Monday, October 25, 2004

It's really live and things go wrong

Eric Olsen writes in Ashlee Simpson and the Joys of Live TV:
The sin wasn't that THE GREAT INDESCRETION OF LIPSYNCING ON SNL WAS REVEALED. All that was revealed is that she (Ashlee Simpson) was using a backing track to go along with the live band and lead vocals; her sin was that she didn't just take control, stop the band, tell the sound engineer to turn off the freaking backing track, and tell everyone to start over again. that is what a seasoned performer, a professional, would have done. She could have simply started singing the correct song and the band would have joined in one way or another. She let the system and technology control her rather than she controlling it.
And here's the story of Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live, which Ashlee should learn from:
Let me set the scene: the SNL announcer says: "Once again here's Elvis Costello" as the band launched into a slightly hyper version of "Less Than Zero". Elvis is wearing a grey jacket with a dark tie and a striped shirt, plus narrow-leg blue jeans. As Elvis reaches the line about "there's a vacancy waiting in the English voodoo" he stops short, not quite getting the word 'voodoo' out as he starts to turn, yelling frantically "Stop! Stop!" to the Attractions. The second "stop" is almost inaudible as he has his back to the microphone by this point. Having gotten the band's attention Elvis turns back to the audience and rather earnestly announces "I'm sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen, there's no reason to do this song here". He then turns back towards the band and says "OK, Radio Radio... 1, 2, 3, 4" and the band crash, slightly awkwardly, into the opening chords of "Radio Radio".

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