Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Jingle Bells," karaoke, and what every blogger can learn from American Idol

Adam Lambert (of last season's American Idol)
was so awesome, in part, because he never did it "karaoke-style."
He understood that every time he got the microphone,
it was his opportunity to be unique. To be remembered.
We bloggers can learn from him.
Every time we sit down to write a blog,
it's like someone's handing us a microphone...

So I was cooking dinner the other day, listening to a favorite song on my playlist, and my hands were all goopy rolling up non-meat-meatballs so I just let it play on from the songlist in alphabeltical (get it?) order. And I discovered that I had 3 versions of jingle bells. And I listened to them all. In a row.

Now, outside the fact that it's nowhere near Christmas time, it got me thinking - what a great lesson in the importance of "voice."

It's what Simon and the other judges are always saying on American Idol - don't just sing the song the way we've always heard it. If you do, it's too "Karaoke," and while karaoke is fun to do, it's not so much fun to listen to (unless it's one of your friends, dancing on top of a table, humiliating themselves.)

So now it's your turn to Play Along At Home (or on the go) with these versions I found for you. Listen to these:

Ella Fitzgerald's version of Jingle Bells

Barbra Streisand's version of Jingle Bells

Kyle Massey's version of Jingle Bells

Diana Krall's version of Jingle Bells

Melinda Doolittle's version of Jingle Bells

And go ahead, sort your playlist alphabetically by song title and see how many versions of the same song you have (it doesn't have to be jingle bells - any song you have multiple artists' versions of will do.)

Listen to them all in a row.

Note how each artist really puts their own spin on it. And for those artists that don't put their own spin on it, think about how ultimately forgettable their efforts are, in a sea of versions of the same song.

This is a good lesson to think about when blogging.

It's very possible that you're going to be blogging about something other people are blogging about, too. Whether it's about American Idol, or wishing Raven had won RuPaul's Drag Race, or even the new gay character in the Archie comic book universe, often we're blogging about stuff that's already been discussed elsewhere in the blogosphere or on the web.

Whatever you're blogging about, make sure your version is unique - an expression of you and your voice.

Otherwise, it'll just be Karaoke.

Oh, and will someone let me know when Adam Lambert puts out a version of "Jingle Bells?" I can't wait to see what he does with it!

Namaste, and keep it Zen,

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