July 6th, 2006 5:33 pm | by MARK BAUMGARTEN Music | Posted In: Columns, Columns

Storm Kills on Rock Star! Yawn.

StormLarge1_TimGuntherRock Star: Supernova, starring Portland's very own Storm Large, premiered last night with live performances from all 15 contestants. I missed it, but managed to watch all the performances on the Rock Star website. There I learned a few things.

1. If the devil were a complete tool and had the power only to grow obnoxious facial hair and make rock faces, he would be Dave Navarro.

2. Nirvana's songs should never have any association with reality TV.

3. Evanescence songs should only be performed on reality TV.

4. Storm Large is an amazing performer.

I already knew this after seeing my share of Storm and the Balls shows at Dante's, but her performance of the Who's "Pinball Wizard" solidified that she knows how to give the audience what they want. I only wish that the audience, in this case, was not frequent reality televisitor and bona fide rock cliché Tommy Lee.

Lee, along with the other members of Supernova and the obnoxious devil, watch the performances and then give feedback, which is generally "you rock" for guys and "you rock and you're sexy" for girls (the mind of a recovering omni-holic is a very simple place.) In that atmosphere, Storm is forced to exude sex and rock in a wholly unoriginal manner, one which dudes who were screwing groupies in the ‘80s and ‘90s get. This mostly involves wearing black, ending key phrases with a growl, showing cleavage, making crazy rock eyes and being able break out of all of that shtick to feign an emotional connection at a key moment of the song (occurring here with the line "But I just handed/ My pinball crown to him"). This kind of rockin' is absolutely fine and it has its audience. I just wish that Storm could break out of the mold a little bit and show some of her creative talents. I wonder what she could do if Bjork, PJ Harvey and Michael Gira were her judges. I have to believe it would be miles beyond this performance.

Of course, the in-studio crowd did clap and go nuts for her. Of course they did that for the guy who gave Roxanne the Nu Metal makeover, which just proves that people will stomp and yell for anything if there's a free Honda keychain involved.

See Storm perform "Pinball Wizard" here:

Rockstar: rockstar.msn.com
Storm Large: stormlarge.com
WW interview with Storm: http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3235/7727
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