Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 13th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

DurbWatch with video

james-durbinApril 14, 2011 "DURBIN ROCKS!" It may be completely random, the order the contestants perform in on American Idol (it never seems to be the same way twice). But they saved the best for last on Movie Night last night when James Durbin rocked the house with Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal" for the grand finale.

Okay, if you're like me, you never heard of this song before (although I do remember the trippy animated rock movie it comes from, based on the cult '80s comic). But that didn't make James' performance any less exciting and dynamic as he circled the stage, jumped up on the judges' table, or boogied down with his accompanist, legendary rock guitarist Zakk Wylde from the Ozzy Osbourne band, hitting every one of his spine-tingling power crescendos along the way.

 

Because here's the thing about James: it's not all about the power. He sings every song as if he actually gets what the lyrics mean. When he prowls the Idol stage, singing, "Are you ready for midnight?" you get the feeling he's been to midnight a time or two himself. Other contestants may hit all the right notes (or not) and deliver a pretty tune, but when James sings a song, you feel like he's lived it, and that's how he makes every song his own. (He also has the confidence to know what material is right for him, as we saw in a backstage clip from earlier in the week when James politely declined producer Jimmy Iovine's suggestion that he pick another song.)

The judges were as thrilled as anyone. "That felt really, really real," enthused Jennifer Lopez. "That was crazy!" "You guys were just at a James Durbin concert," Randy Jackson told the crowd. "I'm happy you stuck to your guns," he added, to James. "Durbin rocks!" Steven Tyler added approvingly, "Nice lip to Jimmy."

The rest of the show was a pretty mixed bag. Country boy Scotty McCreery (who you can't say exactly challenges himself) flirted with "Everybody's Talkin'"—which would have been interesting—but opted for a yodel-y George Strait song instead. Lauren Alaina sang (yawn) Miley Cyrus from the Hanna Montana movie, Stefano Langone gave a big, earnest vocal on Boyz II Men's "We Belong Together" (from Boomerang), and Haley Reinhart delivered an anemic version of Blondie's "Call Me" (a few bars of which evidently were heard in American Gigolo). Jacob Lusk was persuaded not to unleash his big, throbbing voice on either of his first two choices "The Impossible Dream," or "You'll Never Walk Alone" ("Don't get too corny," cautioned Iovine), and instead powered his way through "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (which they say was used in The Pursuit of Happyness).

Paul McDonald opened the show with a bouncy version of Bob Seger's "Old-Time Rock 'n' Roll" from Risky Business, which was at least better suited to his lightweight talents than his attempts on Johnny Cash and Elton John in previous episodes. But it was up to Casey Abrams to throw a curve ball with his rendition of Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy," accompanied by his own upright bass, bongos, and a piano. (Was this song even in a movie? I'll have to look it up...) It had a kind of cool, retro-hip, smoky jazz club vibe to it, and the judges praised him for "knowing who you are."

But I wonder if he does, exactly; he still seems to be searching for his groove. More to the point, does America know who he is? (After all, last month he was strutting across the stage with an electric guitar, singing Nirvana.) Casey doesn't need to be a big rocker like James, or confine himself to a narrow field, like Scotty. It's great that he's versatile, but he still has to learn James' trick of owning every song he sings, whatever the genre.

Tune in tonight, 8 p.m., to find out how America voted, and meet me back here tomorrow for the download.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster