FAIL: "American Idols Live," Montreal Jazz Festival, George Michael, Suge Knight

Jazz Festival Audience Somehow Unprepared to Enjoy Aimless, Self-Indulgent Noodling: Lou Reed, John Zorn, and Reed's wife Laurie Anderson performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival recently, and treated the audience to improvisational jazz which the linked-to article above describes as "severely lacking direction," a "nonsensical fumble," and "sounded like the animal kingdom gone astray."

So what's the problem? That description could be referring to every piece of improvisational jazz Fails has ever heard. Improvisational/experimental jazz is good at one thing, and that is reducing masters of beautiful musical instruments to a stumbling, honking mess. It tends to sound like an orchestra tuning up while falling down the stairs. Improvisational jazz makes the music for the fight scene in Manos: The Hands of Fate sound orderly and calculated.

It's hardly surprising, then, that when greeted with boos and jeers from the crowd, Zorn instructed the audience to "get the fuck out" if they didn't appreciate what was happening onstage. Hilariously, many of them did exactly that.

We think the expectations coming from both parties were flawed. The audience probably expected Reed and Zorn to play some of their better-known pop catalogue, and Zorn, Reed and Anderson apparently somehow expected to play in front of a French Canadian audience that wasn't filled with obstinate, braying assholes. Hopefully next time both parties will know better and will adjust their expectations accordingly beforehand.

FAIL: "American Idols Live," Montreal Jazz Festival, George Michael, Suge Knight

And I'm Never Gonna Drive Again; Guilty Feet Can't Work the Pedals: We enjoy imagining the London Gay Pride Parade. We've never attended, but we can't help but think it must be a line of stately English gentlemen in suits, tails and bowler hats, calmly strolling down the street with umbrellas and waving in a genteel fashion to onlookers, careful to never allow the noise level to get too high and immediately quashing anyone who becomes rowdy. Forgive us our cartoonish imagination, but 90 percent of the world thinks Houstonians still ride to work on a fucking horse, so allow us our amusing flights of fancy, won't you?

Besides, the illusion doesn't hold up for long when faced with the reality of an arse-over-teakettle George Michael swerving his car into a camera shop on the night of the London Pride Parade. No one is sure exactly what happened yet, but with Michael's history of "drug-driving," it seems fairly obvious. What is it with celebrities who get all fucked up and then immediately get behind the wheel of a car?

Michael earned a fortune single-handedly defying the gaydar of absolutely everyone for most of the '80s; surely he's got enough cash lying around to pay for a driver, right? And while he's at it, why not hire a lookout or two so he doesn't keep getting arrested for doing illegal things in public toilets?

Really, all we're saying is George Michael should definitely put aside a day on his calendar to organize his roster.


FAIL: "American Idols Live," Montreal Jazz Festival, George Michael, Suge Knight

Suge Knight is Wanted by Police For Crimes He Didn't Commit: For years now, Marion "Suge" Knight has been victimized by the police for crimes he has never even remotely been associated with, and his most recent charge is no different. The trumped-up charge du jour is that Knight didn't attend a court hearing related to an earlier charge of driving while his license was suspended.

Clearly this is just another example of The Man coming down on a hard-working member of the hip-hop community who has never shown any tendency towards violence or crime. Knight must have made many enemies in high places with his constant adherence to his policy of non-violence and peaceful resolution, because that is the only explanation for the law's constant badgering of the man.

Please note that we are completely sincere in our support of Mr. Knight, and are not just saying that because we are completely terrified of him OH GOD WHAT WAS THAT okay, false alarm, someone's car just backfired outside. Phew. Anyway, best of luck, Suge, wherever you are.

FAIL: "American Idols Live," Montreal Jazz Festival, George Michael, Suge Knight

Jonas Bros and American Idol Scrap Concert Dates; Rock and Roll Stirs Optimistically From Disney Pop-Induced Torpor: The Jonas Bros. and the "American Idols Live" tours have both had to cancel concert dates due to slow or nonexistent ticket sales, and we here at Rocks Off couldn't be happier.

Please understand, we bear no ill will towards any specific Jonas Brother nor any specific American Idol performer (except of course for smarmy megadouche Taylor Hicks), but this is a good sign that maybe, just maybe, public interest is starting to swing away from the overly-manufactured Disney pop they represent and back towards actual rock and roll.

Then again, ticket sales have also been slow for Lilith Fair, so maybe it's just a sign that nobody has any goddamn money. We don't know, but for once we're going to try and hold out hope for something positive, so don't bring us down with your negativity, you bastards.

Win of the Week: Trent Reznor and his hot-ass wife/collaborator Marqueen Maandig are expecting a child this October. Congratulations, Reznors! That baby is going to be born knowing how to work a synthesizer.

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