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Showing posts with the label music

U2 and The Lumineers Perform at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey

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It was a picturesque day. Sunny and cool. We loaded up the SUV and headed west over the bridge past the New Jersey State Fair to a nearly empty parking lot. We were early. The anticipation of seeing The Lumineers and U2 reached a crescendo as we sat in folding chairs looking at the entrance to MetLife Stadium with the clear blue sky dotted only by passing airplanes.


Seeing U2 perform was on my bucket list as the band's canon of music has provided a soundtrack for much of my past. The addition of The Lumineers to the bill was serendipitous as I missed seeing them last summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell and the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY.

We were seated in section 116 adjacent to the sound stage. The sound was perfect during The Lumineers performance, but hit some dissonance during U2's With or Without You that resulted in minor deductions from the judges.

Each front man shared personal stories that made this live performance particularly memorable. Wesley Schultz of…

Say Hello 2 Heaven Chris Cornell and Gregg Allman

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I hopped in the back of pick-up truck and sped toward Manhattan for the much anticipated Guns N' Roses concert. We had just finished our shifts at IHOP and two of the waitresses had changed out of their blue plaid frocks into fishnet tights and black leather jackets. Their lips were painted ruby red and their friends provided the transportation along with a case of beer. One of my fellow refugees was not going for Guns, he was going to see the opening band Soundgarden. He had on a Badmotorfinger t-shirt that was well worn.


That concert was my introduction to Soundgarden and the emerging Seattle music scene. I can still hear Chris Cornell shake the walls of Madison Square Garden as my neck snapped back and forth with each passing rocker chick who left nothing to my teenage imagination. I would hear that same booming voice again some years later when Audioslave played atop the marquee of The Late Show with David Letterman  and shook the neighboring building were I worked 32 stories …

LP Into The Wild

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Laura Pergolizzi, aka LP, has a smash hit, Into The Wild,  that seems to be on constant replay in my home courtesy of Citi's commercial that features a woman climbing up a steep and stony precipice before reaching its pinnacle. This image may well personify LP's career at the moment.



I met LP around the time her second album, Suburban Sprawl and Alcohol, was released. She performed at my cousin's wedding, which was held on a perfectly manicured lawn of an old estate in Huntington, NY. It was a beautifully simple ceremony where she played her guitar and sang while the bride approached among rows of folding chairs with properly attired people like a scene from The Great Gatsby.
When the ceremony concluded, LP played the new couple and their guests off the lawn and in to the manor where a sushi station and well-provisioned bars were propped up in meandering, palatial rooms. It was at one of these bars where I introduced myself to LP as my uncle walked by with an accusatory gl…

Work's an Easy Place to Fall in Love

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I sure as hell ain't no Justin Bieber, but I am fascinated that this "music video" was shot on an iPhone and published to YouTube in the time it takes to fry an egg, although my eggs tend to be more palatable.

The days of recording on a four-track and then mixing tapes to play in the car or wherever else you had a "captive" audience are shrinking in the rearview mirror.



Thanks to my son, Shane, for contributing his background vocals on this track.

PS - Happy Birthday, Mom!

Time to Short Carrie Underwood

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Having been on board since her American Idol win, I think it's time to short Carrie Underwood.

While I agreed with Simon Cowell's early prediction that Carrie would out sell Kelly Clarkson, I fear now that her lack of humility will cost her market share, much the way Clarkson's did when she spurned Clive Davis.

A friend of mine who lives in Nashville tells me Carrie has a reputation of being "hard to deal with" and her recent comments at the American Music Awards may give credence to it.

If you recall, Slash and Scott Weiland were announced as presenters of the award for Country Artist of the Year. As Slash came out, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, who had just finished performing, ran over and shook his hand. Then Slash walked up to the mic, took a drag of his cigarette and said with an air of self-deprecation, "they'll let anybody into this place." He then went on to say that Scott "was country before country was cool," paraphrasing the hi…

Amy Winehouse Is Gonna Straighten Your Ass Out

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Listen up Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears! Amy Winehouse is gonna get on a plane, and she's gonna come out there for the day, and she's gonna straighten your ass out when she sees you. Do you understand me? She's gonna really make sure you get it. Then she's gonna get on a plane, she's gonna turn around and she's gonna come home. So you better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with her because she's gonna let you know just how she feels about what a rude little pig you really are. You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, okay!?!

Fergie's Glamorous Is Flossy Flossy

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The first time I heard Fergie's Glamorous I was wearing a tuxedo with the bowtie in my pocket and ordering a Red Bull and vodka at the gentleman's club across from The Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway that goes by the clever name of Flashdancers.

At the time, I didn't know it was Fergie. I wouldn't have expected it to be her. When I was last in L.A., the valley girls were using the term "Fergie Bad" to describe gross faux paus in vernacular and/or attire. And then my friend Ralph saw her on Lexington and 53rd and said she was short and had bad acne.

The short thing doesn't bother me and the acne usually befalls pretty girls after a night of clubbing, dancing ... which brings me back to the strip club and the stunning silhouette of a girl shaking her hips to the Glamorous, the flossy, flossy and my friend buying me a lap dance so I am ensconced in wickedly divisive perfume.

It was during American Idol, the one where Fergie appeared on the undercard with Pri…

Hunter S. Thompson Interviews Keith Richards

Check it out ... There's about ten seconds of choppy film in the beginning, then Keith Richards and Hunter S. Thompson mumble through memories of the sixties beside some healthy looking cannabis sativa. The actual interview runs about five minutes then segues into "Eileen" by Keith Richards and The Expensive Winos. Kudos to 88medicine88 for the post.

To the Left, to the Left

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Everything you own in the box to the left.

I played Beyonce's Irreplaceable video on Yahoo! Launch a half dozen times this evening. Perhaps it's my impending departure from PR Newswire that makes it relevant, not that the corporation is a sugar mama who caught me driving another girl around in the car that it bought me, but more like I'm the scorned lover and you must not know bout me.

It's hard for me not to gush over everything Beyonce does, but this song is immensely beautiful, so much so that I am convinced Victoria's Secret should have had its models parade down the runway in a bra and hot curlers, but I don't think any of them are ready for this jelly.

Speaking of which, last night I sat on the couch and watched Gisele run to and from the catwalk in high definition, a brave new world even Huxley would enjoy. While it's true there is not a trace of cellulite on any of these ethereal specimens, there is only so long one can stare at Karolina Kurkova'…

Open Mic

After not playing out for nearly a decade, I decided to go down to the open mic at Bar Four last night.

I have many romantic memories of this dimly lit lounge in Park Slope, only a few blocks from where I live. Among them is winding up there at the end of a neighborhood pub crawl, knowing it would stay open past four a.m. in spite of its moniker.

While the ambiance is still in tact, the addition of the stage has not only changed its landscape, it has heightened its vibe. One might say it feels like Williamsburg in the South Slope, but without an air of pretension, which is why I thought I'd give it a shot.

The place was crawling with talented musicians and I wondered if I was in over my head. I already made the mistake of eating a burrito beforehand and although it was tasty, it made me gassy, which is never a smart move prior to having microphones pointed at you. Of course ordering a beer to calm my nerves didn't help.

One of the musicians who played before me ripped off some…

The Strokes

The Commute

I was standing center aisle on the subway, one hand on the pole, the other propping up my book, when this guy started yelling at the woman sitting next to him.

"Bitch, you better shut the fuck up; you don't know me; I'm sitting here, reading my book, I'll fucking hurt you; you don't understand, I'll fucking hurt you; I don't care if you're a woman; you gonna talk shit and you don't even know me."

I looked up from my book and the guy was flashing a mouthful of gold teeth in this girl's face. There was another lady to his left, who had a concealed dog in her purse that started barking.

"Ah, shit, now I'm making the dog cry; you don't know what kind of serious shit I'm capable of; you don't know who I am, let's keep it that way."

We pull into Jay Street where I cross the platform and make my connection. A mariachi was picking the guitar all precise and singing with his gal. When they were done, he wen…

Orange Crush, Yo!

L.A. Woman was a student at Pace not long ago and I, a guest at her table. She acted like my friend. She had talent.

I, a broken Chevy of a talent, watched her exploits on the stage, in film, music video and TV back before she was posing in her underwear on myspace.

One night, the Jimmy Kimmel show was on in the background when I heard a familiar voice. Jimmy and Kathy Lee Gifford were performing karaoke at a local bar and L.A. Woman was the emcee, wearing a rainbow-colored wig that reminded me of a snow cone.

Now I envision myself, dressed like Jack White, blowing into that bar. She doesn't notice until I take the stage and then her curious brown eyes quiz me.

I practice all the time, in the bathroom, in the car, in front of the mirror; one head phone on, the other dangling to the beat.

And she smiles like she's practiced a thousand times as I belt out U2's Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, which may be Bono's most challenging vocal. The crowd wants to send a…