Many places I have lived are not exactly live music meccas (ladies and gentlemen, I give you MANHATTAN, KANSAS) and I’d rather not skip meals to attend arena shows
Posts By: Steve Crawford
Isbell doesn’t have the vocal presence of a natural born rocker and doesn’t try to be on this primarily acoustic based record. When wearing his comfort pants, Isbell specializes in a devastatingly forlorn sadness/regret voiced with schmaltz-free honesty
Starting with a twelve-bar blues piano progression, Fagen incorporated jazz chords and a swing band style chorus into “Peg.” Chuck Rainey’s melodic bass playing is prominently displayed, while Jay Graydon contributed a Polynesian pedal steel influenced guitar solo
Shaver is as authentic as a dirt road and he’s an engaging stage performer – dancing to the music, shadow boxing, leaning back and bracing himself to put his entire body into the song, displaying a huge, beaming smile most of the night. His discusses his Christian faith repeatedly during a show, leading to some of the oddest proselytizing you’ll ever hear
Wills incorporated blues, country, big band, tin pan alley, and folk music into his unique brand of exhilarating Western swing.
Swift inspires a somewhat unimaginable level of idolatry in her fans. Women of all ages wore homemade Swift homage garb to the show; they screamed incessantly and reacted to their heroine’s every move, statement, song, and gesture. Taylor has gone beyond the realm of both country and pop music, proudly serving as a pop culture celebrity.
Whether the song required soulful blues, piercing slide guitar, tidal wave metal riffs and solos, or simple punk rock chords, Vaden hit every mark perfectly. Expert timing, wonderful tone. He knows when to lay back and when to take the reins
I would love to hear the True Believers play live with a proper sound system and I’d also love to see them perform a full set. After forty minutes, the Grapevine Main Street Festival organizers told the band to exit the stage. The True Believers were booted for being too loud.
Extended acoustic sets typically have a noticeable deficit in the oomph department and this night was not the exception
Of course, anyone that listens to Det var så länge se’n is eternally altered. What does one do with all of that Scandinavian street cred?
Like the best of any art, listening to Moondance gives you the experience of opening a new world to you. On this album, Van Morrison wasn’t dwelling on the threshold of his beautiful vision. He was completely enveloped in it.
The 2013 edition of Parliament Funkadelic doesn’t have the elaborate stage production of the Mothership era, but is still a glorious celebration of excess.
Jones imparted gravitas to everything he sang. Knowing sin and salvation, he could effortlessly convey anguish, hope, and humor. He stuck to his knitting
While the Johnson Reader currently hasn’t sold as many copies as the Holy Bible, you, dedicated fan of the Rock NYC website, have the power to change this unfortunate course of history and commerce.
One of the fun things about rock ‘n’ roll has always been the dark alley element of shock and weirdness, which Henderson has in spades. He’s a junk shop/thrift store treasure.
I have no idea why Hayes is performing his usual setlist with a clearly inferior unit. Whether it was the lack of rhythmic propulsion or inspiration, he was unusually flat vocally. The difference between a good band and a bad one was clearly on display
I doubt that Shocked is a savvy enough media presence to have purposely orchestrated the event. If one were in the diabolical public sentiment manipulation business, there are better end states than career suicide. It’s almost too easy to play armchair psychiatrist with Shocked.
Far below the surface of mainstream music, blues records were being made by Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, and a few others with scary adjectives in their names. The charts were more diverse than one might suspect – African- American performers Louis Armstrong, the Mills Brothers, and Cab Calloway were scoring hits
Flansburgh, who seems to be more disheveled and heavier each time I see him, mugs for crowd, jumps up and down in time with the music, and dramatically plucks out one note at a time while jerking his guitar at different angles. He’s the nerd rock Rick Nielsen.
Foley played in small Austin bars, when they weren’t banning him due to drunkenness, and lived in a car. He released a few singles in his life, but album releases were never meant to be – master tapes were continually lost or stolen.
The trio is comprised of three outstanding musicians – violinist Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith, and stand-up bassist Jake Erwin. Performing jazz and pop standards and Western swing classics, the virtuosos rotate playing rhythms/melody and taking solos. They know when to be unobtrusive and when to take the spotlight. They simmer and burn with equal aplomb.
The Essential Songs of 1991 have all turned 21 now. They’ve discarded their fake IDs – some are in college, some are in the military, and there’s a trust fund baby in the crowd. They grow up so fast.
Cub Koda and company are best known for their pro lung cancer anthem “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” which made it to #3 in 1973 and was covered by Motley Crue in 1985, becoming that band’s first Top 40 hit.
“They have never achieved competence – they are actively untalented.”
“Such a tricky question, Steve!! But truly – anyone who stays true to their own vision and doesn’t allow the music business machine to sabotage their art is my hero – or heroine!”
Steve married Beth in 1990 and this Valentine Day’s he shares the essential songs in the year of his wedding.
Memo to Blake. It may be that people aren’t nostalgic for their grandpa’s country music. They may be nostalgic for country music with heart and substance.
Inspired by exciting yet technically challenged groups like the Buzzcocks, Undertones, and The Damned, the Adverts were non-musicians ready for stardom. In 1977, the group released their first single on Stiff Records, “One Chord Wonders”
Scott-Heron’s catalogue is a mess, many of the albums he recorded for Arista from 1974 to 1983 are no longer on the market and there are too many bargain bin compilations to address. It’s hard to know in retrospect if Scott-Heron was a brilliant artist that never had the opportunity for the following he deserved
In 1998, the twenty year old, second generation bass player founded the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. B.R.M.C. have released two albums that achieved gold status in England and remain respected by music fans on both sides of the pond.
Public Enemy fought the power and The Beastie Boys released their brilliant Paul’s Boutique album. As we look back at the decade, we were able to survive a decade of synth-pop, kitschy videos, and electronic drums. As we peek around the corner to the ‘90s, I’m seeing flannel.
Lacking familiarity with the Spanish-language tracks, I didn’t connect with most of the songs on a lyrical level. However, the musicianship was so impressive that the group easily made a gut level, visceral connection with the audience.
Eight slow tempo sad songs about women in abusive relationships, women in suffocating relationships, or women trapped in their own loneliness can take its toll on a person. Lucinda Williams is unarguably one of the preeminent songwriters of this era
The Traveling Wilburys were the rare supergroup that deserved that designation and Public Enemy pushed rap music into a more stringent and confrontational direction. And if you haven’t heard Gary Stewart’s “An Empty Glass,” you’re missing out on one of country music’s most eloquently heart wrenching drinking songs
Bruce Springsteen contemplated married life and The Replacements saluted a Memphis legend and worked with The Memphis Horns. R.E.M. released their most muscular album while the Grateful Dead had a Top Ten pop hit.
Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys pushed a new rock/rap fusion into the marketplace and while punk rock and new wave had been put to bed, a new batch of college radio acts
During the early 1980s, R.E.M. had established Athens, Georgia as the alternative center of the universe, but by 1985, Husker Du and the Replacements shifted the eyes of the indie world to Minneapolis/St. Paul,
One of the strengths of the collection is the diversity of visual styles, including work by graphic designer Paul Sahre, and animation specialists including Laika House, Hine Mizushima, Divya Srinivasan, and the brilliant Brothers Chap of Homestar Runner
Willie drops names and f-bombs and off color jokes. Lacking any cohesive narrative (and repeating some themes), it’s almost more of a scrapbook/time capsule than anything else. It’s a bit of a chore.
Teenage girls across America dumped their boyfriends for the honor of singing “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and feeling solidarity with Taylor Swift. Justin Bieber returned with less hysteria but still hitting the charts. Let’s hear it for the girls, as Adele and Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson had #1 singles.
Bruce Springsteen and Prince ruled both the pop charts, while The Replacements released the best album of their messy career. Los Lobos proved that they really weren’t just another band from East L.A. and Leonard Cohen quietly released a song that would later become recognized as a classic.
Nelson has a powerful voice, figuratively and literally. He can sound both world weary and triumphant and the record rocks harder than typical long haired guy with bare feet publicity photo shots might lead you to believe (including some nice lead guitar and B-3 organ spots). Nelson has the goods. Hopefully his music will find the audience it deserves.
Prince Rogers Nelson also became a pop sensation with his double album 1999 and that little ol’ band from Texas conquered the MTV generation and had their greatest success after a decade plus of recording. Ray Davies and The Kinks had the most heartwarming comeback of the year
Wearing rudely tight purple spandex pants, a ripped Sex Pistols t-shirt, and sporting a ‘70s style Afro, he made repeated lascivious comments to the ticket buying females and shouted about “THE REVOLUTION” between songs, except when he was spewing obscenities
Imagine that you could record one more record with Johnny’s later period weathered vocals with Rick Rubin, taking a break from imagining what chicken fried steak tastes like, twiddling the knobs. Here are the tunes that Rock NYC would break out for the occasion.
Visually appealing/interesting artists like Duran Duran and A Flock of Seagulls were crossing over from MTV to radio airplay. Synth pop was pushing guitar bands to the back of the classroom, Tommy Tutone created the best known telephone number in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, while The Clash had (merely) their most commercially successful album release.
Ely enjoys rich lyrical images, check out this opening couplet from Butch Hancock’s “Row of Dominoes” – “Carmen must have been the Devil’s daughter/At least he taught her how to wear her clothes.”
The 1970s had given the music world all female bands Fanny and The Runaways, but the Go-Gos were the first female band writing and performing their own music to top the Billboard album chart.
The Wheel brought their Christmas show to Fort Worth, with Benson noting, “Ever since Perry Como left us, there’s been a void and we are here to fill it.” The band has been Benson’s lifelong passion
Classic rock was in fine form in 1980 with Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and Queen having major success on the album charts. London Calling by the Clash and Bruce Springsteen’s The River topped the critic polls. John Lennon released his first album in over five years, while punk rock/new wave energy was still spitting out fantastic songs