The Next Great American Band: Top 7

Tonight’s theme: Lieber and Stoller, you know, those guys who helped guys like Elvis Presley rip off black artists. And there are those who will think black artists were ripped off again, as Franklin Bridge is eliminated tonight. I figured their demographic edge alone (only African American group in the bunch) would keep them afloat, but it was not to be.

And, I said they’d be one of the last three standing. Oops. Ok. New prediction. I’ve been in denial. Those metal-tots, Light of Doom are obviously not irking voters like they irk me. And hey, they are the Vote for the Worst pick! So…last three standing will be: Sixwire, The Clark Brothers and Light of Doom

Tonight’s video packages feature the band members talking about their roles in the group. Like one big happy family. Yippee!

More recap after the jump…

Light of Doom– “Jailhouse Rock” – The kids mumble their way through their video package. I have no idea what they’re saying. The heavy-metal kids go after the classic “Jailhouse Rock” and it is….metally. It lacks the warmth and sexiness of Elvis’s version. Which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing. Sheila E says, “Rock Fabulous!” but asks them not to curse. Huh? Dicko still has reservations, but says they are becoming “more and more watchable” each week–after making a crack about one of them probably ending up in jail if they stay together long enough. Heh.

The Clark Brothers – “Saved” – The Clark Brothers are back to their gospel roots this week. Ashley, the lead singer is testifying, and it is fabulous. Just. Wow. Here’s the deal, if the Clark Brothers record a gospel album, I’m there. If they record a mainstream country album full of songs like their original “Country Time” from a few weeks back…not so much. Note to Johnny: They don’t need no stinkin’ drummer. Dicko says, “You were forthright, you were passionate, and you were righteous. And even a wretch like me feels closer to salvation.” Amen.

Dot Dot Dot – “Love Potion #9” – The band takes an icky novelty song and updates it into a well-arranged, fun cover without over doing the camp. These guys are inventive musicians. The circusy-organ embellishment is awesome–it gives the song a fun-house feel. And lead guitarist, Rose, is not your token chick–nice little guitar solo from her. These guys are growing on me more and more each week. They get the “most improved” award. Dicko says they’ve turned a corner, the lead singer needs more personality in his voice, and the girls are “real icons.”

Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 – “Poison Ivy” – I like the arrangement of the song. It’s more country than bluegrass, and I think the performance will help them appeal to more than just bluegrass fans. It’s a pretty straight up cover of a pretty dumb song. Maybe that’s why the judges aren’t all that impressed. John and Sheila think it should have been “harder.” Dicko thinks it was “lazy” and that the band has to “prove to the industry that they are more than just slack-jawed yokels.” John gives his entire critique with his hair in his face. Bugs!

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra – “Ruby Baby” – Here it is. The disco-lounge version of “Ruby Baby” No. NoNoNo. Denver seems like a nice middle-class middle-american guy, but he’s gotta stick to performing “When the Saints Go Marching In” or whatever the band plays while on the church basement circuit. His attempt at “sexy”, with the snarls and the weird faces just doesn’t cut it here. John is to the point, “I think you guys’ funk skills are really, really limited.” Ya think, John? “…And Denver, I thought your vocal was really stiff, I thought you got outshined by your horn section…you’re the front man, and you got blown away by your own horn section.” Yep. Sheila, who must have dipped into Paula’s stash on break, gushes, “It was marvelous!” Dicko says he’s not gonna buy funk from a bunch of super-straight white boys in business casual. Yep, again. I think it’s time for these boys to go home.

Sixwire – “I Keep Forgettin'” – No 50’s or 60’s nostalgia here–this is the song Michael MacDonald made a hit back in the 80’s. The harmonies seem a little off tonight. The band does not improve on the bland original, though there is a nice instrumental break at the end that could have taken off and made the song more interesting if they’d had the time. John says it felt like they were going through the motions. Yep. Sheila says they’re now called “Sexy Wire” Eep. She says, “Technically that was great.” Is that really a compliment? Dicko says it was like a “lukewarm bath” and that it needed more of an edge.

Two bands are left. Who will go home, Tres Bien! or Franklin Bridge?

Tres Bien! makes the cut!!!

OMG. The look on the Franklin Bridge lead singer’s face is priceless. I wish Dominic had given him the opportunity to say what he was thinking. I’m sure it would have been something really arrogant and annoying. Sheila plays the whole “America got it wrong !!!” card. She soooo thinks it should be Tres Bien!as if it really came down between the two of them.

Actually, it should have been those fake-funksters, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.

America hates funk, y’all!

Tres Bien! – “Some Other Guy” – The show closes with an awesome rave-up. The boys rebound from last week and are back to form. Cute lead singer, Mikey, dedicates their song to Franklin Bridge before bouncing all over the stage. There’s lots of garage band goodness as the boys rip through “Some Other Guy.” John says they brought energy and urgency to their performance. Dicko says they have to be careful of being “too well-observed, ” because they appear as “a bit of a pastiche.” Then, he compares them to the house band from the Corny Collins Show in Hairspray which is pretty funny. Dicko makes a good point. But lots of bands–good bands– start off derivative, and eventually grow into their own skin.

Speaking of which…

Next week? The music of the Rolling Stones…

About mj santilli 35015 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!