Recent Posts

Oct 30 Country Musical Festival June 2015 At Randall’s Island? Great Line Up And Pros Behind It
Still, for a three day show, from June 26th to June 28th, the $225 General Admission and $599 for VIP three day passes sound reasonable to me. The way to go is VIP if you can swing it, it is really a blast to swagger up to the lip of the stage.
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 30 Spanking Charlene’s “Sugar Love” Reviewed
Spanking as in brand spanking new, Spanking Charlene’s new single “Sugar Love” is with us and it is a goodie, if it doesn’t have the mainstream manipulations of Eric Amble or the garage rock pressure points of Little Stevie, what Charlene McPherson is a fresh live take on her latest release
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 30 Listen To The New Collaboration Haim-Calvin Harris
Is it me, or the tune even sounds la bit ike the Police at 0:58 and at 1:57? Because yes, it goes back into circles, a bit pop-dance, taking a full disco ball level, then these half-hushed Fleetwood-Mac-like multi voices and then open dance floor again….
Posted 30 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 30 Let Taylor Swift Water Down New York City For You
NYC has neighborhoods with good lattes, NYC has good people, and NYC is big but cozy at the same time… She also dares to teach people about NYC’s vocabulary, words she is obviously learning as she speaks/reads…
Posted 30 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 30 David Bronson’s “Songbird” Reviewed
The question, the opinion, the axiom Bronson has found is superb “outside I hear a songbird and I think she has it right, she is just singing, she is not asking why”. There is a deep and simple truth here and a song to back it up
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 30 US Top 10 Singles: 11-8-14
“With its eighth week atop the Hot 100, “Bass” breaks the mark for the longest-leading No. 1 single in Epic Records history. How does she earn the honor? By passing the King of Pop”
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 30 US Top 10 Albums 11-8-14
I was somewhat surprised at the top two, though on the other hand the numbers are not all that startling. None of them are. If, next week, Taylor Swift sells as money copies as this entire top ten list times THREE, it will be considered a borderline failure.
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 30 10 Songs: Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Outrageously brilliant piece of tongue in cheek celebrity kiss off by the tally Ho member, an excellent faux-opera gallop with strings and children’s choir telling the epic story of the defeat of cannibal Shia, who had the good humor to appear in the video – A
Posted 30 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 29 Last Night, October 28th, 2014, The Allman Brothers Played Their Final Concert…. Here Is The Setlist
the guys came forward and took a bow, then Gregg talked about the beginningstThen announced they were going to end it with the first song they ever played And Trouble No More became the first, and the last, song played by the Allman Brothers Band
Posted 29 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 29 The Allman Brothers, Monday, October 27th, 2014 Reviewed
While Gregg and Warren shared the lead on “Blind Willie McTell”, and Warren was spectacular on “Dreams” . Oteil was a signal post on a band with three drummers and if Derek has had better nights, whenever the two guitarists went after it it was lights out. But it was really Greg’s night
Posted 29 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 29 Listen to Aphex Swift!
Both artists have released a new album, so I understand why Rees picked these two, but honestly have Taylor Swift’s fans even heard of Aphex Twin The result is an 8-tract album cleverly entitled ‘Aphex Swift’ but my favorite part is Rees’s explanation
Posted 29 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 29 CMJ’S Music Marathon Presents DMA’s At Pianos, Saturday, October 25th, 2014, Reviewed
When the band turns up the volume, they shake and when they lower the volume the volume they shudder. The prettiness and intensity of Tommy’s voice makes up with Johnny’s look of aggrieved hostility and moodiness on stage and second guitarist Matt Mason who sings back up so well you think he could front the band
Posted 29 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 29 Let’s Think Again About This Post-It ‘Suicide’ Note
About one in five people who commit suicide leave a note, so of course it makes a big impression when there is one, but there is a very large literature regarding studies which look for clues to determine differences between genuine suicide notes and simulated suicide notes
Posted 29 October 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Oct 29 Album Sales For The week
I still contend that ITunes will not be killed by streaming it will be killed by price. What Lefsetz skips out on is that people who are not music fans will not shell out ten bucks a month. If a CD cost as much as a Mocha Grande, sales would return and fast.
Posted 29 October 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Oct 29 CMJ’S Music Marathon Presents Circa Waves At Pianos, Saturday, October 25th, 2014, Reviewed
around the 14th band I’ve seen in a four day period and the third guitar rock band starring 20 something boys in three hours, it is beginning to all sound the same. If you add to that the less then brilliant acoustics at Pianos and your ears turn to jelly. On record the songs signify, at Pianos they seem to lack distinction.
Posted 29 October 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-