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October 6, 2015

The Next Great American Band: Episode 5

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 16th 2007 11:33PM
Ashley Clark of the Clark Brothers(S01E05) Well, that was a bit of a shocker tonight, eh? Who would have thought that Dicko would propose marriage to the lead singer of Dot Dot Dot? I surely didn't see that coming, did you?

Okay, I'm lying. I just don't want to mention the band voted out before the jump in case folks reading the main TV Squad page recorded The Next Great American Band for viewing at a later time. Then people would be yelling at me and I'm sensitive, y'know. But I can't have blank white space here, so I should say something.

Read on for the lowdown on the tonight's episode ...

Before I get into the groups who performed, I want to delve into the band who didn't take the stage tonight. In a way, I can understand it, but it's still a bit of a shock. Franklin Bridge left the show tonight based on the votes from last week. I personally think their cockiness might have had a bit to do with it. The band was great on a musical level, but the lead singer made it his own show and he came across as thinking he was so cool, so sexy, so "all that" -- I think it either turned people off or made them think the band didn't need the votes.

The judges, in particular, Sheila E., were shocked. She said America got it wrong. She thinks they should still be in the show. Oh, but America likes the Light of Doom better, I guess. Anyway, farewell Franklin Bridge.

The other bands all performed songs by Leiber and Stoller. With the exception of a few members of a couple of the bands, I think most were born long after the songs were hits. I'm not young (except in mind and spirit, mind you) and when I think of some of the songs, they were old when I was young! Great songs, yes, but mostly from the late 50s or early 60s. How did I think the bands adapted? I'll write 'em up in the order they performed.

Light of Doom
Light of Doom Yep, the kiddie rockers made it through another week. They sang "Jailhouse Rock." No, the lead singer doesn't quite have Elvis hips or sexiness (maybe in another twenty years he might), but they rocked it.

The kids are more versatile than I thought they would be and it's obvious that they're working really hard with songs way out of the realm of their personal experience. That said, when I closed my eyes and listened, it was obviously a kid whose voice is in the midst of changing. They do have talent, but I think their audience will be totally made up of their peers, boys and girls.

John Rzeznik was speechless. Sheila E. thought they were "awesome" and "great." Dicko thinks they're more watchable each week. Watchable, yes. Not all that bad musically, either. But I just wonder how seriously this band would be taken by anyone over fourteen years old.

The Clark Brothers
The Clark BrothersFrom teen hair heavy rock to an outright 'nuther world we go. What an experience it is to watch these guys perform! They're somewhat country. They have no drums. They're part of a traveling evangelist family. And, they're all so into whatever song they perform.

They did "Saved" -- extremely apt for their background and talents. I don't know what to say. If they don't win the show, they have nothing to worry about. They will be a hit anyway, I think.

John asked them why they hate drummers -- I think they don't need a drummer. He also said they always bring it. (Yes, they do.) Sheila E. said they were "magnificent and fabulous." She also spoke of the passion they have for the music. Dicko loves them and said Ashley has sensational vocals. I agree with all, except the drummer comment. These brothers are exciting to watch.

Dot Dot Dot
Dot Dot DotWhen they announced this group, I thought Très Bien would bite the dust tonight. Oops, I was wrong, wasn't I?

Although, to give them credit, I think this may have been their best performance yet. It didn't hurt that they played a catchy tune which fits the band well -- "Love Potion Number 9." I couldn't help but catch the change from the original version. The lyrics were "I've been this way since 1956." They just added forty years onto it. I guess 2006 wouldn't work.

The women in the band were featured more prominently tonight and I think that was a good move for the band. The Rocket girls could have taken lessons from this band's females. The song was fun, as it should be, and I think they did it justice.

John thought they're off the wall and that they rose to the challenge. Sheila E. said they were "fantastic, exciting, and great." Dicko they've turned the corner, but the lead singer needs more personality in his voice. All commented on how well the women did when brought to the forefront.

Cliff Wagner and the Old #7
Cliff Wagner and the Old #7They did it again, the bluegrass band made it to play yet another week. Many dismissed them after the first episode, but they're still there. For now.

I'm surprised they're still in it, but I'd love to so them do just plain outright bluegrass on stage again. What they've done for the past few weeks is to be more of a country band than bluegrass. I don't think they did their song tonight -- "Poison Ivy" -- badly, but they can be so much more than that.

John thought they should push the boundaries more, but they were great. Sheila E. thought they should be edgier and harder, but called the performance "superb." (I don't know -- that sounds a bit contradictory to me.) Dicko was bored by them once again. He said their performance of the song felt lazy. I'm not sure if they'll make the cut much longer, but I'd love to see them go all bluegrass on a Rolling Stones tune next week. Now, that would be something to see!

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
Denver and the Mile High OrchestraAnd the big band got down, got funky. I'm not quite sure if they got jiggy wit' it, but I liked their performance of "Ruby Baby."

I've always enjoyed funk style and I really though they did the song justice. I was trying to figure out the other music connection to the style and it wasn't until Sheila E. mentioned the Steely Dan feeling to it that the light bulb clicked on for me. Yes! All in all, I thought they did a solid performance of the song.

But not all the judges agreed with me on this one. John thought the lead singer was blown away by the horns in the band, the vocal was stiff, and that their funk skills were limited. Sheila E. thought they were "marvelous" and performed out of the box. Dicko didn't care for them But has he ever?

SixwireI had no doubts they would make it through to this week, but I also thought this was the most so-so performance I've seen from this band.

Oh, didn't get me wrong. I still melt when lead singer Andy looks directly into the camera. But their cover of "I Keep Forgettin'" just didn't make the grade for me. It was too slow, I think. I can take slow from Cliff Wagner and his boys -- they have the right country twang. But Sixwire?

John thinks they're the strongest band, but while they performed technically well it was just as if they went through the motions tonight. (Yes!) Sheila E. said she heard them referred to as Sexywire, but thought they made a bad song choice. (Yes!) Dicko likened the performance to a lukewarm bath.

Très Bien
Tres BienThey made it, much to my surprise, shock, and awe. I think I was more impressed with the brief impression of Ellen DeGeneres by the blond in the band than any performance they've done so far in the show.

They sang "Some Other Guy." I guess it was okay, but the lead singer keeps throwing my focus off with his 60s foot moves and hitting himself in the head, almost falling over. The judges called out the Dot Dot Dot front man for being too frantic, they should see if this kid can be contained.

That said, the judges all liked the performance. It had a sense of urgency. (I read that as frantic.) Sheila E. said they would make a great Saturday morning cartoon show. (Now, there's a compliment for musicians, right?) Actually, their antics remind me of the Monkees or even the Beatles in their movies. I'm sure that's who they patterned a lot of the antics from.

So, there you go. Next week we'll see the bands minus one perform Rolling Stones songs. It should be interesting. But what band won't perform?

What band will be voted out next?
Light of Doom40 (12.9%)
Clark Brothers10 (3.2%)
Dot Dot Dot40 (12.9%)
Cliff Wagner and the Old #795 (30.6%)
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra42 (13.5%)
Sixwire12 (3.9%)
Tres Bien71 (22.9%)

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Really, no one mentioned the giant bag of narcotics that the lead singer of Franklin Bridge was holding at the end. Guess they didn't expect the camera to pan back to the green room so quickly, they certainly looked like the cats who just ate the canaries after that faux pas. So seriously guys, NO ONE else noticed that? We saved it on Tivo and showed all our friends. Wonder if The Soup picked up on it.

November 19 2007 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This week was not surprising to me but was disappointing. FB is a great band. Having the tykes from LOD and the modestly talented Tres Bien still in it is sad. Hopefully another one of the great bands (sixwire, dmho, clark bros) have enough fans to stay in. The show is losing credibility.

November 17 2007 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know what's terrible about this show? Not letting anybody play originals. A bluegrass band like Cliff Wagner or a throwback-style band like Tres Bien are going to sound a lot less cheesy if they're allowed to play their own music.

It gives a band like Sixwire, who's good but pretty middle-of-the-road style-wise a huge advantage. I think Tres Bien sounded a lot better during their originals, and I'd like to hear what the Clark Bros' real style sound like.

November 17 2007 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yes, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra is ALOT BETTER !!! than the judges give them credit for. I have seen them live about (6) times over as many years, they are fantastic! and are by far the best band in this competition. That of course does not mean they will win. Denver was brilliant entering this competition, he has used FOX to reach out to millions of Americans that would other wise has not heard his music. Keep voting for Denver!!

November 17 2007 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I'm enjoying this show a lot more than I ever expected to. The difficult part is trying to pick which band I like the best each week since they all have such different and distinct styles. The other part is that I actually agree for the most part with the comments made when the judges depart from the "oh you were great!" mush they usually spout.

This week, Tres Bien was the best fit for the Lieber/Stoller tunes and I thought this was the first week they nailed their choice. Usual favorites just plodded along (Sixwire and Cliff Wagner) uneventfully. I thought Denver & the MHO were a lot better than the judges gave them credit for, Light of Doom were poorer than the judges gave them credit for and I was disappointed that the Clark boys were so frantic once more.

Biggest surprises of the night were how good Tres Bien were and how much Dot Dot Dot has continued to improve. That's two weeks in a row for them and I think they may be the favorites to win at this point. They've done the best at listening to the judges' advice and I hope they keep it up. Those girls sure can play and I'm glad they're getting into the spotlight more each week.

My pick for the band going home next week? Should be Light of Doom but I doubt it will be. I have a feeling that Cliff and the boys may be out of luck even though they are fantastically talented and deserve to stay.

November 17 2007 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Brown

Being a musician myself, I actually enjoy this reality show (sure, it's pretty lame in some spots...but I'm talking strictly about the performances of these bands trying desperately to make it to the bigs). I knew last week that Franklin Bridge was in trouble, because their performance was just so-so....but seriously!!! Are you kidding me??? They were the best band on the show, hands down. We're talking the New England Patriots playing the Dolphins at home. Their musical ability is miles above the nearest contender on the show....and yet they're gone now. If anyone affiliated with Franklin Bridge reads this, take comfort in the fact that you guys WILL make it, and I'll be one of the first people to buy your album when it hits the stores. Granted, Franklin Bridge reminds me a LOT of Living Color, but hey....I happened to love that band. Keep rockin' fellas, and don't let this episode ruin your dreams. You guys are truly inspirational, and I know that there are plenty of people who feel the same as I do.

November 17 2007 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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