Recent Posts

Nov 24 Ryan Adams At Hammerstein Ballroom, Saturday, November 22nd, 2014, Reviewed
“Cold Roses” was glorious country folk, “Dear Chicago” blues pop, “The Door” as great as anything in his repertoire, “Lucky Now” a case made for Ashes And Fire… the set less had momentum and more was steadily perfect with horrendous interruptions
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 24 Ex-Queen Of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Is Leading French Band Aid
Vanessa Paradis (Johnny Depp’s ex), Louis Bertignac and Jean-Louis Aubert (founders of the French rock band Téléphone), Lou Doillon (Jane Birkin’s daughter), Izia Higelin (Jacques Higelin’s daughter), Thomas Dutronc (Jacques Dutrons and Françoise Hardy’s son), and new French rock stars Zaz, Shakaponk, BB Brunes as well as rapper Joey Starr.
Posted 24 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 24 Listen To ‘In My Head’, A New Song By Brooklyn-Based Blue & Gold
‘Musically, we captured that with some heavy sounds and a lot of noise. I wrote the song last summer, and when I brought it to the band, it really came to life. I think the end product encompasses the impatience, unrequited feelings, and heartbreak in the lyrics.’
Posted 24 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 24 Hear, My Friends : David Brouillette’s Five Songs
Johnny Sincere – Deadbeat Poets – Nice rock and roller, old fashioned in a positive way. The piano, when it comes out of the mix from time to time is very Jamey Johnson. A clever one song rock opera takes you back to 1963 and keeps you there – B+
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 24 That Was The Week That Was: November 17th, 2014
We lost the great director Mike Nichols, the man behind “The Graduate”, “Carnal Knowledge” and “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” at the movies and just two I really loved from Broadway “The Play That I wrote” and “Spamalot”. David Ruffin, the temptations lead singer’s kid brother and Motown singer who had a smash with “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted” also died . On a personal level, rock nyc’s Edward Huerta wife Misty died at the age of forty
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 24 UK Top 10 Albums: 11-30-14
I have no problem with 1D selling a mindboggling 142K units, I have a problem with the UK’s penchant for lousy faux-opera like this abysmal album in at # 10. what they like about it, I can’t tell you. I blame BBC 4. Don’t let the eyelashes fool ya, Jenkins is the spawn of Satan
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 24 UK Top 10 Singles: 11-30-14
I have two songs this year I’d include in the “A++ List” -one is “Blank Space”. But at the top? This insanely lousy song should be taken out and shot and dawn. Turn it off and listen to Chipmunk contemporary Wretch 32, the excellent rapper from the London projects.
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 24 10 Songs: Monday, November 24th, 2014
Closest Thing To You I’m Gonna Find – Butch Walker – Walker’s best song was also the best song by anyone Saturday night, a lost love song wrapped in the glow of geography with a killer guitar break and a very smart lyric – A
Posted 24 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 23 Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge Compares Streaming Music To Killing Elephants?
‘I tell people condoning streaming is like condoning the Chinese that are killing elephants for their tusks and carving ivory statues. It’s cool to put on your shelf but if you really think about what you’re doing it sucks’
Posted 23 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 23 Anne Husick’s “The Other” Side Reviewed
“The Other Side” has a horn solo to die for and keyboards in the center and a strong gravitational pull of a beat meanwhile Anne’s vocal is a real beauty
Posted 23 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 23 Dave Grohl On Arctic Monkeys And Smoking Pot While Watching The Kardashians
I’ll see a young band like them become that popular and think, ‘Please God, don’t let them self-destruct’. Because it happens, you know. But they seem like a band of brothers. Those four dudes seem like they’re doing really well and will be for a while.’
Posted 23 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 23 Sneak Peaks: New Album Releases week of November 24th, 2014
I saw her live many years ago, like that, and she has pipes on her like nobodies business though always hurt by weak material. This could be the one though the first single “I Deserve It” while good -yes, that is Missy elliott could be bette
Posted 23 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 23 Medium Cool: The Week In Talk Show Guests 11-24-14
Ah, yes, Thanksgivings week, where all the turkeys take the week off and we end with a whole lotta leftovers so what do we want for the guest of the week? I am going with the “drug addict pimps” One Direction who have one very good new album to their name released last week
Posted 23 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 23 Let’s Active: rock nyc Concert Picks week of November 24th, 2014
The setlist concentrates on the past 15 years to the exclusion of the golden age. Also interestingly enough, I couldn’t care less. In my opinion, Dylan has never had a fallow period but even so, this has been an incredible late period for the poet laureate on the 20th and 21st century.
Posted 23 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 23 10 Songs: Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
“Staten Island vigilante inspired by a quest for personal retribution and bent on saving his community from the grips of crooked authority and urban decay,”, that’s the upcoming yet another concept album, here the hook is the song, a great soulful one by Tre Williams – B
Posted 23 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  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-