Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Read Rolling Stone So You Don't Have To

You should have seen the cute knowing smile on the clerk's face when I asked for the latest Rolling Stone at Evanston's City News, the greatest magazine and newspaper stand north of Chicago.

He knew I was looking for the Adam Lambert cover article. My fascination with the American Idol runner-up is made up of equal parts admiration of his music and the charismatic mismatch between Lambert's "rocker" persona and his chubby cheeks and persistent graciousness when the music stops. The piece offered plenty of sex and drugs talk, but a little less than I wanted on the rock 'n roll. (He did say of "Whole Lotta Love": "The groove is so sick on this song.") I was hoping to read Lambert's own thoughts about his vocal technique and his craft and where he finds that amazing falsetto and control; I had to be satisfied with his revelation that his strategy was not about winning the competition, but about staying "on the platform" as long as he could. Turns out that by taking second place, he got the car, the contract, as much (if not more) exposure than Allen AND he didn't have to sing the crappy Kara "No Boundaries" song ever again nor try to find a place in his condo for the ugly trophy. Lambert wins.

PLUS, we got the amazing spectacle of a shocked-to-the-point-of-reluctant winner. After the surprising result was read, while Seacrest blathered on about the "dark horse," Allen tilted his head back and put down his mike. With his scrawny half-grown mustache and his reluctant attitude, he resembled nothing so much as one of my high school students when caught where he knows defiance is futile. His first reaction a guilty one, he could only say, "Are you serious? Are you freaking serious? It feels good, man, but Adam, Adam deserves this. I'm sorry, I'm sorry I don't know what to feel right now. This is crazy." (As in crazy-wrong!)

Another reveal from the article - Lambert's version of "Ring of Fire" was inspired by Dilana Robichaux, a RockStar Supernova contestant who did a beautiful "Time After Time" in her throaty Marianne Faithful voice. Well, it is one of those near-perfect songs.

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