The Hope For Haiti Telethon Music Highlights: Song! Dance! Donation! Beyonce!
So! The Hope For Haiti Telethon was last night, and if you're like everyone else, it was Friday night, and you were out, you selfish fuck. Or all TEAM COCO. Either way, music happened. Timberlake! Beyonce! Swift! Hova! Gospel Choirs!
There were more songs than were here - like John Legend not doing "Ordinary People," Mary J. Blige doing her thing, Dave Matthews and Neil Young being creepy, and Jennifer Hudson doing "Let It Be" (which was actually pretty great), but I picked out the ones I liked! So suck it. Also, here's what you need to know about the musical performances on Hope For Haiti:
1. Bono fucks everything with any kind of political slant up. He should stick to recording songs about shooting lasers or flying or whatever he does these days.
2. The Roots should be everyone's backing band, anywhere, always.
3. A gospel chorus makes everything, everywhere sound better.
4. If you don't donate to Haiti, you're a piece of shit.
5. They were all pretty decent! But I'm not sure who watched them because it was on a Friday night, when most people go out! And also, it was Conan O'Brien's last night! They couldn't have done this on a Monday? Or a Thursday? It kind of just strikes me as, I don't know, unstrategic?
Anyway, it lives on through the magic of YouTube. Here, make beautiful music for Haiti.
Justin Timberlake and upcoming singer-songwriter Matt Morris' chilling cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Would Leonard Cohen have been better? Of course! But it's a good song, so, whatever. AND IT WAS FOR CHARITY, SO STFU LEONARD COHEN FANS. Hang in there until the end for the last few notes and try not to tear up. Pussy.
Chris Martin and Beyonce's Haitian "Halo." Beyonce subbed in the word "Haiti" for "you" or whoever the song's original "Halo recipient" is, which sounds really, incredibly tawdry, but somehow: kinda worked! It wasn't nearly as cheesy as it could've been, but oh, come on. This is such a good song. If you don't like this song, you're an awful person who's never had someone love them because they're awful and smell. Are you smelly and unloved? It sucks to be you. Maybe if you enjoyed Beyonce's music this wouldn't be such a problem.
But, okay, if you already like the song, then "kinda worked" is the operative term, here. Really, they should record this version without all the references to Haiti and sell it and THEN GIVE THE MONEY TO HAITI because, listen, everybody loves the idea of Beyonce throwing down for Haiti, but how often is this version going to make the Middle School Dance rotation? It won't, in its current forms. So just take the throwdowns for Haiti out and boom! Hit record, proceeds go to Haiti. I'm in the wrong business.
Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge, and Rihanna doing "Haiti (Mon Amour)" Okay, so, all things considered, it's pretty impressive that they managed to throw this song together in such a short matter of time, and that Bono actually let Rihanna take the lead on this song, but really, why would you write a song about Haiti? It's never going to become a hit record, because people don't want to jam a song about Haiti. If they wrote another "Empire State of Mind" that had fuckall to do with Haiti but that had all the proceeds moving in that direction, well: different story. But the song's kinda decidedly meh, which is what happens when you get Bono involved, I guess: beat-you-over-the-head-lyrical-content that hammers the message home again and again and again and again. But at least the chorus is pretty great in that "Oh, I remember that moment" kinda way.
Coldplay's acoustic "A Message." Kinda enjoying the whole sparse-instrumentation aesthetic here! It's always nice to hear a paired-down version of a song you already enjoy. And if you don't enjoy this song, that's okay, because Chris Martin varies from awesome to insufferable depending on the day, like his band's music. BUT YOU BETTER LIKE IT ENOUGH TO GIVE IT MONEY FOR HAITI, ASSHOLE.
Bruce Springsteen's tounge-y "We Shall Overcome," which sounded more like "We Sharrrlee Overcalllme," that was saved by the presence of a gospel choir, which, really, often serves as a great musical fix-all to save everything, so much so, in fact, that I now kinda wish I had a gospel choir singing my gossip roundups, and if you know any, you should have them give me a call. FOR HAITI.
Taylor Swift covering a Better Than Ezra song. So many questions. Bullet points!
- Taylor Swift knows what a Better Than Ezra is?
- Better Than Ezra is still around?
- They have songs people care about that aren't "Good" or "Desperately Wanting"?
- Taylor Swift would cover a Better Than Ezra song that aren't one of those?
- Wonder if Taylor Swift likes 25 year-old Jewish bloggers who enjoy reading, travel, beaches, cooking, and Celebrity Penis Conspiracy Theories? *Makes "call me" sign with thumb and pinky*
Madonna performing "Like a Prayer" with a gospel choir. Isn't this a song about giving blowjobs?* FOR HAITI.
*Like a Prayer is obviously not about blowjobs. You people! Come on.
Stevie Wonder performing "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Stevie Wonder could perform a song about drinking his own bathwater and it'd be awesome. But to do it with a gospel choir? As previously reported: exactly.
Shakira performing "I'll Stand By You." Good thing she didn't shake her ass for Haiti, because talk about getting rocked, right? No? Okay. Well, if you watch this, be warned: Shakira does not shake her ass. But she's got a great voice! And this is a nice song. And it has a GOSPEL CHOIR IN IT.
Kid Rock, Keith Urban, and Sheryl Crow performing "Lean on Me." The nice thing about "Lean on Me" is that the Mongolian Retard's Chorus could cover it in Pig Latin and it'd still sound great. Personally, I prefer the Club Nouveau version, But this was decent.
Alicia Keys doing "Prelude to a Kiss," which I never realized really kinda sounds like the opening notes of "Imagine," right? Anyway, this was the opening number, and it was beautiful. They should ban Alicia Keys music from being played in retail environments so it doesn't get ruined, or so it doesn't ruin people's lives. Because if you were having a bad day and heard this song in the grocery store, you know it'd fuck your shit up right, right?
Sting doing "Driven To Tears." Dude busted out a Police song! Talk about doing your part! "Desert Rose" doesn't bring in the big donation bucks: the man clearly knows this. Good on him. Also, glad he didn't offer to heal Haiti with twelve hours of Tantric sex. That wouldn't have gone over well.
Wyclef Jean performing "Rivers of Babylon." 'Clef's charity, Yele Haiti, and their financial issues aside, we can't forget: this guy used to be in the Fugees, the most overrated rap "supergroup" of all time! Even though Lauryn Hill is kind of insane and then there's Pras and don't get me started on John Forte. Anyway, key to any performance of "Rivers of Babylon" is the "OH FROM THE WICKED!" shout, which 'Clef nails! And then he starts singing in Creole, which is pretty wonderful, too. And then they kick it up a notch into a "Rebuild Haiti" dance and Clef does a freestyle proving just how weak of a rapper he is and, then, you know, that's that. I prefer the Sublime cover. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so. It just makes me someone who once enjoyed Sublime. And still does. For Haiti.
X-Tina Agularia doing "X Gone Give It To You." Okay, so she actually did "Lift Me Up" and it was the best performance of the night. There. Now give money to Haiti, you fucking pieces of ungrateful, awful shit.