New Music Week Of July 20th, 2009 Part 1: What We Fall In Love With When We Fall In Love With A Song For the First Time

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The One – Mary J. BligeHistory Sticks to Your Feet – Modest MouseHere Comes Your Man – Meghan SmithSay Please – Monsters Of FolkOf all the things pop music has to do the single most important thing it is has to is to get you to want to hear it again. The hook -the musical or vocal repetition, the “yeah yeah yeah” or the “ella ella ella” if you like, is the bulwark of pop music. It is the jelly in the jelly donut and one of the greatest gifts a popular songwriter can have and it has NOTHING to …

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Bob Dylan In the 70s: Early One Morning the Sun Was Shining

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And into the 70s we go with Bobby’s first fully fledged disaster and lots of second guessing by the world at large culminating in Robert Christgau memorably dubbing him a “boozy-voiced misogynists in (their) late thirties” and ending with Dylan seeing the light. Self Portrait (1970)And you thought we were pissed when he went electric! Well, I was thirteen at the time and I thought “Self Portrait’ was a knock out because if you doubted Dylan’s sincerity with this mix of pop classics and tin pan alley you weren’t paying attention when he called himself a song and dance man. …

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Dirty Projectors Manhattan Skyline

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From today’s NYT -here is the link to music critic Nate Chinen’s live review of the purveyors of one of the great albums of the year, Dirty Projectors: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/arts/music/21dirty.html?_r=1&ref=music

This Is The One!!

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“The One” is another terrific dance track by r&b giant Mary J. “I’m not saying that i’m the best but i’m the best” Blige. I love Mary J -almost take her for granted, I’ve seen her about everytime she’s been in town since 99 with Usher opening at the Theatre, last time I saw her nearly blow Jay-Z off stage; she is a great star and Drake is real good maybe a keeper. This weeks new releases have been excellent and I’ll get around to reviewing them tomorrow (I need to listen a little longer) but buy “The One” now.

“Pinkerton” And Getting Emotional About Girls

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In order to create the sound of punk the powers that be took the Velvet Underground, the Stooges and the New york Dolls and put them in a blender. In order to create “Emo” they took Weezer’s second album “Pinkerton,” watched Weezer’s concerts and called it Emo.    Weezer were coming off their very pretty, very strange first album known as “The Blue Album” which generated three hit songs, “They Call Me Jonah,” “Undone” and “Buddy Holly”. Lead singer River Cuomo was a weirdo in ways you can’t fake: there have been a lot of nerds in rock but not quite like …

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God And Death In Rock Music

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How do we deal with God in rock, a youth culture?  Of all the concerns a youth culture has life is primary because children are much closer to death than adults by which I mean they didn’t exist at all ten or fifteen years ago and so feel a disconnect from the social mores of a a world they have just been invited into and which they see death hopefully from a great distance.  So any time rock music tries to come to terms with death it does so within those parameters: its target audience, its reason for being, is …

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U2 In Berlin July 18th, 2009 Photographed by Larry M Miller

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Philanthropist and businessman Larry Miller saw U2 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin July 18th, 2009. This is the stadium that was opened by Adolph Hitler during the 1936 Summer Olympic and for Mr. Miller, a man of Jewish Amercian extraction, the significance was not lost. Certainly, is there any better way to celebrate Hitler’s abject failure at extinction than in a concert by the philanthropic in their own rights U2. Mr. Miller doesn’t know U2’s catalogue but his teenage sons sure do especially David Miller who thoroughly enjoyed the set. Larry does know history when he is watching it however …

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Monsters Of Folk Free MP3

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The Jim Jones, M. Ward, Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis supergroup Monsters Of Folk are giving away an MP3 from their first album dropping September 22nd. Just type please and download from their website http://www.monstersoffolk.com/ Marie Lynn just told me she thinks it’s great. Me? I think it’s a real good song, Conor leads the way with that great rasp of his and Jim Jones kills on a guitar break and everybody trades verses all in under three minutes. The verse could be stronger but the chorus is just about perfect. Should be a monster of an album.

A Dylan Fan Calls Me Out

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My friend and fellow Dylan fanatic Michael Blauner (he is the guy who got in trouble with me at the Costello concert years ago) had this to say about my 60s in review post: “lite on the albums. Know you didn’t want to delve too deep but you really only picked a few songs to comment (unlike your beatles take). Those 60’s years were incredible and I don’t even love John Wesley the way you do – I think that accident knocked him off his game (even if his voice is great). And even though I hate County I prefer …

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Gordon Waller Of Peter and Gordon dies

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So sad to hear that Gordon Waller (he is the guy above who doesn’t have red hair and whose sister Jane didn’t date Paul McCartney for years) of the 60s pop duet died of cardio arrest yesterday. Lovely harmonies and sweet sentiments especially on Macca’s “World Without Love”… give it a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6WaCVv5kRg Here is the NYT obie http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/07/20/arts/AP-Obit-Gordon-Waller.html?ref=music

Bob Dylan’s Albums in the 60s: Good and bad he defined these terms

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Bob Dylan’s early career seems fated now but in the 1960s it appeared to be veering off in million directions and reinventing itself at the speed of various amphetemines before finding itself on heroine, crashing, breaking, finding a music older than the Appalachian mountains and ending up singing country with Johnny Cash. It is tough writing about Dylan’s 60s albums -so much has been said by so many. I bet I find the 80s Dylan much more fun.     Bob Dylan (1962)He looked like a street urchin out of “The Grapes Of Wrath” and sounded as though he was a 100 years …

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The Soundtrack To Our Lives

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The difference between the songs used in the just released DVD of “Watchmen” and the the just released movie “(500) Days Of Summer” is not that one has a 100 million budget and can therby pay extortionate royalties and the other can’t and certainly not that one has a real sing singer in Zoey Deschanel who does the same sweet and poignant though a bit trivial cover of the Smiths she did of Smokey Robinson with She and Him it is the producers of 500 have a feel for modern pop and the just obscure enough and Watchmen are way …

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The Mix July 19th, 2009: How live performances changes recorded performances

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Money Won’t Change You – James BrownPromised Land – Chuck BerryMrs. Vanderbilt – Paul McCartneyThe Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The ScriptLennon said if rock and roll had another name it would be Chuck Berry. And he might have added if hip hop had another name it would be James Brown. From the very begining, from 78, 79, the sampling of Brown by rap artists has been ridiculous and for excellent reason, rap is THE rhythm bound music and Brown is the most rhythm bound songwriter of all time. I saw Brown play “Money Will Change you” off “Raw …

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Paul McCartney July 17th, 2009 at Citi field reviewed: A Professional Hit Job

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The warm up act Irish lads the Script are doing their best, even pointing out Paul McCartney’s dressing room somewhere high to the left of us but nobody is wearing it so they buckle down again and get back to work. The Script are out of their league in the cavernous Citifield but they are game and despite all the headaches you might expect with a lead singer who also plays keybs they come across like a young U2 (not U2 when they were young but how U2 would sound if they were young now). A clever cover of “Heroes” …

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The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum New York Annex: This Aint No Mudd Club no CBGB

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Did you ever see that Twilight Zone where astronauts land in this place and everything looks like white picket fence normal 50s America but nobody is moving or anything and finally they discover it’s a mausoleum and they die… well that’s what the rock and roll hall of fame museum is like. You poney up twenty-five bucks and enter it like you’re entering a Disney ride: an interminable wait before they let you into another cubicle AND LOCK THE DOOR and then there is another long wait and during the second wait there is and electronic wall doo-dat and it …

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Sold Out Concert: Start and end your search here

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FANSNAP IS DA BOMB… IT IS BRAND NEW, IT COMPARES ALL PRICES FOR SOLD OUT CONCERTS OUT THERE, IT TELLS YOU WHERE THE MARKET IS FOR THESE SHOWS AND WHAT THE BEST PRICES ARE. FOR INSTANCE, YOU CAN GO ON NOW AND GET TIX FOR McCARTNEY BELOW FACE. GREAT SEATS (IN THE 100s AT MSG FOR TAYLOR SWIFT $200) AND THE MOST COMPETITIVE PRICES… ALONG WITH SPORTS AND THEATRE.HERE IS THE URL:http://www.fansnap.com/?gclid=CPGTluOh3ZsCFVRM5Qodyk3HAA

I put my hand to write about you….

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English journalist Julie Burchill once said to me that rock critics were frustrated rock stars with a lot of unused homosexual heroworship. My experience tells me that rock critics are frustrated writers. If you want a career in media rock criticism is the place to start -it is even more inclusive than UK Punk -almost literally any one can do it and in the age of blogging nearly literally everybody can.    In the late 60s mags like Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy were gagging for good writers -nobody knew what they were talking about when they talked abour rock and they can’t …

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A WRONG REVERSED

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Many years ago I interviewed the Pretenders, wrote the story and mailed it to Creem. Upon publication I was shocked to discover my story was simply terrible. It was very, very poorly written. I called my editor Dave DiMartino and apologized, “You write a lot for us,” he said, “You’re gonna miss it sometimes.” But I was mortified. This afternoon I posted a story about Thin Lizzy and the Quality Street Gang and it is just plain awful and I apologize. I started it in the wrong place, I kept on one song when I should have gone deeper, my …

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Phill Lynott: Irish, Black, Cool…

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George Best was the greatest English, er, Irish winger of all time. A legendary Man United soccer player and worldclass swordsman and “Slack Alice” was his night club in the heart of Manchester thirty odd years ago and in the dead of night with Barry White bassing and thumping and cute chicks behind the bar and hooks up happening it was the place to be. Ten miles away Tony Wilson was opening the Electric Circus in a Council Estate but this place had the reek of hedonia. Except it is six in the morning and Best hasn’t been at Slack …

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Whitney’s Back… New album dropping September 1st, 2009

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Whitney Houston was the best vocalist to come out of the 80s. Even the weakest of songs were saved by that stunning Mezzo-Soprano. Try “The Bodyguard” Sountrack or “My Love Is Your Love” or “The Ultimate Collection” -a 2 CD greatest hits stunning in its consistence and revelatorary on the throw down CD!! With a decade of drugs and Bobby Brown out of her life, Houston’s new album will be released,”I Turn to You” September 1st, 2009. Undoubtedly it will be the event of the Pop Music Fall Season. Let’s hope we get a concert as well.

DON’T MISS FRANKIE NEGRON

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Popular young Salsa singer Frankie Negron will be at Joe’s Pub on Astor Place, 730p, Tuesday August 11th, 2009. If you enjoy modern Latin American dance music it is unmissable and it is only $15!!!

Michael Jackson, Pop Stars, And What Constitutes a Good Life

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You and I, we have a bad hour, a bad day, we’re irritational, we say what we shouldn’t say or act how we shouldn’t act. Even the good of us are not always very good or even a little good (and what does good mean? it means we lesson our rights as indivuals for someone else: the synonym might be suckers). And the next day it doesn’t matter: our friends, our colleagues, our lovers and families hopefully, and for the most part, love us. But what if the one impression was the only impression? And the only impression would be …

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New Music Week Of July 13th, 2009: Disappointments Abound

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Hot Girls in the Bathroom – Dallas AustinExasperated – Dallas AustinYellow Light – TwislaThe last time I saw Austin he was DJing for TLC at MSG on TLC’s mildly disappointing “Fanmail” tour (A young Christina Aguilara blew em off stage). But off the stage he has had a productive life producing and now he pulls back the curtain and reveals a…. DJ. On the first single off The Dallas Austin Experience Experience album “8Dazeaweakened”, “Exasperated,” he struggles with forming a song and loses though it is not disastrous but “Hot Girls In The Bathroom” lives up to its name and …

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More Prima Donna

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MORE ABOUT RUFUS’ OPERA FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMtab4n3q_k

1977: Plastic Blondes and Fictionheads

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The difference between London Punk 1977 and New York City Punk 1977 is the difference between a snarl and a sneer. LP was all attack, NYCP all irony, LP hyper-reality, NYCP saturday morning cartoon, LP the Clash, NYCP the Ramones. And somewhere in NYCP along with the bops and the rockets, the marquee moons and horses, lay a different type of cartoon cut out altogether. Blondie was a group, guitarist Chris Stein and love of his life Debbie Harry’s sci-fi, mid-50s, rock and roll, day-glo dream of rock on-the -go-go. Both Stein and Harry were denizins of the bankrupt NYC’s …

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The Met At Central Park Summerstage July 13th, 2009: Tomorrow’s Opera Stars Today; Rufus Wainwright’s Opera has its premier

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A great young rock singer, a Patrick Stickles or a Gareth Campesino, is like a street car racer: they roar at a hundred miles per hour with little regard for the car or themselves, reckless, dangerous, veering into the crowds, as likely to crash and burn in a concert as to make it out alive. A great young opera singer, a Lisette Oropesa or an Alek Shrader, is like a Mach One driver: they are as one with their machines, a monument to steely self control and years and years of practise where all their abilities lie in distinctions not …

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Thank You Brooklyn Vegan…

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Thanks Brooklyn Vegan for using my review to help illustrate Leia Jospe’s pics Of Titus Andronicus at the Whitney Friday 10th, 2009. I’ve followed the site for years and the exposeur of my tiny blog is invaluable to me and I appreciate it… Now if only Emily would let me post some of her writing… Here’s the link: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/07/titus_andronicu_8.html

Every Now And Then We Hear our Song: Top 50 Most Popular Summer Time Hits

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All property is theft so I took what was already mine when I lifted this list of most popular summer hits from the New York Post. The comments are mine but they are really all of ours.* 1955: Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley & His Comets: My God, Bill was ugly.*1956: Hound Dog, Elvis Presley: My God, Elvis was handsome* 1957: Love Letters in the Sand: Pat Boone: My God, Pat was a pussy* 1958: Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran: the first real summer song in this lot and Cochran, a Prince of rockabilly, got all of it.* 1959: See …

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The Mix List July 12th, 2009: Ducklings and Swans

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The Ugly Duckling – Danny Kaye – After a thirty year reign the musical was showing its age and never more so then in Sam Goldwyn’s biography of Hans Christian Anderson starring song and dance man Danny Kaye. The film was luscious, the colors hallucinations with a illussionary depth and beauty we don’t see in movies anymore (let’s call it Technicolor) but the story was Hollywood bathos mixing fantasy and lies (remember what they did to Cole Porter?), Frederick Lesser’s score a huge disappointment, the acting non-existent and the kids creepy with its now apparent undercurrents. Having said all that, …

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Titus Andronicus and Real Estate at the Whitney Museum Of American Art July 10th, 2009: Fuck Art, Let’s Dance

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I am standing behind a kid during the last song of Titus Andronicus’ fascinating set at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The concert is part of the pop conceptual artist Dan Graham’s retrospective, and the kid is on tip toes on the edge of the performance area (there is no stage) and he is doing a restrained pogo and leaning towards the band and it’s as if he is straining every sinew in his body not to explode into a wild dance. But the kid can’t dance because Whitney security have threatened to stop the concert if dancing continues …

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The Mix List February 2009: Before there was ROCK NYC there was everything else

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Just for the heck of it and because The Beatle post took so much out of me and I’m not in the mood to start in on Thin Lizzy so here’s a mix list from the winter of 2009 -literally months before I started this blog. I miss the old days, I was younger then, innocent, life was one long song… Pull The Wool – Right On Dynamite – A young power-pop group with a ton of melodies all of which are on the EP and this one is maybe the best with a great jangly intro and a raucous …

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The Beatles On Record

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So much has been said about the Beatles it is difficult not to tread where others have or even everyone has walked before . you will find no discussion of McCartney the back up singer, George Martin the producer or Starr’s drumming. If these reviews seem incomplete it is because I’m not even attempting to define the albums, but rather take a peek and see if we can illuminate them a bit further. I used Wipedia for the dates of release. Please Please Me UK (1963) The difference between John and Paul is John covered Arthur Alexander’s heartwrenching “Anna” and …

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Two New bands: Hockey and Mi Ami

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Two newly minted West Coast bands for you. Hockey are from Portland, Oregon. Mi Ami from San Francisco. Hockey are everything Billy Bob On Poison are aiming for. I discovered them on a favorite blog, the edgitator.wordpress.com … whoever this edgitator is they have pretty good taste in music and these cool glam pop rock boys blaze thru the handful of songs I’ve heard. The first album is out in late August. Here is Hockey on Later Live with Jool Hollands singing their terrific Song Away: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASiN42gSaqo&feature=related Mi Ami have the angular weirdness of a “No New York” band from …

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New Music Week Of July 6th, 2009: Mimi will be there, Spider Bags were there, Billy Boy may be there one day

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Obsessed – Mariah CareyYesterday afternoon at the MJ tribute MC over did the glissando’s as she does all too often, on this song about a stalker (or even Mariah herself!) she under sings nicely but as the opening salvo to her hopefully return to form after the disappointing Mimi II it’s all a little on the small side. Waking Up Drunk – Titus AndronicusWaking Up Drunk – Spider BagIt’s You – Spider BagOne Of My Kind – Spider BagThug Story – T. Swizzy and T. PainIn search of some new material by Titus Andronicus before their Friday gig at the …

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Two Great New Albums in Review: Far and Bitte Orca

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Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “It’s Blitz”? Hasn’t stood the test of time. Dead Eyed Peas? Maybe. Franz Ferdinand? Maybe again. Eminen hasn’t sold enough for an album whose reason for being is sales. I think the album of the year is settling into either “Far” or “Bitte Orca” If “Far” is a hit I’ll go with “Far” if not it is the Dirty Projectors for me… What? I would prefer the music even though the music wouldn’t change. This is the MJ lsson from last week: a mass audience makes the personal universal, we share MJ or the Beatles with the …

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The Mix July 5th, 2009: Phish Get their King Crimson On

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American Saturday Night – Brad Paisley Her Diamonds – Rob Thomas – Fine version on NBC’s Macy’s Firworks last night Living Doll – Cliff Richards Physical Attraction – Madonna Science Is Golden – The Grates Trampoline – the Grates Inside Outside – The Grates – Imagine Bikini Kill without the politics, Sleater-Kinney without the chops, Black Kids without the rhythm section. A real good pop-rock band with a charismatic vocalist. They haven’t released any new music in years but they are doing a Wednesday night residency at Pianos in July. There’s A Guy Works Down the Chip Shop swears He’s …

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Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band live at Toad’s Place July 3rd, 2009: Conor’s ravished voiced saved by cracking Mystic Band

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Halfway into his first vocal on the jaunty “Sausilito” it is clearly apparent Conor’s voice is shot. He isn’t hoarse, he isn’t out of tune, he simply has no relationship with his carefully crafted melody. Conor isn’t singing it, he is phrasing it. But it really doesn’t matter, his band seem to be carrying forward by sheer willpower and what the song loses in tunefulness it gains by leaps and bounds as the Mystic Valleyers shos what a great boss and a year on the band can do a band. It’s been twelve months since i caught em at “Other …

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T. Swift and T. Pain

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This the best… Taylor gets her thug on… You can find it on dailymotion.com (they took it off youtube for copyright infringement)

More MJ; DJS Oakenfold and Ronson; Lady Gaga and a young Madonna

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Here’s a syllogism for all you pop pickers. Demand for MTV lead to the demise of the Soviet Union. Demand for Michael Jackson lead to demand for MTV. Therfore demand for Michael Jackson lead to the demise of the Soviet Union. So do we forgive him for being a pederast because he knocked off our biggest enemy? Me, I forgive him for being a pederast because he made great world music. I am lstening to his album “Invinsible” and it knocks the socks of anything Neyo or Usher or Genuwine (who has long longed for MJs mantle) have done yet. …

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