Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Phoenix on 'SNL': Old dudes play boring alt-pop

Phoenix: 'SNL' and Coachella see the next big thing. I see this.
Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but aside from the occasional big pop star score (Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Frank Ocean) “Saturday Night Live’s” musical guests have stunk on ice, especially the rock offerings.

It’s almost as if Lorne Michaels and Co. were trying to make modern duplicates of some of my horrid mock 1980s musical guest-host pairings, using my Don Pardo impression.

Sarandon: Genius in 'Fright Night.'
“Musical guest...Wall of Voodoo! With your host … Edie McClurg!” Or, “Musical guest The Domino’sNoid!
… After the Fire! With your host … Chris Sarandon!” Or, “Musical guest … Kajagoogoo! … with your host …

It’s true, there’s been some names. “SNL” recently had Muse, world conquerors who have been on the cover of Rolling Stone. This off-key, ham-fisted collection of douchebags also sound like a modern-rock version of The Fixx covered in steaming cow dung.
They had The Lumineers, who are still hot shit at the moment. I checked it out, wondering what all the fuss was about … yeah, as expected, it’s just a bunch of Renaissance Faire rejects dressing up like its 1880 playing your typical pop stuff, just with old-timey instruments.
McClurg: An early Melissa McCarthy.

And now we have Phoenix, which might just be the most infuriating of all. These Frenchies came out and played pleasant enough pop tunes with a decent bounce, including the Cure-esque “Entertainment” and the bouncy “Trying To Be Cool.”

But they’ve been around since 1995 which, despite the best efforts of those of us careening into our late 30s, is a long-ass time ago. Singer Thomas Mars looks like he’s about 49. This is a big band? This is an act worthy of an “SNL” spot and a headlining gig at Coachella? Really? Why do they get the nod over 100 other worthy bands who've been waiting their turn for decades?

Only Thom Yorke makes more stupid looking faces.
Maybe the real culprits are the “SNL” folks, who are now clearly enslaved by Budweiser and their musical tastes. Yup, there’s the problem.

Phoenix is our area on May 12 for the WRFF Radio 104.5 6th Birthday Show, at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J. They'll be playing alongside acts like Paramore, Passion Pit, and, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who are probably along to make Phoenix look younger to the kiddie crowd.

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