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!!

The Remy Caplan Playlist: A Manchester Soundscape

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On meeting my 24 year old cousin Remy Caplan (his mom and Uncle and I were raised like siblings) I used my usual litmus test and asked him what music he liked. I was impressed immediately and specifically when he name checked John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme which from “Acknowledgement“‘s three blast horn start and onwards thru “Resolutions” cathartic jam of faith cuts the listening public into two -those who love it and every one else. So i did what any right thinking blogger would do, i begged him for a mix. I thought I’d found a kindred musical spirit …

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The Grates At Mercury Lounge, Friday September 4th, 2009: the new, the Andrew Sisters, a good Sheila and the Bee Gees

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After Brisbane, Australia’s the Grates charming set at the Mercury Lounge Saturday night August 4th, 2009, lead singer Patience Hodgson jumps off the stage and into the stalls just as she promised she would. Patience doesn’t get far and those who greet her must have been surprised to find a budding pop star instead of being fobbed off with the normal “thanks for coming”. It is as sweet an gracious (and ebullient!) a performance as she has given all night and she doesn’t leave until closing band Tigercity hit the stage. It was a night filled with ebullient, graceful, catching …

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Joe Moss And the Smiths

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Back In Manchester, England I was able to excavate some personal rock myths I’ve dined off for years. Speaking with my cousin Ramsey Hammour, I confirmed that Tony Wilson was a regular at the private bar we frequented “the Film Exchange” though it was before Wilson had started Factory Records. Ramsey’s sister Shereen’s partner David worked at Hacienda as a bartender when he was seventeen and claims the place was exactly as insane as legend had it (I left Manchester before it opened). Ramsey remembers us knowing Marc Bolan. But more interestingly, my assumption that the Smiths had a connection …

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Electric Lady Island…

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If you are in town this weekend make your way to Randalls Island for the two day “Electric Zoo” festival. Saturday includes Everything But the Girl mainstay Ben Watt but Sunday is the keeped with David Guetta, and LCd Soundsystem’s James Murphy. Randall’s Island is a bitch to get to which is why I’m gonna pass. Still it’s an 11am to 11pm all day groove thang and if you wanna go you can take the ferry from East 35th street or do what i do, take the 4 train to 140th and a shuttle bus from there. Speaking of LCD, …

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Hank Williams Beyond Musical Labels by Mike Nessing

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Writer Mike Nessing takes on Hank Williams from a completely unique perspective. You say Country, I say Western. Let’s call the whole thing incredible.My biggest musical pet peeve is labels. I hate ‘em with a passion. This is a not an easy argument to defend though, because you need labels to discuss certain types of music accurately. Then there’s the whole promotion thing. How do you advertise tickets to say, a jazz festival without labeling it as such? It’s a lofty goal, but I really try to avoid categorizing music into anything other than “good” or “bad”. My reason being …

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Housmartins 4, Everyone Else 0

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August 2nd, 1999 and I am at a packed out Supper Club and the lead vocalist of two of the most English pop bands imaginable, Paul Heaton, is complaining of a hangover: “I spent all day in the hotel room watching soap operas and feeling sorry for myself,” he explained with a grimace. But it wasn’t effecting that sweet alto-contralto as he launched into the Beautiful South’s “Let Love Speak Up Itself”.I am a big Heaton and not just because the of the brilliat popcraft he has brought to the South but equally because of Heaton’s left wing 80s the …

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Motion Sea Sickness Changes One Bright Eyes

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We can all do with some hero worship, right? And while Armstrong may be my number one he never was the only one. In the early 70s it was Bowie, in the late 70s Costello, and right now my admiration for Conor Oberst, as anybody who reads this blog must be aware, is essentially unbounded. And I keep on feeling as if I have to explain myself, explain to you why I have great taste in music and i think he is a songwriting genius, a man of boundless musical curiosity and hopeless innocence and a lyricist who, when on …

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New Music Week Of August 31st, 2009: The Greatest Disappointment Of All

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I Look To You – Whitney HoustonMillion Dollar Bill – Whitney HoustonThere was a time round “My Love Is Your Love” when WH had gone from divahood to iconhood. Not just the voice but the material, not just the funk but the ballads, not just the range but the timbre, and the legs and the looks. Well, it’s always lightest before the dark and here came Bobby Brown swingin‘ his dick and making it all his prerogative and there went Houston in one of the most spectacular meltdowns this side of Michael Jackson. And here she comes again on two …

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Journey and Heart August 31st at Nassau Coliseum: Kick Ass Rock Bands for the over 50s by Todd Leibowitz

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Writer Todd Leibowitz Journeys to Nassua Coliseum and checks out the new Black Crowe’s recording: Lets start off with Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson were incredible. They played a solid set for a little over an hour. All the big hits were done…”Crazy on You”, “Barracuda”, “These Dreams”, etc. They also did amazing covers of the Who’s “Reign on Me” and Led Zeps “Going to California”. I would of loved for them to play more. They were great. When they got off the stage, I told my wife that they could blow Journey off the stage. Lets see…. Then Journey …

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Blink 182 at the Comcast Center, Hartford, Co, August 29th, 2009: Frat Boy Banter by Helen Bach

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Writer Helen Bach and her friend Mary enjoy the gooey middle part in a night of boys rock. Bands playing:Chester FrenchTaking Back SundayWeezerBlink 182 Who doesnt love Weezer? Theyre like Devo with less technology and more self depreciation. When I found out last May they were touring with Blink 182 I fell off the chair. Finally, I’d be able to see them live. I am not a fan of Blink. Theyre frat boy banter didnt amuse me when they were frat boy age, and now as Dads.. its a joke. Almost borderline embarrassing. They can make music but the quips …

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Back In The USA

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This is such a wrong song to celebrate a return home!!! Written in 59 after Berry had spent two years in prison for breaking the Mann Act (taking a minor across State line for immoral purpose -a laughable charge), “Back In The U.S.A.” is another Berry travelogue though this one is seething with an anger not apparent on “Sweet Little Sixteen”. I think it was Greil Marcus who wondered why Berry was “looking HARD for a drive-in, looking for a corner cafe”. It was, of course, because he couldn’t get into most Drive In’s because of his color so they …

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Julie Burchill 2009

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When Julie Burchill was sixteen she was a little knockout in tight jeans, a leather jacket and a switch blade knife cutting up New Musical Express (“they thought teenagers were a figment of their imaginations” she opined. Thirty something years later she has written for the Face, the Guardian, and other big league publications, put on a ton of poundage, and found her writing style just about a cliche. But a good cliche -a smart as hell cliche. Though Burchill still doesn’t have the vaguest idea about music. At the outset of her new book, “Not In My Name You …

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Oasis Broke Up Today

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Oasis broke up yesterday after Liam Gallagher busted Noel’s guitars moments before they were to go on stage. Noel said he couldn’t play with his brother one second longer. How long do I give the divorce? That depends on whether Noel can make it alone or whether he is stuck playing Mick to Liam’s Keef for the rest of his life….

The UK Charts August 23rd, 2009: Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio

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A quick scan of the charts finds French DJ David Guerta and collaborators nestled all over the damn place, the number one song in the nation is Guerta’s remix of Akon’s “Sexy Chick”a synth overload with all the hooks vocal and the rhythm broken up between drums and keybs bass. It dererves to be number one and Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling,” was also actually produced by Guerta. I thought Feeling was a remarkable feint from the gitgo -coming on like indie rock before heading West into dance, and it sounds even better on the radio than on the …

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Taylor Swift At Madison Square Garden August 27th, 2009: Fearless In Manhattan by Alix and Ali

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My friends Alix and Ali report from MSG: Dear Iman, Alix and Ali here. Taylor was simply fabulous. Once we got over the fact that we were dressed like all of the 12 years olds there with their mothers, we had an amazing time. Quick recap. She changed about 9 times. All cute sparkly dresses. She opened with You Belong With Me. When she sang Love Story it was the same performance from one of the awards shows with the castle and the quick change into a white dress on stage. She encored with Should’ve Said No and danced in …

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