Hipsters Out Of Metal!



Auditions week three
Cities: Austin (Wed), Los Angeles (Thurs)
Misery index: 10/10
Tyler-o-meter: 3/10

Let there be no doubt: This week’s fifth and sixth rounds of American Idol auditions were a trip into the fetid bowels of Hell. Not the Deicide-Danzig fun Hell — the bad Hell. The kind of Hell where L.A. loonies make Sly Stone and Lauryn Hill seem calmly sane. The kind of Hell where atonal country warblers make the “One Hot Mama” guy seem tasteful and talented. The kind of Hell that resembles a tranny-packed West Hollywood donut shop at the brink of total wingnut anarchy on a Friday night. The kind of Hell that no amount of pills can conquer. Friends, I am shaken, so deeply shaken and disturbed.

Before I plunge us into this Hades for fuckheads, let’s prelude our shared suffering with a recap of this week’s action surrounding our Steven Tyler and Aerosmith in which…

  • FOX 411 reports a spike in sales of Aerosmith music and Tyler memorabilia
  • NY Post runs unsubstantiated statements by Aerosmith biographer Stephen Davis that work on a new record currently is at a halt due to Tyler’s Idol gig
  • Tyler’s lawyer slams Davis and the Post, stating that Tyler’s Idol contract was designed to allow for Aerosmith activities and that a new album is slated for release this year
  • Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford, and Tom Hamilton report to various media outlets that the band has “started from scratch” with Marti Frederiksen on new music; no concrete explanation is given for the absence of the presumably butthurt Joe Perry
  • Aerosmith’s agent at Paradigm confirms that the band will do shows in South America and Asia this year
  • In a Thursday interview of Tyler, Randy Jackson, and a continually upstaged Jennifer Lopez, Oprah lauds AI exploitation of contestant Chris Medina and his critically injured fiancée

Bam you’re up to date. So, all set to test your pain threshold and the very fabric of your mental being? Then let’s do it. Deep breath. Okay, things started on a weird note when Wednesday’s Idol opened with black cards bearing the following statement:

American Idol would like to apologize for last week’s outrageous behavior by Steven Tyler. Mr. Tyler has been warned and assured us [sic] it will never happen again.

Neither Idol producers nor the Fox network commented on this media-bating apology, leaving Idol pundits and viewership to gauge its sincerity. Not that it matters; as a publicity masterstroke, the statement functions as a cost-free, all-encompassing mea culpa to uptight moral watchdog-types for Tyler’s lechery and foul mouth, and, to the hip, as an unrepentant, tongue-in-cheek celebration of Idol’s best quality: Tyler’s lechery and foul mouth.

So that was odd. And in retrospect, I wish it had stayed that way, but everything got way horrible way fast. And as the low Tyler-o-meter rating indicates (above), even our ever-durable hero struggled to stay afloat this week in the ocean of fucknuts wannabes, non-hint takers, stubborn self-believers, and casualties of our nation’s mental health system. And that was just L.A.! Austin was less insane, but way more country; I remain unsure of which is worse. Behold the horror:

  • In a sidewalk chat upon arrival on Wednesday, Tyler seemed conspicuously foggy, especially when accidentally thwacking the interviewer’s microphone.
  • One savvy Austin auditioner played up to both rock and country audiences with a sturdy Cornell-style rendition of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”; fans of the Johnny Cash version must’ve wondered what’s with all the goddamn shrieking.
  • As in weeks one and two, viewers were reminded that personal tragedy can earn a pass to Idol’s next round of auditions once contestant John Wayne Schulz detailed his mom’s struggles with cancer and his dad’s struggles with child-naming.
  • Judging from singers like the melodica-toting twenty-something who closed Austin auditions with a contorted, overwrought rape of Ray Charles’ “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” we can conclude that it’s acceptable in Idol auditions to employ the sound equivalent of blackface. Thanks John Mayer!
  • En route to the audition room, one L.A. contestant solemnly chalked up her imminent Idol opportunity to god’s will. On her way out, she then attributed her failure to Lopez’ shittiness as a singer and human being. I tell ya, religion is convenient as fuck!
  • After her cough “tribute” to Frank Sinatra, New Jersey’s Tynisha “Ow!” Roches attempted to overrule the judges’ criticism thusly: “I’m a great singer. I have like three albums … that are waiting to be composed.” Then, own mic in hand, she screeched an incredulous Randy Jackson right off the set. Then around scenery and back onto the set. Um, security!
  • Self-proclaimed freelance music producer/Chaka Khan name-dropper/instant reject Matt “Big Stats” Frankel on Jackson: “He is just jealous because he’s not related to Michael Jackson or Samuel L. Jackson. We beefin’ now.” Oh burrrn! You win round one, Big Slacks!
  • Arkansas’ Cooper Robinson, a clear fan of James Brown on meth, was the first televised contestant to frighten the judges into silence. You could almost hear Lopez plotting an emergency escape route. Out on the sidewalk, a frenzied Robinson quipped: “I’m more good-lookin’, more handsomest than any dog, chicken, giraffe, cow, pig, hog … and gee-raffe. Heh! [absolutely screaming] I FEEL [inhales] GOOOD!”


MetalSucks’ Idol Remains returns next week when sweet fucking mercy auditions conclude in San Francisco before the ostensibly less painful Hollywood round kicks off. My only hope is to have a stockpile of Dilaudid by then.

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