Memorial Day Plans

For those of you in the Dunkirk/Fredonia, New York, area, I will be performing with the Erie Thunderbirds tomorrow in Dunkirk’s Memorial Day parade. The parade starts at 11:30 AM on Lake Shore Drive West at Memorial Park.

Full details for the parade can be found at

More information about the Erie Thunderbirds can be found at

I hope to see you there!

2010 DCP Box Center Podcast Returning June 1st

Now that I’m done ripping on American Idol every Tuesday night (Crystal should have won!), I’m ready to get the podcast back together.

Starting this coming Tuesday, June 1st, the Drum Corps Planet Box Center podcast is back!

I’ll be recording the podcast starting at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific. You’re welcome to join in by going to You can listen to the live broadcast there and even join in via the chat room or by phone!

I’ve already started working on potential guests for the podcast, but I want to know who YOU want to hear from. If you have any suggestions for guests on my show, feel free to send them to The more interest I see in certain guests, the harder I’ll push to get them on the show.

Of course, I’ll also be talking about the latest news and events happening in drum corps, so there will never be a dull moment on the show!

Check it out starting on Tuesday, June 1st!

2010 American Idol – Top Two

[Howard Cosell voice]

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Crystal Bowersox versus Lee DeWyze for the American Idol Heavyweight Title. My name is Kevin Gamin and I welcome you to The Medi-Nerd website and blog. This is a magical night for all involved, especially for the two remaining contestants, but, most of all, for Simon Cowell, who is preparing to complete his amazing run as judge on this program. I can’t tell you the excitement which permeates the Nokia stage, mainly because I, myself, am not truly there. I will say, however, that Crystal has won the coin toss and will begin tonight’s festivities. Each contestant will perform three songs, three final opportunities to make their case to be the next American Idol. Who will win? I cannot say. I will say, though, that I am honored and privilaged to bring this night to you.

[/Howard Cosell voice]

Lee DeWyze, performing “The Boxer” – OK, I was mad about this song choice as there is NOTHING inspirational about this song. Lee sounds a little sharp on the performance during the first verse.  I’m not sold on this choice for the final night, but he’s not dying on the stage, so I guess the judges will gush over his performance.  The China cymbal crash they’re using for effect pales in comparison to the original composition and just sounds silly, though. I’m not convinced this is the way to start the show.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Me and Bobby McGee” – Wow, Crystal sounds sharp, too. I think the nerves are hitting both contestants so far tonight. I’m also not sure about this song choice, either, unless Crystal really starts belting it out during the second half. This isn’t a kill shot so far. It is the second half of the song, though, where things pick up, but, still, I’m left lacking. This was good, not great, and GREAT is what is DEMANDED at this point.

Lee DeWyze, performing “Everybody Hurts” – Why on EARTH would you pick this song for Finals???? This is a depressing song and, no matter how much you “emote”, you’re just not going to get the effect you want. Lee just let Crystal take the lead without singing her second song. This is a Semifinals mistake which keeps you from getting to the Top 12. I’m not even waiting for the song to end, I’m proclaiming this performance a failure.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Black Velvet” – I like this song and think it can fit Crystal’s style, but this feels a little too manic for me. The song does have a laid back Southern feel to it which I’m missing in this performance. I do feel better about the performance halfway through, but the trend tonight seems to be weak starts, ramping up to full speed midway through the song. I’m just not feeling this particular performance, though. I have yet to experience something special from what I’m hearing. Strong ending to the performance, though, so I think Crystal maintains her lead on Lee through two songs.

Lee DeWyze, performing “Beautiful Day” – Um, shouldn’t your first single be an original song? Oh, well, Idol never was one for originality. Heck, they even dumped the songwriting contest because the songs sucked so much. Lee’s taken the key of this song down and, for me, that takes energy from the performance. Lee, do you think Bono would approve of this performance? You’re not doing bad, mind you, but, yet again, I have yet to be inspired by your performances tonight. Unlike earlier, this feels a little flat for me, both in pitch and emotion. I’m just waiting for the song to end. Lee’s only going to win if enough teenybopper girls vote for him cuz he’s cute, which is probably what will happen because this show is NEVER about being a singing competition.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Up to the Mountain” – I don’t know this song, but this, again, seems right in Crystal’s wheelhouse, and, so far, she’s the best job of the night. Really like the backup singers on this song, too. Nice dynamic contract midway through the song. Crystal really channels the Eva Cassidy and Janis Joplin styles well. I think Crystal just sealed the deal. Not that Lee isn’t a great performer, but, BASED ON TONIGHT, Crystal is the better performer.

The simple fact is that Crystal improved with each performance tonight, culminating in one of the best performances of the season. Lee, while not performing terribly, did not bring the emotion he needed to win tonight and basically flatlined his way throughout the show. From a performance standpoint, Crystal is clearly the winner. As I stated earlier, however, there’s a large teenage girl voting base which will push for Lee no matter what because he’s “cute” and “hot”. That worries me.

2010 American Idol champion – Crystal Bowersox

2010 American Idol – Top 3

Just two more weeks before another season of American Idol ends. Personally, I’m ready for it to go away.  I’ve got a podcast to do and Tuesday night’s my regular night. Any show that decides that Casey’s a better singer than Mike is a show that I really need to rip apart. This week has no mentor, but will have each singer perform two songs. One chosen by them, the second selected for them. Let’s not waste time, shall we?


Casey James, performing “OK, It’s All Right With Me” for his song choice – This song doesn’t really do much for me. Nothing is happening at all with this song. The crowd isn’t really into it, either, clapping along but not much else. Casey sounds…OK. You’re first on and you only have to survive two more shows to be the champ, yet that’s all you can come up with? Casey really should have gone home two weeks ago and he keeps proving me right with every song he sings. Right now, it’s Crystal and Lee for the final showdown next week, but there’s another song for Casey and two songs for the other singers.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Come To My Window” for her song choice – Already a better performance than Casey and she hasn’t even started yet. It’s all song choice here. Melissa Etheridge is right up her alley. The down opening with harmonica is an interesting start, but she jumps right into the regular tempo as soon as she starts singing.  Problem is, though, that she isn’t belting this song out like she should. Crystal is holding back for some strange reason, which this song does NOT call for. This is disappointing for me, because, as the judges will say, this is the time to stand out. Playing a little harmonica won’t do that.

Lee DeWyze, performing “Simple Man” for his song choice – Of the three personal song choices, this was the best, by far. I’ve never been much of a Skynard fan, and I don’t know this song that well, but Lee delivered the mail. There was a definite emotion which the other two singers could not pull off. The judges are totally gushing over the performance, and, for once, I agree with them. I’d even consider buying that track.

My picks after Round One:
1. Lee DeWyze
2. Crystal Bowersox
3. Casey James

Casey James, performing “Daughters” for the judges’ song choice –  OK, this song isn’t any more interesting than what Casey chose, but I don’t see Simon ripping Kara and Randy for picking this song. What’s worse, Casey seems to have forgotten what singing in tune is. At least Casey gets to play a five second guitar solo, but who cares? Please, America, make the right choice and send Casey home. He’s the weakest voice and the least interesting performer.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Maybe I’m Amazed” for the judges’ song choice – Sorry, but anything Paul McCartney wrote after The Beatles just annoys me, and this song is on the list, although Crystal does have a chance to make up for her first performance. I do like the performance better than her first, and she does put more energy into this one, but I’m still not 100% sold, and I’m a Bowersox fan. Lee will have to suck on his second song for Crystal to move up to my top spot this week.

Lee DeWyze, performing “Hallelujah” for the judges’ song choice – Yes, Simon, we’ve heard this song before. A lot. I LOVE this song when it’s done right (Jeff Buckley, for example), so Lee’s got a LOT to live up to with this song. The song does sit in Lee’s wheelhouse, but both Lee’s performance and the arrangement are waaay to overproduced. Leonard Cohen called, he’d like his song back. Wow, I think I might have to punch Lee in the face for destroying that song.

It’s Crystal and Lee next week, no doubt. Otherwise, America totally sucks.

2010 American Idol – Top 4

Well, there was nowhere to go but down after last week, especially after America SCREWED IT UP by keeping Casey on for another week. What’s more, we get Jamie Foxx for the second year in a row. I’m not really sure what Jamie brought to the table last year, so I don’t see what he brings to the table this year. Oh, well, good mentors appear to be hard to come by on American Idol, but the mediocre (and worse) mentors seem to be knocking the door down to get on the show. Does Jamie have a new CD or movie coming out soon he needs to pimp?

Lee DeWyze, performing “Kiss From a Rose” – Lee, you are no Seal, and you just showed America exactly that. The tempo was too fast, your pitch was off, and, like Simon said, you’re performance was practically karaoke. That was pretty painful and, I hate to admit it, Casey may have just gotten another week on the show without even singing a note. Of course, I haven’t heard Casey yet, so I’ll hold my final opinion until that happens.

Michael Lynche, performing “Will You Be There” – This song could give Michael a chance to really show his range, starting very low in his register, then jumping up into his comfort zone. I like the backup singers coming down the stairs as they become part of the song. I feel good about Michael’s performance, although I felt it was safe. The song didn’t go anywhere and, to tell you the truth, Michael was a little overshadowed by the backup singers. One thing’s for sure was that this was far better than Lee’s performance.

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, performing “Falling Slowly” – Well, this is a GREAT way to point out who can outsing the other. Crystal’s voice is just miles better than Lee’s. Again, though, we’re going with a faster tempo than the song calls for. This is a very poignant song, but, for some reason, there’s this desire to rush through it. Way to ruin the song, people. Remember, I’m missing the Cavs game for this.

Casey James, performing “Mrs. Robinson” – Why on Earth are you playing a ukelele??? And what’s with the slower tempo??? I HOPE you don’t do that during the performance, but I’m scared. And now I’m just mad. This is just too laid back with a corny uke. I almost feel like Casey’s given up and, to tell you the truth, he should have been gone last week. I guess he knows he can’t win and is going to do what he can to just get out of the way.

By the way, Cavs up 23-20 after the 1st.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “I’m All Right” – This is making me smile. She’s putting her own little spin on the song, having fun with it, complete with her favorite mic stand. Crystal just sings circles around the rest of the contestants and she did not hold back tonight. That was, by far, the best performance of the night.

Casey James and Michael Lynche, performing “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” – Both on guitar, but, the moment Michael sings, I forget about Casey. Again, this is a great way to show who the superior singer is. This is a better song choice for the duet portion of the night and, to be honest, a good song choice for this pairing. Well, at least until they hit the big note and at least one of them can’t find it while they both scream the note. Overall, though, I really enjoyed the song and the performance.

Here’s how I’d place them:

1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Michael Lynche
3. Casey James
4. Lee DeWyze

2010 American Idol – Top 5

We’re a month away from finding out who’s career will be destroyed by becoming the next American Idol. Personally, I see either Crystal Bowersox or Michael Lynche winning it all. Crystal’s been the most consistent, while Michael has really improved throughout the season. I don’t feel championship vibes from Lee, Casey, or that other guy who I can’t think of right now even though Ryan just told me who he is. Michael also gets points from me for escorting Crystal out onto the stage. I’m such a sucker for stuff like that.

Somebody who was a champ and sang about a lady being a tramp was Frank Sinatra, and he is also the theme for tonight’s show. I’ve had fun playing Rat Pack music so I’m actually looking forward to the songs performing tonight. I’m also a big fan of Harry Connick, Jr., who is tonight’s mentor and is doubling as composer/arranger for tonight. Harry is most definitely teh awesome.

Aaron Kelly, performing “Fly Me To The Moon” – I like what I hear during the rehearsal clip. I also wish I could be in that rehearsal as a horn player because that’s a sweet setup.  MAJOR points for Harry playing piano for Aaron, too. Aaron’s doing a good job with the song, but I still feel like he just can’t center his pitch to save anybody’s life. This is good song for Aaron, though, and he is performing the heck out of it. This is a night where batting leadoff won’t hurt, I think. Nice ending to the song, too. Harry even looks a little proud. I don’t blame him.

Casey James, performing “Blue Skies” – OK, I REALLY want to play in a band with Harry Connick, Jr. He seems like a total blast to be around and play with. Time to learn trombone. Now, as to the actual performance…Casey can’t find the opening pitches, and I don’t feel he’s comfortable with this song or style. this sounds like a straight Sinatra style arrangement, my really exposes the fact that Casey doesn’t sound like Ol’ Blue Eyes. Casey does NOT sound strong at all. I’m going to put him in my bottom three for the night.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “Summer Wind” – Crystal has shown herself to be very versatile as a singer, so I expect big things from her on this song, which I personally like. Nice little touch playing a couple notes on the piano before leaving for the mic at center stage. I really like the arrangement of the song and Crystal is really nailing it, even at the start where she’s subdued. Now we’re getting into the meat of the song and Crystal belts it out a little before backing it down for the end. Damn, that was FLAWLESS.

Michael Lynche, performing “The Way You Look Tonight” – Michael is going to just sing this straight and knock it out of the park. Perfect song choice and perfect arrangement. Nice little key change after the gentle open. Michael’s really working it at center stage. If the judges have problems with this performance, it just proves once again that none of them deserve to be musicians. Well, except for Ellen, since she’s already not a musician, but you get what I mean.

Lee DeWyze, performing “That’s Life” – This arrangement sounds like a Ray Charles rendition, while Lee’s trying to channel Harry Connick, Jr. I’m not really getting the emotion I feel like Lee’s trying to bring to the song. It’s not a bad performance, but there’s just something missing from it for me.  Come to think of it, I can’t tell you anything about that song, which tells me Lee didn’t do anything to the song to make it special and make it his own.

I won’t do a bottom three this week. I’ll rank the performances as I saw them:

1. Michael Lynche
2. Crystal Bowersox
3. Aaron Kelly
4. Lee DeWyze
5. Casey James (bye bye!)

2010 American Idol – Top Six

And then there were six…Too bad won’t go Agatha Christie and shrink it down to NONE.

This week’s mentor is Shania Twain. She’s a country singer, which I don’t care about, and she has a nasally voice, which I don’t care for. She’s also incredibly successful, which is what this show is really about, so let’s see if that rubs off on the contestants.  Ryan does have a great quote, though: “She’s the one who made country pop.” In other words, she ruined two genres in one shot.

Oh, I feel the snark flow through me. I will unleash my anger, and let my journey to the dark side be complete!

Lee DeWyze, performing “Still the One” – Uh, oh. Lee’s in trouble. Graveyard slot and, from what I heard, he’s going to John Meyer this song to death. Pitch problems, especially on the sustain leading into the chorus. Not much energy to the song, except for the forced energy Lee feels necessary to slam us with. That just did not work for me. The judges, on the other hand, fawn all over Lee, but in that way which says that they know Lee’s in trouble, but they like him too much to let go. I think that says everything right there.

Michael Lynche, performing “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” – I think Michael moved Shania to tears during the rehearsal. I know that Michael’s already outsung Lee in the first 4 bars of his song. This is right up Michael’s alley. I think that Michael has grown the most of the remaining contestants.  Michael also has a great head voice, which he finished the song off with. A very strong performance which should be rewarded with a lot of votes.

Casey James, performing “Don’t” – I don’t know this song, but Casey has a country voice, so this song might work for him. I’m not really getting a lot of energy in his performance, though. I almost feel like Casey needs a stronger voice to pull this song off. It’s not a bad performance, mind you, but, at this point in the competition, good may not be good enough. I guess I didn’t hear what the judges did, though.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “No One Needs To Know” – This seems like the most old school country song Shania wrote, which is why Crystal sings it so well. Crystal’s vocal control is spot on, as well, with a great octave jump in the middle of the song, and again near the end. I actually hope Crystal doesn’t win because most of the non-winners do better than the champs. I almost feel like the judges feel the need to put her performance down because they want there to be at least a semblance of competition. The fact, though, is that Crystal sings rings around the rest of the competitors. So did Melinda Doolittle, though, and we know what happened there.

Aaron Kelly, performing “You Got Away” – I just don’t feel good about Aaron’s pitch. I feel like he’s ALMOST in tune, but is a little off in either direction throughout the performance.  I’m not getting this performance and I’m not getting a very enthusiastic response from the crowd, either. I personally would put this performance in the bottom three, although that’s becoming less and less a sign of suckiness when there’s a 50% chance of being in there. Judges love him, though, and the little “I sang this for my mother” will guarantee we’ll see Aaron next week.

Siobhan Magnus, performing “Any Man of Mine” – Siobhan’s voice is most like Shania’s, and she seems to go the extra mile this week by having a Shania-esque hairstyle. I don’t know why Siobhan is spending so much time in her low register with the way she swallows her voice in that range. The crowd is really into the performance, though. the Pimp slot combined with the huge note before finishing the song with flair really sets them on fire. Nothing wrong with that performance.

Top Performers:
Crystal Bowersox
Michael Lynche
Siobhan Magnus

Bottom 3:
Aaron Kelly
Casey James
Lee DeWyze

2010 American Idol – Top 7

Oh, yeah, Idol Gives Back week has returned. I guess the AI team feels that the economy has recovered enough that they don’t feel bad about asking people to donate. Of course, with Haiti and all the other earthquakes which have happened already this year, this money could do some good. With an Idol Gives Back week also comes “inspirational” musical selections. Hopefully I’m inspired, as well…to write really snarky reviews!

Alicia Keys is this week’s mentor. I do’t know any of her music, but she has 12 Grammys, I guess she must have some talent. That hasn’t helped Idol contestants in the past, though, so why would that change now?

Casey James, performing “Don’t Stop (Believing About Tomorrow)” – This is a typical song that the FM radio stations play because it’s so generic. So far, Casey’s performance doesn’t seem much different. He’s not bad, but there’s nothing that I’m going to remember about this performance, especially since Casey’s up first. I’m worried for Casey.

Lee DeWyze, performing “The Boxer” – So, Lee’s a former paint salesmen, which means watching Lee really is like watching paint dry. Apparently, Lee didn’t get the memo that this song is about as inspirational as, well, an earthquake hitting Haiti. Lee’s voice also doesn’t match this song at all. Neither does the contemporary arrangement that Lee used to try and make the song his own. If the judges like this, they are all idiots.  And they are.

Tim Urban, performing “Better Days” – Not sure why Tim starts so low. His voice doesn’t have that range. What’s scary is that he sounded better when he was too low. Tim’s out of tune and shouts when he gets to the main part of the song. This hurts my ears. Color me not inspired expect in hoping that Tim goes home. I can’t see Tim surviving after that performance unless Casey really is forgotten.

Aaron Kelly, performing “I Believe I Can Fly” – Remember a couple weeks ago when I was mad about Andrew singing a Chris Brown song? R. Kelly’s on my list, too. Unfortunately, A. Kelly joined that list with that performance. Wow, his voice is all over the place like a race car on a slick track. Really, people, all you’re inspiring me to do is cry, not fly.

Siobhan Magnus, performing “If You Believe” – I guess if you’re performing a song done by both Whitney and Mariah, you HAVE to go over the top. Siobhan, even in the low register, is just pouring out the emotion like molasses. This, however, was a very good performance, maybe the only truly good performance of the night so far. Siobhan only had a moment where she overdid it, but, for the most part, that was the strongest technical performance from Siobhan since the beginning of the season. The judges, however, made it very clear that they’re done with Siobhan, once again proving they have no musical talent whatsoever.

Michael Lynche, performing “Hero” – This is a song better suited for Casey James, with that grunge gravelly voice vocal.  Michael’s performance is good, but this really isn’t the best song for him. You need that Nickelback/Dave Mathews growl to really get the point across, especially since this song is really about not waiting for a hero to save you. I consider this the second best performance of the night, which means that the judges, yet again, are idiots.

Crystal Bowersox, performing “People Get Ready” – I have Eva Cassidy’s rendition of this song and love it. I get the feeling Crystal’s heard it, too, because this has the same soul. I’m a little surprised at how overwhelmed she got at the end, but, once again, Crystal hits one out of the park.

Top Performers:
Crystal Bowersox
Siobhan Magnus
Michael Lynche

Bottom Three:
Aaron Kelly
Tim Urban
Casey James/Lee DeWyze

2010 WGI World Percussion Finals Results

Percussion Scholastic World:
15. Center Grove High School – 86.125
14. Fishers High School – 86.588
13. Long Lake High School – 86.825
12. King Philip Regional High School – 87.588
11. Forsyth Central High School – 88.325
10. Centerville High School – 89.163
9. Los Alimedos High School – 89.538
8. North Glenn High School – 91.650
7. Arcadia High School – 92.000
6. Chino High School – 93.363
5. Avon High School – 94.275
4. Mission Viejavo High School – 94.625
3. Dartmouth High School – 95.500
2. Chino Hills High School – 96.750
1. Ayala High School – 97.175

Percussion Independent World:
15. Tyler Junior College – 82.775
14. Infinity – 83.275
13. Timber Creek Independent – 84.550
12. Gateway Indoor – 85.988
11. North Coast Academy – 86.625
10. Blue Knights – 86.888
9. East Side Fury – 87.913
8. Matrix – 88.175
7. Aimachi – 91.725
6. United Percussion – 91.975
5. Redline – 92.500
4. Riverside Community College – 94.100
3. Music City Mystique – 95.513
2. Rhythm X – 96.250
1. Pulse Percussion – 96.375

Fan Favorite
North Glenn High School