Most will say anything is better than watching Wednesday’s two-hour season premiere of American Idol. That might be true but we’re not here to bash the show. We just want to offer five alternatives because we all know what’s going to happen during A.I.’s season premiere even with three new judges. There’s going to be bad singers, really bad singers, a nerd with a great voice, a hottie who can’t sing, someone who raps, and a young parent who cries after they’re told they’re going to Hollywood.
To help you avoid the monotony Land of Punt has compiled a list of five musical things you can do instead. All of our suggestions are things you can do at home, relatively inexpensive, and take around two hours. Of course, if you really wanted to experience a great alternative to A.I.’s season premiere you should get out of the house and go listen to some live music.
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Have you ever really sat down and listened to music? I don’t mean having music on while you read or as you write articles for a blog. I mean have you ever really sat down and done nothing but listen to a piece of music? If you haven’t you should and the best place to start is with the greatest piece of music known to the Western world, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. If you don’t have it, and you really should own a recording, you can get it from Amazon or iTunes. Get the entire symphony not just the “Ode to Joy” part.
There’s a British television series called “Classic Albums.” The show takes an in-depth look at how rock’s greatest albums were made. These documentaries are great if you really want to delve into the nuts and bolts of the recording process. There are several episodes but Land of Punt recommends Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Steely Dan’s Aja, and The Grateful Dead’s Anthem. You can stream the episodes via Netflix.
You really can’t learn to play an instrument in two hours but you can do a little cutting and splicing. Download a program called Audacity. It’s free and it allows you to edit audio files. You can use it, along with your digital music collection, to create your own songs. For example, use Wolf Parade’s “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son” for a drum beat, grab a few bars of “Broadway” from Foxboro Hot Tubs for a guitar track, and the add the opening bass riff from Silversun Pickups’ “Waste It On.” Before you know it you’ll have your very own track. The process can be time consuming but it’s fun, relaxing, and allows you the opportunity to create your own music (somewhat) without having to be musical.
Have you ever gone to YouTube to watch a particular video and after watching said video you start feverishly clicking links to other videos. Before you know it you’ve wasted a couple of hours and you’re somehow viewing a scene from a bad Bollywood flick. Well, we want you to do that but with music videos preferably ones you’ve haven’t seen before. To help you do this we’ve compiled a list of terms you can search on YouTube. After you’ve watched a video, click on a link located on that page—whatever catches your fancy. If you get stuck use another one of our suggestions. See where the links take you. Chances are you’ll be introduced to a lot of great new music as well as some pretty bad fashion.
King Crimson – Frame By Frame
Minutemen – Corona
Randy Newman – Short People
Slade – Run Runaway
Wilco – Impossible Germany
Musical Video Games
Instead of watching the A.I. season 12 debut get caught up on your Guitar Hero or your Rock Band. If you don’t have either game certainly someone you know has it and will let you borrow it for a Wednesday night. If they can’t, or won’t, there are apps for your phone or tablet. These musical video games are a blast and they are especially fun to play with friends. You’ll likely hear some music you’ve never heard before and best of all you’ll be interacting with it. If you watch American Idol the only interactive thing you’ll be doing is muting Nicki Minaj.