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Jul 29 Be Here Now: Snap Shot Reviews of New Album Release 7-29-14
Eric Clapton And Friends – The Breeze (An Appreciation Of JJ Cale) After the dire Old Socks, this coulda have been a disaster, but it isn’t, what it does is place Cale out of the “Cocaine” one hit wonder category and into the basic blues canon with some of Clapton’s greatest acoustic warm glow performances since Ocean boulevard rising to the occasion – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 Cross my Heart and Hope to Die At Subliminal Projects, Saturday July 26th 2014
I still have to make a connection between what I saw and heard, but it was surely a high-concept project, as a lot of untold and unseen things seemed to be going on. Also, the fact that it was their first show ever, made the event even more interesting…
Posted 29 July 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Jul 29 Ted Nugent Concerts- Droppin’ Like Flys
An avid hunter, there is no way Nugent wouldn’t be on my most hated list. His twisted political views and obnoxious delivery just solidifies my hatred of the “Wango Tango” trash. It seems I am not alone in my lack of appreciation for the man.
Posted 29 July 2014 by Helen Bach  Add comment
Jul 29 Musician Kasey Anderson Charged With Fraud After Fake Project Involving Springsteen & Lady Gaga
“I lied to myself and others, and believing those lies, I told myself consistently that whatever was going on with me … I could fix it on my own. I convinced myself that it was normal. I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others. But I believe I have much to offer my community.’
Posted 29 July 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Jul 29 Spider Bags “Frozen Letter” Reviewed
The first four (“Summer Of 69” a Golden Boys cover) everything you dreamt it would be, and the next four less focused, more inclined to art rock, less hard more spooky and as the last song “Eyes Of Death” ends the feedback comes in just like the beginning of the album, s if Spider bags have created a self contained world. And they have. Just not their best one.
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 Ryan Adams At Newport Folk Festival, Friday, July25th, 2014, Reviewed
At Newport he seemed better able to move from one extreme to the other while maintaining a sort of benign self-regard. With such a huge back catalog, Adams can really pick and choose and at Newport he chose to be a classic rocker near his peak.
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 Duran Duran Sues Fan Club
The charge is inaccurate accounting and failure to pay its royalties. See what happens here is a band hires a company to collect memberships and sell its merch. In the case of DD they were to get 75% of the profit but the til was a bit light. $40,000.00 light to be exacted
Posted 29 July 2014 by Helen Bach  Add comment
Jul 29 Lorde: I Hate Old People And Wish They Would Die (Or Something Like That)
I’m still old and she still doesn’t care what I think . Which isn’t exactly the truth either, I don’t want to get “it depends what “is” is” on you, but you put two qualifiers in her comments. The first is “most” –clearly, in order to listen to 17 year olds MOST, she must listen to older people less than that, which is not not at all
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 Direct Current Close Up Shop
I’ve also seen what’s happened to other music sites that I respect and read regularly, like Rolling Stone, Paste, Stereogum, etc. The mindless fawning over celebrity, the playing up of pseudo controversy and fake “news” for marketing and publicity purposes, the endless milking of informational and promotional teases, the pay-for-play business model of sponsored content…
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 The Most Streamed songs On Spotify July 14th – July 20th, 2014
I guess it is the guy in me, the lover of lists, but I find stuff like Billboard charts and here the Spotify streaing list interesting though, really, what here couldn’t you figure from the Billboard’s singles charts. Iggy, Sam Smith, Ariana, Nico, maybe Sia is a little higher than I thought would be, and maybe “Break Free” broke free a little earlier on Spotify than Billboard but what other surprises?
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 29 10 Songs: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
You And Your Smiling Face – Dennis Brown – This song should have, even if it didn’t break through for brown, been covered and broken through for some mainstream Claptonish rocker and made him if not as big as Marley, certainly second in command – A+
Posted 29 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 28 Lael Neale At El Cid, Saturday, July 26th, 2014 Reviewed
It is just probably a question of time, Lael’s quiet music sure managed to captivate the audience and the chatting stopped as soon as she started playing, which is not an easy thing to accomplish in a bar, but her apparition on stage had something from an angel’s and this can shut up a lot of conversations.
Posted 28 July 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Jul 28 Chronixx And Junior Reid At Central Park Summerstage, Saturday, July 26th, 2014, Reviewed
Towards the end he covered the crown prince of reggae Dennis Brown and nailed it in the afternoon’s most triumphant moment. Despite his youth, he has a certain gravity about him, he is the real deal not a contender for Reggae and for testifying.
Posted 28 July 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Jul 28 The Best of The Kinks – Part II
The picture is Waterloo Station in the mid 1800 but by the time young ray wrote about it, it was an industrial quagmire, Number One? Crawford had this to say: “Waterloo Sunset,” 1967. The most beautiful song I will ever hear.
Posted 28 July 2014 by Steve Crawford  Add comment
Jul 28 Unlocking the Truth Teenage Wonder Kids
But when they’re young we can exploit the hell out of them so kudos to Penguin Press for offering the boys a book deal…what? The book is to be a chronicle of their “path to success”. What the hell, are you kidding me?
Posted 28 July 2014 by Helen Bach  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-


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