Recent Posts

Nov 27 On Thanksgiving: Thank God It’s Them Instead Of You
But like Bono sang once: Thank God it’s them instead of you and what you wanna do is take pleasure in your good luck. You won the world lottery, stop whinging and get stuffed. Look at it this way: it is your responsibility to give Thanks by enjoying what you’re giving thanks for.
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 27 Kurt Cobain, Subject Of A New Documentary, Produced By His Daughter
This sounds quite amazing and the most astonishing part is the name of Frances Bean Cobain, as the executive producer. Brett Morgen, who also directed ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’, will write, direct and produce the documentary, and so far Courtney Love’s name is not associated with it, which could be the best part of the whole story
Posted 27 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 27 Joni Mitchell Said She Squelched The Taylor Swift Biopic
Of course everyone interprets this sentence as if she was dissing Taylor Swift, the girl with high cheekbones, but it is really more a rejection of the movie than the young pop star! Still, she could have been a bit nicer? A bit warmer?
Posted 27 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 27 Happy Thanksgiving, Morrissey: Remember Him, Forget His fate
Now that I’ve finished plagiarizing Gigwise, here is the great German he is referring to the late great Klaus Nomi, who I met maybe three times and was very strange and then I saw him with Bowie on SNL and was sick with jealousy. And the stage attack by Moz
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 27 Singles Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed Week Of November 24th, 2014
Home – Naughty Boy, Sam Evans – Woah, a little early for Sam Smith homages though Naughty Boy is one of the first of the Rudimental-Disclosure school of EDM pop songs out of the gate – B+
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 27 US Top 10 Albums 12-6-14
Four is the fourth # 1 by 1D and the last by the old system where Billboard only used sales (Alyson Camus wrote about it here) and it could be worse: sold nearly 400K and a good album. Every 16500 streams equals one album as far as Billboard goes and you can do the math but it comes to $0.015 per stream, Spotify pays $0.06
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 27 US Top 10 Singles 12-6-14
Let’s be clear, “Blank Space” has made a superstar even bigger, simply the greatest pop star around today: it crosses over every boundary, it is the epitome of a master pop song. It isn’t a question of if you don’t like it to each there own, it is a matter of if you don’t like it you have something missing in your pop genes and hereby banned from commenting on modern music.
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 27 10 Songs: Thursday, November 27th, 2014
7/11 – Beyonce -Kevin Fallon of the Daily Beast wrote “Beyoncé just made her very own “Hokey Pokey.” Resistance is futile.” what a great line… This is a fabulous dance wildly track, as good as anything except “XO” and a must for the office party! – A
Posted 27 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 26 Protest Songs For Ferguson
It got me thinking of protest songs for the people of Ferguson. I have somewhat liberal friends who agree with the verdict but I don’t. In the end of the Police Force is 98% white and the population of Ferguson is 98% black, this is, to put it simply, apartheid
Posted 26 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 26 Bob Geldof Wants You To Delete This Charity Song And Download It Again?
We need to sell 300% more than we did than [in 1984] to even begin to make up the cash figure,’ said Geldof on BBC Radio 1. ‘That worries me … Even if you already have it, delete, download again.’
Posted 26 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 26 Marshall Crenshaw Played London For The First Time In Decades… We Got The Setlist
The concert was on November 20 2014 and featured Marshall with Neill MacColl on guitar, Henrik Irgens on bass, and Michael Blair, who came over from Stockholm and played drums. Michael introduced Neil, Kirsty’s half-brother and Ewan’s son, to Crenshaw, and the two totally hit it off
Posted 26 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 26 Will Butler’s Upcoming Album (And Listen To A First Song ‘Take My Side’)
Policy is American music—in the tradition of the Violent Femmes, the Breeders, the Modern Lovers, Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, the Magnetic Fields, Ghostface Killah. And John Lennon (which counts).’
Posted 26 November 2014 by Alyson Camus  Add comment
Nov 26 Joni Mitchell Talks (About John Lennon)… Just Not To Us
“That’s Lennon’s class difficulty he had. He’s a working-class lad. I’m sure he had that same fight withGeorge Martin because he was afraid that he was betraying his class. I know I’m going to get into hot water if I get into this but I have controversial opinions about him”
Posted 26 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 26 Back To A Multi-Format Music System
With streaming services, you can play your mp3s on the streaming service but only at the place where you’ve downloaded, you can’t take it with you. You can take it with you on Itunes, you can save your record collection on Itunes, but you can’t play your streaming files
Posted 26 November 2014 by Iman Lababedi  Add comment
Nov 26 10 Songs: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
All these twee folkies are the UK equivalent of Jack Johnson, maybe a little more serious and a little better, but equally irritating. I am seriously dreading Vance Joy opening for Swift and this guy is just about as good though this song buiklds up nicely – B
Posted 26 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-