Nick Hornby:Pop Novelist has A Problem

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I went to see the new movie An Education today featuring a superb screenplay by English High Fideleity author and former The New Yorker popular music critic Nick Hornby. I am going to write about the soundtrack of An Education (mostly pre-Beatles French chanson and English pop) at a later date. For now I want to wonder what Nick’s problem is. Hornby is a good writer the way Stephen King is -he is a good writer for a world that doesn’t much like to read and sure don’t like to think too hard. And that’s OK. It’s limited but OK in a …

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Patsy Cline: Greatest Pop Vocalist Of All Time?

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No. Billie Holiday is the greatest pop vocalist of all time. And Ella Fitzgerald is the one I listen to most. But Patsy Cline os definitely the third greatest of all time. Not did she singlehandledly revolutionize country when she sang it with an orchestra but she did it with so much success, so well, she removed the stigma of country and, finally, with the help of Ray Charles introduced it Urban America. Along with Billie and Ella, she was a dirt poor girl who from the begining of her life and like both of those women,  was in it …

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THAT’S S.P.A.R.R.O.

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I’ve been thinking about singers because I just wasted an hour trying to explain why Patsy Cline was one of the three greatest female pop vocalists of all time before giving up on it and I have had problems with Sam Sparro’s voice. And I have also been thing about the Aussie/ Portugese Sam Sparro because he is Love Grenades mentors and I’ve been thinking about Love Grenades. I, like everybody else, bought  the 2008 “Black And Gold” by Sam. But I, unlike everybofy else, didn’t like it: it was too weird for me: a pretty good bass and a …

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Springsteen’s Latest Song

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I have no nostalgia for the Meadowlands BUT in 2000 I saw Springsteen perform a magical set right there and in the middle of the set he played “Two Hearts” followed by “Out On The Streets” and it was completely transformational. Unlike last years Magic tour but even then he was real good at Giants Stadium. Still once tix became available for an MSG concert I figured they could wreck the place without me. Between concerts and Jets and Giants games I’ve been to the Stadium loads of times and always loathed it. A bitch to get there and a …

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I love Jemina Pearl Because She Does Good Sculpture

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In a blistering half hour set at Irving Plaza in May 2008 punk rock band Be Your Own Pets blew headliners She Wants Revenge right off stage with a thrilling all attack all the time fast faster roar of all the songs you know and love. Lead by college kids sex symbol  Jemina Pearl, Be Your Own Pet were a mix of the Cramps (RIP Lux Interior) and the Rezillos at the speed of the Ramones. All that was missing was a cover of  “(My Baby Does) Good Sculpture” . Instead we got “Zombie Graveyard Party” -a perfect American pop punk glom …

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Soon: KISS THIS

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Paid up member of the KISS army Todd Leibowitz take on the metal giants… SOOOOON!!

Phish Here Now!!!

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The last time I saw Phish at MSG, Robert Nevin and I walked out of it in half an hour. Well, we’re all a little cooler today and so I’ll try and get once again!! I put my name in the presale lottery! The link to that is Phish.com. Here are the MSG dates… Dec. 2 – New York, NY @ Madison Square GardenDec. 3 – New York, NY @ Madison Square GardenDec. 4 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

Who Are Codeine Velvet Club? Hint, Helen Bach loves em but she doesn’t know em!

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Jon Lawlor and Lou Hickey of The Fratelli’s have started a side project Codeine Velvet Club and are touring the UK. the first single, “Vanity Kills”  is to be released in November in the UK, don’t know about here. And guess what folks? Why does every side project in the UK end up sounding like the Style Council? You got mebut this one, replete with chick lounge chanteussy sure does. here is the youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jQm6FnHzsA I expect a thank you from Helen for this!!

New Music Week of October 6th, 2009: Rosanne Cashs’ In

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Heartaches By The Dozen – Rosanne CashSea Of Heartache – Rosanne CashBoth off her newbie The List based upon a list of 100 must own country songs papa Johnny, who wrote more than a coupla himself, gave roseanne when she was a teenager. Here is the truth about Rosanne: when she sings country, Rosanne is a superstar and when she doesn’t she simply isn’t. All those terribly earnest albums, all her Wheels and Interiors, they are no good and nobody likes em but her mates in the biz and rockcrits. They can’t compare to that span of albums from 78 …

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Alanis Morisette Never Forgets.

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Alanis Morisette must be the most completely berserk girlfriend in the entire universe. After starting her career and sleeping with her manager as a tween pop star in Canada she became the Carrie of pop: a haragon after being dumped by her boyfriend (Full Houses’ Dave Coulier) on “You’ve Gotta Know”, a wacked out illiterate on “Isn’t It Ironic” and optimistic buzz kill on “Hand In Pocket. on on her first album, Jagged Little Pill. But her audience, at least before the album broke pop, was teen girls not dissimilar to Ani DiFranco, a mix of teen dykes and indie …

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Iggy Pop and James Williamson Reunite to Play Raw Power!!

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The last time i wrote about Iggy Pop it was from England where Iggy was embroiled in controversy over shilling for a car insurance company who discriminated against young people. It is much more fun to tell you that Iggy and his songwriter and guitarist from Raw Power days James Willimason are reuniting with drummer Scott Asheton following the death of original Stooges guitarist, and bassist on Raw Power, Ron Asheton. They had their first rehearsals earlier this week and my former Creem editor and current Metro Times editor Bill Holdship interviewed them the day after. Here is the link to …

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LA Dance band Love Grenades loves Godard, Playing CMJ, rocking their hometown: NOT IN THAT ORDER

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Anybody who claims their video is an homage to the Sainted New Wave director Jean Luc Godard is gonna go a long way with me and though perhaps Vivre Sa Vire, the  story of a hooker, wouldn’t be my first choice (Masculin Feminen would be my first choice), it sure aint a bad choice for Love Grenades 2008 song “Young Lovers,”  and Love Grenades leader Elizabeth Wight sure has that je ne sais fucking quoi, early sixties Anna Karinina thing going on. Here is the youtube, check it out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ5yfwRoL2I: The Sam Sparro remix  of “Young Lovers” is real good and …

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The love story continues: TAYLOR SWIFT TO PLAY NEW YORK AREA

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The tallest and youngest superstar Taylor “I’m a country singer” Swift is coming back to the New York area. Here are those dates:  May 12 – Newark, NJMay 13 – Newark, NJMay 14 – Uniondale, NYMay 15 – Uniondale, NY Swift has had a magical ride this year, from sold out concerts around the country, to rap songs (when is “Thug Story” gonna be released?), to a smasherino hit album Fearless, VMA awards and tustles with world famous rappers live on MTV, Swift has crossed over to a place only a few country singers can claim, specifically, the hearts of tweens …

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Vampire weekend’s New Song Available For Free

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I’ve seen Vampire Weekend twice, once last year at Summerstage when they were glorious in the middle of a summer storm and once a coupla months later when they stank up a sold out Terminal 5. But whatever I think of them live their debut album was one of the best of 2008. They were a sorta indie talk on Paul Simon and African rhythms, a lo fi Graceland if you will. VE have been recording the follow up Contra in LA for months and the new record sounded as though it was gonna be a bit iffy. They told Rolling Stone: …

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David Bowie’s Reality Tour to be released on CD

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David Bowie has been out of the public eye since releasing his Reality album in 2003 and touring behind it in 2004 before a heart attack felled him. Since then we have patiently await a return to the public arena and here it is. A double CD from The Reality Tour. Excuse me if I am a little underwhelmed if that’s all I’m getting after five years. I could live without a new album -when your best song this decade is a cover of a Jonathan Richman song maybe your muse has buggered off for good, but cmon, Dave, you …

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Wait till Brett Jensen hears about this…

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Glenn Beck, FOX NEWS resident everyman/class clown has been raving about Muse on his radio show before saying on The O’Reilly Factor that Muse’s management had asked Beck to cease and desist complimenting him. Good story, unfortunately Muse’s management denied it and O’Brien was forced to admit it was a lie. Meanwhile, Muse’s latest has charted in 16 countries.

MASH THIS UP!!!: LIAM AND JAY-Z??

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Jay-Z told English tabloid The Sun he would love to collaborate with Liam Gallagher in a situation to his nothing special collab with Linken Park. This follows Oasis break up and Snoop Dogg’s plans to work with Noel Gallagher. As an aside, Noel and Jay-Z had a feud a coupla years ago when Noel said Jay-Z isn’t a real rock star and can’t even play electric guitar and Hova made fun of Oasis at an MSG concert, singing a bar from “Wonderwall”.

Radiohead In Atlanta by Diana Ostrow

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Diana Ostro worked with me on another project in 2005. Here are her remembrances of all things Radiohead… Sitting at the theater at MSG and watching my favorite band Radiohead, I feel this strange and different emotion flowing through my body: Is it love? Sweat? Desire? Agita? Here is Thom Yorke -moments from releasing “The Eraser” his first “don’t call it a solo album” solo album, warbling away at newish-old, and unreleased songs, I’ve identified the emotion I’m feeling! Yes! It’s boredom. It wasn’t always like this. My love affair with Radiohead began on a trip to Atlanta back in …

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Who The Hell Is Jullian Plenti

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Remy Caplan, UK editor, , writes: , “So who the Hell is Julian Plenti and why has his debut album skyscraper been meet with so much interest and excitement by the indie press.Well this is because Plenti is non other than Paul Banks the lead singer of our favourite doom mongers Interpol. Banks has dusted of his Plenti moniker to recorded skyscraper and perform a string of live dates. So is the album any good? “ Stay tuned for the full story…

I NEVER SAID I HATED RADIOHEAD

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I never said I hated radiohead, I said I hated greatest UK album of all time OK Computer. I loved The Eraser and I loved Kid A. so forgive me for loving everyting Im hearing my Yorke right now. And forgive me for loving anything about NYC.

Thom Yorke Today

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As an anti Radioheard fan please allow me to eat crow…. I’ve spend all afternoon on line awestruck on youtube. The name of his band is Echoplex and he is absolutely awesome. I’m wrong, Diana is right , he better play NYC, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItGjNlfMWMU&feature=related

On the Surrey With The Fringe On Top by Mike Nessing

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Contibuting  Editor Michael Nessing on he Kinks while signed to RCA records. Whenever you read just about anything online or in print about the Kinks, all of the opinions dovetail together oh so nicely. British invasion band rides the wave. Dave Davies invents Heavy Metal by taking a razor blade to the speaker on his amplifier. Ray Davies’s practically unbeatable run of quality singles in the mid-sixties.The mysterious banning of the group in America. The wilderness years at RCA. Their sudden rebirth as stadium rockers. The highs and lows of the band are well documented, and everybody seems to agree …

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Book of Dreams

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I am the last person in the world to write this post but a shout out on Facebook found some friends coming thru and some… well, not!. Nicole Masaka who is getting married next year, came up with the idea and it is a goodie. But she didn’t suggest any songs for me and so I turned to Facebook who were so very helpful on my Jesus’s playlist post but despite Jane and Diana I got no huge response. Michael Malone is working on his sisters wedding playlist but hasn’t sent it to me yet!!Diana chose Day of My Life …

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Playlist October 4th, 2009: Step Inside Love and Stay

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Hey Baby – Falu – This could be the single of the year if the year was 2007. Her vocal is so intensely sexy it makes you think of a perfect love, a perfect connection, it is obscenely wonderful Hindi and yet Western at the same time. It is weirdly immoral. Darkness On The Edge Of Town – Bruce Springsteen – Sick all weekend I missed him performing the album live and I regret it. This is one of his masterpieces, a deeply felt, darkly held secret about eternal loss: Some folks are born into a good life, Other folks …

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Let It Bang

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As a writer for Creem for years upon years I consider Bangs a patron saint but on the few times I met hit him I thought he wasn’t much fun. So what? Jim Derogatis ties bangs to his Dad’s death (all of us who lost dads early lose em the same way) and tied him to jazz , to Mingus and to Miles). I would pay cash money to read Bangs on Armstrong.. Jim is so self controlled, so smart in “Let It Blurt” -it is easy and yet hard written. It doesn’t blink. And he talks to the people …

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Springsteen Live: Liar On The Edge Of Town

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the wind was blowing thru Giants Stadium like a rifle shot, and the audience was both testy and intense. We’re not sure, we’re not there, we’re not sold. The popular Darkness On the Edge of Town  songs he plays all the time and middlling stuff like “Adam raised A Cain” aint moving us but slowly he builds to ” Some folks are born into a good life, other folks get it anyway, anyhow, I lost my money and I lost my wife, them things don’t seem to matter much to me now” he sings at the ending of Darkness On …

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Falu Review: The Album, The Legend

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II was meant to go to see Falu last night at Joe’s Pub but on hearing it was a “traditional” Hindi acoustic set decided to blow it off and go the the Sunday day performance at Carnegie Hall instead. Maybe I was wrong. I’ve had her eponymous debut album in heavy rotation for a coupla days now and I’m two years late on it. Released in 2007 it is something of a masterpiece. A part of what NY Press dubbed the “Asian Underground movement, a mid-90s British phenomenon that wended its way to the States first through tabla play” , …

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New Lady Gaga

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here is the new Lady Gaga -I found it on Rolling Stone news and it is pretty damn good. All the links on youtube were broken so here is the RS linke. Songs called “Bad Romance”. The latest word on the Fame Kills tour is Kanye and Gaga had creative differences and that Gaga is going out on her own. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/10/02/is-lady-gagas-bad-romance-bound-for-snl-new-track-hits-the-web/

Bricks, Walls and Corruption

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In 1980 Pink Floyd had the number one album “The Wall” and the number one single “Another Brick in the Wall, According to the book Hit Men: “Pink Floyd opened the Wall tour in Los Angeles. Given the mad scramble for concert tickets, the barrage of media attention, and the undiminished sales strength of the Wall album, one might have expected Los Angeles stations to flood the airwaves with ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’ But for some mysterious reason, L.A.’s four big Top 40 stations, which collectively had over 3 million listeners, refused to play the song at all. It …

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Jarvis Cocker Pays Respect To MJ

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The Brit Awards 1996, during a typical dispicable MJ and kids are the world lifetime achievement segment, Jarvis Cocker ran on stage and wiggled his butt at the audience. MJ deserved the disrespect but, in Lennons word, everybody loves you when you’re ten foot underground, JC made his peace with MJ: “If there’s a tragedy about the whole thing, I would say that’s that if he’d have kept making great records – like he did in the mid-’80s – up to now that would have been great. But for some reason, for the last 20 years he didn’t do that, …

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Thom Yorke To Play Solo Concert In LA. LA????

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Thom Yorke has announced three solo concerts in Los Angeles… Wait, Los Angeles? What the fuck is there in Los Angeles? How can anybody play LA and ignore the center of all things media, NYC? Yorke is such a dick, I was going to write a post dissing Radiohead awhile back but I liked his new single so much I decided to hold my fire. The ratfaced, poisonous Yorke should be in LA… they deserve each other.

Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide October 2009 Kills

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As a huge Robert Christgau fan, I’ve been dismayed to find myself disagreeing with him all year long. But, man, did he nail it in his October Consumer on MSN. Except for overestimating the new Jay-Z he nails every single album to the ground. Here is the link http://music.msn.com/music/consumerguide/?photoidx=1. Now I just wish he would get Now That’s What I Call Dance Imports. Pick review? This one on The E.N.D. “How dare people call this wondrous album — actual quotes, now — “insipid,” “saccharine,” “clumsy”? Only I don’t mean people — I mean journalists professional and self-appointed, from rockist sourpusses …

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Rocking Your Dreams

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Guy Peellaert was the late Belgian artist who made the paintings Nik Cohn wrote about in the 1973 book Rock Dreams. I know that anybody who saw it loved it (I owned maybe three copies because the binding kept breaking). So, without permission from any one, here are some of the paintings.

The Who’s Magic Number Was 45

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Of all the great bands of the sixties the Who are the worst but only up to a point. The Who were the worst album band but a great singles band. Born the High Numbers and part of the mod scene where they covered R&B hits by the O’Jays and took lotsa speed their first couple albums were pretty forgettable but once Pete Townsend settled into being what he should always have been -a wiz at the three minute rock song, they flew. With the exception of the sainted Keith Moon, Peter Townsend and the Who failed to fulfill their duties …

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Fame Killed…

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The Kanye West – Lady Gaga tour has been cancelled before start. Self-evidently the other shoe dropping after West’s Grammy Awards debacle, the National Enquirers “due to soft sales” concept is beyond ridiculous.

Why Girls Can’t Rock by Helen Bach

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“.if you can’t hang with the big boys get the hell off the stage!” Contributing writer Helen Bach takes on girl rockers… Fancy writing something about girl singers? okedokey. That’s how it started but the tougher part is putting into words why I have such an amazing problem with female singers. I’m so closed minded for an open minded person. I need to start off by saying I try…I WANT to like a female singer and as a mom of a rocker daughter I would LOVE for her to have a current role model. I wanted so much to love …

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The Yankees Rock -I mean that literally (ps this is the 500th post)

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As the Yanks start their post season I went in search of players at bat songs. First I found this 2004 post on ESPN. SS Derek Jeter“Square Dance”EminemAfter breaking out of a disastrous slump that brought him boos at Yankee Stadium, Jeter changed his at-bat music to Eminem’s “Square Dance.” He asked that track No. 5 be cued up 11 seconds to the lyrics: “People it feels so good to be back.”OF Gary Sheffield“Get Out the Way”Ludacris3B Alex Rodriguez“Game Over”Lil’ FlipA-Rod’s music varies from game to game, and it’s not uncommon for his requests to come in on hotel stationary. …

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Cockney Rebel ran wild…

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When punk erupted in 76, 77, it washed away glamrockers like Steve Harley and his band Cockney Rebel. Harvey was all high heels and eyeliner but when he was in the mood he could write a son of a bitch of a song. “Judy Teen” was an early hit and in 1975 he recorded his masterpiece The Best Years Of Our Lives. “Make me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” was a smash in the UK with Harley’s very cockney vocals and back up chick singers going “ooooh, lalala”. But the title track was better “You’ll think it’s tragic when that …

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Ghostface Killah Slaughters Kid Cudi

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According to Rolling Stone, last night at Hiro Ballroom during a release party for Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry, Kid Cudi challenged Ghostface Killah to a battle on Killah’s “Strawberry” and got his butt handed to him. I saw Cudi unable to keep up with Jay-Z or Kanye the other week at MSG and would strongly recommend Cudi NOT take on the Wu any time in the immediate future.

Maybe He’s Amazed: Steve Tyler’s Light At The End Of The Tunnel by Louba Lababedi

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Writer Louba Lababedi considers the road to sobriety and the songs it inspires After reading my an earlier post on Mackenzie Philips, I began to think of the other side of addiction in the music industry. Recovery/sobriety. Some songs inspired by sobriety are- Wasted by Carrie Underwood- I am changing Jennifer Hudson- Through me by Laura Berman- Sober by Tool- Sober by Pink . But, the song I want to talk about is ” Amazing” by Aerosmith . In the early 1980s , drugs and alcohol were ripping the group apart. Ian O’Malley a DJ at New York’s classic rock …

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Yesterdays Setlist for Springsteen at Giant’s Stadium

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Wrecking BallSeedsJohnny 99Atlantic CityOutlaw PeteHungry HeartWorking On A DreamThunder RoadTenth Avenue Freeze-OutNightBackstreetsBorn To RunShe’s The OneMeeting Across The RiverJunglelandWaiting On A Sunny DayThe Promised LandInto The FireLonesome DayThe RisingBadlandsNo SurrenderRaise Your HandE Street ShuffleGrowing UpAmerican LandDancin’ In The DarkHard TimesRosalita

Songs from Village Vanguard posted on barbrastreisand.com

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Her performance at the Village Vanguard last Saturday must have been something very special but on the clips posted on barbrastreisand.com it is a little hard to tell. I have heard (and watched) three songs and they are all wonderful from what I can see. She uses a pianist and a stand up bassist but I can’t see anybody else… the stage is tiny, and Streisand, in a lovely black dress, looks immaculate.  Forty-eight years after she opened for Miles Davis, Streisand appears to have lost absolutely nothing, neither top nor bottom, she is all beauty, all emotion. Or she …

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Reviewed: Cheap Trick Perform Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band at the Waldorf Astoria

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Cheap Trick started life, as so many bands have done before them, as Beatles fans par excellence though lead vocalist Robin Zander has always seemed mentored by McCartney as opposed to Lennon. Macca’s instincts were all much more melodic than Lennon’s and Cheap Trick were always the poppiest of hard rock bands so it kinda makes sense.  Perhaps because of this the DVD of Cheap Trick’s live performance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band doesn’t take off till the encore, a splendid version of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”. I am not a McCartney hater, I am, indeed, a huge …

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Foo’s For Thought by Todd Leibowitz

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Iman, I always enjoy reading your website. Most of the time I agree with you, sometimes I don’t even know the artist you are talking about. But every time I learn something.    But now, it is my time to chime in about two bands who you pretty much bashed in the last week or so. I am talking about the Foo Fighters and REM.    Let’s start with the later, REM. You didn’t total bash these guys, but made it clear that the early stuff was great then it went downhill. I have to disagree. The last album was great. I think it …

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