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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…

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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 #…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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)…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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)…

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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…

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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…

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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…