I don’t doubt Elvis Costello’s sincerity when it comes to Burt Bacharach, what I doubt is his ability to match Burt. Painted By Memory -their album from the late 90s- included some painful and overwrought songs, the hellish “God Give Me Strength” for instance and while I would put both “Toledo” and “The Long Division” among Costello’s top 100 I would include absolutely nothing else from it. The 45 song super deluxe The Songs Of includes live takes, songs from the vault, the original remastered, etc (Grade: B).
Over to singles, I have had little opportunity to cover one of my faves, Ann-Margret, except for a “Viva Las Vegas” review I seldom mention her and so the news that she has a covers album arriving soon and that Pete Townshend joined her on a cover of the Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love” is good news (Grade: B), I haven’t been convinced of King Princess since “The 1950s” (sic) but this new track with Aaron Dessner is as sweet and strong as soulful indie r&b gets (Grade: A-), “If Darkness Had a Son” is six minutes plus of Metallica blueprint (Grade: B), Nicki Minaj may have waited too long for the follow up to second act breakthrough “Super Freaky Girl” and while “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” might not be the follow up we wanted it is strong enough to maintain the momentum and Nicki’s rap is world class (Grade: B), Wiz Khalifa dropped his first mixtape on streaming services earlier this year, now he takes out the autotune and is joined by Snoop in the break up song (Grade: B).
Back at albums, I was ready to tear into the soundtrack to the new HBO series about a SoCal rock band in the 70s, Blake Mills is behind a lot of it which means it is gonna lose you for lengths, but Aurora, the fictional (though obviously not) Daisy Jones & The Six isn’t the worst thing in the world (Grade: B-), Brix Smith was always better than her position as Mark E’s wife in the band, The Fall had a coupla great years with her and this solo album plus a fine back up band of like minded women and “Valley Of The Dolls” is a fine selection of old school punk, Dierks Bentley never got as big as we thought he would when he opened for Brad Paisley at MSG, on Gravel & Gold he mixes country rock with Americana as he deals with the aging process (Grade: B+), and finally Frank Zappa with a terrific live album: “Presenting two previously unreleased concerts from Frank Zappa’s short-lived 1980’s band, the latest exciting live collection to be released from The Vault, Zappa 80: Mudd Club/Munich, offers fans an opportunity to hear two blistering shows recorded in two distinct settings: the intimate 240 capacity Mudd Club in New York City and the massive 12,000 seat German arena, Olympiahalle in Munich (Grade: B+)
Bye Bye Love – Ann-Margret, Pete Townshend,T.G. Sheppard – B
Valley Of The Dolls – Brix Smith – B+
The Songs Of Bacharach @ Costello – Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello – B
Aurora – Daisy Jones & The Six – B-
Gravel & Gold – Dierks Bentley – B+
Mudd Club/Munich ’80 (Live) – Frank Zappa – B+
The Bend – King Princess – A-
If Darkness Had a Son – Metallica – B
Red Ruby Da Sleeze – Nicki Minaj – B+
Don’t Text Don’t Call – Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg – B+
Sneak Peaks: Upcoming New Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23
can they survive an entire album?
L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 20th To 26Th
Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)
highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable
UK Top 10 Albums 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?
A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way
On his way to save the day… and the night
Robert Smith Is Fighting The Good Fight: Will Scalpers Always Find A Way?
How is Vividseats able to get around this technical problem?
Taylor Swift Began Her Latest World Tour Yesterday in Arizona… Here is the setlist
she really underrepresented her first ten years
UK Top 10 Singles 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
double double toil and Miley
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1985 (Volume 16, Number 11)
Everything I do is in ADDITION to, not INSTEAD of
The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-17-23 – 3-23-23 Reviewed
the single worse recording of all time