Recent Posts

Sep 30 Be Here Now: First Takes On New Album Releases 9-30-14
One more chance to hear that wonderful falsetto on a terrific and beautiful pop album. On “Don’t Cry Alone” he sounds operatic and glorious and if the tempo is a little too slow too often, he wrote it right after Maurice died and everything will get to you. Hold on for the Bee Gees cover – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 30 rock nyc Is A Partner For “Acoustic Anarchy” , October 9th
Through our friendship with Roger And Cowan, rock nyc was invited to be a strategic promo partner at the Cake Shop Acoustic Anarchy Gig on Octber 9th. Having hung out just about every night from 1979 to 1980, when I finally got a job and couldn’t spend all my time there, there is nothing I understand much better than the spirit of CBGBs
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 30 Chanel Is Releasing $5,000 Headphones
The company used to make headphones for Beats by Dre before an acrimonious split sent both companies in different directions. Monster has concentrated on high-profile collaborations with fashion and sporting brands, so a set of Chanel headphones doesn’t come as a huge surprise.’
Posted 30 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 30 Starbucks’ Pick Of The Week: ‘Palisades Park’ By Counting Crows
He seems so passionate when he sings it, but there is a certain dullness in all this and I can’t be interested enough to want to know more about the song. Although it comes with a mini movie directed by Bill Fishman, that tells a lot about the band’s cinematic ambitions
Posted 30 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 30 Phil Spector Lost The Ability To Speak
He deserves to be jailed, he was a woman beating asshole of huge proportions (as David Mamet recently had Spector say in his movie: “why was Jesus Christ killed? He got too big for his britches”) and even so, I like there to be choices in life and this is just a dreadful story with no choice whatsoever
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 30 Direct Currents UpComing Releases Through November 25th, 2014
I am really psyched for The Art Of McCartney, an elbow live (they were so great at Webster Hall earlier this year), really interested to see if Devon Allman can step into the family business, Bob Dylan’s complete “The Basement Tapes”, Neil Diamond back t his pop roots, Brian Wilson, TV On The Radio were great earlier this year but not sure about the album, and, er, Jerry Lee Lewis!!!
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 30 Last Call: Final Tracks On Albums Released Week of 9-25-14
I’ll Never Know – Tweedy – Slow albums always seem to have the urge to slow things down even further and here they are slowed to a completely croak. Still, not bad as many a lullaby – B
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 30 10 Songs: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Local talent, Azealia is the better of the two Azeals but she doesn’t have the commercial chops of Iggy, except this is a clear pop move and the only question is will it do the job? I can’t read the charts but I do think this is great. For sure, her rap is major here as she speaks sings on a terrific house music production – A-
Posted 30 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 29 Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” Reviewed, Lyrics And Streaming
“My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones, it keeps my veins hot, the fires find a home in me”. A tough minded song of revenge, “I’m locking up everyone that ever laid a finger on me.” Lorde’s first new song since the breakthrough should put naysayers to bed,
Posted 29 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 29 D*Face’s ‘Scars and Stripes’ at PMM Arts Projects, Saturday, September 27th 2014
“Thematically my work always draws upon personal experiences, whether that’s the saturation of media in our lives, our fascination with celebrity and stardom or more singular experiences such as the loss of loved ones. I’m fascinated by, love, loss and the immortalization of celebrities, those that burn bright and die young.”
Posted 29 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 29 Not With The Band: Stage Or Not Stage Diving?
I don’t participate to this sort of behavior – of course! – but I would never imagine a law against stage diving, as a matter of fact, if I see a sign ‘No stage diving’, like in some unnamed clubs on the strip, I have a tendency to think the place sucks… yes I got really scared a few times, like in the pit of the Bad Brains at the Sunset Junction fair, at a Trash Talk show at the El Rey where bodies were flying over my hea
Posted 29 September 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Sep 29 That was The Week That Was: September 22nd, 2014
Captain Clutch got old (er, cmon he’s 40 not 90) and hung it up and the great team I love from 1996 to 2000, the team I watched endlessly: Bernie Williams, Scott Brosius, Tino, Luis, Paul, Posada have all retired. They were the Beatles of sports. And now the last one has gone. Thanks, Cap’n.
Posted 29 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 29 Medium Cool: The Week In Talk Show Guests
Nothing too exciting here. Ryan Adams on Conan and Ellen, so I guess it might be interesting if they actually interview him and we can hear him, you know, be more than a crabby bastard or a Borscht Belt comedian. And then, just to make things really fun, Bryan Adams on Kelly and Michael. Hey maybe they can both sing “Summer Of 69″
Posted 29 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 29 UK Top 10 Singles 10-4-14
Has “Bang Bang” just been released in the UK? Well, at least I can understand why it is at # , what I want to know is why will “Booty” (or as I know and love it: started from the bottom now we’re here) will be joining it in a coupla weeks.
Posted 29 September 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Sep 29 UK Top 10 Albums 10-4-14
More power to young alt-J but do you think Thom Yorke is gonna topple them next week? I can’t wait to check out the numbers behind Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes although I am not expecting much because just as Thom and Nigel thought, I think the Bittorrant will spook em and the album itself is difficult in ways alt-j certainly aren’t.
Posted 29 September 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-