band from San Pedro who dropped “Like a Virgin” on the judges.)

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra (jump-swing-groove rubes who are quite sure they know who’s going to win the World Series – ‘cept they’re wrong.)

Dot Dot Dot (Windy City rockers who like to “flail around” and study the canons of Queen and the Cars.)

Franklin Bridge (seemingly adequate phunk bro’s from Philly.)

The Hatch (Brooklyn band who respect Pete Yorn. If they’re eliminated, they’ll “head back to Brooklyn.”)

Light of Doom (Hanson meets Van Halen meets Cowsills – mom still irons their clothes and talks ‘em up.)

The Likes of You (Kojack’d high school teacher goaded into chasing his music dream by one of his students.)

The Muggs (riff-centric trio who look like the James Gang, but wrap their aggression in KISS and Kings X.)

Rocket (all women outfit that splits the dif between punk and new wave – played “Blitzkrieg Bop” to make the cut.)

Sixwire (sidemen from Nashville and Vertical Horizon fans who want more out of life than Music Row mopiness.)

Tres Bien (generic Brit invasion gang with a horrible name, but the right attitude: “we feel like we’ve already won.”)

Some of these young adepts are going to be shown the door tonight. Check back on Monday for a recap. And pray that Sheila E doesn’t jump on stage and do that timbales thing like she did last week.

Further: Hit the comments boards tonight if Rzeznik starts stealing Randy Jackson‘s “dawg” lingo.

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