The Mix List August 2nd, 2009: Got A Sussussus

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Suspect Device – Stiff Little Fingers – The Dublin punk rockers biggest hit is an incendiary warning about a possible incineration in the middle of the late 70s back when Ireland was at war. The song has one of the great hooks i”Got a sus-sus-sus-sus-sus-sus-got a suspect device”. Upholstery – The Beach BumsYou’ll Need thiose Fingers For Crossing – Los CampesinosLet’s Ride – The Game (with Travis Barker)Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Rod StewartLove T.K.O – Teddy Pendergrast – Left over from my soul crooner listening a coupla days ago, the former Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes was always …

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If tomorow wasn’t such a long time: Rod Stewart As Rock Artist

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It’s a little hard to remember now, feels like so long ago what with the model girlfriends and the houses in LA, cocaine and dayglo before punk washed him away for awhile, up till today where he records huge chunks of the American song book and turns art into money playing the same, admittedly excellent, set decade after decade. Or the beginning when working class soccer hooligan joined the blues rockers the Jeff Beck Band and then left to transform the remnants of the (Small) Faces into a good time pub rock group. All achievements but none the consecutive albums …

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All Pointless West

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Lessee here we’re all excited because although the Beastie Boys had to pull from being the maining attraction they got Jay-Z Big news? If you’re in Monterey maybe, if you’re in NYC and wanted to see Jay-Z it woulda been tough to miss him. With Lil Wayne at Izod, Mary J. at MSG to mention two sightings in the past year alone. Coldplay or Yeah yeah Yeahs? MGMT when they’re not opening for Beck. Vampire Weekend? Echo at Radio City, Lykke Li at Highline… on and on and on. Who wants to take a ferry to NJ to sit fifty …

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A REASONABLE PROPOSAL: EARLIER CONCERTS

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In the 40s Frank Sinatra would play five sets a day at sold out houses beginning at 11am. Today most concerts, not even nightclubs, but concert halls, have the main act begin anywhere from nine to 1030pm. It is pathetic. Customers are paying $250 a tix and can’t stay till the end. Forget kids at all (remember kids Mr. Promoter? You used to beat them up when you were young). Why would Highline not do 2pm shows on the weekend – a coupla acts doing half an hour, forty-five minutes, all ages. They could make money. If “Monsters Of Folk” …

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Vivian Girls and These Are Powers at the Whitney July 31st, 2009: Hail the drummer

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We come to praise Ali Koehle. Last night, the final of four Friday evening concerts this July presented as part of pop conceptual artist Dan Graham’s retrospective “Beyond” at the Whitney Museum Of American Art, Ms. Koehler was not the anchor of, ahem, alternative all girl rock band Vivian Girls, she was the sail and man did she whale on her drums. Everything bled into her rhythm, the trancy guitar, the three part harmonies, it was like she was a black hole of sound. The Vivian Girls themselves are talented musicians with a unique sound: imagine the Roches meets the …

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PANIC IN DETRIOT

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Where is David Bowie? He had a heart attack in 2004 and with the exception of playing a song last year with Arcade Fire has released no music nor played a gig in FIVE YEARS. FIVE YEARS MY HEAD HURTS A LOT. Cmon Mr. Jones we want you back!

MANIC IN NEW YORK

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Then (top) and now (bottom) Manic Street Preachers are one of the great English rock bands and they haven’t played the area in a decade. I saw em blow Oasis away at Jones Beach around fifteen years ago and have been a believer ever since. They will be at Webster Hall October 7th and you have to go or else live in shame forever.

Madonna On the Record: Nobody’s Perfect

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Madonna has remained a constant presense at the highest echelon’s of the pop firmament for decades: a wild ride from catholic School Princess gone bad to riding crop Mistress of the dancefloor. I have always simultaneously admiredher and been a little turned off by her. She is like a Swiss Watchmaker: obsessed with the intricacies of time but uninvolved with the nature of time: by the time Madonna was settled in to her career proper, say around 92, she was distant to the point of distillation. At the center of Madonna there has always been a metronome where a heart should …

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FABOLOUS “LOSO’S WAY” HIP HOP AT ITS BEST

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I loved the “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere” single off Fabolous’ new album “Loso’s Way” but thought it might have had a lot to do with Keri Hilson but the word is getting out and it is deafening. “Loso’s Way” is the album we never though Fabolous had in him. I just got a text from my nephew and hip hop fanatic Jeff McColl telling me I had to buy it. Appraently, so do you.

Itunes Too Rich And Lazy To Accurately Label Songs

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A coupla months ago Marie Lynn was fuming at itunes inability to accurately categorize the songs she downloaded. I thought nothing of it at the time but as time has gone by I’ve found myself agreeing with her more and more. Here is a list of pop-rock musical genre’s from the indie review web site delinyc.com – :ElectronicHip HopIndie PopBrit PopLo-FiOrchestral PopLounge PopMellow PopAvant IndiePost RockIndie RockPost PunkNoise PunkMetalPsych RockShoe GazeAlt RockPower PopEmoGaragePunkGlamAlt RockAlt SoulRootsy Pop Now here are the genres Itunes include:ElectronicHip HopHeavy MetalPunkEverything else is considered Alternative or Indie. Itunes are the single biggest distributor of mp3s -they have …

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New Music Week Of July 27th, 2009 Part II: From Fabulous To Fabolous

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Relator – Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn – I think this is the first Pete Yorn song I have consciously heard and I wish it was the first Scarlett Johansson because after the travesty that was her Tom Wait’s covers album “Anywhere I Lay My Head” it was my most sincere wish to never hear her sing again unless it was with me in the shower. HOWEVER “Relator” is real good indie rock and after the enervated growl she affected last year she has an off beat India Arieish voice that, if not pleasant, will probably finds its own market. …

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Falsetto Soul Crooners: The Chris Clarke Mix List

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When I thought of posting review’s of other people’s music mix’s I had hoped what would occur is precisely what has occurred with my friend Chris Clarke. Chris has an excellent idea of what he likes in music and I am in agreement with him though not to the degree he enjoys it. John Legend, James Ingram, Maxwell, early R. Kelly: these are technically proficient soul crooners but only R. Kelly is a pop crossover act and not on the strength of the album this song came off. Ingram in particular is a gifted vocalist with easily the best voice …

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Dan Aquilante of the New York Post gets it wrong

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Many years ago I was sitting one row above New York Post Pop muic beat writer Dan Aquilante at the Lauryn Hill “Misadventures’ concert. The seats weren’t great but they weren’t terrible either, center stage in the 200s at The Theatre At MSG, and this pussy made such a fuss I wanted to punch him. Now obviously you can’t tell much about a bloke after seeing (not even meeting him) once in an adverse situation. But I have never much cared for his taste in music and yesterday his review of Green Day was insipid. Here is an excerpt: “GREEN …

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Beck’s Golden Age

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In 96 I saw Beck at the start of the Odelay Tour in the tiny “Supper Club”. He was a bolt of lightening like a surfer dude James Brown chasing down his masterly hip hop-folk hybrid. I was a believer but since then, and despite some good stuff all along the way, he has failed to live up to his potential.  In 02 Beck broke up with his long term girlfriend and chronicled it on the broken down album “Sea Change” and on the lead song “The Golden Age” the loss leads him to social abandonment and an inability to deal …

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Someone Else’s music: The Alix Wartell Mix List

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If I am in an elevator, if I am in a train or a plane, anyway stationary position, and I see somebody listening to their Ipod I will ask them what they are listening to. This is not an act of social intercourse, I really wanna know, I wanna know what I’ve missed and also, for me, with the answer of one small question I will gain insight on both the man or woman who are listing to music and the artist they are listening to. If I am dating a girl and she has bad taste in music (or …

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New releases Week Of July 27th, 2009 Part I: The best and the worst of the week

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New Perspective – Panic At The DiscoNow Ryan Ross and Jon Walker have left the band I was expecting the worse. I Like Panic a whole lot and “Pretty Odd” more than their break through “Fever” album and it sure seems to me now I am gonna have two lousy bands instead of one great one. However, “New Perspective” suggest the the experimental psychedelic Beatle pop of “Nine In The Aftertoon” has been replaced with a more power pop bent with cool harmonies on the back up track and Brendon Urie sounding very much like Brendon Urie with a highly …

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Coming Soon: Corruption

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From Alan Freed to The Wall and beyond either you’re selling or you’re buying in the corrupt world of rock promotion and pay to play…

Slacking Off…

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After getting home late from Green day last night I woke up late and rushed to work forgetting my Ipod. What’s a guy to do? I turn to http://www.slacker.com/ . Slacker is an online radio similar to Pandora playing music by genre and by either the artist or artists similar to the artist you type in. For instance, Bright Eyes got me Conor, Cat Power and Rilo Kiley among others. Jay-Z had me listening to Beanie Siegel’s “The Truth” for the first time in years. Perhaps most importantly, if there is a genre of music I am not well versed …

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Bob Dylan In The 90s: 20 Miles from town and cold irons bound

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The 90s began with an odd step, went through a blocked middle and ended with a major revival -in between there were cover albums and many many outtakes. Under the Red Sun (1990)Seen as a down after “Oh Mercy” it was quite “Oh Mercy”‘s equal and includes “Born In Time” -a 2nd tier Dylan lost love song plus lots of nursery rhymes. Wiggle your way out of that one Grade: “B+” The Bootleg Series Volumes 1- 3 (1991)Wanna know how good Dylan was? In 1961 he recorded the first song on this album of outakes “Hard Times In New York …

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Green Day and Kaiser Chiefs at Madison Square Garden: “Do you want this fucking time?”

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Before the encore Green Day leader Billie Joe Armstrong sings the last song off their new album “21st century Breakdown” and reaches a conclusion: “The moral isn’t to do the right thing but to do the right thing together”. The smartest thing he has said in two albums worth of material and it got me to thinking of Bruce Springsteen in the 80’s. Like Springsteen, Billie Joe has a bit of the demagoge in him and like Springsteen he believes that rock will set him free and like Springsteen he shows tremendous respect for his fans. This is a giant …

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Ian Mackaye and Integrity In Rock

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Every caveat I have ever used about good and evil apply and are doubled when it becomes a question of integrity. The question of integerity is remorselessly subjective and so subjective it could disappear if you look at it too closely. Here is a personal example. Saturday I went to see Jerry Rivera at Summerstage and twenty minutes into the set he is singing to some girl from the audience and I’m “Ok, that should do it” and I’m edging towards the exit but I couldn’t bring myself to leave because I knew I wanted to post a review. I …

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Bacharach and Costello: Memories Were Made Of this

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From 1998 to 2001 Elvis Costello went on a tear, a lost and possibly final, rush of masterpieces that feel a long, long time ago now. In 1998 he released “Painted From Memory” with Burt Bacharah and the contemporary recorded “The Sweetest Punch” with Bill Frissel and in 2001 “For The Stars” with Anne Sofie Van Otter. The very next year his decline would begin in earnest “When I Was Cruel”. “Painted From Memory” remains one of Costello’s finest moments, written with master pop song writer Burt Bacharah these are a series of perfectly realized, heavily orchestrated tonal pop melodies. …

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Green Day, Walmart and Artistic Integrity

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Art for art’s sake, money for Gods sake”10cc Walmart insisted Green Day bleep any profane words on their album “21st Century Breakdown”. Green Day refused. Walmart refused to stock the album losing a huge amount of sales for the band. At first glance this is a story of artistic integrity but let’s look closer. Why are Walmart asking for this request -surely a parental warning label would suffice? Perhaps, but they sure weren’t picking on Green Day. This is store policy. Walmart is middle American, red state, Christian Bible belt in redux. It is what they sell: heavily discounted consumer …

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The Mix July 24th, 009: Love flows and jones

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Let Your Love Flow – The Bellamy Brothers – Sure it’s bland but it is comforting and it’s a song sung blue -everybody can singalong. Complaining about the brothers Bellamy is like complaining about a peanut butter and jelly on white -it’s kinda bad mannered to whinge that it is mass produced and non-descriptive when you like it so much. Going Home – Mark KnopflerI Love Salsa – N’KlabeShe Wolf – Shakira – The falsetto chorus is perplexing and the heavy breathing bizarre, the drum machine incessant and the song as nondescript as Shakira has made in a long, long …

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Local Hero does Good

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The new movie, political procedural “In The Loop”, features a bravado performance by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi as a dirty motor mouthed Director Of Communication for the British Prime Minister. You remember Capaldi as the young assistant in Bill Forsyth’s magical “Local Hero”, the follow up to Forsyth’s equally magical “Gregory’s Gir” which starred Altered Images vocalist Clare Grogan. Mark Knopfler scored the music to “Local Hero” including “Going Home” -the instrumental theme song and one of the loveliest pieces of music you’ll ever here. It’s the saving grace on a major league career whose albums and songs I’ve found …

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Jerry Rivera and friends at Central Park Summerstage Saturday February 25th, 2009: Serious Salsero

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Summerstage promised the sound of young Salsa -well, Jerry Rivera is thirty-six so not that young but the other three performers look twenty-something so maybe young though only Salsa Rapper Magic Juan sounds new. That’s not necessarily a complaint. N’Klabe have been promising a pure salsa sound and this afternoon with two conga players, a drummer, maracas, and bass they provide a pure rhythm based dance music as useful as Industrial electronica. And the audience know what to do -they dance and dance and truly some of these people were incredible. There was a man, must have been seventy, I …

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My Most listened to songs of 2009 on Itunes

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Young Adult Friction – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – I remain unconvinced the album is the alt indie pop revelation its fans claim -but there is no gainsaying this songCalifornia On My Mind – Wild Light – “Fuck LA, fuck San Francisco, fuck California”.Strange Enough – NASA – This is the second time ODB has made a girl vocalist sound even better thru proximity. First Britney bitch, now Karen O. “Is that what you want?” Karen asks.Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen -PJ Harvey – This is the PJ Harvy I’ve been waiting for since “Is This Desire?”Waking Up Drunk …

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Woods and Yellow Fever at The Whitney Friday July 24th, 2009: Two Turntables And a Microphone

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Yellow Fever and Woods have this is common: the bass players of both bands are multi instrumentalist. They also have this in common: at the Whitney last night as part of the pop conceptual artist Dan Graham’s retrospective “Beyond” both bands, while good in their own right, and with plenty of inner band magic, seemed to have a problem letting the audience join in. I don’t think it’s nerves that had the lead singer barely acknowledge us after we cheered a Hendrixy solo on a long, thrilling jam which was both very old fashioned and completely up to date. I …

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Young Louis Armstrong In Pictures

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You can see it in these pictures of a young Louis Armstrong, the brash confidence of a gifted trumpeter raising a ruckus from New Orleans down the Mississippi to Chicago and New York. Here at the begining of the 1900s America’s unique art form is busy being born.

Scam Artists Live In August

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In deciding when to see Steely Dan during their 8 night stand at the Beacon Theatre it all came down to money. They will be playing one of three albums each night and an additional night with songs chosen on the internet by people who had bought that nights ticket, repeat and rinse. Since I love all three albums they’ve elected to play and since my experience of nights when the audience chooses the set is that it is a mix of obscurities and hits with zero pacing any night would do. So I went with when I could find …

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Off the Wall off the hook

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1979 of course… I mean when else would Michael Jackson’s greatest album have ben released? And so much seems lost in time here but first and foremost this is part of the disco revolution -it is mostly music and its best being listened to in a club at 2am drunk, coked, happy, dancing and if you were a DJ and you wanted people dancing any track -well, accept for “Off The Wall” penultimate moment, would do it. Because, honest, this is mostly first tier disco. Listen to the break on the title track: it could well be the Bee Gees, …

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Bad Timing?

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I will be in England the last week of August. Here are the concerts I’ll be missing: Taylor Swift Brittney Spears Paul Oakenfeld Pet Shop Boys Nine Inch Nails What a city!!

Todd Leibowitz: Itunes don’t know their Jovis from their Joels

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Writer Todd Lebowitz finds a big flaw in Itunes album covers…. It seems like iTunes is failing to upload the correct album artwork of songs that weredownloadedto your iPod via a CD. I noticed the last few times when I went to sync my iPod, it would show a bunch of song being re downloaded – and I wasn’t too sure why. Until two days ago when I was listening to my iPod on the long train ride home and noticed the album cover to a Bon Jovi song that I knew for sure that I hadn’t purchased through Itunes. …

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How the other half listen….

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This is the indie blog Hear Ya’s best albums of the year so far: Ben Nichols – The Last Pale Light In The West J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory BluesDan Auerbach – Keep It HidDeep Dark Woods – Winter Hours Heartless Bastards – The Mountain Justin Townes Earle – Midnight At The Movies Phosphorescent – To WillieThe Love LanguageOther Lives – Self Titled Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are MountainsHa Ha Tonka – Novel Sounds From The Nouveau SouthWilco – The AlbumJohn Vanderslice – Romanian NamesDeer Tick – Born On Flag DayWhite Rabbits – It’s FrighteningDevil Makes Three – …

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Paul Simon At Beacon Theater February 14th, 2009: Second Best Concert Of the Year So Far

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It is 8pm at night and I’ve been nursing a toothache for a coupla weeks and I am up to my eyeballs in every painkiller I can find. I am leaning at the front of the stage and nodding in an out waiting for the concert to begin. I have lost all sense of time but four hours I will have seen one of the greatest concerts of my life, Titus Andronicus and Los Campesinos at Bowery Ballroom February 15th, 2009. But I’m not posting about that concert, I am posting about the very day before: February 14th, 2009. Still a …

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CeU U 2

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After missing CeU live twice this week all I can do is listen to “Vagarosa” again and share these pics.

Louis Armstrong And Chuck Berry: The Greatest Of All!!!

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Miles Davis said wherever he went in jazz Louis Armstrong beat him to it. Wherever you go in rock Chuck Berry has beaten you to it. John Lennon said if rock and roll had another name it would be Chuck Berry. If Jazz had another name it would be Louis Armstrong. This is what it means to be the very, uncomparable, greatest of all.

New Music Week Of July 20th, 2009 Part II: Bland New World

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Knock You Down – Keri HilsonSupernova – Mr. HudsonS.O.S. – Jordin SparksEnglish lads Mr. Hudson record for Kanye West’s label and their record is a very pleasant trifle and I like the lead singers soprano and the slight touching up of the voice on the verses with West being autotuned. It’s clever modern pop. Keri Hilson is a very talented writer behind songs by folks like Neyo and Britney (bitch) and “Knock you Down” is a very good song off her very good “In A Perfect World” . Former Idoler Jordin Sparks is waiting for her close up and in …

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Not More About The Beatles? US Vs UK a cause of confusion and an album I missed

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Speaking with my good buddy Cris Marchignoli he complained that my Beatles overview was confusing because all he knew was the American versions which I didn’t really review. He has a point but the answer is to do mix lists following the English song sequencing, you can get them off Wikipedia. Look at “Rubber Soul” for instance -“Rubber Soul” is a heavily arranged, intensely produced power pop album. It rightly begins with the giddy “Drive My Car” but the US version begins with the country rock “I’ve Just Seen A Face” off “Help”. I think we can safely assume “Rubber …

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Bob Dylan in the 80s: Long Before The Stars Were Pulled Down

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From savior to mercy, from on his knees to on his back, legend has it the 1980s were mean to Bob dylan but the truth is it was only his work on the road that seriously suffered (and paved the way for his live resurrection), the recorded stuff may have faltered but never failed.  Saved (1980)Like all middle children, this middle child of Bobby’s born again triology is often ignored and it does have a bit of a professional veneer about it -all Muscles Shore pros, BUT it also had a great cover of “A Satisfied Mind,” and a real good …

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CeU Means Sky

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I loved CeU music long before I saw her picture but now that I have seen her picture all I can say is CeU has the looks of a South American Idol and on “Vagarosa” the sound of a Bebel Gilberto with hip hop backing tracks.

Summerstage Summer Nightmare

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Last week the Met handed out free tickets days before the Summerstage concert and a pleasant time was had by all. Around 2pm on Sunday I walked by Central Park’s Summerstage with the hopes of maybe, just maybe, getting in to see Lee Scratch Perry. Ha-that’s a joke. The line was so long I couldn’t guess at the end of it and having wasted an hour of my life trying to get in to see Santogold at the same venue last year I walked right by. My friend Chris was less fortunate and he didn’t give up till he’d wasted …

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