D’Angelo – February 7th – The Apollo – Friday, February 12th, 2012, I witnessed Aretha Franklin honor her recently deceased Goddaughter whitney Houston at radio City Music Hall, part pop manifesto, part revival meeting, the queen of soul sublimated her pain in song and worship. It was the best show I’ve seen this century. And D’Angelo at the Apollo was the second best show I’ve seen this century.
Azealia Banks – May 11th – Irving Plaza – This is it folks, in the battle of the women rappers (not to mention men rappers) we have a winner. Banks does everything she said she would, dances, raps, boogies down, takes us on. Pump-parrrrump-pa-rrum-pump
Sufjan Stevens – Beacon Theatre – April 11th – With the album of the year under Sufjan’s belt, here he was performing it live on stage and you could have heard a pin drop, a magnificent performance of (mostly) an album that changes what the term “confessional” means.
Lee Ann Womack – City Winery – April 20th – 1990s real country singer battles a terrible cold for 75 minutes and is extra concentrated with the effort it took.
Great Voices In Harlem, The Gloster Project – MIST Harlem – Sunday, March 9th, 2015 – Any afternoon, any time at all, you get to listen to such a great collection of musicians, especially in such an intimate space, is a great afternoon. Or evening. And in aid of such a wonderful project -did I mention Dr. Randy Weston was there?
Bjork – City Center – Saturday, March 28th, 2015 – If you have heard and loved Vulnicura as much as I do (I consider it her best album since Post), you must see this performance. It completes the journey to a bright future. It is magic realism, where through art one is made whole. A masterpiece of a performance.
Noel Gallagher – Governors Ball – June 7th – Live is where he comes into his own as a no nonsense UK rocker who has a better feel for harmolodics then you might imagine, everything here is about arranging a sound where nothing sticks out and nothing goes under, just like Be Here Now taught us, it is like a mountain that is all peak.
Manic Street Preachers – Webster Hall – April 23rd – The UKs best rock band performs their beloved and respected and very strange The Holy Bible. Richie didn’t show. How could he. It got better with the last seven songs
Wussy – January 17th – Studio At Webster Hall – I thought these indie rockers from Cincinatti were great at the time and I thought they were greater when I thought back on it. Essentially, they are a midwestern Shellshag who didn’t make it through the long run as a couple have lived to explain the pitfalls and disasters of romantic love and this night played em down to the ground. “You guys are killer,” Lisa walker claimed. So is she.
The Gotobeds – Cake Shop – May 30th – Agitprop Sub Pop signees crack fun, rock hard.
Jack White – Madison Square Garden – January 30th – white is so very weird he makes me sound weird when I write about him, he brings out the bipolar hate the someone but love the sound and watch white hit it and hit it and hit it with sterling silver guitar car crashed: it is like ramming a Lamborghini into an electric fence and what can be wrong with that?
The Who – Barclay Center – May 26th – Roger in better voice, Pete in better health, better setlist and better set than 2013.
Graham Parker And The Rumour – Highline Ballroom – June 13th – In a spirited and energetic 90 minutes with Graham dancing and jiving, and giving the spotlight to Martin for a sliver of a solo and Schwartz for a coupla bars before stealing it back again, a cranked up Hammond Organ by Bob Andrews all over the damn place, and a standard of song selection that has you spoiling for a favorite
Bunji Garlin – Summerstage – June 27th – So who is Bunji? From his bio: ” Born Ian Alvarez, the Trinidadian ragga soca star Bunji Garlin is known for blending of soca with dancehall. Hailed recently by Rolling Stone as “America’s first soca star,” Garlin has clearly taken his native country’s genre to new heights.” Plus, he released his eleven album last year and is a full on rock and roll star on stage, singing water soaked Soca to a very impressed audience.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!