Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Treats for the TV-watcher

Kelis on Jonathan Ross
Kelis has gold teeth. Not just one or two, but *all* of them. Hopefully, those were fronts. Bad enough on your average ugly dirty south rapper, it's criminal on a potentially beautiful woman.

Donna Summer on Jools Holland
The highlight of the show: Summer sings "Let It Be" with Jools on piano. Not knowing anything other than "Love to Love You," her voice is a revelation.

Saul Williams on Trevor Nelson
Holy Shit. "Bloodletting:" fury and power combined with perfect control (diction and articulation) to devastating effect. Incredible. What was actually said (Amiri Baraka Black rage kind of thing) in his spoken word poem mattered less than the delivery: one couldn't help but be shaken to the core. It was weird to see something meaningful on the normally full-of-fluff "Lowdown."

Britney Spears: closet jazz fan
Unexpected "sultry" jazz (swing, walking bass, there was even a piano solo) renditions of her early hits, "Hit Me One More Time" and "Oops I Did It Again" in a taped performance from her current (?) Onyx Hotel Tour. Going by her wardrobe at the time, she was taking it all the way back to the original New Olreans brothels. Which is just what the genre needs, if you ask me. Who said MTV doesn't pay attention to jazz?

"Everytime" made me cry. Britney is alone at a grass-covered piano, playing and singing (really singing, unlike other songs where she has to dance) the song. The camera never shows you her hands, though. A shot from the back, I think: "Her arms aren't moving much." The song picks up a bit, with other instruments joining in. Britney gets up and walks away from the piano. Piano part continues as before. Cue two full minutes of laughter (hence the tears) on my part.

Props for using a real band. For a few minutes after these two tunes, they got to play some funk solos and pretend they were in the NPG rather than backing Britney. The drummer had something I'd never seen before: attached to the front of his bass drum(s) there was what looked like a snare drum. Anyone know what that's all about?