Hair today; middle age Tilbrook; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; bring back sunday afternoon concerts; god vs god
Say what you will about Andrew Lloyd Webber, and I can think of a few choice words, when he put on a Broadway show you could see the money. The same can’t be said about “Hair” and the very cheapness of the enterprise (orchestra: two keyboards, four horns, two guitars and a bass), stage? barren) suggests it might have a long life…
The songs are pretty damn good but they are faux-rock (often quite jazzy) and not even the slightest bit psychedelic and boy does the second act bore.
By the way, try and pick up Evan Dando’s wonderful cover of “Frank Mills” and give “Air” another spin (very, very clever song).
Glenn Tilbrook’s Fluffers new album “Pandemonium Ensues” has its moments and is still a little disappointing but the song “Best Of Times” is one of a kind. It begins with Glenn’s second wife going into labour six weeks early while Glenn panics (“I try to pack your bag and proving I’m not the better half”) against a highly melodic accordion. The woman in question has now borne him two sons (“and my earlier two make four”) after mending his broken heart… “After all we’ve been through,” Glenn sings, “we’ve had the best of times.”
This is middle-class, middle-age pop rock as once defined by the kings of pop-rock Squeeze. It has the power of truths being told about lives being lived in our world. It’s surprising there isn’t more of it.
I have never much cared for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs -too bluesy for my rock jones, Karen O too weird for teenage kicks and lyrically a bust. But 2003’s “Maps” was a great pointer to the future and “Its Blitz” a successful fusion of Blondie and the Ramones. We all know “Zero” (lyrical bust dressed in leather but a synth rock triumph) and the first three songs on the album tight, sexy and robustly sung pop gems. “Hysteric” sounds like a hit song to these ears and so does “Heads Will Roll” and “Soft Shock” and while perhaps Karen’s vocal has lead me to sexual terror on “Fever To Tell” and while perhaps her lyrical concerns are a touch prosaic, she sings with a passion distilled by compassion here and the album as a whole is simply better then anybody else.
Back in the day Roseland used to have sunday afternoon concerts (I saw Beck once) and CBGBs had sunday afternoon hardcore concerts.
Now, if you don’t mind standing in line for four hours you can get into central park summerstage during july and august and once in a blue moon Joe’s Pub have a brunch set.
My recommendation to highline, bowery ballroom, and mercury lounge -this winter bring back the Sunday afternoon gig. It’s a god send to us working stiffs.
Here’s a bit of juxtapositioning to end the blog:
“Do you think he’s any good at remembering people’s names?
Do you think he’s ever taken smack or cocaine?”
“You wrote a letter to god ,’just in case,’ you said,
‘I’m nothing if not a pragmatist.’
‘You needn’t worry about us, we can look after ourselves:
We have learnt not to rely on you or on any one else.'”