True Blue

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My ex text me the other day to tell me her new guy’s favorite color is now blue because she looks so good in blue. Very nice, right? Well, it got her to thinking of why there were so many songs with the color blue in their title. One reason might be because it is the only color that has a style of music named after it. Also, along with green (for envy) it is the only color to signify an emotion. My ex is a big Bright Eyes fan so when she started her list I knew she wasn’t …

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Damaged Dames and the keyboards they love: Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor

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One of my very favorite novels is Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” (she is absolutely my favorite) but as novels go it doesn’t translate well into other mediums: even the Olivier movie was wrecked by Merle Oberon’s performance. So it is is bizarre indeed that in 1979 the nineteen year old English girl Kate Bush’s first single “Wuthering Heights” was such a brilliant transmogrification from one medium to another. Keyboardist Bush had a restrained hysteria more than apt (and something of a calling card) for the sentiments and central to both the album, the terrific and eccentric “The Kick Inside.” Fast …

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My Favorite album of all time in review: Get Happy!! by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

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Greatest album of all time? “Sgt Peppers,” Best? “Are You Experienced”? My fave? No contest: from Steve Nieve’s Booker T pounded intro on “Love For Tender” to the lost in pain coda from “Riot Act” there is no album that has ever moved me this much, mattered to me this much. The year was 1980 and new Wave raged and “Get Happy!!” was EC’s follow up to “Armed Forces” but although the sound was built completely around Nieve’s keyboards and the influences were named explicitly in one song “Tempted”, it was essentially new wave. 20 songs worth: a cavalcade of …

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I bet you a tenor I made a mistake; new songs week of May 18th, 2009

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As my good friend Anonymous kindly corrected me, I asininely referred to Leonard Cohen as a tenor in my live at Radio City review. He is, of course, a bass -the same instrument John Lennon played with the Beatles. This is Part V in a multi-part series. Now, if I still hold any credibility at all, let’s completely lose it by saying that after loathing Jarvis Cocker’s new single “Angela,” I bought a number of songs off his new album and liked em a lot. I mean, after all, the man wrote “The Fear,” not to mention “Common People” and …

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Eminem does what he does and does it well; last thoughts on Cohen tour

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Look at it this way: we live in a world filled with real and terrifying fears and as consumers of entertainment we deal with these fears. Female sexuality, virginity, death, bankruptsy, homosexual panic: all of these things are real fears and if we get it out of our system through horror movies or hip hop, or cartoons, or reality shows, well, good. The most terrifying thing in the world right now is not Eminem’s fun (and any way, what constitutes pleasure?) new album “Relapse” it is Farrah Fawcett dying on television: on one hand, Eminem slamming Kim Kardashian, on the …

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Leonard Cohen Forum hates me; live in NYC

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I checked out the folks who hate me at leonardcohenforum.com . The actual review by Patricia Zohn is very good and if you want to see what the fans thinks please feel free. I essentially stand by my opinions (and I absolutely stand by NYC being the media center of the world where we’ve seen everything at least twice) and aren’t the LCFers a little bored with everybody genuflecting to the great man? No they certainly aren’t (it’s the moral equivalent of Brad Pitt complaining he doesn’t get enough girls) and I think the LCFers are a bit silly (plus …

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Music and Protest

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With Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” having all the hallmarks of a protest album dated before its release, and with critics writing drivel like “If it is out of step today we may surely need it tomorrow,” I thought I would take a quick moment and think about protest music. Way back, in the 16th Century, the man behind the man paid the man to write sings about thegreat war like deads of The Man (usually The King) and the other men, you and I, well we didn’t get our say. Political music not protest msuic. But by the American …

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Leonard Cohen by the numbers last night at radio City Music Hall

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Earlier this year I went to see Van Morrison perform “Astral Weeks” twice, once at MSG and once and for days later at the Beacon. The MSG set was excellent, glad to have seen it. The Beacon Theater was electrifying -mid way through the second set Morrison took off and everybody knew it, the band, us, him: he had reached that place even the greats don’t always get to (Funnily enough I saw Maroon 5 do the same thing a coupla years ago so it can happen to any one). But it is tough to do when you have bleed …

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The Mix List week of May 18th, 2009; Best Sets Ever #6; more people I don’t like but maybe should

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The Static Age – Green Day (“21 Guns” pretty lame on SNL last night)Get Down – Cam’ronOn the Road To Find Out – Cat StevensSofter, Softest – HoleGood Ol’ USA – Billy Joe Shaver (this guy is a minor revelation)The Dream Of You – Bob Dylan (the keeper off the newbie)Missisippi – Sheryl Crow (a hot dylan cover does not a career make)Big Momma Thang – Lil Kim (she had it going on)Formed A Band – Art BrutParanoid – Jonas brothers (play nice children)Stillness Is The Move – The Dirty ProjectionsJar – Green dayWalk Right Back – The Everly Brothers …

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Divas and the dead men who love them; Yusuf Islam was Cat Stevens and you weren’t

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It is June 1997 and Lil Kim is a mess -I know this because she is performing at a great women of hip hop concert and she can’t speak and she can’t talk and she is stumbling and crying. Notorious B.I.G. had died a coupla months earlier and she wailed and wailed and wailed. Two years earlier, February 14, 1995 to be exact, I am watching Hole kill at the Brookyn Academy Of Music recoding their MTV Unplugged concert. Courtney is facing her audience less than a year after her husband’s suicide and both the “Live Through This” songs and …

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Two Great albums; Country Music IV: From rock to soft

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One day after writing the obituary of the album, I bought the album of the year and first runner up. I have only spinned Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” once but I can’t imagine hearing a better album this year and, mind, i didn’t like “American idiot” all that much. The lyrics to “Breakdown” are already passed it (one of the reason Dylan got into personal politics was how dated the lyric became with public politics) and it’s a real problem on “Breakdown” but despite the dated and stupid anti-Bushisms the album sounds so great. If I hear a better …

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The Death Of The Album 1954 – 2009

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Chris Difford once claimed Frank Sinatra’s “In The Wee Small Hours Of the Morning” was the first record album as we know it. And he might be right. Produced by Nelson Riddle and recorded in three long sessions it was a series of songs on the theme of unrequited love. And so it began. Vinyl was the perfect size for the album: 15 minutes each side, long enough to expound on a sound but not so long as to be impossible to fill. Vinyl and the album marched hand in hand through the 70s and many a masterpiece followed and …

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Elvis Presley: I’m right, You’re Left, He’s Gone

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“Before there was Elvis there was nothing.” -John Lennon The last time I wrote about Elvis Presley I was a 20something and i did a think piece about how Capitalism destroyed a blue collar, working class hero. Not exactly a lie but hardly the whole truth either. I guess I found the Elvis I needed for those days. And in many ways that’s one of the hidden stories of Elvis, we keep on finding the Elvis we need. When I was a wee slip of a thing in the early 60s my Mom loved Country Elvis, my dad loved the …

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New Music week of May 11th; Country Music Part III: when mythic heroes roamed the world

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After listening some more I must admit to having underestimated Cam’ron’s “Get It In Ohio” -Cam’rons spits the lyric real good, gangstas in the mid-west. The other two songs I have from the new album “Crime Pays” are alright with me, “Silky (No Homo)” has an excellent King Floyd sample and “Cookin’ Up”is all percussion. This is Cam’ron’s best work since 2004 but I bet Eminem ends up the hip hop album of the year because, for sure, “Beautiful” -a self portrait, is yet another great song off the forthcoming relapse. Gallows, an English punk band who made few friends …

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Dylan and Oberst by the numbers: no masterpieces here…

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Together Through This – Bob Dylan 11 Songs:1 Pointless studio rehearsal of “Lay lady Lay”.1 Middling Berry knock off (Chuck, is that you?)1 Croaking atrocity.1 Missed opprtunity-but really missed, missed by a mile the way the “When the night Comes falling from the sky” missed on “Empire Burlesque” only to be redeemed on “Bootleg vol 3”.3 Blues boogies1 Extended not very funny joke1 Real good blues boogie, “Beyond Here Lies Nothing”2 Minor additions but real additions to the ouevre, “I Feel A Change Coming” and “This Dream Of You,” the former finding only love for the times that are a …

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Best Albums Of 2009

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Alphabetically by album name All I Ever Wanted – Kelly ClarksonArt Brut Vs Satan – Art BrutBl0od Bank EP – Bon IverCarolina – Eric ChurchCrack The Skye – MastadonDown The Line – Buddy HollyI Feel Cream – PeachesIt’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s (Album of the year?)It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily AllenJigsaw – Lady SovereignLive In London – Leonard CohenMetamorhasen – Branford Marsalis QuartetThe Open Door EP – Death Cab For CutiesOther covers – James TaylorOuter South – Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley BandThe Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (album of the year?)Potato Hole – Booker …

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PUBLIC ENEMY: BLACK LIKE ME

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Eleven years ago I saw Public Enemy open for Run DMC. PE had recently released their excellent soundtrack for (him again) Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” and they were pretty good. Flavor Flav hadn’t become a cartoon yet and Chuck D hadn’t become irrelevant yet but, and don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly care (my interest is on how it reflects on their music), did they really need to hang a white man in effigy? I mean even eleven years ago it was more, well, boring than shocking. “Damn right I’m hostile,” as Chuck D. once put it, “my …

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This Weeks Playlist; Worst Set Ever!!

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Love Your Love the Most – Eric Church (latest in a long tradition of real good country boys) Alcoholics Unanimous – Art Brut (angular satire produced by the bloke from the Pixies) Spoiled – Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (a keeper from the newbie) Bridge – Lucy Wainwright Roche (is it something in the water these Wainwrights drink?) Midday (Avoid the City After Dark) – Yusuf (from the 06 album) Buttons and Bows – Bob Hope (I know the song from “”Paleface”, listen Hope held his own with Bing Crosby. Have you ever heard the original “Thanks for …

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, ALL WRONGS REVERSED

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The first of a long, long series: Contrary to my earlier comment Cracker’s “Darling One” is a lovely ballad…. Also, Cohen’s “Live In London” is better than I gave it credit for. Finally, my break up with Angelica was entirely my fault.

Branford Marsalis Quartet at Jazz Standard last night: Tight and Unwound; Greatest Sets Ever # 4

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What pictures and videos don’t show you about Branford Marsalis is his sheer presence on the stage. Leading a young (the drummer is just eighteen!) intensely vigorous sharp as hell quartet, he rminded me of the Denzel Washington character in Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” -a movie Branford wrote the music for. With the exception of a sleep inducing ballad in the middle the set was awesome.All rhymic attack, with the pianist and the drummer fighting to see who could take the sharpest angles on songs like the opener “The Return Of The JitneyMan” much, much than on the quartet’s …

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Greatest albums of all time

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Get Happy!! -Elvis Costello and the Attractions Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience In the Wee Small Hours Of the Morning -Frank Sinatra Ready to Die – Notorious B.I.G. Conor Oberst Here My Dear – Marvin Gaye Off the Wall -Michael Jackson Dragnet – The Fall In Utero – Nirvana Singles Going Steady – the Buzzcocks Crooked Rain Crooked Rain – Pavement The Gospel Collection – George Jones The Sun Sessions – Elvis Presley Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen Hard Knock Life – Jay Z The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill Pinkerton – Weezer Big Fun – Miles Davis Portrait Of …

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What we talk about when we talk about populism; Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis and Jazz fusion

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As a self-professed populist I believe that in a consumer society fiscal success is a hugely important part of artistic (or at least cultural) merit. In the 80s I championed as potentially big time stars: the dB’s, the Individuals, Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo, Marshall Crenshaw. All pop musicians. Which lead me to a problem: my taste in music wasn’t particularly popular. I called the Eurthymics one hit wonders, R.E.M. dreary bores— so on and so forth. And for everyone I got right (I championed Prince as early as 1980) there were a relentless hoard of bands, hip hop …

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Country Music II: DOES YOUR HEART STILL BEAT FOR ME?; more new songs; more thoughts on new Conor

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This is a love story. In 1980 I was a huge Elvis Costello fan (still am: the albums have lost their consistency but the live shows are stellar and his TV talk show “Spectacle” was a must see earlier this year, especially the Elton John and Rufus Wainwright interviews) and so when I heard he was appearing on a George Jones special I went out of my way to see it. Though Costello was sick with the mumps it was the first time I heard him in full country mode (except for “Stranger In the House” circa 1978). One of …

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Lady Sovereign nearly perfect at Highline last night; Country Music Part I

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I’d like to say it was about the time Lady Sovereign shared her Heinekin with the punters at the front of the stage with a shout of “SWINE FLU” or when she sang the addictive chorus to “So Human” or even the well sung and very fun cover of Metro Station’s “Shake it but it was earlier than that, before LS had finished the very first song of the set, “Let’s Be Mates” she had us (what there was of us) in the palm of her hand. LS has a good flow, sharp rhymes, and attitude to burn. But on …

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new songs w/o 5/4/09; second thoughts on new Conor

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A real good week this week. Two singles into the new Ciara, I like Justin Timberlake a lot but MAYBE he is spreading himself a bit thin -still “Love, Sex, Magic” is a pretty good dance track and “Never Ever” -with Young Jeezy is somewhat awesome… This is almost as good as Beyonce though the dream cut is no “Single girls”). However, for some reason it’s Aaliyah not beyonce i find myself thinking about. I have never seen Oasis worse than at MSG last year -and i’ve seen Oasis suck often and hard. Here is their story: buy every single …

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LENNON ALIVE; MIA, Santogold and Lady Sovereign

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Legend has it Lennon and Ono spent their first night together working on avant-Garde music before making love. The result was three albums of experimental music and if “the Wedding Album” (it came with free pics of wedding cake -a case of play the sleeve if ever there was one) and “Two Virgins” were inpenetratable, “Life With the Lions” can be listened to with a sense of wonder. “Cambridge 1969″‘s Ono scretching and Lennon’s feed back is so off putting the half hour track is hard to listen but “Baby’s Heartbeat” is as brave a work as either of these …

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Playlist May 3rd, 2009

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Hi Ho Silver Lining -Jeff Beck (Hatton entered the ring with ths b4 Pasqual knocked him out)Fantsay -Mariah Carey and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (forget to mention this oneNo Bed For Beatle John -Yoko Ono (from “Life With the Lions”)Little Furry Things -Dinosaur Jnr. (thank you, Juliana)So Human -Lady Sovereign (Can’t wit to see her Tuesday -this is hot)Thinking About You -YusufI Feel A Change Coming On -Bob DylanKnow Your Enemy -Green DayNative New Yorker -Booker TNikorette -Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley BandSexy Robitca -Don Omar (Reggeaton at some point… I’ll get there)Julie -Les BaxterThe Song Of Sin And Shame …

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U2 and 2009… something not quite right here; last thoughts on new Dylan

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It had been five years -something like 30 in rock star years- and U2 were bac and We -We the world- were all third world nations at the tender mercies of Bono. Kicking off the Grammy’s this year U2 had nothing to prove and a world to save and a not particulalry good song, “Get On Your Boots”. Bono moved in front of a screen projection flags and lyrics from the song as he knelt, kicked up his leg and was forever Bono and he was great and so were the rest of the band. So the album was a …

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A Right Bastard; Beatle Lennon

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Ol‘ Dirty Bastard, rapper with the posse to beat Wu Tang Clan, is pushing the product. Wu Tan Clan have just released “Forever” and they are closing out Hot 97’s Summer Jam circa 1997 and ODB isn’t having it. “Why are we here?” he ask. “Hot 97 never play us. All they play is pop.” And then for twney minutes at Continental Arena in New Jersey he disses the radio station for portraying hip hop. Wow. ODB wasn’t the leader of Wu Tang -that would be RZA. Nor was he the best rapper (Ghostface Killah holds the honor) but he …

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No Elvis, No Beatles, No Stones… by 1979????

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In December 1979 the Clash released their magnum opus, “London Calling”, considered by some the greatest rock album of all time, and the highest testament to the rule of punk which had begun all of three years earlier. A snarling, raging, multi-genre, punk, ska, R&B meisterwork that in any other year would have put rock on notice; in 1979 it simply joined a long line… The Jam would release “All Mod Cons,” the best Mod album of all time, Elvis Costello’s “Armed Forces” was his third album and with hits like “Oliver’s Army” and (Nick Lowe’s) “(What’s So funny About) …

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Mixing It up, new releases w/o 4/27

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Last night I went to see “33 Variations” on Broadway: a new play based upon Beethoven’s 33 variations of a second rate Diabelli waltz. The play was way too busy to be any good but the music was absolutely beautiful. I don’t know my classical all that well so I knew Beethoven for Symphony # 9, powerful, almost overwhelming music for full orchestra. The variations are all piano solos (some as short as 33 seconds, the longest 4 minutes). It solved my Beethoven problem by simplifying the instrumentation and allowing me to settle on one sound. None of which is …

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Only Serpents Shine; two new bands; people I should love but don’t; best sets ever #3

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It is the winter of 81 -maybe February- and I am at the half empty Ritz (now Webster Hall) standing next to my friend John, drummer with Bounce -another greatest band you’ve never heard of, with my mouth agape and my face a mask of terror. The greatest rock band in the world are a train wreck. The lead singer, Peter Perret, is a complete mess, he looks as if he hasn’t washed in days, he is slurring his words, he is shaking. “I’ve just had my hotel room broken into,” he explains. “They took all my clothes.” Eh? How …

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Elvis Crespo rocks; second thoughts on new Dylan; Eminem makes it three in a row; the folks are jittery

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In 1999 I was at a Labor Day Puerto Rican Music festival produced by Ralph Mercado -this is an all night long coming together of Salsa and Merengue royalty -I’ve seen Celia Cruz here, Tito Puente, this is the cream of Latin Dance. And this night it was a coming out party for Elvis Crespo -his second album “Pintame” had just been released and, not unlike a Puerto Rican Justin Timberlake, he was shaking up Merengue. Dressed in white tee and tight white jeans, long wavy black hair, he rolled out his “Suavante” (first album and smasherino title song) hits …

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Prince’s Triple Reviewed

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Here’s a story for you: maybe seven years ago I went to see the late great Ike Turner (yes, great, he was a wife beater and a great musician: wrote the first rock song in case you forgot) at the late great Tramps on west 23rd. Pretty good set as well except half way through he brought out this voluptous blonde woman who destroyed a fistful of Tina standards. What was Ike thinking of? Did he believe his mere presense would add weight to this light weight? And why did Prince give an album to Bria Valente? Her album “Elixir” …

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More from w/o 4/20

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Three was not the charm with Primal Scream, “Zombie Man” is all foot stomping and hand clamping signifying nothing. Three was the charm with Pet Shop Boys, “Did You See Me Coming” is yet another synth-pop confection off “Yes”. When I was a wee slip of a lad I had no time (tight or otherwise) for Stax/Volt, getting most of my r&b kicks from Motown. That is till my sister’s boyfriend at the time (a career criminal) turned me on to Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onion” album. Booker was keyboardist for the Stax/Volt’s house band and the MG …

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The Dead at MSG. April 25th, 2009: What a long, strange, long (long) night it’s been; 2008 Best albums

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Around the fifteen minute mark of “Shakedown Street” the Dead segued into “He’s Gone” -a song Jerry Garcia used to take lead, and the pastoral, countryfied and unique jam of the past hour defined itself: Weir sang “Nothing left to do but smile, smile , smile…” and he was right. In the world of jam bands the Dead reign supreme: all the runner ups just aren’t in the same league. Entirely unique, entirely the same as they ever were, the Dead can noodle for 20 minutes and the Deadheads trance out and peace and love reign supreme. This isn’t the …

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2008: a glance back at a great year

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Sounds don’t make a U-Turn on January 1st so why it should be a year has its own distinct personality is beyond me. If there was a theme to 2008 it was everybody from My Morning Jacket to TV On the Radio -bands who have been around for years- mking not just their most commercial but more importantly (well, as importantly) their best music to date. At another time this might be have been a best album or single list. It isn’t. This is my best songs released in 2008 based upon most listens on Itunes (one song per band …

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When Good Bands Go Bad; more thoughts on fiction

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On a certain evening last year you might have found me in the cheap seats at MSG, eyes glazed over, fingers on temples, trying desperately to stay awake halfway through R.E.M’s set. They were promoting yet another depressingly bad album “Accelerate” (I only bought three songs off this misnamed product and they were just not there at all -“Supernatural Superserious” you might remember, it walked like an R.E.M. classic and it quacked like an R.E.M. classic but it wasn’t an R.E.M. classic). Michael Stipe is like one of those kids who was a bit shy and a bit strange in …

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Juliana Hatfield: Hey Babe, Bye Babe; a Fiction Romance

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I know i promised a Juliana Hatfield overview but as I started researching I realised she wrote an autobiography, “When I Grow Up,” last year which I have just downloaded onto my kindle and will give a quick read before I attempt my usual brief to the point of incoherrence think piece. This kindle (my nephew bought it for me) is so easy and inexpensive I’ve been on a book buying binge. I am a big fan of Jonathan Lethem, both “Gun With Occasional Music” and “Motherless Brooklyn” are among my fave novels of the past twenty years. However, his …

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New releases April 21st; anti-Beatles matter; best gay anthem ever?

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Every Tuesday Itune changes my life: I go through the new releases, buy ten to fifteen songs, tuesday evening buy another couple from people’s whose songs I liked and by Saturday decide whether I want to invest in the entire album. So here’s this weeks round up: It is more than possible Pet Shop Boys is the best band still around from the ’80s. Every two years or so they bring out a new, ridiculously consistent, synth-pop album; every coupla years I catch em at the Radio City Music Hall. Better then Erasure, nowhere near the revival circuit where ABC, …

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Taylor and Miley: the difference between talent and genuis

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Miley Cyrus is a talented girl, a fine comedienne with a nice voice and some good -and sometimes some great- material. She might be the Marie Osmond of the 00s and she might be more. With a howling pack of tweens and younger girls screaming for blood she appears to be traversing the horrors of fame at a young age with a lot of aplumb but she has a problem: Miley isn’t good enough and she is staring at a mirror double who is more than good enough. Lennon to her McCartney; Beatles to her Monkees; Taylor to her Miley. …

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Lily Allen live at Roseland April 20th, 2009 reviewed; the Dead were the Byrds, no, really

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The back up band was a bit nondescript, the mix was screwed up on the first two songs, she didn’t perform “Alfie” and otherwise Lily was excellent at Roseland last night. I arrived halfway through the opening band’s set and I have one valuable piece of advise for them: CHANGE YOUR NAME. They are a fun young band with amusing songs and a pleasing attitude; they sound a bit like the B-52’s and they sure should have a career but I, for one, had no interest in a band named Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. Lily stands center stage chain smoking …

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Me and Polly Magoo; lost rock clubs; best sets ever; people I should love and don’t

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Back in the day PJ Harvey could do no wrong: from the insane charged and sexual confusion of her earliest solo work like “Dry” and “Rid Of Me’ to the Jungian wetness of “To Bring Your love To Me” (possibly the best album of 1994) we were right there with her. But then things went wrong. “Dance Hall at Louse Park” was a disaster and though “Is This Desire?” was anything but a disaster Polly wasn’t playing guitar on the “Is This Desire” tour and the concert was stupified. She followed that with another great album , the New York …

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Lil Wayne and the state of hip hop

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To paraphrase: hip hops been going down hill ever since Biggie died and by now… wow, if you’d told me five years ago, when the Cash Money crew got blown off stage by Eminem, Snoop, and Dre at Summer Jam, Lil Wayne would be the keeper of the faith idda wondered who shot Jay-Z. Well, success shot Jay-Z and try as he might Hova can’t get out from under the cloud of his success. It’s one thing to own your own plane and sing about it, it’s something else entirely to try and convince an audience you are still one …

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Dylan and Conor 2009

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Look at it this way: every album Conor Oberst and Bob Dylan have ever released are must owns with the possible exception of the 1973 “Dylan”. And it looks like Conor’s “Outer South” (due May 5th) and Dylan’s “Together Through This” (April 28th) could well be masterpieces. Start with Oberst: recording as a member of Bright Eyes as early as ’98’s “A Collection Of Songs” you could find perfect first steps like “Saturday As Usual,” and the very next album included “June On the West Coast” and now… well here are his last coupla albums by release date (latest first): …

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Hair today; middle age Tilbrook; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; bring back sunday afternoon concerts; god vs god

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Say what you will about Andrew Lloyd Webber, and I can think of a few choice words, when he put on a Broadway show you could see the money. The same can’t be said about “Hair” and the very cheapness of the enterprise (orchestra: two keyboards, four horns, two guitars and a bass), stage? barren) suggests it might have a long life… The songs are pretty damn good but they are faux-rock (often quite jazzy) and not even the slightest bit psychedelic and boy does the second act bore. By the way, try and pick up Evan Dando’s wonderful cover …

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The Beatles without their clothes on (yes, Spector again); Hair yesterday; album of the year?

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Any true Beatles fan can’t listen to them any more. Much like 60s’ Dylan, there is no more to be learnt in the byways of their material and even the three anthology’s did little to shed new light. For one thing, they had been available for decades on boots and for another thing, they were such a produced album band that with the possible exception of “Let It Be” the out takes are musically first take irrelevancies. “Let It Be” was the exception. Produced, many, including McCartney, claim overproduced, by Phil Spector, it was the Beatles album failing to live …

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