Costello’s Spectacle Live…

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Your trusty blogger wangled a tix to a taping of the second season of Elvis Costello’s “Spectacle” next week… I’ll tell you all bout it… soon!

The Allison Miller Playlist: Pop Music On The Edge of 2010

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Boston based Alison Miller is BFF with my friend Alix Wartel and her current faves are radio hip hop 2009 style and I couldn’t agree with her more. From English- Pakistani hip hop star Jay Sean to two of the better songs off the new Jay-Z, from country pop sensation Taylor Swift (she co-wrote the MSG Swift review for Rock NYC) to one of the most exciting and thoroughly revived rappers of the decade Fabolous, Ali defines the zeigtgeist.  Of all the Playlists I’ve reviewed, Ali’s is one where I simply can’t fault her taste at all. These songs were made …

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Ellie Greenwich: We All Wanted To Be Her Baby

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A contemporary of Carole King, a Jewish Brooklynite, a Brill Building graduate and one of the single most gifted songwriters of the early 60s, Ellie Greenwich died of a heart attack last month, she was 68. Among the many hit singles she wrote was Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” -the single greatest Christmas song of all time (Lennon’s “Merry Christmas (War Is Over If You Want It” is number two), she wrote “Be My Baby,” she wrote “Leader Of The Pack” all with Jeff Barry.These are all tightly packed pop symphonys with a blues edge to the vocals. …

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Mary Travers Remembered

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Bob Dylan had an uncomforting voice back in the day, like sand and glue as David Bowie once put it, and the world didn’t want to hear so it took Roger McGuinn from the Byrds and Peter, Paul and Mary to sweeten Dylan up for a mainstream audience. The Mary, Mary Travers, died of lukemia yesterday at the age of 72 years old. Graduating from the early 60s Village folk scene, Peter, Paul and Mary were a lovely sounding group as at home with children’s songs like “Puff The Magic Dragon” (considered code for potsmoking at the time) as protest …

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Coming For You In Future Posts….

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs Live Kid Cudi The Alison Miller Playlist Ellen Rudzis on the Clash Mike Nessing Previews the new Dylan The Rolling Stones Talking Talking Heads Metallica The Boss Closes Giants Stadium The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at MSG Mike Nessing takes on the Beatles Box Set Kris Nessing on MuseKanye and Lady GagaBrad PaisleyEnglish ClubHalf Of Travisand much much more at Rock NYC

Songs that Changed the world!!!!

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Walking to work I have been noticing posters for “34 songs That Changed the World”. Hmmm, 34? Well, I can think of one “Happy Birthday To You”. A completely perfect celebration of the aging process that any one can and every one does sing. It singlehandedly revolutionzed the birthday process and it such a brilliant pitched song that, really, really, really, any other can sing it. So I googled a little further and noted our old pals over at Rolling Stones came up with this list: 01That’s Alright Elvis Presley 02I Got A Woman Ray Charles 03Maybelline Chuck Berry 04A …

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Chuck Klosterman Reviews the Beatles…

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Thanks to Michael Blauner for introducing me to former Spin rock critic Chuck Klosterman’s uproarious take on the Beatles Box Set in “AV Club”. Chuck imagines the Beatles are an unknown band from the 60s and wonders why they deserve this retrospective.Here is Klosterman on Sgt Peppers: “Technicolor dreamcoats, consumed 700 sheets of mediocre acid on the roof of the studio, and proceeded to make Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking album no one actually likes. A concept album about finding a halfway decent song for Ringo, Sgt. Pepper has a few satisfactory moments (“Lovely Rita” totally nails …

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New Music Week Of September 14th, 2009: From Cudi to Q Tip

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The Pursuit Of Happiness – Kid Cudi – The best song in the best week of new music this year. It took till June for 2009 to settle itself (literally: the Dirty Projector’s Bitte Orca was released June 9th and the year started to swing) and it took what Rolling Stone has amusingly dubbed “Emo Hip Hop” for the continuous ameoba’s of pop to mutate again. With electronic indie greats MGMT and Mia colloborators Ratatat playing backup, “Pursuit” is an atmospheric pop triumph. And what makes Kid Cudi extra special is this is a hip hop sound folks like Common …

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OMG! OMG! OMG!

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Lady Gaga and Kanye West at the Izod center December 22nd!!! How much do you hate Kanye now?????

Pavement To Reform!!!!

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Oh happy day!!! Brooklynvegan.com have announced Pavement, one of the greatest indie bands of all time, have reformed and are set to play Central Park’s Summerstage 2010, the exact date Tuesday September 21st, 2009. I for one have found Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus’ solo career relentless average and can’t wait to be rattled by the rush one more time! It is already the only concert that counts next year!!!

Loudon Wainwright III at Highline Ballroom September 15th, 2009: Pooleing His Resources

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Charley Poole was a very successful banjo player in the 20s who drunk himself to death by the age of thirty-eight. He had a string of pretty good bluegrass before there was bluegrass songs and lead the way for folks like Bill Munro and the Carter family. Poole sole sold 100,000 copies of “Don’t Let The Deal Go Down” when there were only 600,000 record players in the country. If Robert Nevin knows his stuff he loves it.  Me? I don’t love his stuff. The nonsense that because he was before the Carter Family he is the equal of the …

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Is Eight Minutes With Mariah Carey Too Long? Writer Brett Jensen (re)Mixes It Up

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Before getting to work on his magnum opus on Muse writer Brett Jenssen plays connect the dots between bad sex and long, long, long remixes. “Now I don’t usually do this, but eh…” The art of taking an existing song and “making it your own” with a remix is a dangerous one. A remix of a song may seem a loving homage to a song by an artist. However, it’s always important to consider that if the song is so great, maybe keep your goddamned amateur hands off of it. Remixing can produce great things and horrible things. So to …

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The Antichrist is back

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Bjork memorably dubbed Lars Von Triers SATAN after starring in his bizarrely moving movie “Dancer In The Dark” -a strangely resonating musical about blindness. The music was released as the Bjork solo album Selmasongs in 2000 and is her best music of this decade. The Thom Yorke (why does Yorke work so well with women? His duet with PJ Harvey was equally excellent) conjoined “I’ve Seen it All” was a highlight but it was all very, very good and despite her being exceedingly rough on Bjork the result was a strange reworking of Dennis Potter’s “Pennies From Heaven” in a …

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Rolling Stone get it right!!!!!!

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“By all indications, he’ll continue to make good but not great music, replicating the form of his finest records minus the electric charge.” -Jody Rosen on The Blueprint 3, September 14th, 2009, Rolling Stone Magazine Here’s the link to the full review: http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/29893976/review/30083900/the_blueprint_3

one of the top three sitcoms sing for you

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Mike Nessing found the Odd Couple -one of the great sitcoms of all time, singing “You’re So Vain” on youtube. I have the first four seasons on DVD and at its best it has me rolling about the floor with laughter. It is 100% New York. When I first came to New York I worked nights in a bar and woke up at eleven in the morning to watch “Odd Couple” reruns on Channel 11.Nice find Mike! Here’s the youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09zKoHUlhDY

Definitely Done Dirty Dancing

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“Sylvia, what do you call your lover boy?” “Come here lover boy…” “And if he doesn’t answer?” “Oh lover boy“ “And if he still doesn’t answer?” “I sing…” With the death yesterday of 1987’s Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze I took another spin of the hugely successful Soundtrack album. The movie itself splits right down the middle, the first half is a coming of age in the 50s rom-com, the second half is a chick flick fantasy. I loved the first half and the second simply didn’t correspond to my daydream world.  The movie was a huge hit and the …

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We Come To Praise Kanye West Not To Bury Him

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I was speaking to the former Sales Manager of a New Orleans TV station during Hurricane Katrina. He got his family together and moved to a hotel a day before Katrina hit. “Anybody who didn’t get out couldn’t afford to get out.” As W. Bush’s record on Africa proves, the President was not a racist but anybody who saw the film coming out of New Orleans might be excused for noting the almost exclusively black complexion of the victims. When Kanye West went on national television to claim “the President doesn’t care about black people,” he was voicing the concerns …

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Marilyn Monroe Was Loved By You

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Marilyn Monroe was the embodiment of Hollywood glamour in an age where Hollywood had glamour to burn. But she was something else as well: she was a song and dance gal. It is hard, but not impossible, to imagine her with Debbie Reynold’s or Rosemary Clooney’s career if her Monroeness hadn’t gotten the better off her. Marilyn was the first in a long line of lost rock boys that includes Presley, Cobain and Jackson: overwhelmed by fame and drugs and so thoroughly doomed it seems etched upon their faces like a birthmark, among her many accomplishments, Marilyn set the the bar …

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VMA’s 2009: Boring (except for Kanye)

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Here is a secret only known by me and all the other suckers who watch VMA: it’s a bit of a drag by now and it ha nothing to do with anything whatsoever. I went to see em live twice in the 90s and it is much worse it person: highlights like Puff Daddy’s Biggie tribute with Sting on “I’ll Be Missing You” might be moving on TV, it’s all a lot smaller and stupider in person (I lost my torch and so swung my hands in the air for a minute before giving up).  Of course, the action isn’t on …

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Back When Nothing Could Stand The Pressure Of the Clash City Rockers

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According to a comment on the Ellen playlist a younger version of Ms. Rudzis almost got herself croaked at a Clash concert back in the day! I am hoping Ellen will post a full account at some point and in the interim will offer these thoughts. I interviewed Clash bassist Paul Simonon back in the day, and it was around the time Sandinista was released and the absolute height of my admiration for the Clash. He was very nice and very charming and about as truthful as you can be, admitting to drug ingestion and fault lines in the united …

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Kanye West Is A Fool

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Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best Female Vocalist VMA last night to say that Beyonce deserved to get it for “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”. Now, when Kanye West interrupted tthe Grammys a coupla years ago I thought he was wrong but right. But being mean to Taylor Swift? You are never ever mean to Taylor Swift. For “Single Ladies”??? Beyonce would go on to win VMA of the year and all that proves is the days of great innovation in music videos are dead so not only is he ignorant he was also wrong. …

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Jim Carroll Dead At 60 years Old

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From spoken word poetry to his biography of hustling for drugs as a teenager “The Basketball Diarys” to his hit single “People Who Died” Jim Carroll was a King of the rocking lower east side and though off the scene for a while he will be missed….

The Mix Tape As Act Of Love

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When Remy made me a mix tape (actually burn CD but you know what I mean) it was an act of friendship, a “i’ll let me in your dream if you’ll let me be in yours”, a sharing, an explanation, a self-portrait. When Julie made me a a “Hot Mix” many years ago, and followed it with a “Dance mix” and followed that with “hot Mix II” it was a test she was putting me through. It’s not that Julie had specifically good taste in music, her taste in dance was immaculate, everything else either generational or ho hun, it …

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Soon….

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Donald Fagen’s greatest moment reviewedsoon….

The Playlist Sunday September 13th, 2009: Soul Boys

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Powerstripe – Tigercity – Such a big mistake having the great indie soul band Tigercity close for the Grates at Mercury Lounge. Who can appreciate Tigercity’s sweet soul grooves after an hour trampoline bound powerpop? Past midnight as well… Better off checking out this bass heavy soul ballad off their 2007 Pretend To Run with a great chorus based on Bill Gillim’s falsetto. Calypso Gold – PrincetonRise _ Public Image Ltd.The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness – The Feelies – Finally available on Itunes Now Or Never – Madina LakeAll The King’s Men – Wild BeastsI Left My Love In …

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Kid Cudi’s Pursuit Of Happiness

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I mentioned Kid Cudi performing “Pursuit Of Happiness” on Letterman in my Jay-Z post earlier today. Here is the link:http://neonlimelight.com/2009/09/12/kid-cudi-performs-pursuit-of-happiness-on-the-late-show-with-david-letterman/ The song along with the new Cudi album will be dropping on Tuesday, after a third listen I think it may well dominate the Winter season.

Princeton: It’s Not Just For College Anymore!!!

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LA based Princeton, named after the street they once lived on, come on like nerdy intellectuals with a gift for the song and just too smart to ever fall to emo but messy emotionally enough to make you, you know, wonder about them.Their Myspace lists influences as John Cale, Biff Rose, Vashti Bunyan, Arthur Russell, Scott Walker, Jonathan Richman, The Kinks, Jean Claude Vannier, Serge Gainsbourg, Sam Cooke, Cerrone as faves but four songs deep into their debut album, the just released Cocoon Of Love they sound like Vampire Weekend without the African influence or Shins meets Belle And Sebastian …

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The Helen Bach Set List: It’s Fun!!

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Helen enters your life like a whirlwind of energy blowing away everything before her with a machine gun rat-a-tat-tat of personal lingual gymnastic and a heart felt soft cell of musical admiration. A part of the New York night life scene during the glory days of the 80s she has taken with her the one thing that she most positively should: a taste for skinny rock boys and you’ll find her taste in music is a whose who of “cute is what we aim for” boychicks. But it is not only that. It is also tons of fun for all …

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The Four Word Review

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Marie Lynn came up with this idea -maybe her way of suggesting I’m long winded. The four word or less review!!!! Pls forward any suggestions you might have and here is a few to start you off!!Carl Story God’s in the bluegrass Jay Z at MSG: Make money, give money The Beatles Box Set: Been there, done that Bob Nevin’s Playlist: who dey? MJ’s Death: Definitely done dancingJudee Sill: Saw GodThe Door’s Morrisson Hotel: (the) end is always near

Jay Z’s “Answer the Call” at Madison Square Garden, September 11th, 2009: Muscular Rap By The Best In the Business

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Towards the end of Jay-Z’s big time rap concert at Madison Square Garden last night, P. Diddy tells us to give it up for Jay-Z and give it up we do. The place rattles and sways and the audience roars its approval of a strong, steely major set by some of the biggest names in hip hop. But later that night I watched Jay-Z protogee Kid Cudi (who played with Jayz tonight) play a song on Letterman wth alt rock band ratatat that, if in no way competition to Hova, certainly was much closer to the future of hip hop …

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Costello on Record: When Elvis Was King

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Why was Costello the great rock and roll savior? I might claim he was my savior because he was the first rock start to look like me but he didn’t really, he was better looking than me in 77 and he is fatter than me in 09. And his love life wasn’t mine -he may have been getting fucked over but he was getting fucked anyway unlike, well, certain unfortunate 18 year olds. But that Costello, the 77 Costello, with his knock knees and his myopic stare, and his spattering of words wounding like the sting of an electric guitar: …

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Soon…

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A TEXAN COWBOY VISITS THE BIG CITY AND IT AINT MCCLOUD MSG OCTOBER 21ST, 2009REVIEWED HERE

Marie Lynn and Iman Lababedi discuss “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning”

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A month ago I asked Marie Lynn to write about the Bright Eyes masterwork I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. She chose not to complete it but last night we started talking us some Conor… IL: I’m looking at a mix you burnt me in July 2007. Four songs from Dispatch and Bright Eyes “One Foot In front Of The Other”  ML: Yeah, it’s an alternative “Landlock Blues” -that was after Lua. After you gave me “Lua” I went I bought I’m Wide Wake It’s Morning and then started searching and found “One foot”  IL; Did you love Wide Awake? I remember you …

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First Take On Third Blueprint

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Whatever you wanna say about Jay-Z, and the last song I flipped out over was “Roc Boys,” he makes everybody sound better and on “Off That” Drake has never sounded remotely this good.“The Blueprint 3” isn’t a disappointment at all -we can’t go through a decade of average albums and be surprised when Jigga releases AN AVERAGE ALBUM. “Empire State Of Mind” is that smooth JZ comparing himself to Sinatra (though Chris Martin is a bit more like it) he does so well and is prolly the album highlight.Anyhow, still soon for anything final, let’s just say it’s better than …

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First Day Rockband sales poor

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First day sales of the Beatles “Rockband” have proven weak -hardly a surprise to followers of this blog. It is not that great an idea (even the Stones would be better!!) and surely the Beatles target demo is completely wrong for Rockband. Retail sales of the Box Set have been swift but what does this mean. Between 33rd Street and 61st in Manhattan there is precisely three record stores. Who cares if they all sold out? By the pay $250 plus tax for 14 CDs comes to $20.53… why??? Why not ten bucks a pop and $140 including tax. i’m …

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A Being Human Playlist…

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The best TV show in the Universe today is BBC 3’s “Being Human” available on BBC America at 9pm on Saturdays. “Monsters exists” is the hook… a twenty something werewolf and an eternal vampire (you can’t see him, because vampires can’t be reflected, but he knocks over a table as an extra in the movie “Casablanca”) who looks twenty something and a ghost who was murdered at the age of twenty-two share a house in modern day London. It is played straight and it is a sharp almost anti-goth pensee on the title subject matter. And the soundtrack is almost …

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Joe Hill Never died

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Sometimes the hardest thing to do is admit success. The Black Rights Movement should have taken a bow after President Obama’s election and the Labor Unions should have stopped pushing sometime in the mid-70s. Today, when you try to place the blame for the richest country in the world being on the verge of bankrupsty, you can place the labor unions in Detriot behind greedy Wall Street bankers BUT BEHIND GREEDY WALL STREET BANKERS. When it costs more to produce a car than you can get back by selling it, you’re finished.None of that was true in 1912 when Joe …

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The Playlist Labor day, 2009: Bang the Drum Slowly

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Instruct Me – The DrumI Felt Stupid – The DrumFlorida’s The Drum were invited to play NYC Funfest -the prestigious indie get together, for their first ever concert. The duo Jonathan Pierce of Elkland and Jonathan Graham of Horse Shoes may have the creds and may have killed at Funfest, but these are not the sunny surf songs I’d been promised. “Instruct” is a Joy Divisiony rip and “I felt Stupid” an ordinaryish indie pop song with a real good chorus and a verbal hook that’ll catch you. Not bad, not the second coming. Crying Lightning – Artctic Monkeys – …

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Robert Nevin Loves His Neighbor!

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Robert Nevin and I have been friends since 1986 when we did a stint at Kraus Real estate together. Seen many a concert together as well. So when he sent his playlist with annotations it was with a special pleasure I decided to post his comments first before I get the chance to analysis and provide my own in a couple of days. Thanks, Robert. PS The picture is of Rhonda Vincent not Robert Nevin… You Don’t Love God (If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor)*: Rhonda Vincent – Covering the Carl Story original. I first heard her do this live …

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Elvis Presley: We Didn’t Know Him

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Switching channels late last night I found myself watching Elvis Presley’s “Clambake”. Remember that one: Presley as a Texan billionaire swapping places with a water skiing instructor to find a woman who doesn’t love him for his money and without the help of Daddy’s oil wells. Yes it is as bad as it reads and Elvis looks awful: bloated, drugged up, somnambulistic and embarrassed on asinine “High Hope” rip off “Confidence”. BUT he does cover “You Don’t Know Me” -the Charley Pride countrypolitan song made famous by Ray Charles on Charle’s seminal Modern Sounds Of Country And Western Music. Presley …

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All Washed Up: Robert Nevin on Fake Beatle Bands

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Robert Nevin doesn’t love the Apples In Stereo, doesn’t love Beatles soundalikes… read on: I watched the video for “Energy” and the Apples In Stereo blatant attempt to copy The Beatles is not making the band better, it’s making pop music worse. The Beatles, predictably, remain unscathed.They are not the first to go down this rabbit hole. Barry Gibb did a track called “Have You Heard the Word” which many believed was an actual unreleased track by the Fabs, it sounded so dead on. And there have been others. The Rutles are only the best known of this genre.There’s a …

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Review Of Flo Rida’s R.O.O.T.S.: Pure Pop For Now People

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Let me see if I’ve got this right: the kick against Flo Rida’s new album R.O.O.T.S. is he is too overwhelming, always rapping about his big dick and his bigger bank account and he is too underwhelming, disappearing into his own tracks. The New York Times called Flo “an entertainer wholly without ego, a phantom presence on his own songs.” It’s a strange, somewhat inaccurate take. Flo Rida is a pop confectionist,who samples a la the Gospel According to P. Diddy, and rides his quasi covers: think of the Diddy who did “I’ll Be Missing You,” and has managed ht …

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Just like a rainbow…

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This almost tribute band (of whom? the band name is a dead giveaway) are so good if you’ve never heard of them you won’t be able to believe you’ve never heard of them. I saw em two years ago opening for Television at summerstage and have been a fan since…. This is a fave among favorites, “The Rainbow”. Here is a live version but invest a buck on the recorded one, the Apples are such pop perfectionists they seem to channel Jeff Lynn in the studio. Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7k4goSorq8

Fixer Upper

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Pearl Jam have remained a great live band over the past twenty years but recorded? Recorded they have followed the Stones and U2 into irrelevance since 98’s long gone Yield. Till this new single from the upcoming Backspacer. “The Fixer” is a straight forward rocker, three minutes of self-help with an acoustic guitar leading Gossards rhymic electric breaks. Their best song since “Lukin”. Here’s the youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj-sFIHQWLY

November 8th, 2009

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I will be among the kids and the pervs to give you just the facts about Miley on stage… this November!!