Idol Chatter

They've cancelled my program, and baseball season is a long way off, but tonight I feel it's going to be OK, for American Idol's new season has begun.

I have not been able to watch it yet; I had to go to a Justin Timberlake dance marathon last night and so forth; however, the shows have been taped, I will be engaging in an Idol gorge-athon this weekend.

It's pretty important.

Yes, indeed it is.

On MLK day, I saw Dreamgirls. Hudson was, obviously, magnificent. I recalled that when she was on Idol, at that point in her life, she had never even been to a live concert before. Here's what I wrote on the blog (March 17 2004) after one fully amazing night..

"By the way, did anyone watch American Idol last last? God, it was impressive. My God, there were some really great people up there... For earth-mother soul, ancient and so damn fertile, I had to go for Jennifer Hudson. I have never heard anyone on this show (or any other?) sing an Aretha Franklin classic and not sound like a complete tosser. You just can't do Aretha--no one can. But she did 'Baby I Love You' and she did it so her own way, I believe Aretha would have been proud.

Jennifer and Fantasia are my favorites. They both come from poor families and neither has ever been to a real concert, yet they both carry within them this insane musical wisdom, as if they had somehow inherited or absorbed the soul of all their ancestors. It's church. That's how it happened."

I was also impressed that — as I remember it, anyway — she sang "Imagine" wearing a white pants suit. I felt this was one of the more stylish moves anyone ever pulled off on Idol.

Hudson's style was almost operatic. Musical theater is perfect for her. I'm so proud and awed by how she has grown.

In other important news, I have huge, outrageous lilies in my room, they opened today. These flowers are bursting with Self. It's astonishing. My house smells of L.A. on a summer night — which is much like the smell of L.A. on a February night, once the mock orange and night-blooming jasmine have begun to rock.

Growing up in L.A., I used to listen at night in winter for a time when the birds, even just a single crazy mockingbird, would start to sing at night. I needed to feel the summer would come again. I would recite in my head a poem I read somewhere.

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December
A magical thing, and sweet to remember
"We are nearer to spring than we were in September."
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.

I just looked it up; apparently it is by Oliver Herford, a poet, humorist and artist. The illustration of the lady is one of his, inspired by Spring.

He was funny and smart.

rock on,


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