Recent Posts

Oct 20 Amber Jean Young’s Art Exhibit At Subliminal Projects, Friday October 17th 2014
‘Is that Neil Young?’ asked me a guy entering the studio at the same time ‘Yes! And it’s unbelievable!’ I answered. No it wasn’t unbelievable that Neil was there for his daughter’s first solo art show in Los Angeles, but it was unbelievable that I was there, among all these people. Amber was attending, of course, as was Pegi, her mother, and even Stephen Stills showed up
Posted 20 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 20 Afternoons’ ‘Say Yes’ Release Party At El Cid, Friday October 17th 2014
Their uplifting songs filled with multi harmonies and wide-screen melodies, which can very easily turn into joyous sing-alongs. Their computer crashed after just one song, they also lost some part of their drum set at one point but this didn’t stop them for very long. May be I hadn’t noticed before
Posted 20 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 20 Some Thoughts On Andy Garcia’s “Looking For Johnny”
“Looking For Johnny” was everything it could possibly be, it respected the story as best it could where no one else seems to bother, an excellent memory of a great guitarist,a legendary musician, a towering New Yorker and an influence for every other rock band playing the 7pm set at Arlene’s grocery.
Posted 20 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 20 That Was The Week That Was: October 13th, 2014
This entire week belonged to Tay, Lena Durham said she wanted a Taylor Swift song at her wedding. Impressed? LENA IS DATING JACK ANTONOFF!! The Diet Pepsi commercial was so awesomely cute I still haven’t recovered and the song on it was fabulous; the new song (not single mind) “Out Of The Woods” is great EDM. Plus? 7 more days till 1989.
Posted 20 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 20 UK Top 10 Albums 10-25-14
Sure “Ghosts” is Ok but not over an album, meanwhile I am kinda shocked to find U2 in the charts. I guess not as many people have Itunes as I thought (80 million streams of the album by the way). ANything else? Nope, go back to whatever you were doing.
Posted 20 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 20 UK Top 10 Singles 10-25-14
: This may well be the best singles charts I’ve seen since I started seriously monitoring the charts; Trainor followed by This may well be the best singles charts I’ve seen since I started seriously monitoring the charts; Trainor followed by Taylor we have been used to for the past month, but than a good 1D and then a GREAT Ed Sheeran, the best on his current album, and it doesn’t really end, the Paloma and Jeremih I can live without but they aren’t that bad, and the Vamps S&G cover is awesome.
Posted 20 October 2014 by admin  Add comment
Oct 20 10 Songs: Monday, October 20th, 2014
Off their final (or is that last?) album The Woods, this acoustic pop song makes you wonder why they weren’t more popular with the album reaching # 80 on the Billboard 200, their best placing ever. So, of course, they broke up. This is a really quite wonderful singalong acoustic folk good feel – A
Posted 20 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Dick Destiny’s “Loud Folk Live” Reviewed
On song after song, Destiny and drummer Mark Smollin find the joy in creation, in song, in raising your voices and if polemic doesn’t swing, songs like “Hooray For The Salvation Army Band” and the sublime “Patriotic Class warfare” swing from the rafters.
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Salad Days: The Birth Of Punk In The Nation’s Capital’ A New Documentary About The Punk Scene
The trailer is officially out and you will recognize members of Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Market Baby, the Faith, the Slickee Boys, Void, Government Issue, Marginal Man, Dag Nasty, 9353, Gray Matter, Beefeater, Scream, Rites of Spring, Fugazi, Shudder to Think, Nation of Ulysses, Jawbo
Posted 19 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 19 Ebola Is A Form Of Population Control, According To Chris Brown
As of October 15th, there have been 17 cases of Ebola reported outside of Africa, whereas 8,376 suspected cases and 4,024 deaths had been reported in West Africa… now imagine if someone white had tweeted the same thing?
Posted 19 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 19 Rockford’s “I Tried” Reviewed
“I Tried” is a big time blues rocker which sounds like the way cali blues should, a deep bass and a very strong guitarist with a straight ahead beat, the song is about as good as rock gets in 2014, there is nowhere else for it to go
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing”At Roundabout Theatre, Friday, October 17th, 2014, Reviewed
it doesn’t matter how well written the ideas are if you can’t hear them and the magic at the heart of “The Real Thing” is lost. It isn’t there any more. I know what I love in the play because I’ve read it and I’ve seen it, but I wouldn’t have known it from this bad production
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Must See? Conor Oberst At the Beacon This December
So why go again for “A Benefit Concert Holiday Cheer For FUV Conor Oberst And Friends” at the Beacon Theater on December 8th? I mean, over and above Conor having proven his abilities with a carol? I just have a lotta time for Conor
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Let’s Active: rock nyc Concert Picks For The Week Of October 20th, 2014
The eagerly awaited Yusef Komunyakaa – Tomas Doncker Band collaboration Big Apple Blues will be released on Tuesday, and the afternoon gig at NJPAC on Friday is the one to keep your eye on for sure. But Komunyakaa has any number of other performances coming up
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 19 Sneak Peak: Upcoming Album Releases Week Of October 20th, 2014
I am gonna go with Scott Walker and Sunn O))) as most anticipated (the best will be Doncker) despite assuming it will be an almost impentrable wall of sound and edges and rumbling bass by the most eccentric former boy band leader of all times and the harshest strangest sounding ambient metal band
Posted 19 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment

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Cliff Richard Gramercy Theater Saturday June 21, 2014 Reviewed
Cliff Richard Gramercy Theater Saturday June 21, 2014 Reviewed
Sir Cliff

Sir Cliff

The difference between Elvis Presley and the English equivalent Cliff Richard, is Presley’s voluptuousness was carnal and Richard’s remains boyish. The result was a a star who was by definition an Elvis disciple yet considered,  Stateside at least, a minor artist. The teenage Cliff  of the  late 1950’s, had a tender lushness about him, girls adored him,  he wasn’t threatening but rather Mickey Rooney meets post-Army Elvis meets Dion . Any thoughts of juvenile delinquency disappeared as hit after hit after hit turned him pop.

Cliff Richard is no minor artist but he is no Elvis either and on stage at Gramercy Theater, Saturday, June 21st both his immense gifts and limitations were clearly on display.

Gifts? Richard has sold over 250 million albums worldwide, and he is the best selling single artist of all time in the UK.  Limitations? He became both a best selling AOR artist in the  70’s and a nostalgia act ever since, no matter how often he dons the Heathcliff cape.

Hawking the Nashville recorded covers album “The Fabulous Rick And Roll Songbook”, his first New York concert in decades  included his early hits, other 50’s hits, and highlights from the 1970’s and between them they amounted to a set, interspersed with an interview, which did what the true greats can do, it overwhelms its weaknesses and makes a strength of them.

The last time I saw Cliff on stage was  in 1963, the last time he performed in the States was 1981, so when Morrissey announced Sir Cliff (sell 200 million records and they’ll Knight you as well) was opening for him, some of us felt Cliff would eclipse the night. Cliff himself was thrilled at the opportunity to introduce his music to a new audience as well as the fans arriving from Australia from England from Canada for this opportunity to see the man in person.

“I didn’t speak to anybody for two days after learning it was canceled.” Cliff told us but slowly a plan emerged and there we were. “It’s a long time since we”ve shared such an intimate space ” he said at the 500 seater Gramercy a week after the Morrissey show was  canceled.

Somethings were necessarily lost. Cliff came to us with only a backup singer Suzie Furlonger, , a programmer and back up Keith Hayman and an interviewer Phil Silverstone,  but it was enough. He looked incredible. Not incredible for a septuagenarian , just incredible. Inches away from him he looks as though he’s 45, every single song he both sang and danced, if his voice is aged I couldn’t tell, he sounded the same as ever gentle, sweet, sharp Cliff.

Watching him hit the stage the years seem to roll away, the first three songs are just about what you want from Sir Cliff. The title track from his 1963 movie “Summer Holiday” followed by the lovely teenie bopper “I Could Easily Fall In Love With You”  and the early stretch “In The Country”. Then a song off his last album “Apron Strings” which fits in nicely. Interviewer Phil Silvers mentioned that Cliff had begun his career as a rocker, become a pop singer and is now balladeer, we started with the rocker.

Speaking of the interview, it was interesting to a degree and very unsentimental but a touch too much of it for my taste. A third of the two hour set was taken up with question and answers.

Speaking of ballads,  a note perfect take on “Miss You Nights” a good song I was not particularly fond of,  morphed into a valued fave with a powerful and moving take.  The other ballads I was less sure of (“We Don”t Talk Anymore”, the sixth song ever played on MTV, was the only time I found myself glancing at my watch) but this was a goodie.

Which leads us directly to set lists and pacing; there isn’t a musician who couldn’t learn how to put together a set list from this show. Early hits followed by later period  hits, followed by newbies astutely placed among favorites, followed by an acoustic set followed by two of his biggest hit.  Sure it was Cliff’s audience ti lose but still that’s the way it is done. Nothing is taken for granted.

This is all fun, well except for “the Twelfth Of Never”, but again it is the earliest stuff  that really is magnetic. Cliff’s first hit, at the age of 17, “Move It” is a real rocker that Marshall Crenshaw (who knows about 50s rock) has covered and is given an excellent take and the two #1 hits in succession, “Living Doll” and “Traveling Light” bring the house down. “The Young Ones” (six weeks at the top of the UK charts) was a huge singalong.

During another interview segment, Cliff  claims Elvis as his greatest influence. He doesn’t say before there was  Elvis there was nothing but he kind of meant it. A solo acoustic “All Shook Up” connected the dots. 

The interviews weren’t  really revealing at all, Cliff remains a guarded cipher, but he was very astute about the business, when Phil tries to claim EDM isn’t real music, Cliff corrects him about as sternly as Cliff can. And when Cliff says he was lucky to have been born in the era of the recorded song he puts his finger on what is missing in 2014. “Bands are not given the support we were” he claimed.

My only real problem with the show was mostly a question of taste, The late 70’s, early 80’s hits that closed the show doesn’t do it for me. The only time Cliff looks silly is the dance to “Devil Woman”.

But I wouldn’t of missed it for anything. Cliff mentioned that Morrissey is still in hospital and wished him well, and would be happy to support him if he tours again. So why leave it to chance?  Still voluptuous, still boyish, come back and play Carnegie Hall, we miss you nights.

Grade: A-