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Okay, I need to get some frivolous, silly things outta my system — and then I promise to get down to business on some serious issues that I need to talk about.

So, here we go:

Frivolity Item #1
#3 LSU dodged another bullet tonight by beating #17 Alabama inside the last two minutes of the game. This is the fourth time in a row that an LSU game has gone down to the wire, and the third game this season that LSU came from behind in the 4th quarter to win. I can’t take many more of these photo finishes!

Stat of the game: LSU was penalized 15 times for a whopping 149 yards. This is the second time this year that LSU has been penalized for over 100 yards. That’s gotta stop.

Arizona State lost tonight, which helps us out. Boston College’s loss to Florida State will help us out even more. We should advance to #2 in the BCS this week.

So, for now, LSU’s hope still burns bright for the SEC and national championship games.

Frivolity Item #2
I’ve gotten sucked into Fox’s “The Next Great American Band.” They have an interesting diversity of bands (even a bluegrass act!), so I’m curious about how the voting will go from week to week. I’ve been surprised.

Here’s a quick run-down of the bands that performed for week 3 and the bands that were voted off — with (candid, brutally honest) editorial comments from yours truly:

Sixwire They had some intonation problems in their background vocals, but otherwise they’re tight. With the possible exception of Franklin Bridge, I like their originals the best. They should end up being of the finalists.
 
Tres Bien Definitely a throwback to the 60’s. I thought they were sloppy and trite last week, but this week they were much better. In an age when the music industry is overrun with over-produced pop tarts sporting questionable talent, I find Tres Bien’s sound refreshing. In some ways, they are the most daring band on the show in terms of background vocals, and they do them well.
 
Franklin Bridge This group is my favorite. Their music is actually stimulating, due to the complexity of the orchestration and rhythmic schemes. They can pull that off because of their technical prowess as musicians. They have the best original of any band in their song, “Incredible.” The judges made a number of pedantic comments about their music being too complex. Sorry, but playing to the lowest common denominator is what’s wrong with the music industry. If dumbing your act down is what it takes to have a hit, I say forget it.
 
The Clark Bros. Along with Sixwire and Franklin Bridge, this is one of my favorite groups. Strong, versatile musicians, tight vocals, and great music. They deploy dynamics as or more effectively than Franklin Bridge, and they emote through their music better than any other band.
 
Light of Doom Ugh. This is the one band I CANNOT stand. I want them voted off. NOW. If I had my way, they wouldn’t have returned this week. I complained earlier about the judges making pedantic comments; Light of Doom is the pedant’s choice in the competition, and that’s putting it politely. Sure, they’re good for 13-year-olds, but at this point they’re Ratt or Guns-n-Roses wannabes. Maybe when they mature a bit more, they’ll have something more original to say.
 
The Muggs They were one of my favorites, but they stunk it up this week. And they had the worst attitude toward the constructive criticisms of the judges, which I found disappointing. Their cover of Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” was plain awful. They may not survive after this week.
 
Rocket Ho-hum. Nothing against girl bands, but these ladies are too much of a mix of apoplexy and banshee for me. They only operate in high gear and at fast tempos, and it always feels like the gears are going to come flying out of the machine at any moment. Girls, please learn to calm down. If it were up to me, they would have been voted off already with Light of Doom (ugh).
 
Dot Dot Dot The Cure meets K.C. and the Sunshine Band. I can’t help but like this group. They’re fun in an 80’s sort of way. They definitely have their own style and sound; as far as presentation goes, I think they have the most character and cohesiveness as a group.
 
Cliff Wagner and the Ol’ No. 7 The bluegrass act survived! What a pleasant surprise! I don’t particularly like bluegrass, but I’ve been rooting for these guys just because they’re different. Their cover of Elton John’s “Honky Cat” was fantastic, and more fun than anything else I heard this week. They’re much more versatile as musicians than you’d think. I hope they stay in the competition a long time.
 
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra Another pleasant surprise! I’m rooting for these guys because nothing beats an awesome horn band. The problem is that this band has yet to really open it up. Tame, safe performances so far, which is why I’m surprised they weren’t voted off. I wanna hear some people wail on their horns. Their cover of “I’m Still Standing” was more like it — a good performance.
 
The Hatch and The Likes of You Both these groups were voted off. I’m not surprised, although I think both bands were better than Rocket and Light of Doom (ugh). The Hatch’s lead singer made a snide, undeserved comment about how Denver and the Mile High Orchestra only survived because 300 people in Nebraska liked them, so good riddance. The Likes of You is like Hootie and the Blowfish with falsetto singing — not overly original or inspiring.

Frivolity Item #3
What a cool device:

The Aqua Skipper

I want one!

Frivolity Item #4
A hilarious commercial about turkey. This had me rolling:

Blessings,

Rob
aka The MonT-SteR