Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sober Up

The moment when you realize through your grief that losing a loved one is not about you is quite sobering...even if you're stone cold drunk when it hits you.

Sober. Quite suddenly.

No, it's not about you begging the spirits of the departed to return in a ghostly form in front of you (at 3am as you get up to pee) and beg them to bestow their forgiveness upon you for all the crappy things you did or said to them while they were alive. 

It's not about you damning them to hell for never owning up to some lie they went to their grave letting you believe, either...watching you twist in the wind in your guilt and never letting you off the hook.

It's not about you not knowing how to maintain or honor your loved one's wishes when he refused to deal with getting his affairs in order before his last days.

It's not about what it feels like for you when the workers come in to tear down lovingly built walls, tear up carpets, rip out intricately installed wiring, pull out moldings, throw away classic light fixtures and wash over every trace of your beloved's personality in a harsh, cold white, paint. 

And it's not going to be about you the first time you allow some other currently-breathing carcass into his newly white-washed home, to show the place to a potential new resident and tell him or her stoically that he transitioned there. Yes, there. Right in that room. And by the way, you're inheriting an evil black cat if you move in. Boogeda boogeda boogeda! always has been and should be about him and his glorious new existence. He who is too busy being free and whole in mind, spirit and body to have time to come back to deal with you in a less-than-fabulous specter-esque form just to give you permission to quit feeling sorry for yourself. He does not care of the things of this world any longer and would frankly have little patience for the fact that you do. 

He just might, however, come back long enough to terrify you into soiling yourself a little if an Archangel should get word to him about what's been going down with Suzie Sadsack back on Earth. No doubt he'd get a giggle out of that, but soon enough he'd be frantic that curtain is in five and you're making him late. 

Sober up. Not about you. His death...about HIM. Not you. HIM. And he's alive and full of light and racing around on fully developed legs and gorging his eyes with every delicious color and shape ever Created, now available to him with 20/20 vision. The joy you should feel by simply imagining what he is seeing, feeling and experiencing for the first time in 47 years should be enough for you to let your insignificant guilt go. Let. it. go. He doesn't care about your guilt, as he shouldn't. He does NOT care. There is now way too much living and celebrating and preparing for his next journey to do, too many more hearts that need to collide with his, too many stages to light, too many canvases to paint, too many beings' lives to touch in the next realm, because it's HIS death...and NOT YOURS. Absolutely. not. yours.

Let him have his death...because guaranteed, he wants you to have your life. Sober up.

For M.M.H. ♥

Monday, November 07, 2011

Una Poesia

For M.M.H. ♥

What am I doing here
Nothing to show for all my sorrow
What proves I ever really existed
No one to give me just one bone-crushing hug
The kind you can collapse in
I so need one and yet there's no one
And somehow I mourn so deeply one
Who couldn't be that for me
The one true blue in all these years
The only one with the kindest words
The most selfless heart
The desire to please
Who showed his love with color and light
and wood and nails and paint
Though not bone-crushing hugs

And I didn't do enough
I never did enough
I never let myself consider doing
much of anything
He needs a project
Always a project
So self-sufficient
Never asked for help
And though I knew he needed some
I didn't offer
I just didn't
And now it's too late
And I knew it would be while I was in it
I saw this moment of guilt and grief
coming down the road
And still -- I did nothing
Until the point where I was forced
Not because I wanted to but because I had to
And everyone says "angel"
But I say "coward" and "creep"
and "user" and "narcissist"
Even though he'd have done it for me
No second thoughts
Bottles of piss cleaning my nails
feedings through straws
He'd lift me off the milkshake-cat-puke-covered floor
with his freakishly strong, painfully skinny arms
Without a single second thought
He'd lift me.

But I? Me? -- shook and fretted the whole time
Every touch another tear
Every caress across his brow guilt burning my skin
Every single minute still breathing is a new flame of terror
There are no flowers beneath my window this year
What color - you didn't tell me what color you want
Has he stopped yet
The breathing I mean.

He's gone now
Never coming home never never never
Name dying out -- gone for good
Evaporating with the heat of the cooling spotlight
And I'm all he had I'm what he got stuck with
And I wasn't enough
It wasn't fair
Seven years and I wasn't enough
"you were his angel"
bullshit shut up

Come home I want you to come home
Time to come home
Please come home
Release this
I can't feel this sick to my stomach anymore.

Somehow it's still about me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Better Day Will Come ~ Go On

I was asked to be a guest contributor on my good friend Gene-Manuel's blog this week. I had already planned to write here on Messcapades about some personal experiences with the writing, recording and filming of "Go On (feat. Debby Holiday and Levi Kreis)" as well as the passing of my dear friend/neighbor Matt, so I went ahead with that and let Gene share it on his Whirling Blog. I hope you will check it out, leave some comments and become friends with the wonderful and talented Gene-Manuel! 

And hey...if you haven't already, check out my beautiful new music video, Directed by Christopher Gregson and SHARE it with the world, k? Let's lift up some hearts. :-)

Go on, little brothers and sisters!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Voice = The Lie

Disclaimer: There will be some bitching in this post. As a person who is consciously making the choice to subscribe to the mentality that life is what I make of it (as best I can), I do however recognize that there are injustices in the world that cannot and should not be ignored. Only when people speak out and draw attention to them can things begin to change for the better. This is going to be one such blog. 

Now that I've said all that, you're probably expecting me to get on my soapbox about marriage equality, child abuse or the separation of church and state. Not this time. This is all about my OTHER peeve...the lifelong one that never changes or goes away no matter how my opinions, politics, general outlook on life or the be-all-end-all numbers may change. 

And here it is: how our society allows the complete dismissal - and often flat out abuse - of fat people. Guess what? THAT'S ME.

Today I auditioned for NBC's new smash hit talent competition, "The Voice." For the second season in a row. I did not get a call back last season and once again, I didn't get one this season. Now, if you're new here, before you assume my nose is out of joint because I'm delusional about my talent level as so many are, a) listen to my vocal reel, b) understand that I am a professional vocalist and vocal coach for a living and c) I've been on lots of auditions with no call back and rarely let it affect me -- I realize that I don't have the big picture and don't know what they're looking for...big deal. It doesn't necessarily mean I'm untalented or not good enough. So on to the next.

However, I take exception to this particular audition for the same reason as I did last season's...because it's a complete fraud.

Before I explain why, in the interest of fairness and because there is always something to be grateful for, let me first wax poetic on the GOOD things about today's audition:

1) I had to be there so early (7am - who sings before noon???) that traffic wasn't bad getting there or back at all. Zip, zip, zip. Thumbs up there!

2). It was at the L.A. Forum, where there is a huge parking lot, and they didn't charge anyone (usually $25 - yikes!). I got a very convenient space so I didn't have to walk far, either.

3) It was nice and cool and still foggy at that hour, so even though we were corralled in the parking lot, we weren't suffering under the blazing sun. And we were only out there about an hour and half, which for a process like this is a MIRACLE.

4) The whole thing was extremely organized. Everyone on staff knew what he/she was doing and we were herded and sectioned off with purpose and efficiency.

5) Everyone on staff - and I mean everyone, including the producer I sang for - was respectful, encouraging and cheerful. And they'd all been there since 5am and L.A. is the last city on the audition tour. So they could've been uber-hateful if they chose to be.

6) I was in my car and on my way home by 11:30am. X-Factor could certainly take a lesson on how to run a cattle call audition from The Voice. Four and a half hours for something like this is UNHEARD OF. Huge kudos to whoever designed the process for having their crap together.

7) I met some really nice people, including a woman who, as it turns out, is a mutual friend of one of my good friends. I always love when that happens!

So why do I feel duped?

This is a show that -- unlike any other talent competition show on television -- claims to be about THE. VOICE. Real talent. People who can actually sing. No, no, no...rather, SAAAANG. From day one American Idol has never claimed to be about finding the best talent. It's original title was "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar." Not "The Search for an Amazing Talent." They've always said, "Vote for your favorite," not "vote for the person you think sang the best." X-Factor is looking for "that indescribable thing" that Madonna, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift have...which is to say, certainly not their voices. But The Voice is all, "We want SERIOUS artists! No chicken suits! We want the best singers ever! AND we won't base it on your looks cuz the auditions are BLIND!!!" So I auditioned last season thinking that this was the ONE show I had an actual shot at. Last season as well, a good five or six of my friends who auditioned, phenomenal vocalists all, also didn't get call backs. I was stunned at who they turned down that could sing circles around ME!

This season, I auditioned out of pressure from well-meaning friends who believe in my talent (thanks friends, I love you for that!). In the group of ten I was auditioning with, no one outsang me. Not even close. My fellow contestants even gave me "oooohs" and "aaaaaahs" while I was singing and applause when I was done. Then this girl with a model's figure and a really perilous bleach job who looks eerily like Zooey Deschanel (but prettier) gets up, sings this wussy Colbie Callait song about kings or something, does some hand claps and hip-shaking and is magically asked to sing another song. Her voice is solid, but not a stunner and not even unique. It's a dime-a-dozen voice. This is proven further when she sings Leann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" and screams out the word "dance" with absolutely no nuance whatsoever. 

When we're all finished singing, Zooey is asked by the producer to keep her cell phone on all day, while the rest of us are told, "The bar has been set really high this year, I heard some strong voices today but no one else is getting a call back. Thank you for coming." (At least he didn't say what last season's producer said to me: "Thank you, you can leave by the same door you came in.")

Uh...what? If Zooey's the high bar...then what was I? Or the three other people in the room who also sang much better than her and performed just as well...? 

Oh...did I also mention Zooey's 24 and I'm...not?

I used to be a person who blamed every non-success I ever had (and there are many) on my weight and my age. I realize this blog may sound much like that, but I honestly no longer believe in in that crap. I think there is an audience for everyone with talent, all looks, shapes, sizes and ages. I refuse to subscribe any longer to the Hollywood mentality that I cannot work in this town because of these "isms". I want to make this very clear. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE (SUB)STANDARD IN THIS TOWN. And since I changed this viewpoint in my life, things have been going pretty swimmingly, I must say.

But...what other explanation can there possibly be, when I blew the doors off that room -- for a second time -- to not have gotten even a call back? I'm not asking to win the whole dang thing, I'm simply thinking I am good enough to deserve a second shot! But I am not a stupid woman. I can see the look in a casting director or producer's eyes when I stand in front of them for the first time. That look I've been getting all my life...the disapproval, sometimes flat out disgust. I see their eyes gloss over and shut me out when they ask how old I am and I tell them (and why are they asking for a contest with supposedly no age limit anyway?). I usually try and be funny about it and say "Older than Britney but younger than Madonna!" Sometimes it gets a chuckle, sometimes it doesn't. I've also seen these looks on the faces in an audience from people who've never heard me sing before...but these looks dissipate as soon as the song begins. I always win them over once I sing.

Unless you're producing a televised singing competition show. Then apparently I couldn't get your attention if I ran around your little audition table in all my nekkid juiciferous splendor.

Yep, I probably sound conceited as hell. I don't care. I have allowed my insecurities to rule my life for a long time until the last couple years, but one thing I've never doubted is my talent. I know my worth as a vocalist and I know how good I am. And this simply makes no sense unless I was judged based on what I looked like. And I'm really, really weary of that. I'm really weary of our society continuing to allow this to happen. From the minute we come into this world we are bombarded with images of what women are supposed to look like, our magazines are full of "get thin fast" crap, our First Lady is waging a war with all the focus on childhood obesity instead of placing focus on improving school lunches (which basically sounds like this to a kid: "You're fat and are therefore so worthless that even the President's wife hates you"), the first thing out of every doctor's mouth when someone like me has so much as a sniffle is, "Well, if you'd lose some weight...", clothing options are hideous (don't get me started there), in tv and film Hollywood ridicules overweight people constantly (it's the only group of people left that is ok to bully and humiliate with no repercussions, apparently), airlines have created discriminatory policies focused specifically on humiliating fat people (and get away with it) and running the whole shebang is a diet industry raping us of billions of dollars annually with their lies, unsupported "studies", unhealthy weight loss options and general panic and fear that has seeped into the deepest fabric of our society, including our health insurance industry. Our children, particularly the females, are taught practically from birth that what they look like is all that matters and if they're not a "normal size" (what IS that, anyway?) they are unworthy of enjoying or participating in their lives, are deserving of cruelty and rejection and ought to feel ashamed of thinking they deserve to be treated otherwise. So in short, I was taught to hate myself from nearly the minute I was born by my own damned country. Long before my family ever started in!

Can you imagine what that feels like, being barraged by messages of rejection, hatred and unworthiness every day of your life from your earliest memory?

I bet some of you sure can.

"The Voice" touts itself as a true talent search, makes the average home-viewing American believe that everyone who gets up to sing has never been seen by a single pair of eyes before and this is the ultimate in vocal talent they could find in the country. Bullshizzlefrickasee! I'm perfectly aware that reality tv is the furthest thing from it, but this particular show is the biggest, fattest, fakest lie of them all (*cough* Mark Burnett *cough*). And I can't take it anymore. This rejection and hatred for fat people (particularly those of use over 30) is an injustice in our society and my industry just as much as racism, gay bashing, abuse, animal cruelty, etc. It's GOT to stop. 

I don't care if my weight makes you feel uncomfortable. This isn't about you and what you want. This is about me, my life and what I want. And I want to share my talents with people, because that is what my Maker has called me to do. You don't get to choose for me. You don't get to decide whether I'm allowed to live my dreams or not. So get over yourself, get out of His way and get out of mine. 

Yeah NBC...I'm talkin' to you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Go On" Music Video Final Shoot

"Stand up and walk out of your history."   ~Phil McGraw

Yup. Dr. Phil. One of my other favorite pearls of his wisdom is "If insight were lard, I couldn't barely grease a skillet with you." However, that is not the sentiment we are focusing on in this blog.

After two years...yes, TWO very first music video is finally "in the can", as the kids say in Hollyweird. We are at long last done shooting all our scenes and now all that's left to be done is editing (I say that as if it's a simple, overnight process -- au contraire, this is where the REAL work begins for Director Chris, like he hasn't done enough already).


You've waited two years, you can wait a few weeks more! I was hoping for a 9/11 release since the song was inspired by a visit to Ground Zero in 2006, but I think we'd find Director Chris in a dark corner of his office in fetal position and drooling all over himself if we pushed that too hard, so it's unlikely. It's ultimately up to him...and this video will release exactly when the Universe thinks it's supposed to and not one minute sooner. Plus, I want to have time to do some proper promotion and press and plan a premier party. can truly believe me when I say, SOON!!!

That said, this last week was SUCH an amazing learning experience for me. I (perhaps foolishly) volunteered to handle the extras casting submissions for our final scene, as Director Chris and Producer Jacole had enough on their plates. Keep in mind I've never cast a thing in my lifetime and now I'm suddenly going to find 100 extras for our final scenes. Woah, Seabiscuit! The good news was this: I was shocked -- literally shocked -- at how professional most peoples' submissions and responses were. We used L.A. Casting, Actors Access and Craigslist, putting out a call for people to drive all the way to an unfamiliar park in Pasadena by 7:30am on a Sunday morning and tramp around in the grass and hot sun till at least 1pm - UNPAID. In the end we had somewhere around 90 confirmations and I'm making a guesstimate that somewhere around 60ish actually showed up. I consider this miraculous because coming from the experience that at least 85% of people who book a first time voice lesson with me never actually show up, this ratio is STUNNING. All that said though, as stressful and time consuming as handling the extras' submissions was, I didn't hate it and I think I could probably be kind of good at it...and maybe I'll go get me an internship at a casting office or something just for fun and to learn more. It can only be helpful as a re-blossoming actor.

But I digress. Naturally, as is the nature of this particular business where there are soooooooo many details that all have to fall into place perfectly for it to work, we had an 11th hour crisis - and unfortunately it never got resolved. One of our principal actors had car trouble and couldn't make it from Venice out to Pasadena. We tried everything short of hiring her a cab (because we spent every single penny we had in the budget renting the location, covering permits, etc.) and of course, no one else in our scene lived anywhere near Venice so we couldn't arrange a pick up on the way. So sadly, she is not making an appearance in our final scene. Because I'm a little bit dark and twisty in my humor, I've re-written her storyline from "abused wife who leaves her husband and 'Goes On'" to "abused wife who TRIED to leave her husband but he caught up with her as she was leaving and gave her the Tony Soprano treatment."

What? Oh shut up, you're going to hell for something, too.

Another fun thing that happened was that a friend of mine showed up to the shoot as promised late, filmed one shot and took off because she'd been dealing with some serious transitions in her life over the last month and listening to the song over and over again caused her to meltdown. Niiiiiiiiice, huh? THAT'S how you want your music to effect people, right? LOL. She's ok and we talked about it (cuz diva was a lil miffed), but I will always be able to say that I gave someone a nervous breakdown with my music. Not everyone can say that, can they? Take THAT, Gaga!!!

But those were the worst two things that happened all day long so honestly it could NOT have gone better. Almost everyone was on time (or even early!), they brought lawn chairs and books to read, they were quiet, respectful of each other and the crew, it was a very diverse crowd of all colors, looks and ages (which was HUGELY important to me - we even had a gorgeous drag queen, a dude with a Mohawk and a St. Bernard in the mix!) and when it started getting a little bit too hot around 11:30am or one, including the little children, complained. I was so impressed...I'm still blown away by how great people were! Some of them (particularly the teens and tweens) also kind of looked at me like I was this otherworldly being, the "ARTISTE" I guess, and that was both fascinating and weird, because I've never experienced that before. It probably had something to do with my friend and amazing makeup artist Martin Christopher rushing up between every shot to blot, powder, pin and fluff...I'm sure it looked ludicrously "important." LOL. But I can only say THANK GOD for him, as I'd have wilted in an hour if he hadn't been there! Best money I ever spent. Trust (as he'd say).

The best part though, was when someone would come up to me and thank me for the song, tell me how much it meant to them and tell me their story of triumphing over hardships (and later, other crew members shared what some said to them). A couple actually teared up talking about how the song moved them. It just rocked my world. I think any songwriter can attest that when you live with a song for so long you can start to take for granted how it made you feel to write it and what it meant to you at the becomes just another piece in your catalog. So when a significant number of people ages later express what it means to them, it's really very humbling to think that something you did or created can effect someone else's heart so significantly. Of course, that's why we do what we do (if we're not the fame whore type, anyway -- not judging necessarily, just saying) but I can't imagine that I'm the only songwriter that's a little taken aback when the effort succeeds as planned. People standing up and walking out of their histories, encouraged to do so perhaps in part because of a little song I wrote. Praisaluiah!

[I would be remiss if I didn't stop a second to note my thanks to my co-writer on this song, Levi Kreis, without whom I'd not have made the trip to New York and visited Ground Zero in August of 2006 in the first place and without whom the song would not have been finished later.] 

We actually wrapped on time (15 minutes early, I do believe -- in your face, Spielberg!), loaded up the cars, I went home for a few to change, then went to meet up with Director Chris, Producer Jacole, Assistant to the Producer Jamie (Jacole's sis), Assistant to the Director Marie (Chris' lady), awesome crew members Kelli (aka "iPod"), KarenCandy, principle actors Kelly and the Colbert Twins (and their daddy) and some friends of ours down from the Berkeley area visiting for the weekend, RobertLisa and their gorgeous little baby Raina, to chill and toast our long-awaited wrap. We were loopy as hell (as call time for some was as early as 6am and DC, PJ, A2DM and I were up late and early all week prior) and the champagne probably didn't help matters, but we were giddy with ourselves for being a totally indie production and taking on a real, full-blown music video and actually succeeding! Dream big, get bigness in return!

It was a beautiful, amazing, joyful, SUNNY (!!!), healing, fun, fulfilling day. And I have the farmer burn and scratched up feet (from going barefoot) to prove it! And I'd do it all again! awhile. A long while. And I'm pretty sure we'll story board the next one to include a nice, air-conditioned studio. Juuuuuust sayin!

Love to every last one of you who backed our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter...without you this weekend would never have happened. We cannot ever express our thanks enough without sounding like complete, gushing teenagers. We love you.

Thank you to Tacey (sp?) at the City of Pasadena Parks and Recreation, Lance at, our park monitor guy whose name I forgot and the residents who live on Orange Grove and Sunnyslope in Pasadena (except the one that reported us to Parks and Rec the next day for being too loud, even though you had written notification from P&R that we'd be there -- you're a big poopypants poopyhead and I'm totally gonna sic Amy Poehler on you - loveyoumeanitnamaste!). 

More love to my personal friends who showed up to be in or work on this scene as crew at the butt crack of dawn on a sacred Sunday morning simply because I asked you to. I'm so blessed to have you all in my life:

Kelly Goodman (principal)
Greg Weaver (principal)
Candice & Seamus Colbert
Kelli Bowlden
Karen Brundage
Dawn Merkel
Chris Trott
Andy Allen
Rodney Petreikis
Paul Marich 
Romulo Mota
Marena Atallah
Marla Douglas
Richard Gadas
Robert Long
Scott Patrick
Susan Thatcher
Miss Poppy Fields
Dr. Mike Wooten
(I hope I didn't forget any of you!)

And of course, everyone who showed up at Gwinn Park in Pasadena by 7:30am (a final list of names I do not yet have) to hang around with a grassroots production team and indie artist in the hot sun for almost six hours in exchange for egg salad sandwiches, donuts, Starbucks and sunburns. You were stone cold pros and we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts!

Most importantly -- Chris, Jacole, Marie and it knee deep from day one, I'd give you my fallopian tubes and my last egg if they weren't all shriveled and useless. The most love, evereverever.

Stay tuned, Darciples! Big things a-happenin'!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Am Not Broken.

I'm not even sure where to start this blog. So much is going on...and yet not going on...I can't even think straight at the moment. I seem to be in the midst of learning some seriously heavy and strange life lessons and while on paper I know it will all lead to my highest good, it is difficult to allow the moment to just flow. Because you see, I'm a control freak. And I'm extremely competitive with myself. And I was raised in an environment of fear, guilt and self-loathing. I work hard to try and stop myself from boarding the Crazy Train these days when things aren't going the way I think they should (or are simply going in a direction I can't clearly make out as yet), and I am indeed getting better. I think of myself ten years ago...hell, even five years ago...and I'm pretty impressed with how much better I deal with life's little turds than I used to. Like the proverbial onion, you peel back each layer. At least that's how I prefer it. I'm not a diver, I'm a toe-dipper. And I'm okay with that. Cuz for a long time I just sat in the bleachers and watched.

Regardless of the progress I have made reading various happy-happy books, looking up inspirational quotes, listening to enlightening CDs by the likes of the good doctors Wayne Dyer and Michael Beckwith, and enjoying Rev. James Mellon's talks online...there is always my one albatross I cannot get off my neck. It is not a cause, but a manifestation of the root cause. And while I chip away, away, away at my bad habits of verbally beating myself to smithereens and begin to talk lovingly and respectfully to myself - and to others - I just. cannot. stop.................................................

Eating. There was never an a-ha moment that indicated to me what the core of this issue was, even though my mom and bio-dad had divorced before I was even two and he was a total substance-abusing deadbeat, which clearly leads to abandonment issues. Knowing this to be a common cause of food issues in women, it wasn't enough to just know it to make myself stop. And being a person whose favorite classes in school other than music were psychology related, I've read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on about this subject. And of course also worshiped at the church of Oprah for 25 years trying to figure it out as well. I even went to a healer who claims to have The Stigmata (I saw the scars in her hands while she held them over my face, vividly -- is it real or is it Memorex? You decide.) and to a wacky weekend seminar where they deprived us of sleep and food till we were all literally in tears (even the men) and coddling our pathetic little inner children. I actually thought that worked for a hot minute...but about a week later it was same ole same ole.

I may however, have had a breakthrough at long last...two interesting revelations. I began reading a book a few days ago called "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth. Yes, I heard about it on the Oprah show. Ms. Roth's philosophy is, "All that you believe about love, change, joy and possibility is revealed in how, when and what you eat. The world is on your plate." Uh...what? How I feel about life is causing me to abuse my relationship with food? And here I've been thinking this whole time that my relationship with food is what causes me to hate my life! I'm intrigued to find out more. This is Revelation Number One, the lesser of the two.

Revelation Number Two got me like a 2x4 in the noggin. In the forward of the book, Ms. Roth is describing a retreat she hosts twice a year to help women with food addiction. A rule is that when it's time to eat, everyone fills their plates with whatever, sits down and has to wait to eat till everyone else has filled her plate and has sat down. This causes lots and lots of strife. Eighty food-addicted women with plates of food in their faces and not allowed to eat. Just wave a beer under an alcoholic's nose, for the love of Pete. This discomfort brings forth confessions and excuses, many of which I've read in a million other places in my search to bury this demon within..."I was abused...I can't live up to society's standards...I'm a child of divorce...I grew up in the Witness Protection Program and I don't know who I really am"...blah blah blah. But one woman said something that literally busted open the floodgates for me, because I realized it was MY story but never really knew it.

Directly from the book (no infringement intended, Ms. Roth!): 

A few minutes later, Nell, a student at the retreats for seven years, raises her hand. "I am not hungry anymore, but I suddenly realized that I am afraid to push the food away."

"Why?" I (Geneen) ask.

"Because..."--and she starts to cry--"...because I realize I am not broken...and that you will be angry at me if you know."

"Why would I be angry at you?" I ask.

"Because you'd see who I really am and you wouldn't like it."

"What would I see?"

"Vitality. A lot of energy. Determination. Strength."

"Wow," I say. "And what wouldn't I like about that?"

"I wouldn't need you then. And you would be threatened by that."

"Who are you taking me to be? Anyone you know who was threatened by how gorgeous you are?"

Nell starts to laugh. "Hi, Mom," she says.

The room erupts in a wave of laughter.

"She was so depressed," Nell says. "And if I was just myself, that was too much for her. I needed to shut down the bigness--I needed to be as broken as she was--otherwise she'd reject me and that was unacceptable."

Now, my mother was and is beautiful. And I know I wasn't thrown out the ugly tree myself, so it's not about that. But I was a very dramatic, vivacious, colorful, expressive, creative, gifted child...and my mother could NOT handle my "bigness." She could NOT handle my innate, burning desire to make the whole world my stage. And even while on one hand she did make sure I got all the musical training I wanted in the form of lessons, etc., she did everything she possibly could to snuff out my inner light. Suddenly realizing Revelation Number Two, my mind flooded with examples...

I started dance lessons when I was 5. It was interfering with my Saturday morning cartoons, so I told mom I wanted to quit. Her reply, "That's ok honey, you didn't really have it anyway." And she let me quit and I never took another dance class in my life, because from then on I believed I couldn't dance. And I still do.

Around the same age, I was apparently fond of standing in front of the mirrors over the produce aisles in the grocery store and reenacting every commercial I'd ever seen on the point that my mother had a hard time getting me to stop and she'd have to drag me away in protest. One day I was so out of hand that I brought her to tears and she picked me up and left the store, abandoning a full cart of groceries. Now, while this is actually a pretty funny story, it stings to know that I had embarrassed my mother so greatly just by being who I was.

As a teenager, after the fam "got Jesus," my mother decided for me when I was "spiritually right enough with the Lord" to sing a solo on any particular Sunday in church. And she used it as a tool of discipline, too. "Do as I say or I'll call Pastor and tell him you can't sing this Sunday." To this day, when I have a voice student who is quitting their voice lessons because their parents are using them as a form of discipline, I get infuriated.

Mom yelling down the stairs into the basement-made-into-a-rec room as I practiced diligently singing the soprano melodies from the hymn book: "Darci, you're an alto, NOT a soprano, just accept it and quit that caterwauling! I can't take it!" A few years later when I started taking voice lessons and discovered I was indeed a soprano after all (as my dream was to be the next Sandi Patty), when I told mom she sneered, "No you're not. That woman must not know what she's talking about. What are we paying her for?" (I will tell you this, if not for Liz-formerly-Bolibaugh-now-Belle giving me permission to sing with the voice I was born with instead of dumbing-it-down so as not to appear as if I was 16-going-on-30--which would mortify my mother--I'm not sure what I'd be doing now. Probably making money. But bored out of my ever-loving mind.)

Whenever we argued, as mothers and daughters do, she never once went without saying, "Oh STOP being so dramatic! You're not on stage, spare me the drama."

Star Search was a big deal when I was in high school and they were having auditions in Albany, the nearest major city to my tiny little town of Johnstown, about 45 minutes northwest (and I mean a real 45 minute drive, not an L.A. 45 minute drive, which would actually be 7 minutes without traffic). My voice teacher said I MUST audition. I told mom. Mom said no, because she simply wasn't willing to drive that far (this despite the fact that she was as rabid a fan of the great Sam Harris as I was). When I told Liz, she was livid and immediately got on the phone and chewed her out. "Darci is GIFTED! She NEEDS to do this! What is your problem?!" Mom's response, "She can do whatever she likes when she's graduated high school and no longer living in my house." Now, considering what happens to child stars nowadays, Mom's decision could be argued as very sensible. But I was a senior in high school then and the "I'm not driving that far" excuse was not acceptable.

The worst though...when I moved to college in Nashville, TN...the whole family made the drive down with me (we had family friends living there they could visit and I'm not entirely sure that if we didn't that I wouldn't have been unceremoniously stuck on a plane and sent off alone). As they left to go back home, Mom hugged me ferociously and tried not to cry. But when she pulled away she said, "You can do this, Darci Christine. You're tough. You can do this." And then in the same breath, "But maybe try not to be yourself so much at first, because these girls are genteel southern ladies and you might scare them off before they get to know you." (Little does she know that very often "Southern Hospitality" is nothing more than wearing a big fake smile while they're stabbing you in the back.)

These instances felt brutal back then. But realizing where it came from gutted me even more the other day. I was born a fearless, happy child, as we all are. But by the time I was born Mom had made an extreme mess of her life, marrying the wrong alcoholic, drug-addict guy, never had any dreams of her own, and later got remarried to a very kind man that she wasn't truly in love with to get herself and her two children (at the time) off of welfare. I represented vitality, life, strength, hopes and dreams and had inherited my no-good bio-dad's musical gifts on top of it (bass player). Mom just couldn't take my "bigness"...she couldn't take looking at the reminder of her own mistakes every single day and the possibility that I might accomplish great things in my life when she never did. My mother was broken. I was NOT broken. And so she, subconsciously for sure, set out to break me. And I began to turn to food to deal with my mother's brokenness. Because I could be as dramatic and full of life and music as I wanted to with food because it couldn't and wouldn't reject me or belittle me for being me.

Now, after reading all this you are probably thinking my mother is a class A evil witch hag. That's actually not true. She can be very loving, fiercely protective, tough as nails, adorable as hell and absolutely melts into goo when there's a baby around. She's smarter than she's ever given herself credit for and she never sloughs off a responsibility for anything. She's also the only person I've ever met who LOVES to gamble and somehow has  never lost her shirt. She is the Queen of Moderation. And she's never once pressured any of us kids to hurry up and get married and make her a grandmother. I love my mother so very much and the thought of anything happening to her makes me sick to my stomach. 

Alas, like so many of us, her darkness has overcome her. She's allowed her past to be her present and her truth, and lets regret be the god she truly worships, as opposed to the God she claims saved her when I was seven. As a disciple of today's evangelical fundamental uber-conservative "Christ" (the man-made one, not the Living Source of Love I now believe in), she's more worried about the states of others' souls than her own. Her job is to be miserable. It's not a good day if you haven't wept, rent your clothing, climbed onto a pile of ashes and gnashed your teeth! She simply doesn't know that she doesn't have to feel this way. She just doesn't know...and at 61, she probably has no desire to. I cannot judge that or be angry at it, because a) I know that she is genuinely concerned with the state of the world in the deepest parts of her being and b) I was there once, too. 

But I don't want that for myself. I cannot stand myself miserable. Others can't stand me miserable. Revelation Number Two is reminding me, though I've heard and read it a million times, that there's nothing wrong with me. I was created in the image of The Maker and therefore perfect from day one. Period. I do not have to take on my mother's pain. Or my bio-dad's. Or friends' or former boyfriends' or my siblings' or anyone else's. It's not my responsibility and I have to stop worrying myself to death about it with every bite I shovel into my mouth. Furthermore, I do not get the luxury of blaming anyone else for who I've become or not become, because everything that has happened to me, was said to me or done to me in the course of my life are just that...happenings. Big deal. They happened. They do not define me. Their effects are not irreversible. Suck it up and move on. It's never too late to start over and it's never too late to remember that I was not born broken in the first place. I was NEVER broken. 


Contentment of heart to all.

Next day edit: This is becoming a song...stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


For the newbies, I'm Darci Monet and I make music and teach people to sing for a living. Check out my website to find out more. Especially cuz I could use some work right now. Winking0048 

I've been watching American Idol since season one and kvetching about it since season two. I do "drive-by reviews" watch, first impression critiques (cuz you don't get do-overs in concert). Thank you for reading, and please feel free to pipe in with your opinions, even if they disagree with mine -- just keep it on a grown up level. Thank you! 


Okay, let's get this show on the road. It's two songs-a-night time! FUN! LET'S THROW IT DOWN! 16a375z

Ok seriously. I am sooooooooooo tired of backup singers being dissed, particularly on this show. Sheryl's "humble beginnings" as a backup singer for Michael Jackson. That's a GOOD PAY DAY, campers, and a perfectly respectable living. And not every backup singer secretly wishes he/she could be famous. Some of us LOVE singing backup and find nothing to be ashamed of in doing it. Better than bagging groceries or selling car insurance, that's for damned sure. Stupid show. 


Sorry, it's been hot here today. Makes a juicy girl a little testy.

James is up first and he's gonna do some song by 30 Seconds To Mars. I know OF this band but I don't know their material. Isn't the guy from "Requiem for a Dream" in this band? That's one wack movie, people (Ellen Burstyn was robbed!). Anyhoo...well...not my favorite of his performances from a technique or pitch standpoint (band was wussin' out, too) but he's getting so comfortable on stage and he really knows what works for him. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying his album. And I'm pretty sure he's gonna be huge. I just don't want him to get rid of his vibrato entirely like all these little snot-nosed "rockers" today. What I love about him is he really sings and I don't want him to lose that.

Did Ryan just say something about James going "full Monty"??? What'd I miss??? Dang it! Rewind! Eyerub

So Jacob is going to do Jordin Sparks' & Girlfriend Beater's "No Air." Hmmmm...I dunno about this. What's wrong with the sound tonight? Everyone's out of tune, including the background singers. I didn't like this partially cuz the sound was so awful. Gotta say that kid can sing in the freakin' stratosphere, though. I actually think this probably would make a really great recording for him...just didn't work live and I'm not sure that's entirely his fault. GO JLo, telling Randy not to tell Jacob who he is! Now y'all shut up and let Steven talk. Btw, they kept calling Ruben Luther-esque too and when's the last time we heard him on the radio? Just sayin. Luther was then and Jacob has to be now and apparently he knows it.

Lauren is gonna cover Carrie Underwood. For a girl who is terrified of her own power, maybe she shouldn't be attempting songs by one of the biggest voices EVER...? Smiley-think005 I hope she blows it out of the park, though. And WOW, she sure did! Now THAT is the Lauren I was hoping she'd be this whole time! SANG, GURL! The sound still sucks but it goes to show when you choose the right song and leave your guts on the stage you can rise above that. FIERCE! 16a3c6a I think Sheryl gave her some great advice in telling her not to worry so much about it being perfect, but to give it all really worked for her.

Oh is Scotty still here? Servin' up a little Montgomery Gentry. And okay he reminded me WHY he's still here (once I got over those stupid Maxim models appearing again...seriously, I'm all in a good mood till they walk out and act like it's their show). That was a lot of fun and I thought he really took a bite out of those vocals and, like Lauren, threw caution to the wind. I always think Scotty does a great job connecting with his material but he has been choosing safe much of the time. This shook things up and I enjoyed it a lot. Nice job, kid! Thumbsup

Dang it. JLo's too cute whoopin' it up for these contestants...stop making me like you, you witchy little thing! Hmph. Eyes

Haley's doing an unreleased Gaga song??? Especially at the encouraging of Jimmy Iovine? I thought the contestants were required to choose their own songs. Hmmmmmmm. Indifferent0027 Now I know the producers force songs on the contestants - it's been going on for ten years. But no one's ever said it ON AIR. I expect a little backlash in tomorrow's entertainment news and I certainly hope it doesn't hurt Haley in the voting. Sign0007  Anyway...yeah, this is where she lives. It's all about  the stuff that's steeped in the blues for her. I hope her album is full of songs like this, cuz it absolutely should be. I think she did a great job. And her eye makeup is STUNNING! 

You're wrong, judges. I don't know half of these songs every week and it doesn't bother me when they do them well. I think they're full of crap. Except Steven, cuz he's with me on this. 

Oh noooooooooooo James is doing Harry Nilsson!!!  One of the all time greatest pop songs ever written. Oh I'm so excited...this could be so awesome and I sincerely hope it is. Aw jeez, he's crying. I can't take it. Haven't seen him lose his stuff since the auditions, it's heartbreaking! He stayed in pitch better while crying than he did on the first song! Clearly not a pristine vocal (and perhaps I'd have taken the key up a half step so his low notes could really simmer), but the heartwas there and at the end of the day that's what matters. He was the vessel, he served the song, done. And it was nice to hear a guy singing it for a change, too.

Okay so Jimmy's picking some songs tonight? Maybe I missed that in one of Ryan's speeches or something and there's NOT actually a scandal a-brewing. Regardless, Jacob is singing another great sad song from my uber-childhood, "Love Hurts" (coincidentally, Heart has recorded versions of both "Without You" and "Love Hurts" wanna experience vocal emotion, find and download forthwith). Ok loved loved loved the beginning, such a sweet touch with the harp...and I found myself getting into the end but HATED the horns, which immediately spread a thick layer of Velveeta over the whole thing. But Jacob put some stank on it and I only wish he'd have just said, "Oh shoot, WHATEVER" and used his body some, cuz you KNOW he wanted to. Wicked final lick at the end and super high "because I can" note to finish it off. Quite a mess. Quite a big ole hot mess but I enjoy that sort of the same way I enjoy Patti LaBelle. 

Up next is Lauren with...oh dear God..."Unchained Melody." Sick0020 Nothing against it, I'm just sick to death of it...and still haven't heard anyone do it better than Clay on this show. Holy AMAZING DRESS, Batman! Here she goes...and Oh COME ON!!! What the hell happened? She was doing so great, building, building, stylizing it perfectly, not too much, not too little, flipping flawlessly through registers, building...and then she completely crapped out!  Sign0165 I AM SOOOOOOOO MAD RIGHT NOW! This could have been absolutely a vocal stunner but no. What a disappointment. I don't know if it was the arrangement or if she just suddenly froze and quit. *sigh* 

Seriously judges. Booooooooooooo. Chickens. CHICKENS!!! You can't let someone crap out on an iconically big song and get away with it, 15 years old or not! Mad0235

Scotty is doing one of my all time favorite Elvis songs (of course written by the great Willie Nelson). I have no fear that he will settle me down from that last train wreck. And as expected, it was lovely and tender. I'd have brought it up a half step just so he could have locked in a little stronger on that bridge, but otherwise, he did it right. I forget he's so young. He's an old soul of a performer. There's no excuse for any other teenager on this show - or outside of this show - not to "get it."

Haley is singing "The House of the Rising Sun", which costs NOTHING to license because it's in public domain. No one knows who wrote it, but we know The Animals made it famous. Anyway...she sangin' her patootie off. I also think she's making up for Casey with all that growling. But I still love her and I want her to get all the way to the end. Again, this kinda song is HER house. Just about perfect. Great way to end the show. 

And that's all she wrote. I think Jacob might be getting the ax tomorrow. But then again...this is American Idol, and you just never know...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


For the newbies, I'm Darci Monet and I make music and teach people to sing for a living. Check out my website to find out more. 

I've been watching American Idol since season one and kvetching about it since season two. I do "drive-by reviews" watch, first impression critiques (cuz you don't get do-overs in concert). Thank you for reading, and please feel free to pipe in with your opinions, even if they disagree with mine -- just keep it on a grown up level. Thank you! Winking0048

_____________________________________________, I love me some Carole King but every time they've done her songs on this show the contestants have butchered them. I'm scared for James this week for sure. I have little hope that this show will contain much pizazz...unless they're smart and search out the hits she had with OTHER artists and not just what she recorded herself. 

Jacob's up first (thanks for playing honey, guess we'll see you at the finale) with "Oh No, Not My Baby." I'm following along pleasantly, he's doing just fine...and that's it...fine...and then that breakdown kicks in and he got his church stomp on. YEAH, DADDY!!! That's what I wanna see from him. And the kid's got a great ear...I liked a lot of his improv choices at the end. So it ended with a bang, but I wish he had put that 150% into it from word go. This is a good style for him. Let Cee Lo Green produce his record and there'll be something going on there.

Lauren is gonna do "Where You Lead." Oh goody, The Doublemint Twins are back. Sick Well...cute performance. That's it. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Still boring. Oh man, here goes the Queen of Autotune encouraging the 16 year old to trash her cords. But YOU Steven? Well...his cords were born trashed, I guess. Anyway, she's adorable but yeah...I just can't get into her. Everyone wants her to push, push, push her anyone gonna push her to CONNECT to a song??? She's vacant. Completely vacant.

Haley and Casey dueting, yay! Kinda fun. The best rendition of that song on this show ever. Even though that isn't really saying that much cuz everyone else who came before decimated it. But they sounded good together. There were some really nice vocal moments. 

Friends, I could not care less about tonight's show. Oooooohhhhhhh my gawd, I'm ready to be done already. Indifferent0018 And to top it off, my cat won't stop begging to come in, go out, come in, go out, come in, go out. He's fixin' to become orange chicken in a minute.

Oh nooooo Scotty's singing "You've Got A Friend." Snoooooooozaroo! Ok, I take it back a little. That was a nice rendition of that song. I believed him. Heartfelt and a little less country-fried than usual, in his upper register, a nice subtle change. Gotta give it to him. Thumbsup And he's MUCH better at "the look" than Constantine was. Haha!

A soft, sensitive side of Crazy James. Tremblin' in mah boots, kids. Don't get me wrong...I fully believe he's got the voice and talent to tackle something softer in there somewhere...but will he ALLOW himself to? Aaaaaahhhhhh, there's the rub! Let's see. Hmmmm..."Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." People are so used to the up tempo version...I wish he was gonna keep it a sweet ballad just cuz he CAN. I LOVED the beginning...but Iovine made him rock it up. *sigh* Gettin' sick of that guy. He did just fine, but it was also predictable. Another tired rendition. The lyric is so sad and tender...I wish SOMEONE would put that spin on it just once. I love James but I didn't get why everyone was licking his butt over this. (Though I wouldn't be mad at him if he won the whole thing, not one bit)

Now we get to hear Scotty and Lauren together. Out of tune. Both of them. Next...

Ummmm...who's the random child on Steven's lap?

Casey is singing a song I don't think I've ever heard. But I'm excited for it. Aaaaannnnnnndddddd so far it's the only performance of the night that mattered. The blues sits on him so well, he knows exactly what to do with it and he's a great entertainer. I loved the musicians circling him at the end...favorite of the night. 

Haley, please don't sing "It's Too Late." Oh thank God. LOVE her little dress. Ok, it's not just her monitors that are screwy, but the mix is AWFUL. Cuz of that, I think she got off to a slow start, but I also think she picked one of the hardest songs of the night and she didn't stumble vocally for a second. I'm just not sure the average Joe is gonna realize that or notice with that horrific mix swallowing her voice up. She's sooooooooooo bad @$$, though. I'd buy her album in a New York minute.

Duet from Jacob and James. Alright...who wants to bet me $100 that if James doesn't win this competition his first stop will be the lead in "American Idiot" on Broadway? Holy screamfest, Batman! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha...I haven't experienced such a thing since I battled out "People Get Ready" with my friend Chris Mitchell back in the 90's! Oh, I miss those days. But I digress and shamelessly self-promote. That was tons of fun for all the wrong, self-indulgent reasons. I loved that the same way I love N'Sync's "Bye Bye" song. Go boys. Don't judge me.

Oh thank God it's over. Least favorite episode of the season. Maybe I'm just extra tired or something. I suspect we'll be losing Jacob or Haley tomorrow night. 

Sweet dreams, rock stars!  049


Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well here we go...another week and I have no idea what the theme is. I guess I'll find out soon enough! from the 21st century. Hmmmm. I'm a little scared of this one, as I'm not sure the new millenium has produced much top 40 fare that's worth listening to. Thus sayeth Brian Wilson, "Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever." 

Hey...I kinda liked bringing back the eliminated contestants (except Ashthon...turns out she's still annoying). It's about time this show figured out that you don't have to actually win the dang thing anymore and that there are probably more steadily working cast-offs from this show than winners at this point. But poor Paul, all alone, with his hopelessly thrashed vocal chords, trying to keep up with a bunch of divas screaming. Oy vey. 

Alright, let's get to it. Scotty's up first (the danger zone, as Paul can attest). And he was "meh." It is indeed time for him to kick it up. I don't have anything more to say than that.

James is gonna do a Muse song. Fun. I'm not worried.  Oh wow, he gets a drumline? Hmmm. I'm not all that sure I loved ALL the screaming, but I suppose he had to do something cuz the song is not made for a soloist. I probably would have taken a higher harmony and played with the melody oh-so-slightly instead of the octave jumping. He looked amazing tonight and his overall performance was just right, I thought. He let the words (mostly) speak for themselves and didn't overdo the stage theatrics. I enjoyed it.

Here comes Haley with Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" and I'm REALLY psyched to hear her take this on (even though this song is getting dangerously overplayed right now). And DANG GURL!!!! I expected her to do just fine but holy moly that was some saaaaaaaaaangin', my people! I was in a rotten mood a minute ago and I feel so much better after that performance. I'm not even kidding. This is the kind of album she should make. Something a little bit throwback, a little bit contemporary. Gorgeous. LOVE. Super cute dress, too.167shsx

Judges? Did you not hear the same performance I did? They seemed awfully apathetic about it but I thought it was FIERCE. Shrug

By the way, there's a juicy girl in the audience that I believe is with James' people and she keeps coming up on camera...and I SWEAR I stood in line with her for X-Factor auditions. She never stopped singing or talking or "coaching" the other singers for one dang second. If it's not her, it could be her twin, down to her mannerisms. But she was from Fresno. So what are the odds, really?

And ANOTHER THING...I don't believe for one second that the bleach blondes are really singers. I think they're bikini models lip-syncing for paid union singers behind the big head of Oz somewhere. Disgusting. Sick0020

Jacob is going to do some Luther. I just hope it's not "Dance With My Father," though. Aaaawwww crap. Of course it is, cuz I think that was the last hit Luther had before he passed. Well...he got through it. Weirdness at the beginning, like he couldn't hear himself. But hey...when you grow up singing in church you don't always have monitors and you learn to sing in tune by muscle memory, so I'm not actually surprised that he didn't flounder for long. Otherwise, that was as good as I expected it to be. I'm with Randy, it didn't make me jump up and down either and I am anxious for the the old foot-stompin', gospel-sangin' Jacob to come back. 

I'm enjoying the contestants making fun of each other. And yes, I realize that sounded very bot-like. 

Casey is going to do my favorite Maroon 5 song, "Harder To Breathe." I'm psyched. I couldn't even type anything through that cuz it was SO. MUCH. FREAKIN'. FUUUUNNNNNN!!!!! He really put some rock n' roll on it and I just loved it. And man, that kid's got cajones to get in JLo's face and steal a SMOOCH! Winking0048 Brilliant. Every week he does something new and it makes me happy.

Oh Steven Tyler. Did anyone tell this guy that there are children in the live audience? Dude's the honey badger! Honey badger don't care! Honey badger don't give a @$%!!!! 16a420n

Of course Stefano's a flirt, it comes as naturally to Italian boys as blinking. Now I liked this performance just fine, but compared to all the interesting stage set ups the other contestants had tonight it ended up feeling kind of bare even though I think the kid was putting his 100% into it. His pitch was a little squirrelly here and there but I'm getting to where I don't actually care so much about such things anymore (to a point, of course) because everything we hear on the radio is so perfectly auto-tuned that a little bit of woopsy-daisy is almost refreshing to me (note to my students: this doesn't mean you get a pass, sorry!). Overall, I think he did his best but this might be the end of the road for him simply due to lack of theatrics.

Viva Italia anyway! Italy Flag smiley 79

(Do y'all know I'm Italian? Just checkin'.)

Lauren is closing the show with a Sarah Evans song. (Dear God make the Doublemint Twins GO AWAY!!! Mad0235 ). Aaaannnnddddd next. Sorry, but I thought that was a stupid song and this is the most bored I've been with her yet. I'm surprised at myself cuz going into this I thought I was gonna really like her, but I guess everyone else just keeps kicking it up every week and I feel like she's just coasting at best. It's not that I don't like her voice, cuz I do, I'm just bored. I certainly hope she takes the judges' advice and rips apart that box she's put herself in next week (cuz I'm not worried that she's going home).

JLo! PLEASE don't encourage untrained 16 year old singers to scream and yell at home by themselves! For the love of all that's good and holy, woman! Scared

That's all she wrote. I'm going to bed. This was a really fun show tonight. 16a3c6a

Thursday, April 14, 2011


For the newbies, I'm Darci Monet and I make music and teach people to sing for a living. I have two albums out, I perform all over L.A., I've sung backup for some super cool people, I've won a few awards for songwriting and some of my students are making great careers for themselves. Also, I am making my very first music video, which I am describing as a "video love letter to the world"!  My production team and I would love for you to keep up with our progress on our Facebook page.

I've been watching American Idol since season one and kvetching about it since season two. I do "drive-by reviews" watch, first impression critiques (cuz you don't get do-overs in concert). Thank you for reading, and please feel free to pipe in with your opinions, even if they disagree with mine -- just keep it on a grown up level. Thank you! Winking0048

_____________________________________'s movie songs week. And if anyone sings "My Heart Will Go On" (though I think we're safe with Pia gone), I might have to chuck my tv out the window.

Paul is up first (which means the show is trying to get rid of him) with "Old Time Rock n' Roll", dressed in mighty fine duds by Nashville's go-to costumer Manuel. THANK YOU Will.I.Am for setting Jimmy Iovine straight - NO DRUMB MACHINE ON THIS SONG, FOOL! Duh. Crazy Now...I hate this song. But I think it's gonna be a good fit for Paul regardless. But maybe I'm wrong. His poor little voice sounds absolutely worn out. Always fun onstage, but he sounded way better in rehearsal. I don't know if it's enough this week. I'm very confused by all the love the judges are giving him on this one. He wasn't awful but he wasn't at his best if you ask me.

Lauren is going to do "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus, which I have to admit, is a great little song and I think her voice on it should be quite nice. Hmmmmm. Bored again. She sung it okay (a little wobbly with her pitch on her slides and such)...I think I'm with JLo with this...I want her to go further. I just have a hard time believing her. This should have been an easy song to connect with and yet I didn't feel it.

Stefano is going to sing "End of The Road" by Boz II Men. Bless his little heart, I follow him on Twitter and I think he got a bit of a beating from Pia fans last week, blaming him for her demise (entirely unfair - peepz iz dumb, yo). My heart was happy to see the support he got from Jimmy and Will and I hope he can dig that emotion out and put it in this song like he did back with his wild card performance. And HOOOOOOO-EEEEEEEE! SAAAAAANG. JUST SAAAAAAANG, MUTHAH TRUCKAH!!! He tore that shizzle up, people. Great pitch, flawless runs, wore his heart on his sleeve and left his guts on the stage. Naw, he ain't goin' down without a fight. No, sir. And how cuuuuuute is his daddy??? Crush
VIVA ITALIA!!!  Italy Flag smiley 79

Love ya Scotty, but good luck following THAT up, baby! Oooooooh, I'm not happy with the song change. "Everybody's Talkin'" would've been somewhat out of the box for him, at least unexpected. And forgive me...but the backup singers are too hot in the mix. They sound great but I couldn't hear Scotty on the chorus. Hmmmmm. He should've stuck with his original choice. There was nothing terribly interesting about this song to me and his last note was a bit of a butt-scratcher. No disrespect to Mr. Straight, of course. This just wasn't the best of Scotty's performances.

I'm very much enjoying all the crap they're giving JLo for her "most beautiful blah blah." Very much.

Casey has chosen Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy." No Jimmy. No. You're wrong. WRONG. We love Casey cuz he's a REAL musician...America is CRAVING real musicians in the spotlight these days! LET HIM BE ONE! God forbid we give a record deal to someone with skills. Casey starts...aaaaannnnnnddddd a-ha! Take THAT, Iovine!  Fu How ya like THAT smack on the @$$, huh? Polly wants some more? Oh yeah...HERE!HAVE SOME OF THIS, NANCY BOY!!! 16a375z  Brilliant. Abso-friggin-lutely BRILLIANT. Gorgeous vocals, fierce playing, sick scatting and not even a single growl necessary. I'm not sure that "mmmm" in the middle was meant to cover a clearing of the throat or what, it was a little weird and out of place, but I didn't care cuz the rest was so dang good. Standing O. I love it when the suits are WRONG. 1zvba05 Amazing music will ALWAYS trump crap. Always.

Haley's going with "Call Me" by Blondie. And I don't have anything bad to say about that performance. I just love when she gets up into her high register and rasps on it, it's super sexy and I covet that ability. AND she whipped her hair back and forth! 049 This, of course, is a required element for rock tunes. Short haired people should not sing rock. Haha, ok I'm just being a jerk! Good job, I thought. I'm also glad she's finally laying off the hunchover. I thought the judges were a little hard on her. It IS a steep competition this year, though.  

Jacob is being forced to sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and doesn't seem happy about it whatsoever. Hmmmmm. I still love his voice. It was a very subdued version. Closing chords were very interesting. He sang his face off. But I have to say...I felt like something was distracting him. I felt a wall. His disconnected is still better than just about anyone else's connected, though.

James is sticking to his guns with "Heavy Metal." I kinda like that Iovine's got the whippersnappers testing his mettle. I think that's what the music industry needs right now...for our artists to be artists instead of products molded and shaped by overpaid guys who are older than me. I don't know if I'm gonna love this song cuz I don't know it, but I know I'm going to respect it, anyway. And actually I LOVED IT! Why? Cuz NO ONE'S DONE THIS S**T ON THE SHOW BEFORE!!! And how on earth did they talk the SICK Zakk Wylde into stepping foot on that stage?! Eyerub If you ask me, it felt like a real concert. Well, almost. The rest of the band being visible would've been nice. But hey...I stand by Crazy James' choice. And man, he sure does love to rock. I was feelin' it. Rockon

And there it is. Great show tonight. Personally I thought the weakest performances of the evening were Paul and Scotty. But that's based on a scale of "great" to "amazeballs". I have no idea who's gonna end up going home tonight, but I do hope Stefano gets to stay cuz I think he really fought for the right to.

Now I'm gonna put my face on and go sing a song or two at a piano bar. Haven't done that yet this year! Although I'm kinda in a rockin' mood now...hahaha! Hmmm...guess I'll pull out some blues, then.