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Aug 29 1985 – The A+ List
“Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You),” Dramarama. While there are plenty of songs about romantic infatuation, singer John Easdale conveys almost a life or death need for validation on “Anything, Anything.” Hormonal angst rock at its finest.
Posted 29 August 2014 by Steve Crawford  Add comment
Aug 29 Bruce Springsteen Writes Kids Books, Just Like Huck Finn Blues
When Bruce wrote Outlaw Pete he didn’t just write a great song, he created a great character. The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head. Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dorothy Gale and, for me, even Popeye, Outlaw Pete cuts deep into the folklore of our country and weaves its way into the fabric of great American literary characters.”
Posted 29 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 29 Watch Grimes’ New Video For ‘Go’ If You Are Really Bored
I am not a big fan of EDM music – this is the least I can say – and although Grimes is easy on the eyes, this boring rhythms and mellow pseudo-R&B melody, which could have easily been sung by any sexy hot number of the moment, do not excite me at all
Posted 29 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 29 No VIPs For Savages
I won’t go to a music festival without a VIP pass and I am not the slightest bit elitist I promise you, I just can’t see any percentage in checking out a band from a million miles away. It is all downside and if you won’t or can’t pay the freight, you won’t or can’t get close, well, what you are getting is what you paid.
Posted 29 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 29 Bethany Consentino Is On Next Weezer’s Album
I’m getting together with Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast and we’re going to write a song. You never know where these songs are going to end up but it could be on the next Weezer record.’
Posted 29 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 29 CMJ 2014 Line Up: Beware Of Wytches
You know why time flies when you run a music website? Because you are always planning three months in advance […]
Posted 29 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 29 10 Songs: Friday, August 29th, 2014
The difference between Johnny and his former band The Drums (I mean the Drums of the first two albums) is swing, which Aries doesn’t do enough on this the title track of his new album. But the mood? The mood is very similar – B+
Posted 29 August 2014 by admin  Add comment
Aug 28 Hamish Hamilton’s “David Bowie Is” Reviewed
Nothing is gonna get you too close to Bowie because Bowie has never wanted you to get too close to him. Perhaps his greatest gift was to be so much to so many people while maintaining a mystery, a mystery “Is” doesn’t come close to mastering.
Posted 28 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 28 When A Summer Hit Is Plain Plagiarism
She co-wrote the song with Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Kevin Kadish, but unfortunately for the two, there is now a big controversy: she and Kadish may have simply stolen the tune from K-pop band Koyote, who, as many people have pointed out, carries a wild similarity with another tune by the popular band Ph
Posted 28 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 28 The Kinks reunion Set For 2014, But No Dave Davies???
I don’t believe the Kinks without Dave is the Kinks, it is something else. Ray might as well get an orchestra again: “Yes, it would. I think it’s all down to the music. If somebody can’t or won’t play, there are other players out there. Mick and I want to do it.”
Posted 28 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 28 Pick Next Years City Park Foundation Band… I Say Chance The Rapper Or True Groove Records
Now is your chance to vote but don’t bother with a Taylor Swift or something (though Tay doing a Diana Ross would be a blast) because then you’d never get in. I would actually love True Groove Records to get their own day. Anyway vote as you choose: here is the info.
Posted 28 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 28 Not With The Band: On People’s Restless Behavior During Concerts
She had a glass of beer in one hand (of course) her iPhone in the other one, and I wonder where she was during the whole show, loudly chatting on her phone? Good thing she was not around. Why was she even showing up, that’s my question. Next time, check the number on your ticket, and don’t annoy people who want to listen.
Posted 28 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 28 US Top 10 Albums 9-6-14
beyond lame and that is if you accept that I underestimated Wiz a little. Though how much can you underestimate a man who spends his life writing love letters to marijuana leafs? And doesn’t even have a sense of humor about it.
Posted 28 August 2014 by admin  Add comment
Aug 28 US Top 10 Singles 9-6-14
Nearly 600K units moved in the first week, tops in streaming without any streaming services having it, and the fourth most popular first week if akk time AND Taylor already owns another one of them (“Never Ever, etc…”) and, her 60th (yes you read that right, right. It looks like a typo!) Top 100 song. Man, our girl can bring it.
Posted 28 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 28 10 Songs: Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Ancient Ways – Interpol – A nice stirring of the pot roiling and reeling sound by a band I have never liked in the slightest but have pulled off a pretty good little ambient rocker – B
Posted 28 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment

Previous Articles

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-