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One Nation Under (Yusuf) Islam

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam 
Beacon Theatre
September 20th, 2016

cat-beacon

We saw Cat return to form(/American soil, on his first official North American tour since 1976!) in Boston back in the winter of 2014, and it was an unforgettable night filled with much wisdom, soul, and incredible music.  We had only one want after that night – to see him again, mainly cause he didn’t play ‘Matthew & Son‘ (my favorite Cat song that isn’t ‘Lady D’Arbanville‘, which he hasn’t played since… 1976!)

Well, the opportunity arose and we seized it, and Mr Cat/Yusuf/Amazing came thru with his end of the bargain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡MATTHEW AND SON!!!!!!! bless you @yusufcatstevens

A video posted by Thigh Master (@thighmaster) on

not only that – but he took a little dig at Tears For Fears while playing it, for their song ‘Mad World’ sounding quite like his ‘Matthew & Son’ – mouthing ‘I think it’s kind of funny, I think it’s kind of strange, yes I think it’s kind of funny, that this sounds the same!‘  YOU FCUKING GO CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 2014 tour’s name was ‘Peace Train…Late Again’, as in, he’s still be riding that train, but that train and its conductor was a little past due at its American stations.  Well, this year’s tour is called ‘A Cat’s Attic: 50 Year Anniversary Acoustic Tour’, and with less explaining about his absence this time around, he played the true troubadour, taking us on his musical life story with his 60s catalog as its soundtrack.  The cuts he dropped were a bit deeper than when we saw him before, and luckily he didn’t bother with the tunes on his last album, which were in heavy rotation on that 2014 jaunt

In these uncertain times, it’s wonderful that we can take solace in a musical genius who promotes peace, love and understanding, and so happens to be a Muslim.  The (probably not very Muslim) crowd was with Cat/Yusuf from start to finish.  The world would be a better place if it was with Cat/Yusuf’s music and its message from here on out.  Never too late to board the peace train.  WOOT! WOOT!!

Here’s hoping the next tour is called ‘I Want To Be Your Man/Lady D’Arbanville’.  And if so, that tour – oh you tour – you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill

Set 1 – Lilywhite / Don’t Be Shy / America (Leonard Bernstein song) / Up on the Roof (Carole King cover) / Love Me Do (The Beatles cover) / Here Comes My Baby / I Love My Dog / Matthew & Son / Blackness of the Night / A Bad Night / Trouble / Katmandu / I Wish, I Wish / Miles From Nowhere / On the Road to Findout

Set 2 – Tea for the Tillerman / Sad Lisa / If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out / Into White / Father and Son / The Wind / How Can I Tell You / Sitting / The Boy With a Moon and Star on His Head / Angelsea / Oh Very Young / Novim’s Nightmare / People Get Ready (The Impressions cover) / Be What You Must / Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Nina Simone cover) / Maybe There’s a World -> All You Need Is Love / Peace Train

Encore  – Wild World / Moonshadow / Morning Has Broken

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In Like Lynne

Jeff Lynne’s E.L.O.
Radio City Music Hall
September 18th, 2016

E.L. FCUKING O.!!!!!!! they bring no one down. not even BRUCE!!!

A video posted by Thigh Master (@thighmaster) on

Dude, they did NOT bring ANYONE down.  Not him or her, or even Bruce.  They brought everyone UP!!!  The only thing Jeff Lynne’s E.L.O. brought down was the HOUSE!!!  bi the gay, what IS E.L.O. without Jeff Lynne anywaysz? 

Man, what a fcuking show.  It was ELECTRIC!!  There were LIGHTS!!! And, woah, how rad was that ORCHESTRA!!!  Truth in advertising!  18 songs came and went in a cool 90 minutes, but I was ready for more!

They didn’t even tackle a lot of the hits on their greatest hits, which I used as my homework for the past few months, but you want to leave your fans wanting more, right??

Hard to say I was even a fan a few months ago (most of my Jeff Lynne love came from his work as a Traveling Wilbury), but after doing that homework, I was like – woah, I know ALL these songs, and they’re ALL amazing!

You probably don’t even think you’re a fan either, but what you don’t know is that you are.  You either grew up with this music or you’ve had it shoved into your ears over the past decade  

Remember this VW Beetle ad?  

Now you do, and now you remember how awesome that ad was, and how much of a fan you are of that song, which means you’re a fan of E.L.O.  They may not have sold a single VW bug without ‘Mr. Blue Sky’!!!

or what about the trailer for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind??? 

THAT WAS SUCH A FCUKING AWESOME TRAILER, remember?  And the trailer is kinda how I remember the movie, and it probably wouldn’t be as re-memorable without E.L.O.!!  YOU LOVE E.L.O.!!!

E.L.O.?  More like E.L.F(ucking).O.!!!!!!!!!!

Setlist – Tightrope / Evil Woman / Showdown / All Over the World / Livin’ Thing / When I Was a Boy / Rockaria! / 10538 Overture / Secret Messages / Can’t Get It Out of My Head / Shine a Little Love / Wild West Hero / Telephone Line / Turn to Stone / Sweet Talkin’ Woman / Don’t Bring Me Down / Mr. Blue Sky

Encore – Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry cover)

elo-radio-city

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Still Moving Is Still To Me

Willie Nelson
Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
September 13th, 2016

Willie Nelson was always on my mind, but never high on my list of artists to see, not matter how high him or I have been in the past.  But I recently realized that he’s 83 years old, and although I can envision him on the road again and again until he’s 803, I don’t think he (or I) will make it that far, and so of course I had to see him before he enviably goes up yonder.  Plus, you never know – if you happen to catch his last show ever, you get to roll him up and smoke his dead body!  Sick, yes, but I didn’t write those lyrics – he did, and I bet in his will, he really wants his ashes smoked!

Anywho, the dude certainly looks like an 83-year-old dude (although he has forever looked like a dude in his 70s, even during in the 1980s!), but he still plays the guitar like he was a 53-year-old, and he STILL sounds like he did when he was 32!!!!  INCREDIBLE!!!!

This man is a national treasure, a country music spelunker doling out troves of down home Americana, decade after decade.  Do your civic and patriotic duty, see him in concert, and roll one up and smoke your own, before he dies

Setlist – Whiskey River / Still Is Still Moving to Me / Beer for My Horses (Toby Keith cover) / Good Hearted Woman (Waylon Jennings cover) / Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (Ed Bruce cover) / Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground / On the Road Again / Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover) / Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms / Funny How Time Slips Away / Crazy / It’s My Life / Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin cover) / Me and Paul / If You Got the Money / Down Yonder /  Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (Hank Williams cover) / Hey Good Lookin'(Hank Williams cover) / Move It On Over (Hank Williams cover) / Georgia on My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael cover) / It’s All Going to Pot (Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard cover) / Bloody Mary Morning / Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die / I’ll Fly Away

 

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Grouponing Like An Egyptian

Groupon is great!  It makes things that you want to do and see and eat cheaper!  This past weekend, I used 4 of dems and what a weekend it was…

Indignation
Trying The Old College That Doesn’t Want To Give
Official Site | Trailer
R | 110 min

indignation

Didn’t realize good ole Philip Roth released a book called Indignation 8 years ago, mainly cause I don’t read books, although I have read two of his books!  It’s true!  But I’m game for anything Roth – mainly cause I know it will involve Jews, neuroses, and Jewish neuroses!

This book was turned into a movie by former Focus Features studio chief, James Schamus, making his writing/directing debut! And it’s pretty good stuff!  It kinda feels like a stage play, and kinda staged like one – but it has one blow job and TWO hand job scenes!!!  STAGE THAT!!!

Our protagonist is an atheist Jew Logan Lerman (the Wallflower showing some acting chops here), who’s just gettin started at a WASPy Ohio college in the early 50s.  All he wants to do is work and study hard, but runs into trouble when a bedeviling shiksa (Sarah Gadon) gives him said BJ and saids HJs.  She’s unstable, and throws him for a loop.  Then he throws the dean (Tracy Letts, in full a$$hole mode) for a loop, and the two clash in a war of words – in two scenes which are easily the best parts of the film – yes, even more than the scenes involving the BJ and the HJs.  This tête–à–tête is the definition of the word ‘indignation’ – anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment – which was great, cause this movie made me learn a new word AND the movie entertained me!  Learning AND being entertained – a deadly combo that is actually very lively!  STAGE THAT!!!

In case you were wondering what Groupon was used here – it was for Fandango monies!

Verdictgo:  Jeepers Worth A Peepers

dig into Indignation, currently playing in limited release

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

and then if was off to use a Groupon for dinner at this Georgian (USSR style, not the Peachy state) restaurant called Pepela.  it was a really cool space, but when we arrived, we were the only customers in the entire place for 20 minutes.  we literally thought we were going to get murdered, but the only things that died were our fears after we delved into the delicious meal – featuring a thing that’s better than a pizza – a khachapuri!!!

Khachapuri

(this isn’t an actual picture of the one I ate, but this is what ours looked like)

next night, and new Groupon adventures awaited!

first it was dinner – at Serenata, a nice modern Mexican restaurant.  I stuffed my face on gauc, queso fundido, some empanadas, some enchiladas and a quesadilla. MUY BIEN!!!!

and then off to see..

The Bangles
Irving Plaza
August 27th, 2016

#HazyShadeofAwesome #MoreThanZero #BanglesYourHead #SetItHoffs #SimonAndGarfunky

A video posted by Thigh Master (@thighmaster) on

in 75 RAWKING minutes, the three Bangles (Michael Steele left in 2005) rawked the fcuk outta 22 songs for a thousand dudes in their 50s who came to relive the 80s.  I’m close to 40, but I’m old in thought, and young in farts.  Age and decades aside, their spirit is still strong and their fans still love them (and they all still look pretty mad fly)  

While the ladies have written some timeless tunes in their time, they can cover the crap outta other people’s ditties.  Personally, their cover of Simon & Garf’s ‘Hazy Shady of Winter’ (see video above), might Might MIGHT be, my most flavorite cover version of a song EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  Yes, ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  EAT THAT BEATLES!!!!  (who were like a male Bangles of their time)

Man, is Susana Hoffs like the all time hottest Jew mt EVERest* and Sinai or wat????

susana hoffs

hoffs today

*that isn’t my wife :)

Setlist – Mary Street / Some Dreams Come True / Manic Monday / Restless / James / He’s Got a Secret / Going Down to Liverpool (Katrina and the Waves cover) / September Gurls (Big Star cover) / I’m in Line / The Real World / Live (The Merry‐Go‐Round cover) / A Hazy Shade of Winter(Simon & Garfunke cover) / If She Knew What She Wants (Jules Shear cover) / Want You / Dover Beach / Open My Eyes (Nazz cover) / Silent Treatment / In Your Room / Hero Takes a Fall

EncoreHow Is the Air Up There (The Changin’ Times cover) / Walk Like an Egyptian / Eternal Flame

to cap the weekend, I got to see my beloved Peabs, but no Groupon exists for such hotness – as love don’t cost a thing.  although we bought pizza at face value and got to see Edie Brickell do the same thing with her kin!

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From Newark With Amor

Pitbull
Prudential Center
August 13th, 2016

pitbull newark

Prior to July, I didn’t know much about Pitbull, other than he was a guy who always wore sunglasses, had women draped all over him 24/7, said ‘yeahhhhhhh’ a lot, and was a man who probably never wore a pair of shorts.  Then the wife comes along and says we should go see him live.  And why not – Groupon provided a cheap in, and I guess it would be fun, and who doesn’t like to have fun, right???

And as with all concerts I attend – I do my due diligence and brush up before a show – cause what’s the point of seeing a show if you’re not prepared to hear what you’re going to hear???  And to my surprise – the guy has some banging-a$$ tunes.  So what if his bangers are mad-banging cause the heavily lifting is mostly done by the guest vocalists he has employed – running the gamut from Marc Anthony to Ke$ha to Christina Aguilera to Enrique Iglesias to Chris Brown to Ne-Yo to Usher to T-Pain (I’m surprised he hasn’t dueted with Tony Bennett!  Guess Lady Gaga’s got him locked up in her basement or something)

But these songs are great (they are!), and his fans LOVE them, and L-O-V-E to hear them live (I hadn’t been to a show where people stand the entire time in ages… but then again, I mainly see concerts involving 80 year olds, both on stage and in the audience).  And Mr Worldwide (Pitbull) loves his fans – playing the ever-willing hype man to his own songs, while a cadre of hotties happily gyrate next to him on stage (as everyone happily watches/gyrates in their seats).  The entire presentation (with no encore!) was truly spectacular – a visual feast that feels like you’re watching an endless James Bond opening credits sequence, with Mr 305 acting more like Mr 007!!

Setlist (may be missing a song in the middle) – Don’t Stop the Party / Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor) / The Anthem / Rain Over Me / Sube Las Manos Pa’ Arriba / Hotel Room Service / Fireball / Shake / I Like It / DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love / Time of Our Lives / Feel This Moment / Timber / Give Me Everything

BUT, he didn’t play my new most favorite song ever – ‘Bon Bon’.  ¡El bastardo!  Guess I’ll have to wait for the next time he comes to town/Groupon!

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