Friday, March 28, 2008

Review of Maroon 5's concert 25th March 2008, Singapore Indoor Stadium

To put it simply, I have mixed feelings about the show.

First, let me say that I am a big fan of their music, and enjoy both their albums ( the angsty Songs About Jane, followed by the recently released uptempo It Won't Be Soon Before Long ).

And to be honest, part of the reason I wanted to see the band 'live' is to catch a glimpse of frontman Adam Levine, who's quite the hottie in their stylish music videos ( though I still like the minimalist - and very sexy - vid for This Love the most ).

The concert itself didn't disappoint as a performance. The guys displayed high energy and flawless musicianship, and plowed through a large number of crowd-pleasers from both albums.

The repertoire was as follows:

From Songs About Jane - Harder To Breathe ( the opening number ), This Love ( their biggest hit to date ), Shiver, Sunday Morning, She Will Be Loved ( the closing piece during the encore ).

From It Won't Be Soon Before Long: If I Never See Your Face Again, Makes Me Wonder, Little Of Your Time ( 1st encore song ), Wake Up Call, Won't Go Home Without You, and Can't Stop.

Did they do Nothing Lasts Forever? I can't remember...

My favourites would have to be:

Little Of Your Time - Didn't think they'd sing this, since it hasn't really charted on radio playlists yet. But when they trotted it out for the first encore performance, I was ECSTATIC! :)
This is my absolute fave on the IWBSBL album -- probably the shortest track ( just over 2 min ), but packs a real punch with its infectious melody, cheeky lyrics ( e.g. 'Please don't leave / Stay in bed / Touch my body instead' ), and a pumping rhythm.
I used my digital cam to record the whole thing on video mode, woohoo! ( Rules were extremely lax at this event -- everyone was snapping photos and recording the show without any regulation. )

Won't Go Home Without You - Anything that's inspired by Sting has my stamp of approval ( haha ). Maroon 5 has often credited the former for influencing the sound on this piece ( one of their best on the album ), and the crowd responded beautifully when Levine stopped at one point to direct the microphone at the audience.
8000 concertgoers roared the chorus right back at him ( 'It's not over tonight / Just give me one more chance to make it right / I may not make it through the night / I won't go home without you' ).
The guys LOVED it! :)

She Will Be Loved - I enjoyed this number mainly because it was the only "acoustic" performance of the night. After more than an hour of mind-numbing and ear-deafening noise which drowned out Levine's vocals ( no thanks to the sound crew ), this was perhaps the first instance we managed to hear him clearly. And frankly, I would've been very happy if the entire show had been done this way ( after all, I rank Jason Mraz's 2-man performance at 2006's Mosaic Music Festival among my top 3 favourites of all time ).
In my opinion, this was the moment where Levine truly shone, and his good friend, guitarist James Valentine, infused the song with just the right mix of melancholy and sexiness as he accompanied on the strings.

Magical bit? This is it. :)

I really enjoyed the crowd that evening - young and old ( from kids to an old chap with a walking aid seated next to me ), super-enthusiastic ( many ran to the front of the stage when the lights went down signalling the start of the show ), and surprisingly polite ( despite the presence of many Ah Lians and Ah Bengs ).

My main grouses: that it ended too soon ( 75 minutes only!? ), the lack of banter, and the poor sound system ( The Police sounded fantastic last month, so is it a crew issue? ) -- the last screwed up my cochlea so badly Levine's voice was hilariously chipmunk-like from the 2nd song onwards. Thankfully, when I played back my video recording at home, he sounded normal.

One unexpected outcome of this is the fact that I don't find Levine as sexy as I originally thought. He's very photogenic and looks great in pictures - especially when he's well-groomed and dressed in a stylish suit. He looked terrible when he shaved his head bald for an awards ceremony performance last year ( either the Grammys or American Music Awards ), and appeared weatherbeaten and very sloppy on Tuesday ( he wore a plain white T-shirt and tight black jeans, while the rest of his band members also opted for equally casual attire ). Don't think I've witnessed such disappointing dress sense at a high-profile concert in quite a while ( I mean, Sting wore a black T-shirt-and-jeans ensemble, but looked suave and neat! ).

As for raw sex appeal, let's just say that Sting beats Levine hands down, despite being twice his age and standing still plucking at his guitar most of the time. Maybe I'm just getting older - I'm 4 years Levine's senior - but then again, it doesn't explain why I think Jason Mraz is sexy too.

I confuse even myself. :D

A Little Spot Of Action

Was involved with the mini-mass casualty incident on Monday afternoon, where a fellow was pepper-sprayed and 20 others suffered off-gassing effects.

Couldn't believe my crappy luck when the SCDF call came in, while our ER was swamped by the morning and early afternoon Monday crowd ( not to mention a severe bed shortage problem due to the ongoing MBBS exams ).

I'm not going to mince my words here -- it was a NIGHTMARE. A lot of manpower was diverted to decontaminating and treating the casualties, and I spent a couple of hours sorting out my patient, who happened to be the index case ( i.e. the one who got sprayed and was found frothing from the mouth at the scene ).

Waiting times in the P3 area stretched to 6 hours by 10pm, and I still can't understand why no-one had the common sense to go elsewhere for treatment of minor ailments like a simple cough / cold, with a significant number presenting with symptoms that have been around for weeks to months!

The night shift had a terrible time, working non-stop till 5-6am before managing to clear the backlog. I couldn't even stay back to help out, having to start at 8am the next morning ( I had a total of 4 hours' sleep that night 'cos I got home late and had trouble winding down ).

I remember a lecture given by an emergency physician from London some time ago, when he spoke about the terrorist bombings that rocked the city back in 2005. He mentioned how many patients at the various ERs, upon hearing about the disaster, took the initiative of cancelling their registrations and seeking medical attention at GP clinics, so as to free up resources at major hospitals.

Looks like Singaporeans lack such consideration for the plight of others. If the country ever suffers a major terrorist attack or some other urban mass casualty event, WE ARE DEAD.

This is not an exaggeration.

American Idol Top 10 Week

David Archuleta is now part of the Top 9, and although 2 of the judges didn't know the song he performed ( You're The Voice by John Farnham ), I'm actually familiar with the piece, since my secondary school days at least ( local radio likes to play it ).

I thought David did a great job, nothing like a "theme park performance" as Simon Cowell suggested.

But I'm also beginning to develop a soft spot for rocker dude David Cook, who blew me away with his rendition of Billie Jean. If anyone should be in the finals, it's the 2 Davids.

Videos To Enjoy

After an energy-sapping week, I'm spending my rare day off savouring more YouTube gems.

John Lloyd Young

A gorgeous Jersey Boys medley from the 2006 Tony Awards show. I often think back to October 17th 2007 -- an evening that changed my life forever, as I sat entranced in the centre of the 5th row, able to pick out every facial feature of the 4 leads, wishing I could watch the show again even before the performance had reached intermission.

Here's a hilarious 'madlib' version of Can't Take My Eyes Off You. Get a load of the modified lyrics ( 'let me jump / flagellate you', 'I want to do your taxes so much', and all that name-dropping - Sammy Davis, Jr, Jamie Lynn Spears, and the clincher - 'I thank God I'm a dominatrix' )!

I still read JLY's blog regularly. He provides interesting tidbits about Broadway and his own personal life. I really should find time to write back and thank him for those autographed pictures ASAP.

David Archuleta

Doing You're The Voice from this week's episode. Just listen to that powerful voice!

And for the icing on the cake...

Companion Videos from Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman

I've been reading about these for a few weeks, and finally got to watch them.

Here's Sarah's video ( I couldn't get the high-def version to work, so here's a blurry alternative ).

And here's Jimmy's rebuttal - the YouTube links don't work for me, so here's another link.

Come ON - Jimmy's is better by a loooong mile, right? Love that We Are The World tribute, featuring megastars like Cameron Diaz, Robin Williams and Harrison Ford, as well as Don Cheadle, Huey Lewis and Lance Bass ( from NSync ). Really love the fact that Josh Groban has a big part in this segment! :)

Look at the insane number of hits on YouTube!

Am grateful for life's simple pleasures. I've been to hell and back this week, and more burnt out than ever. More next time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

He's Back! :)

The wonders of YouTube, yet again.

David Archuleta did VERY WELL this week, thank goodness.

Here's a video of him singing The Long And Winding Road -- a piece I'm familiar with thanks to my stint in the RJC Chorale ( we did this as part of a medley for a concert eons ago ). Not the most challenging melody around, but David does a good job, and made Simon Cowell happy. :D

Watching David is very different from just listening to him. I plugged my headphones into the laptop, closed my eyes, and went "Whoa..." -- he sounds phenomenal and album-recording-ready!

I keep picturing him singing Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On, for some strange reason. But I honestly think he will do this song the justice it deserves. Long shot that my wish for him to perform it will come true though.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

Here's Charles Ross' official website.

Caught the opening show at the DBS Arts Centre last night, and laughed my guts out for a whole hour. :D

As the self-explanatory title indicates, this is a one-man routine that acts out Episodes IV to VI in a non-stop, high-energy monologue.

It's hilarious, spot-on in terms of some ( not all, but that's ok ) impersonations, and I love how he ad-libbed here and there ( examples below ) and threw in a number of inside jokes which did not go unnoticed by the enthusiastic, almost-full-house audience.

He did all the major characters -- Luke Skywalker, Obiwan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, C3PO, R2D2, the evil Emperor, Chewbacca, Yoda, Jabba the Hutt, and I think a few Ewoks and other assorted aliens.

The best one has got to be Jabba, whose gigantic ( and disgusting ) mouth he demonstrated by using both arms crossed in the shape of a large rectangle in front of his face, occasionally moving a hand around to simulate tongue movements. Yuck! But also, hahahahahahaha! :)

He did a great Luke, Han, C3PO and Emperor -- voice, speech pattern, body language -- and even R2D2 came to life with Ross' competent whistling and squat-and-waddle actions.

The inside jokes? ( a rough quote )

1. As Luke / Mark Hamill: "That's my last line in Return Of The Jedi -- I'm never going to work in film again!"
( a jab at Hamill's sink into oblivion despite attaining iconic status as Skywalker )

2. As Obiwan: "I cut off ( Darth Vader's ) arm... and both his legs... and pushed him into a pool of boiling lava. It's on the DVD."
( none of this was in the original trilogy, of course; he's talking about the climactic scene in Revenge of the Sith )

3. As Obiwan: "I'm played by some Scottish guy ( in the prequels )..."
( appearing miffed that Ewan McGregor plays Anakin's mentor in Episodes ! - III )

4. As somebody ( I don't know who, sorry ): "Isn't it Natalie Portman?"
( this bit went by a little too quickly for me to remember it all -- someone asked who Luke's and Leia's mother is -- she's played by Portman in Episodes I-III )

5. As Luke: "What're we doing here?! In Singapore?!"
( he exclaims to R2D2 after crash landing on the Dega Ba system in The Empire Strikes Back )

That's all I can recall at the moment. Maybe I'll post more if they turn up in my head later on.

There was another super-funny part in the middle, when Ross does a scene with Luke kissing Leia goodbye ( after they've discovered they're siblings ). But he does a very exaggerated version of the smooch, and a kid in the audience actually went "YUCK!".

Ross hears this, stops talking, turns to us and says ( in a fatherly fashion ), "Let this be a lesson to you, children -- NEVER kiss your brother or sister like this!"

So in short, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and Ross was gracious enough to chat with us from the stage for another 10 minutes ( after the end of the show ), talking about his tour and his home country, before giving us a sneak peek at his next creation, One-Man Lord Of The Rings.

He launched into a short dialogue as ( I think ) an Ent ( but my mom thinks it was Gandalf ), before bidding us goodnight. He hopes to return next year with the LOTR show, and if he does, I'm most definitely going!

You can check out some YouTube clips using "Charles Ross" or "One Man Star Wars". Have fun. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Latest AI7 Performance - Top 12 Week

You can't access this from "a certain hospital", but I'm at home at the moment, so... :)

Here's a video of David Archuleta's performance this week, singing We Can Work It Out. I agree it's his weakest to date, but rumours on the Internet suggest he's been down with the flu, and was under a lot of pressure to do well.

He's 17 -- cut him some slack, the poor boy.

He looks great though. And the powerful pipes are still unmistakeable. I'm confident he'll stay safe until the final 2, and will still win this. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Review of Harry Connick, Jr.'s concert at the Esplanade Theatre, 7th March 2008

It was great! :)

I can't believe there's a Wikipedia page devoted to his My New Orleans Tour. Good reference for my poor memory, haha.

Ahh, where to begin?

I'm not exactly a die-hard fan of his music ( my tastes have developed along the lines of Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, Peter Cincotti, Peter Grant and Chris Botti ), but I've seen quite a few of his movies ( starting with Memphis Belle - a huge personal fave from my secondary / junior college days - followed by Copycat, Hope Floats and Independence Day ). Love that Southern accent and laid back charm. :)

I have one of his concert DVDs ( i.e. Only You - very nice ), but only purchased my very first HCJ album after getting tickets to this show. It's his latest, titled Oh, My Nola, a tribute to his New Orleans heritage.

The fact that I've played it endlessly this past month or two illustrates how much I enjoy this CD. The style is typical Mardis Gras fare, heavy on the trombones and trumpets, with a soulful, funky tone.

I already knew he wouldn't disappoint in a 'live' setting ( jazz singers are wonderfully pitch perfect on-stage -- it's like a gold standard they all adhere to ), but I've got to admit, what transpired totally blew me away!

The concert started very punctually at 8pm. On the dot. Kudos to Harry and his band for being so considerate.

As the lights dimmed and the curtains went up, I found him standing in the dark ( what happened to the lighting crew? ), next to the grand piano. The audience spotted him after a few seconds, and the applause was deafening.

He said a quick hello, sat himself down, and launched into Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey? - an upbeat swing piece with a prominent big band arrangement ( he came with 12 other talented muscians, ensuring a truly amazing experience ).

The next 2 songs ( can't remember the exact order ) were Hello Dolly and Working In The Coal Mine. I especially enjoyed the latter, on which Harry's exuberant whoops during the chorus reverberated throughout the concert hall. An early sign that he was euphoric that evening ( more details in the following paragraphs! ).

These were followed by a short interlude, as Harry chatted with us, saying how happy he is to be here in Singapore, mentioning how he smuggled a case of chewing gum through customs so he could "sell it on the black market" and make a tidy sum, only to discover that we do sell gum over here ( though they're the sugarless type ).
He expressed surprise at seeing a full house, but was of course extremely appreciative of our attendance.
He then said he'd been told that Asians are usually quite "conservative", but quickly pointed out that there was a guy in the front row wearing "Miami Vice" attire, i.e. a white jacket, white shirt and white shoes. ( This became the running joke for the rest of the night, it was hilarious! )

After this little monologue, he treated us to what I consider the "magical moment" ( something I always look out for at any show ) -- a solo piano performance of On The Sunny Side Of The Street, played "New Orleans style". It's apparently featured on his 1987 self-titled album, but I heard it for the very first time that evening, and was hypnotized from start to finish.

[ P.S. Make sure to do some research before you buy tickets to jazz concerts -- most pianists sit on the left side of the stage ( from the audience's perspective ). I was at a perfect angle in the 12th row ( couldn't get anything closer despite going online the day the seats were released ), and could see his side profile and, more importantly, both hands on the keyboard. ]

He thoroughly enjoyed himself on this piece, tapping ( and occasionally stomping ) his feet as his fingers flew across the ivories. His touch is firm yet feathery light, and the harmonies -- pure heaven! My mom identified the song just seconds into the intro - bravo! - and we absolutely loved his interpretation of the classic.

Other pickings from Oh, My Nola include: Jambalaya ( On The Bayou ), Yes We Can Can, and either Something You Got or Let Them Talk ( or both, I can't recall ).

Another highlight was when trombone player Lucien Barbarin came trotting out to join Harry on a couple of traditional New Orleans songs, namely Didn't He Ramble and Basin Street Blues. The first was more sedate ( but really good nonetheless ), but on the second, I was momentarily stunned when Harry suddenly stood up and started to shimmy around the stage with his pal, as the band continued to play. This went on for maybe 3 minutes ( or longer? ). Obviously I wasn't the only one who was taken aback, as the whole theatre started to clap and cheer at the sight. He certainly didn't behave this way on the concert DVD I have at home! :)

The general tempo of the show was pretty upbeat -- something I am totally contented with. The only major slow-downs were a cover of When I Fall In Love and, for the encore, It Had To Be You ( the When Harry Met Sally song that launched his career ).

The entire concert lasted around 90 minutes, and I'm pretty sure I left a couple more songs off the list. What was he singing when he did that 2nd dance number? The one where he pulled up his jacket and showed off some really fantastic booty-shaking? ( Beyonce, eat your heart out! :)) That alone is worth the ticket price!

The longer period of bantering came near the end, as he talked about a wide range of topics, from his daughter's comment on the Singapore landscape outside her hotel room window ( "It doesn't look like 'Mulan'!" ), to American Idol ( he got a bit confused when someone in the audience told him it's shown 3 times a night -- on cable, that is ), and yes, that "Miami Vice dude" again. Turns out he's in his late 20s or early 30s, Chinese, Malaysian, and a contractor. Harry actually climbed down from the stage ( no stairs, mind you ) to take a look at the man's name card, before reading out his email address and mobile number to everyone in the theatre. The guy's wife then snapped a quick picture of the two men, and Harry paid her a great compliment by telling the fellow, "Is this your wife? You lucked out, man, she's beautiful." Awww... :)

So in summary, it was a fabulous concert, and my mom's a new convert. She didn't really pay attention when I played his album in the car before, but now she loves Harry to bits. Pity he couldn't stay to sign autographs. But considering how friendly he is, he probably wouldn't be able to leave for hours if he did.

My money was very well spent! Extremely happy about it. :)

Just a special mention about his marvelous band, especially Arthur Latin on drums / percussion, and Neal Caine on the bass. Latin ( like all great drummers ) has boundless energy, and kept things interesting with his crisp beats. Caine, on the other hand, was the ultimate cool cat, plucking the strings almost the same way Harry was tapping the keyboard, occasionally caressing his instrument with his cheek ( subconsciously, perhaps? ).

Yes, people, I pay attention to everyone on-stage, not just the hot lead singer. :)

A New-Found Appreciation For Life

A recent anxiety which gave me a week of insomnia was nicely resolved over the weekend.

But more importantly, it helped me develop a new perspective, and made me realize how fragile one's existence is.

For a few moments, I wondered about the future -- my own, my parents', even my cat's. It was immensely nerve-wracking, to say the least.

I had to do something on my own, to gain the peace of mind I so desperately craved. The people who helped me through this dilemma are complete strangers, and the experience itself transiently depressing. But I applaud what these individuals are accomplishing, and if our paths ever cross again, I will thank them properly for the invaluable comfort they provided.

[ note to readers: Don't be alarmed! Everything's okay. :) ]

Anyway, it's on to more tasks at hand. Will be organizing chair ( i.e. kena arrowed ) for next year's local Emergency Medicine conference, and am hoping to bring 2 world-renowned emergency physicians down to Singapore as keynote speakers. Have already met one of them in New York at Mt. Sinai Hospital ( though I actually had no idea who he was at the time, argh! ). A very dynamic and highly accomplished professor, and editor-in-chief of a publication that any self-respecting emergency physician would read.

And on a totally unrelated note, as my mom and I were watching an old recording of a Celine Dion concert on Sunday night, I suddenly suggested to her that American Idol 7's frontrunner David Archuleta could be the only guy on this earth who might do justice to "My Heart Will Go On" ( from Titanic, if you live on another planet and don't know this ). I mean, so far he's been able to sing just about anything and make it sound great, so why not a Celine classic? Only problem is, he's so young and inexperienced, it may come off as too fake ( sometimes you need a bit of pain in your past to sound genuinely distressed, no? ). In any case, I'd still like to hear him try. :)

To end off, an excerpt from an article on E! Online:
"Oh, and speaking of "Awww," you should know that David Awwwrchuleta is literally the most unflappable ray of smiling sunshine I have ever laid eyes on. The kid never stops smiling. Never! I'm convinced he may be the latest version of those cute, mechanical robot-dogs and if so, I want a model. That boy is straight-up adorable.

When asked how he feels about all the glowing praise being heaped on him, and how he's the favorite, David just blushed and said, "Oh, I don't know about that!" But clearly, Awwwrchuleta is the favorite, and his competition knows it: Michael Johns, Brooke White and Amanda Overmyer all picked him to win, and Jason Castro said, "It's pretty much the David Archuleta show." ( For the record, not a one of them sounded bitter, which was sweet. )"

If only fans outside the U.S. could vote! :D

Till next time...

Friday, March 07, 2008


The latest American Idol results are out on the Internet, and Danny Noriega ( the effeminate, arrogant and rude one ) is out! :)

David Archuleta goes on to the final 12, after which the girls are fair game -- they've been safe thus far, but could get eliminated one by one if they fail to outshine the guys. ( David Cook was a great surprise this week, with his rock version of Lionel Richie's Hello -- even my conservative mom, who loves the original, thought he was terrific! )

Just wanted to post this little update ( and watch more David A videos on YouTube, haha ). Okay, time to get ready for Harry Connick, Jr. A review will follow soon. :D

By the way, here's a really nice article about David A. on CNN. Must read! :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Health Minister's Comments

About the A&E, that is.

Skimmed through the Straits Times article today, and was amused to read that there may be plans to raise A&E charges in the future to minimize abuse.

My question is: by how much?

Our fees recently went up by a paltry $10, and patient attendances are still hitting record highs.
Singaporeans are an affluent bunch, especially the well-educated ones ( a significant proportion of whom are also quite young ). We see many of them as self-referrals, so paying a bit more isn't likely to be an effective deterrent.

I don't think it's fair to penalize the genuinely sick cases or the old / poor population, in order to keep the numbers down. ( Ultimately, I doubt any of the suggested measures will make a difference to begin with. )

The best solution, I feel, is to strengthen the primary healthcare sector by boosting manpower at polyclinics and ensuring adequate training of primary care physicians.

Friends of mine who work at the OPS always tell me the same horror stories: not enough doctors, too many patients, insufficient time for each case, unbearable stress...
Many have left government service for more reasonable working conditions in private practice. Which then aggravates the manpower and patient care problem.
The same thing happens in restructured hospitals. It's a vicious cycle, people.

I just finished a shift in the consultation area today. Let me give you a few examples of the cases I saw.
( I shall leave out the origin of the referrals from other doctors. )

1) Patient with "buttock abscess x 2 weeks, not better with 2 courses of oral antibiotics, please admit for I&D". Turned out NOT to be an abscess, nor anywhere near the buttock. Measured 1-2cm, non-tender, not inflamed, patient very comfortable. Discharged as a possible sebaceous cyst, with an O&G clinic appointment.

2) "LIF pain x 1 month, ?LIF mass" - no mass, no tenderness on palpation, extremely comfortable. Given colorectal appointment for further workup.

3) My favourite: "Left little toe pain x 1 month after trauma. X-ray today shows ( I quote ) 'fracture little toe', please see urgently, KIV admit for ORIF"!
The referring doctor's name sounds local. Where did this person study medicine?!

Self-referrals ( i.e. came to A&E on their own without a referral from another doctor ):

1) NS boy with left leg contusion. Walks with no problem, leg completely normal on examination. X-ray ( no surprise ) normal. Discharged with light duty.

2) Bread-and-butter stuff like flu, viral fever, mild gastroenteritis -- many are young, ambulant and comfortable. Never occurred to them to visit the GP / OPS.

On other days, I've seen "urgent" referrals for deranged liver function tests, which actually comprise mildly raised transaminases with normal bilirubin and no symptoms.
When the patients come to us, they expect a full workup, including a scan.
Who gets blasted in the end? We A&E doctors, of course. We're the ones who get saddled with managing patient expectations, which wastes precious time that should be spent on more important tasks.

Am I wrong to say that Singaporeans don't seem to rely on primary physicians as much as they should? Some patients even tell me they refuse to go to the polyclinic because the waiting times there are too long ( even though WTs at our department can hit 4-6 hours on bad days ). Others tell me they "don't trust non-specialists", not realizing that the A&E's are run mostly by medical officers.

At any rate, the abuse of the A&E is a massive problem which cannot be solved overnight. We could do a detailed analysis of every case that comes through our doors to pinpoint the main contributing factors, but this is horribly time-consuming and we don't have the resources to perform it.

So bottomline: continue to suffer in silence. Until some mass casualty incident occurs and overwhelms the whole healthcare system, shaming the entire country and thus prompting full-throttle action from The Powers That Be.

I may not live long enough to see that day ( and I intend to live till I'm at least 90 :)).

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Prepare To Be Bombarded

I just ADORE this boy / young man ( can't really decide which at this point ).

Have finally found some free time to look up videos on YouTube, and came upon this treasure trove of footage.

There're 2 ways to search for him, yielding significantly different results.

just plain "David Archuleta".

The first has clips of him at age 12, doing R&B-heavy pieces like You're All I Need and Alicia Keys' Fallin'. The first video on the list features a song that I don't know, but David sings the hell out of it for sure. :)

Another video you definitely should not miss is O Holy Night. Described as a recording made on 14th December 2007, David is presumably 16 and sounds like an angel. I've heard so many versions of this Christmas classic, but this beats them all hollow. The last time I teared up while listening to a song was way back in 2003, when Clay Aiken blew the roof off the Kodak Theatre with his awesome performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Hearing David bring his own style and spirit to one of my all-time favourite Christmas pieces is tremendously inspiring, so I wasn't surprised to feel my eyes water. Beautiful!!!

Also, check out A Thousand Miles, which looks like a home video, but totally rocks! He plays the piano very well, I must say. This cover is a lot better than the squeaky original by Vanessa Carlton. Notice he has no music score to refer to. Very professionally done.

Next, be sure to watch an early cover of Imagine, at age 13. He's rather short for his age, but terribly cute. :)

You can compare this to the latest version, which he performed on American Idol just a few days ago. Both share a few similarities, yet are vastly different in many other ways. Just shows he isn't rehashing a well-rehearsed routine, is able to improvise, but also sings from his heart.

Last but not least, you can see the full-length video for Heaven, done during Hollywood week, and shown only in short snippets on local television. Very smooth, with fabulous voice control.

He is soooo talented! It's fantastic that Simon Cowell has anointed him "the one to beat" this year. He really deserves the title, and I'm already a huge fan. :)

My other favourite, Jason Castro, may not have done well this week, but he's definitely got the goods. Just check out this video from a gig at the Prophet Bar, which I think is excellent. He reminds me of Jason Mraz -- same vocal tone and choice of instrument, but he sings a lot slower, haha.

Anyway, that's all I have time for today. It's gonna be a crazy month ahead, let's hope I survive it. Going to the Harry Connick, Jr. concert on Friday, can't wait! :)