Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday (& Tuesday) ~ Casey James + UPDATE

Music Monday is usually about already famous, or legendary but long-gone, singers and musicians. For a change I'm being self-indulgent and posting about my current American Idol favourite Casey James.

Casey has survived the Idol obstacle course of having to sing on some themes foreign to him, and now stands as one of the final 3 contestants. He can do no worse than being second runner-up, even if voted off this week. He can't lose. In some ways it could be more helpful for him not to win the competition. He'd be more free to follow his own course rather than being bound by an Idol winner's contract.

It would be surprising if Casey beat Crystal Bowersox, who has led the field from the start. He has been mauled by the judges, but survived, presumably due to his strong fan base. Those judges can be obtuse at times, for reasons best known to themselves. Casey could (and in my opinion should) quite easily beat the other finalist, Lee DeWyse, to become runner-up. It's not easy to pick the order of the final three from their astrology (see last Tuesday's post). All three charts contain at least one helpful factor when compared with the chart for the 26 May finale.

Casey James, born in a tiny Texas village called Cool, lives for his music. From numerous bits and pieces on line it seems that he's been singing from the time he was in the crib. One article tells that his mother, a singer herself, was worried about him being late learning to speak, yet he hummed when in the crib. A friend pointed out to her that he was humming the theme from MASH, a household favouriteTV series! Casey has said in interview that making music is all he has ever wanted to do. He was married for three years, 2005-2008. His ex-wife has said, in a National Enquirer interview, that single-mindedness about his music and his will to succeed put stress on their marriage. She had nothing worse to say, however, so National Enquirer had to make do with that as "gossip" instead of anything more salacious. Casey admits to his single-mindedness, though adds to his love of music, a love of all animals and especially his two dogs, Basset Hounds, with whom he shares the house he built himself. He freely admits, too, to rather wild teenage years when he spent time in jail following a series of driving offences. A serious accident later left him wheel-chair bound for 6 months, unsure whether he'd be able to play guitar again. This, he says, was the learning experience which set him straight.

Casey's musical style blends rock and blues. He writes songs, is an expert on guitar and mandolin, plays both electric and acoustic guitar with equal aplomb, and often seems uneasy when forced to sing without an instrument. With his band, which includes his brother, he has been playing in pubs, clubs and small venues in his current base, Fort Worth for many years, as well as in venues around Texas and Oklahoma. It's possibly because of his years performing on small stages that Casey seems reluctant to use the massive stage now available to him - or perhaps this is just who he is. Surprisingly, he had never seen a single episode of American Idol before his mother persuaded him to attend the auditions.

He's a good-looking guy, but he doesn't swagger like some other good-looking guys. If he was as intent and focused on his "job" in some other area I guess he'd be termed a geek! It's endearing to see such a good-looker so seemingly unaware of what he's got! When asked how he'd react when the Idol fashion sylists got hold of him he replied, "as long as I'm comfortable with whatever it is, I'm going to let it roll because I know nothing about style. That's kind of obvious." Is it an act? I doubt it. Let's look at his natal chart.

Chart shown is a 12 noon version. ascendant will not be accurate as a time of birth isn't available. The Moon was somewhere in Leo though, whatever time Casey was born.

Sun in Capricorn - not a particularly musical sign, it's a cardinal sign, sign of a doer, a practical go-getter, a sign that knows how many beans make five and how to get 'em. Casey knows what he's about: music, and he knows how to make it....but he also built his own house - remember?

Venus, planet of the arts including music is also in Capricorn, but in the last degrees of the sign and conjunct Mercury in neighbouring Aquarius, along with Mars. These two planets in Fixed sign Aquarius relate to his strong determination to succeed, even when this has meant the break-up of his marriage. Fixed signs can be ridiculously stubborn and single-minded. Airy Aquarius traits, though, do lighten that Earthy Sun and Venus of his. He'll be glad of that Earthy anchor if he is dragged into the great whirlpool of national and international show-biz, it'll tie his feet firmly to the ground.

Neptune, with Uranus and Jupiter conjoined, are all in Sagittarius, with Uranus/Jupiter in helpful, blending sextile to Mecury/Venus. Uranus, the rebel planet, hooked up to his personal planets clearly connects to Casey's wilder early years. His now maturer Sagittarian side helps counteract any overly serious traits from Capricorn/Aquarius. I recall a clip from an Idol episode when the contestants were asked to describe one another, and the thing they all mentioned about Casey was his very loud laugh - that's pure Sagittarius!

Saturn in the first degrees of Scorpio is conjunct Pluto in the last degrees of Libra. I'll guess that this conjunction, of Saturn's limitations and Pluto's dark and sometimes deathly reputation, reflects the road accident which almost cost Casey his life.

Moon in Leo is easy to translate for a person like Casey whose life's work is appearing in the spotlight - whether that spotlight is big or small matters not a lot - as long as it's shining for him, and he's making music.

UPDATE: A kind commenter has let me know that the date of birth I used, supplied by Wikipedia, might be incorrect. Apparently Casey said in interview recently that he's about to turn 28 on 31 May (which makes his d.o.b. 31 May 1982). That's quite a difference! I felt a bit wary of a Sun in Capricorn for him to be honest.

Here's the alternative chart which shows quite a lot more Air - Gemini and Libra, with Venus, planet of music in its own sign Taurus, which is a nice fit. His build and good looks do fit Gemini/Libra too.

Without going further into the chart for now (I will if he survives this week) I'll just say that the planet he has near an angle in the Finale chart is Uranus in the first degrees of Sagittarius. So he does still have a helpful indication.

Here he is, during the Lennon/McCartney theme week singing "Jealous Guy".

This Tuesday the final 3 will each sing a song chosen for them by the judges, then one of their own choice. The song judges have chosen for Casey to sing is Daughters by John Mayer. Crystal's song is Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney), and Lee's is Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen). I suspect Casey drew the short straw there with the least-known song of the three, but I reckon he's good enough to overcome that!

Fingers crossed !


anthonynorth said...

I used to play a rock/blues combination myself. I could really get into that.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your posts (and share your interest in Casey James).

Just a question though. Where did you get birthdate information for Casey? I ask because on one of the fansites lists Casey's birthday as May 31st (1982). Also, he said in an interview this week that he is just about to turn 28.


Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~~ That I'd love to see and hear. ;-)

Twilight said...

Anonymous (Mary) ~~~ Glad to hear that you enjoy him too!

Oh shucks - I wonder if Wikipedia has the wrong date of birth for him. I got it from there:

He does look more like someone with prominent Gemini - tall and very slim.....and it would explain why I cottoned on to him immediately (I always like Gemini Suns having Sun in Aquarius myself).

Oh dear....hmmmm - I'll take a look at the chart for 31 May, same year and maybe add it to the post above as an either/or.

Thanks for the information. I know Wiki can be unreliable with dates of birth.

Twilight said...

Oh it's 1982 as well - not 83.....

Shawn Carson said...

casey may not be the best singer idol has ever had, but he is the best guitar player by a mile. i dig his rock n roll vibe , and i think he could be a star. especially if he gets to do his own thing, like you said.

Twilight said...

Shawn ~~~ I agree. They keep saying it's a "singing contest", but the title of the show says nothing about that - it says they're looking for an "Idol", who might be the best singer - or not. Clapton, Knopfler, Santana didn't have to be brilliant singers and are "Idols". :-)

I suspect the show is fixed (up to a point) and whoever Cowell and Fuller want to , and think will pull in more $$$$$$ for them, will win - irrespective of votes. althouigh why Adam didn't win last year I still cannot understand.

Let's hope the whole of Texas and Oklahoma comes out in force to vote for Casey tonight. I'd love to see him as runner-up, as Adam was. I haven't voted yet (never do until the final) but I shall tonight.

anyjazz said...

We've always suspected that there was some manipulation going on with the voting and ranking of the finalists on American Idol. Last night’s show (May 18, 2010) made it pretty obvious. The judges’ praises and pans, the distribution of the song choices and even the order of performances all had a rather obvious slant. It wasn’t subtle.

I don’t suppose that any show that rakes in millions of dollars each week can be allowed to just go with the flow. Let the chips fall where they may? Sure, as long as they fall into the pockets of the executives running the show.

When a final contest between contestant “A” and contestant “B” is projected to generate a few million viewers and dollars more than a final contest between contestant “A” and contestant “C”, then that’s plenty incentive to shovel a few votes from one pile to another while the phones are still ringing.

If the producers are just going to pick the winners, then why bother to ask for votes at all? Because they get a rake on each call too! Your call isn’t meaningless! Your vote counts! It means more dollars to count.

There are advertisers and stockholders to please. The corporations are in charge. We will receive our instructions on which is good and which is not. We will be told what we can enjoy and what we will not.

And what happens to television shows that get caught cheating? Now that’s the Sixty-four Thousand Dollar Question.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~ Thanks for saying exactly what I would have said.

Last night's show was the most blatant example of voter manipulation I've seen since the general election of 2008!

The judges were ridiculous! They contradicted themselves in order to favour one contestant above another. Do they think their audience is completely devoid of intellect? It would appear so.

Casey was handed a dud song, in comparison to the other 2, and I suspect his own choice wasn't what he really wanted to sing....the whole thing stank to high heaven!

Twilight said...

Casey has been eliminated so will not compete in the finale. Having watched the show it seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Judges and producers have what they've been aiming for during past weeks, a final round between Crystal and Lee.

Casey will have benefited greatly from Idol though, and seemed very happy with the outcome. Wise!
He'll soon be out from under the Idol machine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the new chart for Casey. (Glad I could help!) I'm sorry to see Casey go, but I have to say that the man put up with a lot of unpleasantness with dignity and grace. His final sing-out, seranading his little cousin, was touching.

Apparently, Casey had a couple of songs in mind for his personal choice and he liked them both, so I don't know if he was talked out of the other choice (rumor has it, a Stevie Ray Vaughan classic) or made the choice entirely for himself.

What is evident is that American Idol has never been even-handed to all contestants and the manipulations are just becoming more obvious after all these years, even to casual viewers.

-- MaryS-NJ

Twilight said...

Anonymous (Mary)~~~~
Hi again!

It did seem to be a foregone conclusion that Casey would be eliminated. The judges couldn't have been more embarrassingly obvious about their manipulation of voters' opinions this time.
No doubt the producers would have "manipulated" the result if votes hadn't matched their requirements.

I read somewhere today that a "reliable source" has said that Casey's original song coice was "Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan (an artist to whom Randy Jackson has likened Casey more than once). After the rehearsal someone who was present reported back on-line that Casey's song was a rip roaring rock and roll song which would have people on their feet dancing. That was not the song he sang - no way. So what happened inbetween rehearsal and broadcast is anybody's guess. Shady business, no doubt.

Still, there'll be appearances on various TV shows to come, and the summer tour, when he might be able to display more of his real style.
Oh - was that his niece? A sweet ending, for someone who appears to be a sweet guy.

The Next President of the United States said...

Have paid absolutely no attention to "Idol" this season, which had always been the case until last year, when I made the mistake of watching and got caught up by Adam Lambert, only to be disappointed when the most talented person of the group wasn't selected.
Be that as it may, having listened to the clip of Casey James, my guess is Mr. James will go on to become the most popular and most talented of this year's group. He's got "it", and "it" is much more important and lasting that being an American idol.
P.S. Seems Mr. North and I also share a background in blues/rock, which doesn't really surprise me. We seem to share other interests as well.
P.P.S. If you took a poll, I think "Jealous Guy" would be more recognizable than "Hallelujah." Especially among the Boomer set.

Twilight said...

TNPOTUS ~~~ Hi! Good! I'm glad that you see Casey as one who'll succeed from here on.

I'm going to add another video to the post in a mo - Casey's appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' show yesterday. He got a chance to show a little more of his style.
I hope he'll appear on Letterman some time next week too, the other eliminated contestants have done so.

Mr. North - ah yes! AN, I call him. He's from my part of the world and has all kinds of interesting interests and is a prolific writer and blogger.

Re Jealous Guy and Hallelujah - I agree. Though in context of the post and comments, Jealous Guy was sung in the Lennon/McCartney theme week, whereas Hallelujah was the judges' choice for Lee DeWyse to sing when the final three competed this week. They gave Casey Daughters by John Mayer at that time.....nowhere near as well-known as Hallelujah (sung on Idol nearly every season) or Maybe I'm Amazed (McCartney) -judges choice for Crystal.

Anyway Casey's fans will sit back and watch his rise once the summer tour is over. It'll be interesting to see how he's doing this time next year. Adam Lambert has completely eclipsed the winner of last year's show already. He was on Leno last night and about do go out on tour, has toured in Europe and other continents already. :-)

Now - I'll go find that other video of Casey.

Twilight said...

TNPOTUS ~~~ Dang! It seems that the internet is overloaded, being Saturday and many people all doing the same thing - or something - because the video refuses to load/stream whatever.

I'm going to do another Idol post on Tuesday (last one this year) and will add it there with anything else I can find on CJ. :-)

Anonymous said...

Casey was asked about "Pride and Joy" in an interview and said this:

"Did you consider doing Stevie Ray Vaughan's Pride and Joy?

That would have been a crowd-pleaser, but I would have lost all my musical credibility if I had done that song. As a musician, there are certain songs you just don't do unless you're going to switch it up, in which case you better be somebody, and I'm not, so ..."

Humble as always. He doesn't say that was his other song choice although he does confirm he had another song in mind and that it "got switched up" (note: he didn't say *he* switched the song) but Shirley Halperin the LA TImes columnist who posted the non-spoiler description of his rehearsal which sparked the speculation, clarified that it was the Eric Hutchinson the song he rehearsed, but while the band was working out the arrangement, Casey was jamming on his guitar.


Twilight said...

Anonymous (Mary) ~~~ Ah! Well thanks for that. Still, I don't trust the producers and Cowell one little bit. ;-)

By the way I saw on one of the fan sites yesterday that Eric Hutchinson (on tour at present) had heard about Casey singing his song and was flattered and said he'd be interested in writing with him sometime. :-)