dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Banterview: Not Even The Claymates Can Deny That Clay Aiken's New CD Sucks Out Loud

A promo of the new Clay Aiken CD, A Thousand Different Ways, arrived in the mail last week with a fey thud and little fanfare. J'ason and MoogaBoo sat down on Friday for an emergency banterview session.

J'ASON D'LUV: You know, I voted for Clay -- repeatedly -- during the final weeks of American Idol in 2003. I now live with the daily shame that every loser who voted for George W. Bush must feel.

MOOGABOO: Oh, babe. Don't remind the public. We're still reeling over JoJogate!

JD: Seriously, listening to this CD is like hearing the soundtrack that must play during a long, painful elevator ride to Hell.

M: Well, let's put it this way... you know how we've been friends for 11 years, and how I've been in awe at all the nice stuff you've done for me in that time...

JD: Are you sure you don't have me confused with someone else?

M: ...well, F that! You owe me bigtime. I listened to this entire album today in preparation for this discussion. In all seriousness, if Clay sounded more womanly here, it would be a good thing. It's that he only sounds half-womanly that I can't get into him.

JD: I actually listened to this while driving around in the rain yesterday, and I prayed for a hydroplaning disaster to end the torture, one way or another.

M: But you know, one thing I'll give ValleyPrettyBoy. At least he changed up the arrangement on that Richard Marx "classic," and made it a little bit his own.

JD: Well, the melancholy guitar riff on "Right Here Waiting" starts out kind of decent. But then a.) it's "Right Here Waiting," and 4.) Clay Aiken is singing it. Shouldn't he be cashing in at this point? There's no denying Clay can move CDs off the shelves. Where's the Timabaland vanity rap? The Scott Storch police-siren dance jam?

M: I think that would cause Claymates to desert him faster than Lindsay Lohan ditching an AA meeting.

JD: Thank God the official single is "Without You," because we all know that song hasn't been covered enough. And there's even a ringtone you can download.

M: Two Celine Dion covers on one album, more or less, is a bit extreme, even for someone as continually avant garde and provocative as Clay Aiken.

JD: Why hasn't Crazy Frog covered this one yet?

M: Even Crazy Frog probably thinks "Without You" is tired at this point.

JD: I hate when Clay hits that upper octave in the chorus. He does that thing with his voice where it sounds like a pterodactyl just rammed its beak up his ass.

M: You mean the faux-emotion waver?

JD: More like fax-emotion. In fact, I think he faxed the "soul" in to the studio for this whole thing.

M: Even judging Clay objectively, on his own terms and in the context of easy-listening crooners throughout the ages, I still think he falls way short of the greats.

JD: There's no doubt about that. Even luminaries such as Barry Manilow and Elton John knew enough to do a fast-paced rocker or disco number now and then, to also hook the more commercial listener.

M: Clay somehow seems above expressing any emotion, when he should by all means be over-emoting. At least a little. Being loud, which he can do well, is not the same thing. There's gotta be gigantic sweat beads on a gnarled, grimacing face for the housewives' panties to really fully drop.

JD: Hey, what about him doing "Everytime You Go Away"? I bet when Daryl Hall heard this he dropped dead right on top of John Oates.

M: I read somewhere that Clay hires lookalikes to do appearances at malls and such, just like Andy Warhol.

JD: Speaking of which, Clay's wig is looking strangely like Paul Reubens', circa his appearance in the gritty 2001 Johnny Depp crime drama Blow. See?

M: Freaky. Now show me a picture of Paul Reubens. Actually, I was thinking his wig looks more like the cover of Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits 8-track.

JD: Christ, this CD just goes on and on. His voice really is an instrument of pure evil.

M: Don't they use his music as confession bait at Guantanamo? You know, despite production from a very able team of Swedes, somehow the actual music on A Thousand Different Ways seems beside the point.

JD: I'm surprised at how many producers bent over to get a shot at producing this compost pile. Most shocking is Per Magnusson and Dave Kreuger, who gave us Britney Spears' "Sometimes." Here, they're reduced to knob-twiddling a watered-down version of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."

M: Knob-twidding? Bent over? Are you reading the liner notes again?

JD: Funny you should mention the liner notes, because in them Clay writes this: "To my miracle workers," which he rattles off a bunch of names, "who along with their jackhammers, blowtorches and heavy machinery had the unenviable task of making me look presentable." It's obvious Clay's been watching way too much gay porn lately.

M: He's got a Falcon construction worker fantasy going on there.

JD: So, this brings us to the cover of the Bad English ballad, "When I See You Smile." I used to date this girl back in 10th grade who declared that this was "our song." I've hated it ever since. And by "date," I mean we passed notes during History class. Which base is that again?

M: That's technically still in the dug-out.

JD: Dammit.

M: That song reminds me of getting a three-year subscription to Rolling Stone and not seeing Madonna, Cyndi Lauper or Samantha Fox on that cover once during those three years.

JD: Despite the goopy muck of standards done here, there are also two orignal songs written for this album -- one of which is penned by Aldo Nova. Let's not forget that he wrote Clay's #1 American Idol-finale hit, "This Is The Night."

M: No, let's forget. Didn't Aldo Nova have a solo career at some point? Or am I thinking of Del Amitri? God, Clay should hook up with those guys. "Roll To Me" is in every movie trailer.

JD: He did indeed have a solo career. My mom used to have one of his 45s when I was a kid. I forget what the song was called, but she would certainly cut me out of the will if she knew I was using my college education to write dissections of Clay Aiken albums.

M: Am I the only one who thinks Clay might be taking the tiniest of baby steps "outward" with this album? I'm of course referring to his not-terrible cover of Dolly Parton's '70s hit, "Here You Come Again."

JD: Well, he did call it A Thousand Different Ways. Wasn't that what John Paulus' response was when he went on Howard Stern's show and was asked to describe the Yuletide hotel romp he had with Clay?

M: It might also refer to John Paulus' many attempts to keep his name in the press. I actually feel for Clay in that situation.

JD: Did you see that clip from the American Idol finale last season, when he walked out and surprised that ClayTrinket singing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"? It's like everyone in the world was in on the joke but the two of them.

M: And he seemed so arrogant! He looked at that Clay dweebling with such an air of "Yes, it's really me, my child." I feel bad that there are people severely retarded enough that they want to be Clay... and that includes Clay!

JD: It was like when Michael Jackson performed at The Brits in '96, saving international children on the stage from a Biblical doom. Only this time Jarvis Cocker wasn't there to ambush the show and make his ass sing along.

M: I wonder if that one made it onto the HiStory DVD?

JD: I can guarantee neither of us will ever know.

M: The more this CD plays, I find myself liking Clay, wanting to hear certain songs again and suddenly feeling very protective of him. Please help me.

JD: I personally think it's pretty cheap to make the Claymates wait with drenched knickers for three years for a lame album of cover versions. I hope there's an outraged revolt on Planet Dork when it comes out.

M: But these covers are just lame enough to please Planet Dork, don't you think? I mean, "Broken Wings"... great song, probably too edgy for your average Claymate, so they removed all synths and added a whispery female vocal (aside from Clay's) and made it as soft as a bag of Charmin. These people know to whom they're selling.

JD: I like how this female vocalist is trying to talk-sing, ala Madonna in "Justify My Love."

M: Yeah, but she doesn't sound mysterious or sexy... just lost. I half expect her to whisper, "Do you know if the restrooms are on this floor?"

JD: And Clay knows where every public restroom within a 10-mile radius is, I suspect.

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  • At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    f*ing brilliant!

    poor clay. god love america, that love/hates the gays, that every decade or so some dork-flamer-bottom can skyrocket to the top.

  • At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey now, Clay is a top. Or at least thinks he is.

  • At 5:59 AM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    That was brilliant! Thanks Jason. A little bit of my cornflakes came up. Its a shame he cant do a will young. His tour is getting brillian reviews.

  • At 6:34 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    It's too late for Clay to do a Will b/c he has lied already and his fanbase is Bible Belt. My question is why not better songs to cover. The same old shit - it's so cynical.

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    Acts of this kind always do mainstream covers. Simon loves it. I once met someone from 19 Music who looks after pop idol acts. At the time i was a bit bent and trying out girls.

    She was on work experience(or something like that) and had an amazing tongue. I suggested that Will Young cover* the Girls@Play huge hit Airhead. She then confessed as to never hearing it. I then proceeded to remind her with a little performance by yours truly. While i sung "I've got the brains, hes got the looks! He watches TV, I read my books, he's in the slow lane but he dont care..." I distinctly remember her open up in aghast in the realisation that she was dating a gay guy...I personally think the song suits Will Young p.e.r.f.e.c.t.ly....

    *at the time there were media reports that he'd do a first album full of covers. The idea was shelved..

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Xo, I know! Where's the cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up" that I've been waiting for since the early comparisons to Rick Astley? At least that would have a beat.

    Pinkie, I have that CD single and it was never even released in this country. That gal must've had a headful of aaaaiiiir.

    BTW, I love how this is already picked up in Claymate forums...!!!!

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    It's been picked up because your words are like beautiful summer buttercups rising through the vanilla breeze....

  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger Robpop said…

    Would anyone be offended if I officially voted Pinkie as the strangest yet cutest blogger of 2007.

    Tell me Clay has not touched Dolly Parton. Theres another gay singer with a bible belt to keep up her trouser desires(see what i did there...!!!! clever eh!)

  • At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In the "American Idol" magazine they had a whole article, "Having An Aiken Breakdown" about the gay Clay wannabe Michael Sandecki and that magical night he met Clay. When my partner saw me reading that (yes, yes I do subscribe) he just broke down laughing. And these are the moments I am so greatful for anonymous postings!

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    P.S. and it just occurred to me, Clay sort of positioning himself as a Paul Young for the new millenium with his "Everytime You Go Away" cover and all the other covers on his album.

  • At 1:01 PM, Anonymous It's not me, it's you said…

    Meh, you Clay haters. all of you wish you were selling millions of cds like he is.

    Traitors to the human race
    What a drag
    What a waste
    I'd like to see them disappear
    They dont belong anywhere

  • At 2:07 PM, Anonymous the soul of poetry said…

    The words of La Duff...they burn with truth and passion!

  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    best. banterview. ever.

    PS - best. comment. ever. = " i was a bit bent and trying out girls"

    Robpop - darren and I would like first dibs on Pinkie a) if thats not too pervy and b) if he'll have us ;) We're very bendy!

  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Hater Fader said…

    props on including this really phenomenally awful pic of Miss Aiken:


    That wig-alike hairdo, the gentle slope from chin to neck, the skin...

    Bring it Claymates!

  • At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you people must be 12 years old or something. in the first place, who cares if he's gay. ain't nobody gayer than elton john, and he is much loved as well. has nothing to do with his talent. Clay's cd, as well as his others, will have him going to the bank. you're remarks are ridiculous and im sure you don't matter to him at all. how does it feel to have zero importance in someone's life.

  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    his new cd is awesome. as always, he can sing other people's songs and make them his own. there are also new songs on there as well that are great.or didnt ya listen to it before you bashed him?

  • At 4:49 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Dumb Clayhooker, we did indeed listen to this wasted circle of plastic, which you would have noted had you actually read the piece above... also, we acknowledged the original songs on the album, too. Criminy, don't they teach you geeks how to read in first grade anymore?

  • At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Mary Had A Little Claymate said…

    lovin the last responses. GENiUS!

  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger MoogaBoo said…

    Eh, those Claymates just copy and paste the same responses again and again, all over the internet. Where's the creativity? They could at least h8 on us for being middle-aged puerto rican lesbians with nothing better to do.

  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger split chick said…

    yeah, so I love Clay and this album, but at least good on you guys for actually LISTENING to the damn CD. that's more than most paid reviewers have bothered to do.

  • At 6:19 PM, Blogger split chick said…

    and I happen to read this blog regularly so i'm not just some Claymate dropping in to say something. so don't hate me even if I actually believe he's straight. dude is taking Paxil...

  • At 6:50 PM, Anonymous World's Biggest Claymate said…

    umm, I don't love Elton John (or his wig) but it has nothing to with with the fact that he's gay and everything to do with the fact that he sucks.

    And Clay = Gay. As his green beret paramour John Paulus will attest. I am the world's biggest Clay Aiken fan and even I accept this.

  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    "you're remarks are ridiculous" - that is quite good!

  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger The Duke said…

    Actually, he really IS Paul Reubens. Surprise!!!

  • At 8:29 PM, Anonymous N'est-ce pas, eh? said…

    I should have known this review was somehow Paulus related; surprised you didn't throw in 'quarter turns' just so no one could mistake whose 'office?' you bang around in. His walls are pretty banged up, I'm sure.

    You all give gays a bad name.

    Clay's new CD is awesome. Of course, having it displayed next to J.T.'s sexyback is unfortunate. J.P. must have arranged that.

    Clay's fans are not all on the bible-belt; some of us slip once in a while..long enough to call a spade a spade...and you are all such big black ones no one can miss you as you crawl down America's streets. Obviously , you weren't good enough to go to Iraq. The Iraquis would have loved you..or spit you out.

    This review isn't about Clay...it's about you fools having the opportunity to degrade him. Well, that's going to take decades to do.

    I'm sure glad you think Clay's new CD is what everyone will hear in hell; you'll all be hearing it for many many centuries. Better learn to enjoy it, now. Maybe the devil will add a laugh track to it so you all can hear us enjoying your misery, n'est-ce pas, eh?

  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…


    Is nobody reading this damn thing? Why would you think we're John Paulus, when it clearly says above "I feel for Clay in that [John Paulus] situation"?

    I've come to realize that Claymates must be either illiterate or fried, giggling ADD zombies. Perhaps Clay can take the "millions he's carrying to the bank" and buy you people a tutor (provided the dirt road to your claptrap dive isn't too trecherous) or a genuine rhinstone-studded, Clay-faced snatch rocket. The latter might actually hold your attention longer.

  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous N'est-ce pas, eh? said…

    M: But you know, one thing I'll give ValleyPrettyBoy.

    John Paulus told as many people as he could via his blog that Clay alledgedly used this name to access gay-sites. The fact that you made sure it got mentioned in this CD review (as well as John Paulus's name) makes this entire discussion 'Paulus related.'

    Don't play the innocent , here. The fact that you started your reply with 'MOM?' tells me a lot. Your vulgar comment is totally out of line but, perhaps, very indicative of your true character.

    Clean out your mouth and grow up.

  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger MoogaBoo said…

    Finally, a *real* Claymate. Love the dimestore psych, pious put-downs, paranoid accusations, and overall non-grasp of irony. Woo-hoo!

    PS Everyone knows they play Madonna in hell. The Peter Rauhofer mixes, probably.

  • At 2:30 AM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Wow... That was GREAT. Ahahahaha Loves it!

  • At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't understand the need to try to destroy this young man. Why all the personal attacks? I think he has one of the best voices of this generation.Why not talk about the quality individual that he is. His work for unicef, the foundation, the presidential appointment, his work for inclusion of special needs children. Give the man some respect.You give creedence to Paulus, whose claims came on a day that Clay wasn't even in town, and you even bring up the fact that he takes paxil. So he has panic attacks in enclosed spaces.so what? Is he gay? who really knows, and who really cares? He is a talented young man who is using his voice to try to make a difference in the world for children with special needs. I say bravo Clay, and inspite of those who want to bash him, he has an amazing fan base who wouldnt care if he sang the phone book, we will support him.

  • At 5:47 AM, Blogger MrBrady said…

    I'm so pleased to see "knob twiddling" referred to in the banterview... MrB's contribution to lexicon of Chart Rigger.

    I for one have never heard a Clay Aiken track, and I pray to whatever higher being is watching over me that I never have to. The "wig", the Cloris Leachman twink-o-matic grin and the hefty old padlock on that closet door are enough to have me so disinterested I could actually get to like Razorlight.

  • At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Never heard a Clay Aiken track? Give me a break. How superficial aand shallow are you that you could judge talent based on looks. how funny and stupid is that? For people who claim to not like him, ya'll sure think you know alot about him. Closet claymates maybe?

  • At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did ya listen to the song that was written by desmon shild and bon jovi? i like it

  • At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 6:13 AM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    I loved the "Giving gays a bad name" comment! Its like two tribes!!!

    First of all two people: Aristotle and Hans Cristian Anderson(one created modern politics and the other wrote the little mermaid: thus AMAZING GAYS)

    I could go on and list other gays like Socrates, Erasmus, Marlowe...but hey we'd be here for forever. Instead i thought i'd mention this fucking awful straights:

    Idi Amin, Stalin, Hitler, Mariah Carey, Bush, Rupert Murdoch.......

  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    What does this MEAN?

    "...you are all such big black ones no one can miss you as you crawl down America's streets. Obviously , you weren't good enough to go to Iraq. The Iraquis would have loved you..or spit you out."

    What is THAT? Racist?

    The Paulus story is unfortch. However, it will be interesting to see how his fans react to the gay stuff. Do they accept it as potential reality pr deny it. Do they understand WHY it is news?

    d'luv you are too controversial! Who knew!? Besides, everyone knows that you are actually Karl Rove and not John Paulus!

  • At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Yes, It's Really Me, My Child said…

    Mr. Brady,

    How DARE you besmirch the sexy name of Cloris Leachman by calling her grin "twink-o-matic."

    Everyone knows Cloris is a daddy.

    P.S. She fucked John Paulus with her Oscar.

  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger MrBrady said…

    kkdSorry, I retract any comments regarding Cloris Leachman. It was not my intention to besmirch the reputation of that fine actress who brought such gravitas to "The Ellen Show", especially that episode about the home-made taffy.

  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous World's Biggest Claymate said…

    I hope he does an album of Hi-NRG showtune covers next!

  • At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love Clay's new song "Toss your hotdog into my cave." Its soooooo good! I'm so obssessed with clay! Yes, I'm a really over-wieght fat girl from Ohio but maybe one day he'll see that I love him and come back... Oh Clay, how I slam my over-sized vag every night thinking about how hot your fire-crotch is.. Please scorth me with it NOOOOW!!!

  • At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Ginger Spice said…

    Oi, lay off the fire-crotch remarks or I'll sic Lindsay Lohan and her beast of a mother on you.

  • At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Dina Lohan said…

    I am not a beast and it is not in any way true my precious child - she is just a child!- inserted party drugs into Clay Aiken's anus. How dare anyone think that and defile my baby girl!

  • At 2:58 PM, Anonymous World's Biggest Claymate said…

    bless you mother Lohan. at last a voice of reason in the madhouse that is Chart Rigger!

  • At 3:20 AM, Anonymous Blair said…

    When Clay was on American Idol, originally, I was hoping he'd get the chance to do a Rick Astley cover- like "It Would Take A Strong, Strong Man." I think it would have been just as good, if not better, than "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" - yes, that's what I said.

    If he would have done a Rick song, it may have lead Clay to do an album of good covers like Rick just did, "Portrait." An excellent album btw inho.

    Rick even smiles cheekily on the album cover and he hasn't had a top single in I don't know how long. For pete's sake, why couldn't Clay crack a full smile on an album cover? He always looks so serious- except on the Christmas album which was nice.

  • At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "best voice of this generation" - um... not so much. Best anything of this generation really doesn't do much for the rest of us. Please wash out your mouth/cooter and raise your standards you dribbling moron.

  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger The Duke said…

  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Intelligent people talk about ideas,
    Average people talk about things,
    Small people talk about other people.

    Geez, you guys have been after this guy for five years. Give it a rest already!

  • At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is it weird that the date of this article is Sept. 18, 2006!

  • At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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