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Sep 01 Watching Iggy Azalea At Made In America Festival
Her performance at Made in America let me totally uninterested though, she did everything you can expect from a rapper in this surrounding, she almost kissed Rita Ora on stage – but hasn’t this be done a million times before?
Posted 01 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 01 Nightmom Louis Family Restaurant Providence, RI Saturday Aug 30, 2014 Reviewed
The show at Louis Family Restaurant was the culmination of Nightmom’s first national tour. On the road for 30 days, the band traveled some 9000 miles to promote Glider Heaven, their second full-length, the photo for the cover of which Travis found in an old copy of National Geographic. Long live Glider Love.
Posted 01 September 2014 by NIcholas Serrambana  Add comment
Sep 01 David Lynch Had No Good Idea For Kanye West
This is what happens when it is a slow-news day, we write about things that could have but didn’t really happen. Famous director and unique character David Lynch said to the Daily Beast that he almost made a video for Kanye West’
Posted 01 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 01 Best Albums Through August 31st, 2014
Tahliah Debrett Barnett aka Formerly Known As twigs, is the most exciting thing to happen to UK soundscape soul pop since Lana del Rey and like Lana she doesn’t sound like anything else: a deeply arranged indie soul hybrid. Imagine if Massive Attack had been so big 1D and a girl in Gloucestershire, England, became completely obsessed with them…something like that.
Posted 01 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 01 Best Songs Through August 31st, 2014
Two songs, released the same day, Taylor’s “Shake It Off” and and Leonard Cohen’s “Almost Like The Blues”, a third, around for awhile but finally hitting home FKA twigs brilliant “Lights On”, and a fourth, rock ny’s band Je’June’d excellent “picotement” ran away with the month.
Posted 01 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 01 UK Top 10 Singles 9-6-14
“Rariworkout” is awesome, Grime meets EDM, the raps are very English, very Brixton or wormwood scrubs but the beats are international and very dance steadying, very House, not dub at all, nothing deep more like a chattering mail biter. Excellent song, hope it hits the US charts.
Posted 01 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 01 UK Top 10 Albums 9-6-14
A not untypical UK chart, made whole by the two Kate Bush albums, an obvious relection of her return to performing after a 35 year absence. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive but what on earth does that prove, right? Otherwise, Royal Blood are like a lively Black keys or a Jack white not tripping over his ego, But not as good as that sounds.
Posted 01 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 01 10 Songs: Monday, September 1st, 2014
South Georgia Sugar Babe – Justin Townes Earle – “My baby, she’s half as crazy as me, and like I said it’s been a long time…”. The genes coming through, the flex of the writing muscle, and the long instrumental bridge, all comes together on an early minor classic – A
Posted 01 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 31 Krill At The Space, Hamden CT Friday August 29th, 2014 Reviewed
Genius is evident, in that the vocals sound like the sleepily processed thoughts of one depressed in bed deciding whether or not to face the world, yet the other instruments embody total rhythmic tonal conviction, crushing any uncertainty
Posted 31 August 2014 by NIcholas Serrambana  Add comment
Aug 31 Made In America Is This Weekend And It Has Not Sold Out!
Summer is not totally over yet, and we still have one festival to go here in Los Angeles, the brand new version of Made in America which will take over downtown LA this weekend… but I am not going because the line up sucks… and I am not the only one!
Posted 31 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 31 Medium Cool: The Week In Talk Show Guests 9-1-14
I am not sure if he is singing, but if he is singing Mandy Patinkin is an absolute riot in full blown cabaret mode and must be seen at least once. Letterman has the New Pornographers, Fallon has Maroon 5, Anything else: oh yeah, the name of the column, people have been stopping me in the streets to inquire. James Wolcott had a Village Voice column called Media Cool, playing on the name of the 1960s fictional-documentary “Medium Cool” which I went back to here.
Posted 31 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 31 Sneak Peaks: New Album Releases week Of September 1st, 2014
Don’t get too excited over the James Taylor album, it is not just a 2004 album, it is also just a covers album, and that leaves you with the Kooks on one hand and Jeezy on the other fighting it out for most anticipated album of the week but neither of em have particularly good singles spun off and Maroon 5 have two out of three (“Animals” is too generic), plus Adam Levine is the one pop star who can bring it live. So yup, Maroon 5 by a bottled blonde.
Posted 31 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 31 Let’s Active rock nyc Concert Picks week of 9-1-14
My love battery wants to charge you…I haven’t seen the Buzzcocks on stage in the better part of thirty years though I remember catching em at the Palladium on the Different Kind Of Tension tour, the Fall opened if memory serves… Man, they were great. Titus Andronicus are opening, I haven’t seen them in a couple of years after catching em around once a month at the turn of he decade. Saturday at Webster Hall
Posted 31 August 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Aug 31 Mathew Knowles Says The Elevator Scuffle Was A PR Stunt
[They needed something to] ignite that tour. It’s called a ‘Jedi mind trick.’ The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot of the time. So things you see, sometimes, are …. All I know is: everyone is talking about it. Ticket sales went up, Solange’s album sales went up 200% …’
Posted 31 August 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Aug 31 10 Songs: Sunday, August 31st, 2014
I’ve been consistently rough on Paisley. The first time I saw him, Brad’s first album had yet to be released and he was opening for Loretta Lynn at the Town Hall. I haunted Tower records waiting for that album to be released. This song puns prettily on the bank portion of the title – A-
Posted 31 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-