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Leonard Cohen Forum hates me; live in NYC

By admin | May 18, 2009

I checked out the folks who hate me at leonardcohenforum.com . The actual review by Patricia Zohn is very good and if you want to see what the fans thinks please feel free. I essentially stand by my opinions (and I absolutely stand by NYC being the media center of the world where we’ve seen…

Music and Protest

By admin | May 18, 2009

With Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” having all the hallmarks of a protest album dated before its release, and with critics writing drivel like “If it is out of step today we may surely need it tomorrow,” I thought I would take a quick moment and think about protest music. Way back, in the 16th…

Leonard Cohen by the numbers last night at radio City Music Hall

By admin | May 17, 2009

Earlier this year I went to see Van Morrison perform “Astral Weeks” twice, once at MSG and once and for days later at the Beacon. The MSG set was excellent, glad to have seen it. The Beacon Theater was electrifying -mid way through the second set Morrison took off and everybody knew it, the band,…

The Mix List week of May 18th, 2009; Best Sets Ever #6; more people I don’t like but maybe should

By admin | May 17, 2009

The Static Age – Green Day (“21 Guns” pretty lame on SNL last night)Get Down – Cam’ronOn the Road To Find Out – Cat StevensSofter, Softest – HoleGood Ol’ USA – Billy Joe Shaver (this guy is a minor revelation)The Dream Of You – Bob Dylan (the keeper off the newbie)Missisippi – Sheryl Crow (a…

LENNON NEW YORK PHOTO

By admin | May 17, 2009

From today’s New York Times

Divas and the dead men who love them; Yusuf Islam was Cat Stevens and you weren’t

By admin | May 16, 2009

It is June 1997 and Lil Kim is a mess -I know this because she is performing at a great women of hip hop concert and she can’t speak and she can’t talk and she is stumbling and crying. Notorious B.I.G. had died a coupla months earlier and she wailed and wailed and wailed. Two…

Two Great albums; Country Music IV: From rock to soft

By admin | May 15, 2009

One day after writing the obituary of the album, I bought the album of the year and first runner up. I have only spinned Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” once but I can’t imagine hearing a better album this year and, mind, i didn’t like “American idiot” all that much. The lyrics to “Breakdown” are…

The Death Of The Album 1954 – 2009

By admin | May 14, 2009

Chris Difford once claimed Frank Sinatra’s “In The Wee Small Hours Of the Morning” was the first record album as we know it. And he might be right. Produced by Nelson Riddle and recorded in three long sessions it was a series of songs on the theme of unrequited love. And so it began. Vinyl…

Elvis Presley: I’m right, You’re Left, He’s Gone

By admin | May 13, 2009

“Before there was Elvis there was nothing.” -John Lennon The last time I wrote about Elvis Presley I was a 20something and i did a think piece about how Capitalism destroyed a blue collar, working class hero. Not exactly a lie but hardly the whole truth either. I guess I found the Elvis I needed…

New Music week of May 11th; Country Music Part III: when mythic heroes roamed the world

By admin | May 12, 2009

After listening some more I must admit to having underestimated Cam’ron’s “Get It In Ohio” -Cam’rons spits the lyric real good, gangstas in the mid-west. The other two songs I have from the new album “Crime Pays” are alright with me, “Silky (No Homo)” has an excellent King Floyd sample and “Cookin’ Up”is all percussion.…

Dylan and Oberst by the numbers: no masterpieces here…

By admin | May 11, 2009

Together Through This – Bob Dylan 11 Songs:1 Pointless studio rehearsal of “Lay lady Lay”.1 Middling Berry knock off (Chuck, is that you?)1 Croaking atrocity.1 Missed opprtunity-but really missed, missed by a mile the way the “When the night Comes falling from the sky” missed on “Empire Burlesque” only to be redeemed on “Bootleg vol…

Best Albums Of 2009

By admin | May 11, 2009

Alphabetically by album name All I Ever Wanted – Kelly ClarksonArt Brut Vs Satan – Art BrutBl0od Bank EP – Bon IverCarolina – Eric ChurchCrack The Skye – MastadonDown The Line – Buddy HollyI Feel Cream – PeachesIt’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s (Album of the year?)It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily AllenJigsaw –…

PUBLIC ENEMY: BLACK LIKE ME

By admin | May 10, 2009

Eleven years ago I saw Public Enemy open for Run DMC. PE had recently released their excellent soundtrack for (him again) Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” and they were pretty good. Flavor Flav hadn’t become a cartoon yet and Chuck D hadn’t become irrelevant yet but, and don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly care…

This Weeks Playlist; Worst Set Ever!!

By admin | May 10, 2009

Love Your Love the Most – Eric Church (latest in a long tradition of real good country boys) Alcoholics Unanimous – Art Brut (angular satire produced by the bloke from the Pixies) Spoiled – Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (a keeper from the newbie) Bridge – Lucy Wainwright Roche (is it something in…

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, ALL WRONGS REVERSED

By admin | May 9, 2009

The first of a long, long series: Contrary to my earlier comment Cracker’s “Darling One” is a lovely ballad…. Also, Cohen’s “Live In London” is better than I gave it credit for. Finally, my break up with Angelica was entirely my fault.

Branford Marsalis Quartet at Jazz Standard last night: Tight and Unwound; Greatest Sets Ever # 4

By admin | May 9, 2009

What pictures and videos don’t show you about Branford Marsalis is his sheer presence on the stage. Leading a young (the drummer is just eighteen!) intensely vigorous sharp as hell quartet, he rminded me of the Denzel Washington character in Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” -a movie Branford wrote the music for. With the exception…

COMING SOON: the greatest rock band in the world right this minute

By admin | May 9, 2009

LOS CAMPESINOS: THEY’RE GONNA GET DRUNK AND CALL YOU AT FOUR IN THE MORNING

Greatest albums of all time

By admin | May 8, 2009

Get Happy!! -Elvis Costello and the Attractions Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience In the Wee Small Hours Of the Morning -Frank Sinatra Ready to Die – Notorious B.I.G. Conor Oberst Here My Dear – Marvin Gaye Off the Wall -Michael Jackson Dragnet – The Fall In Utero – Nirvana Singles Going Steady –…

What we talk about when we talk about populism; Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis and Jazz fusion

By admin | May 8, 2009

As a self-professed populist I believe that in a consumer society fiscal success is a hugely important part of artistic (or at least cultural) merit. In the 80s I championed as potentially big time stars: the dB’s, the Individuals, Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo, Marshall Crenshaw. All pop musicians. Which lead me to a…

COMING SOON: THE FALL

By admin | May 7, 2009

STEP FORWARD FOR: ESP MEDIUM DISCHORD

Country Music II: DOES YOUR HEART STILL BEAT FOR ME?; more new songs; more thoughts on new Conor

By admin | May 7, 2009

This is a love story. In 1980 I was a huge Elvis Costello fan (still am: the albums have lost their consistency but the live shows are stellar and his TV talk show “Spectacle” was a must see earlier this year, especially the Elton John and Rufus Wainwright interviews) and so when I heard he…

Lady Sovereign nearly perfect at Highline last night; Country Music Part I

By admin | May 6, 2009

I’d like to say it was about the time Lady Sovereign shared her Heinekin with the punters at the front of the stage with a shout of “SWINE FLU” or when she sang the addictive chorus to “So Human” or even the well sung and very fun cover of Metro Station’s “Shake it but it…

new songs w/o 5/4/09; second thoughts on new Conor

By admin | May 5, 2009

A real good week this week. Two singles into the new Ciara, I like Justin Timberlake a lot but MAYBE he is spreading himself a bit thin -still “Love, Sex, Magic” is a pretty good dance track and “Never Ever” -with Young Jeezy is somewhat awesome… This is almost as good as Beyonce though the…

LENNON ALIVE; MIA, Santogold and Lady Sovereign

By admin | May 4, 2009

Legend has it Lennon and Ono spent their first night together working on avant-Garde music before making love. The result was three albums of experimental music and if “the Wedding Album” (it came with free pics of wedding cake -a case of play the sleeve if ever there was one) and “Two Virgins” were inpenetratable,…

Playlist May 3rd, 2009

By admin | May 3, 2009

Hi Ho Silver Lining -Jeff Beck (Hatton entered the ring with ths b4 Pasqual knocked him out)Fantsay -Mariah Carey and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (forget to mention this oneNo Bed For Beatle John -Yoko Ono (from “Life With the Lions”)Little Furry Things -Dinosaur Jnr. (thank you, Juliana)So Human -Lady Sovereign (Can’t wit to see her Tuesday…

U2 and 2009… something not quite right here; last thoughts on new Dylan

By admin | May 3, 2009

It had been five years -something like 30 in rock star years- and U2 were bac and We -We the world- were all third world nations at the tender mercies of Bono. Kicking off the Grammy’s this year U2 had nothing to prove and a world to save and a not particulalry good song, “Get…

A Right Bastard; Beatle Lennon

By admin | May 2, 2009

Ol‘ Dirty Bastard, rapper with the posse to beat Wu Tang Clan, is pushing the product. Wu Tan Clan have just released “Forever” and they are closing out Hot 97’s Summer Jam circa 1997 and ODB isn’t having it. “Why are we here?” he ask. “Hot 97 never play us. All they play is pop.”…

No Elvis, No Beatles, No Stones… by 1979????

By admin | May 1, 2009

In December 1979 the Clash released their magnum opus, “London Calling”, considered by some the greatest rock album of all time, and the highest testament to the rule of punk which had begun all of three years earlier. A snarling, raging, multi-genre, punk, ska, R&B meisterwork that in any other year would have put rock…

Mixing It up, new releases w/o 4/27

By admin | April 30, 2009

Last night I went to see “33 Variations” on Broadway: a new play based upon Beethoven’s 33 variations of a second rate Diabelli waltz. The play was way too busy to be any good but the music was absolutely beautiful. I don’t know my classical all that well so I knew Beethoven for Symphony #…

Only Serpents Shine; two new bands; people I should love but don’t; best sets ever #3

By admin | April 29, 2009

It is the winter of 81 -maybe February- and I am at the half empty Ritz (now Webster Hall) standing next to my friend John, drummer with Bounce -another greatest band you’ve never heard of, with my mouth agape and my face a mask of terror. The greatest rock band in the world are a…

Elvis Crespo rocks; second thoughts on new Dylan; Eminem makes it three in a row; the folks are jittery

By admin | April 28, 2009

In 1999 I was at a Labor Day Puerto Rican Music festival produced by Ralph Mercado -this is an all night long coming together of Salsa and Merengue royalty -I’ve seen Celia Cruz here, Tito Puente, this is the cream of Latin Dance. And this night it was a coming out party for Elvis Crespo…

Prince’s Triple Reviewed

By admin | April 27, 2009

Here’s a story for you: maybe seven years ago I went to see the late great Ike Turner (yes, great, he was a wife beater and a great musician: wrote the first rock song in case you forgot) at the late great Tramps on west 23rd. Pretty good set as well except half way through…

More from w/o 4/20

By admin | April 27, 2009

Three was not the charm with Primal Scream, “Zombie Man” is all foot stomping and hand clamping signifying nothing. Three was the charm with Pet Shop Boys, “Did You See Me Coming” is yet another synth-pop confection off “Yes”. When I was a wee slip of a lad I had no time (tight or otherwise)…

The Dead at MSG. April 25th, 2009: What a long, strange, long (long) night it’s been; 2008 Best albums

By admin | April 26, 2009

Around the fifteen minute mark of “Shakedown Street” the Dead segued into “He’s Gone” -a song Jerry Garcia used to take lead, and the pastoral, countryfied and unique jam of the past hour defined itself: Weir sang “Nothing left to do but smile, smile , smile…” and he was right. In the world of jam…

2008: a glance back at a great year

By admin | April 25, 2009

Sounds don’t make a U-Turn on January 1st so why it should be a year has its own distinct personality is beyond me. If there was a theme to 2008 it was everybody from My Morning Jacket to TV On the Radio -bands who have been around for years- mking not just their most commercial…

When Good Bands Go Bad; more thoughts on fiction

By admin | April 24, 2009

On a certain evening last year you might have found me in the cheap seats at MSG, eyes glazed over, fingers on temples, trying desperately to stay awake halfway through R.E.M’s set. They were promoting yet another depressingly bad album “Accelerate” (I only bought three songs off this misnamed product and they were just not…

Juliana Hatfield: Hey Babe, Bye Babe; a Fiction Romance

By admin | April 23, 2009

I know i promised a Juliana Hatfield overview but as I started researching I realised she wrote an autobiography, “When I Grow Up,” last year which I have just downloaded onto my kindle and will give a quick read before I attempt my usual brief to the point of incoherrence think piece. This kindle (my…

New releases April 21st; anti-Beatles matter; best gay anthem ever?

By admin | April 22, 2009

Every Tuesday Itune changes my life: I go through the new releases, buy ten to fifteen songs, tuesday evening buy another couple from people’s whose songs I liked and by Saturday decide whether I want to invest in the entire album. So here’s this weeks round up: It is more than possible Pet Shop Boys…

Taylor and Miley: the difference between talent and genuis

By admin | April 21, 2009

Miley Cyrus is a talented girl, a fine comedienne with a nice voice and some good -and sometimes some great- material. She might be the Marie Osmond of the 00s and she might be more. With a howling pack of tweens and younger girls screaming for blood she appears to be traversing the horrors of…

Lily Allen live at Roseland April 20th, 2009 reviewed; the Dead were the Byrds, no, really

By admin | April 21, 2009

The back up band was a bit nondescript, the mix was screwed up on the first two songs, she didn’t perform “Alfie” and otherwise Lily was excellent at Roseland last night. I arrived halfway through the opening band’s set and I have one valuable piece of advise for them: CHANGE YOUR NAME. They are a…

Me and Polly Magoo; lost rock clubs; best sets ever; people I should love and don’t

By admin | April 20, 2009

Back in the day PJ Harvey could do no wrong: from the insane charged and sexual confusion of her earliest solo work like “Dry” and “Rid Of Me’ to the Jungian wetness of “To Bring Your love To Me” (possibly the best album of 1994) we were right there with her. But then things went…

Lil Wayne and the state of hip hop

By admin | April 19, 2009

To paraphrase: hip hops been going down hill ever since Biggie died and by now… wow, if you’d told me five years ago, when the Cash Money crew got blown off stage by Eminem, Snoop, and Dre at Summer Jam, Lil Wayne would be the keeper of the faith idda wondered who shot Jay-Z. Well,…

Dylan and Conor 2009

By admin | April 17, 2009

Look at it this way: every album Conor Oberst and Bob Dylan have ever released are must owns with the possible exception of the 1973 “Dylan”. And it looks like Conor’s “Outer South” (due May 5th) and Dylan’s “Together Through This” (April 28th) could well be masterpieces. Start with Oberst: recording as a member of…

Hair today; middle age Tilbrook; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; bring back sunday afternoon concerts; god vs god

By admin | April 16, 2009

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)…

The Beatles without their clothes on (yes, Spector again); Hair yesterday; album of the year?

By admin | April 15, 2009

Any true Beatles fan can’t listen to them any more. Much like 60s’ Dylan, there is no more to be learnt in the byways of their material and even the three anthology’s did little to shed new light. For one thing, they had been available for decades on boots and for another thing, they were…

U2 and changing your mind and writing about music; initial thoughts on Live In London with a peek at “Death Of A Ladies Man”; a word about my writing

By admin | April 14, 2009

The Stone gave it 5 stars, Blender gave it 5 stars, Q gave it 5 stars. Unfortunately, “No Line On The Horizon” is one of the worst albums of U2’s career. If I was still writing professionally I’d have given it 1 star and now, a coupla weeks after my imaginary review, I’d have to…

Prolific Prince; Kris and Ethan and country music

By admin | April 13, 2009

I’ve been waiting to get my hands on the new prince “Lotus Flower,” triple for awhile but not wanting to blow $70 online and with no “Target” stores in NYC it had to wait till a trip to orlando this weekend. And I’m not really ready to discuss it yet. But i am ready to…

Bob Mould at Joe’s Pub -Waiting for Lily Allen

By admin | April 9, 2009

About Joe’s Pub -the food is OK, the sightlines are great and if you wanna see a band up close hope and pray they visit this village haunt. Last nights Bob Mould gig was sold out. Mould is the former frontman for Husker Du and Sugar and the set was sure brilliance -I had a…

And Away we go…

By admin | April 8, 2009

My name is Iman Lababedi. I am 52 years old. I was a music critic for Creem, the Village Voice and other publications in the ’80s and hung up my typewriter in 1988 never to return. But i continued to listen to music and I continued to write. I listen to music just about every…