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Hall Passing With Flying Colors

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 29th Induction Ceremony
Barclays Center
April 10th

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame may be meaningless (OH LOOK, THEY HAVE JOHN LENNON’S POOL PASS!), and who they decide to let a lot too arbitrary, but they certainly know how to put on a show (Their 25th Anniversary ones were near legendary to me), and especially an induction ceremony.  Previously an industry and insider only affair for years, the powers that be decided to open the festivities to the public this year.  With the 29th class consisting of Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens(!!!!!), Kiss, The E Street Band, managers Brian Epstein + Andrew Loog Oldham, Linda Ronstadt & Nirvana, I knew that this was a show NOT to be missed.  But apparently people thought otherwise, and one could have snagged a ticket for 1/2 off of face value.  Maybe the Kiss army weren’t pleased that the band refused to perform.  Or maybe people are juss dumb.  I’m sorry you missed this, cause you really really missed something.  Anywho, here’s how it went down, in order…

Peter Gabriel

peter gabriel rock hall

Love me some PG.  He can totally shock my monkey, BIG TIME, with a Sledgehammer on the games without frontiers!!!!!!!!!!!  Those are MY favorite PG tunes, but sadly, he didn’t play any of them. He played

Digging in the Dirt  / Washing of the Water (with Chris Martin) / In Your Eyes (with Y’Sou N’Dour)

Not bad choices, but Peter, c’mon man, lets rock a little, not put me to sleepzzz.  Guess this means I’ll juss have to see him play a full show some other time.  Jerknutz.  Not a total loss, as I used his speeching as a time to go grab that yumcredible brisket mac & cheese from Fatty ‘Cue

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Kiss

kiss

I hate Kiss, but would have been happy to see them perform, with the original line-up or with whatever line-up they wanted to play with.  Still, their speeches were sincere, and funny, and pointed, especially when Paul Stanley took a shot at the Hall for how they choose the inductees, saying the fans should have more say

I still hate Kiss, but this Chuck Klosterman love letter on them was pretty fcuking great, and comprehensive!

I really hate Kiss, but mainly cause when I was younger, my cousins had Kiss wallpaper in their room, and when I went into that room, the wallpaper scared the living crap out of me.  It SILL scares me.  All of it – the wallpaper, the dudes in make-up.  Eeeek

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Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam

cat stevens

Dude, I think we all take Cat Stevens for granted.  Sure, he (now Yusuf Islam), may have had some poor choice of words and thoughts over the years, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s Cat Stevens.  Apparently some still think he’s a ‘terrorist’.  The US even put him on the no fly list from 2004 – 2006.  Even my mom said last week that there’s juss something not right about him.  What do we all know?  Well, what I know is that Cat/Yusuf/whomever is a lover of peace, and music, and that peaceful lovely music shined thru BIG time in his set…

Father and Son / Wild World / Peace Train

Oh man, he sounded SO FCUKING GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT.  He has to do a proper tour of America, and America muss open its arms and doors to him.  Maybe he can tour with his induct-or, Art Garfunkel, who said of the honoree ‘this guy’s better than Paul Simon’.  BURNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!

Btw, one of the greatest things ever remains Colbert & Jon Stewart piecing together the Peace/Crazy/Love Train medley with Cat, Ozzy & The O’Jays

CAT FCUKING STEVENS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Linda Ronstadt

linda rondstadt tribute rnr hof

A couple of days before this show, all I knew about Linda Ronstadt was that her last name isn’t easy to spell AND she dated George Lucas in the 80s.  Then I decided to youtube her hits, and man, oh woman, did I have a brain fart.  Linda has quite the impressive back catalog, we all know AND love.  Even her cover versions are equally as famous AND awesome as the originals is/are!  But poor Linda, she has Parkinson’s disease, and can no longer play or travel, but in her place was a chick-love-fest that initially I didn’t think much of, BUT AFTERWARDS I THOUGHT MUCH OF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Look at THIS set, and WHO was involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Different Drum (with Carrie Underwood) / Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison cover with Emmylou Harris + Bonnie Raitt & Carrie Underwood) / You’re No Good (Dee Dee Warwick cover with Sheryl Crow + Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey) / It’s So Easy To Fall In Love (Buddy Holly cover with Stevie Nicks + Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey) /When Will I Be Loved? (The Everly Brothers cover with Stevie Nicks + Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey)

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The E Street Band

bruce e street

I’m no fan of Bruce or the E Street guys/gals, but there’s no denying their talent.  There’s also no denying that they should have been inducted with Bruce back in ’99, so we didn’t have to hear EACH of these dogdammnn band members give a speech, which resulted in 23921392939139 hours added to the concert.  The only speech that had any resonance or purpose was the one delivered by Clarence Clemons’ widow’s.  The Band and Bruce played three songs, but none of them were ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and Courtney Cox wasn’t honored, so who cares?

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Hall & Oates

hall oates

Never thought too much of lion-maned Hall & mustachioed Oates, but they did have some killer hits.  LOTS of them.  Not enough time to play em all, but we were treated to

She’s Gone / I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) / You Make My Dreams Come True

These dudes eat men!  And props to Daryl Hall who took aim at the E Street Band for making too many speeches, and decided not to make too much of a speech himself

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Nirvana

nirvana jett

The Rock Hall saved the best for last.  Not necessarily the best inductee (I’d say Cat Stevens is the most deserving on the docket), but the best performance for last.  Rumors swirled for days as to who would take Kurt Cobain’s place in the show.  Would introducer Michael Stipe take the honors?  Or some other random dude?  

Then Joan Jett’s name popped up online.  I was like, OK, that’s cool, I guess.  Well guess what, Joan Jett DID indeed front Nirvana, for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirt’, and OMG, here we are now, AND IT ENTERTAINED US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  One of my biggest regrets in life was never seeing Nirvana live.  Would never be able to correct that error, but you know what, watching Dave Grohl behind the drum kit, and Krist bouncing with his bass (+ Pat, smearing), and hearing Joan belt the mulatto, albino, mosquito, libido bits kinda sorta really makes up for it.  Not really, but really.  Whatever, I’ll take this times a zilllllllllion over nothing!

Then Joan left, and then Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon came on for an awful, earsplitting rendition of ‘Aneurysm’.  No stretch for her, since Sonic Youth are kinda awful and earsplitting (I only dig their more commercial Dirty album)  

Then she took off and St Vincent/Annie Clark came on and RAWKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKED THE FCUK OUT OF ‘LITHIUM’.  I FOUND GAWDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Then that Lorde came on to do a decent ‘All Apologies’, with Krist Novoselic playing accordion  

OH MAN –  THIS WAS AN ALL TIME HIGH!!!  Til the end of my days, I will never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never forget what Jett & Annie St Vince & Dave & Krist (+ Pat) done did.  It’s right up there with greatest concert performances I’ve EVER seen – Simon & Garf reunited at MSG, that RnR at 25 Night 1 showAn Evening with Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop from Travis

Although I bet this after-show-secret show of Nirvana + Joan + St Vince + Kim Gordon AND J Mascis and John McCauley would have put all other shows I’d ever seen to shame.  They really should do a tour of this Nirvana with multiple Kurt Cobain stand-ins thing.  A tribute act that’s part tribute, but all parts awesome

 

Sadly, since the show ran super long, they axed the usual all star jam at the end.  BOOOOOO YOU E STREET BAND!!!

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d’Amour Outlandos

Paul Simon & Sting
Madison Square Garden
March 6th

paul simon sting

I love me some Paul Simon.  Sting, not so much.  I love the Police, and a smattering of Gordon Sumner’s solo work (I used to be obsessed with the song and video for ‘All This Time’), but most of his stuff is too stuffy, and slow, and boring.  Saw Stingster reunite with the Policemen in 2007, and wasn’t exactly blown away.  Then briefly again, when he joined Stevie Wonder for two songs at the 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Anniversary Concert.  That performance fared better in my mind, cause it wasn’t all about him, and cause Stevie Wonder if the f$%king greatestestest.  And Sting fared even betterer when he teamed up with Paul Simon for this special tour, and tried his best to be Simon’s Garfunkel and sometime Garfunkel’s Simon, although I still don’t get why Simon won’t juss reteam with Garfunkel and blow everyone’s ears and minds.  Sting should stick to doing Police covers, and Simon covers.  His take on ‘America’ > ‘Fields of Gold’ or any of that other ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzsnooozefest stuff

SetlistBrand New Day / Boy in the Bubble / Fields of Gold / Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic / Englishman in New York / I Hung My Head / Driven to Tears / Walking on the Moon / Mother and Child Reunion / Fragile / America / Message in a Bottle / The Hounds of Winter / They Dance Alone / Roxanne / Desert Rose / The Boxer 

EncoreBridge Over Troubled Water / Every Breath You Take / Late in the Evening 

Encore 2When Will I Be Loved? (The Everly Brothers cover)

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Reginald Kenneth Dwight Night

Elton John
Madison Square Garden
December 4th

Elton John In Concert - New York, New York

Dude, he’s still standing, cause HELLO, yellow brick AWESOME!!!  He rocketed it, man!!!!  He saved my ears that night, cause Wednesday’s alright for fighting AND rocking, and for freedom from Philadelphia and everywhere!!  What about Lennie and the Mets???  NO FCUKING WAY, CAUSE IT’S ALL ABOUT BENNY AND THE JETS!!!  The moon didn’t do up on him, cause the bitch was front AND back, and I guess that’s why he would never get the booos.  He’s the one, like a lighter in the win.  Hold me closer Tony Danza.  Dude, it was fcuking ELTON JOHN!!!!!  AND HE IS LESS GAY THAN YOU ARE!!!!!

SetlistFuneral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding / Bennie and the Jets / Candle in the Wind / Grey Seal / Levon / Tiny Dancer / Holiday Inn / Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters / Believe / Philadelphia Freedom / Goodbye Yellow Brick Road / Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) / Hey Ahab / I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues / The One / Oceans Away / Someone Saved My Life Tonight / Sad Songs (Say So Much) / All the Girls Love Alice / Home Again / Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me / I’m Still Standing / The Bitch Is Back / Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll) / Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

EncoreYour Song / Crocodile Rock

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Wish You Were Here, Weather Permitting

Franz Ferdinand
Hammerstein Ballroom
October 22nd

franz hammerstein oct 2013

Ooh

It’s so good, it’s so good

It’s so good, it’s so good

It’s so good

Ooh

Thems are the opening lyrics to Donna Summer’s classic for all seasons ‘I Feel Love’.  Just hearing them words makes one FEELS good.  They also make you feel love.  And when Franz Ferdinand medleyed Donna’s delight into their own ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ (hear below), it felt more than good – it felt ecstatic, and the crowd felt love, and everyone sent that love right back to the band, who put on the best show I’ve seen this year (and the best since Pulp’s triumphant RCMH shows)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

hear, here…

 

Did I somehow forget how blam-mazin’ these Glaswegians were, even after 3 live dips with em - Webster Hall 2004 free 2006 Myspace(!!!) show at Hammerstein / Roseland 2009????

But I knew what I was getting myself into, after logging hours upon endless hours listening to their latest (which they gave away free to all concert ticket purchasers!!!)

franz right album

Oh dear lord is this album so FCUKING FRANZTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The fellas played SEVEN out of the album’s ten tracks, and to be perfectly honest, I wish they played all ten (how often would one ever ask for such a thing of a new album and a concert???).  That’s how stellar this album is.  It’s on par with their brilliant debut, and probably as time passes, I will regard it even higher than that one (!!!).  I tells you, it’s the best album of the 10s (that’s not the Daft Punk Tron 2 soundtrack).  Theses no jokes.  These are truths

Set ListBullet / No You Girls / The Dark of the Matinée / Do You Want To / Evil Eye / Walk Away / Stand on the Horizon / Can’t Stop Feeling > I Feel Love (Donna Summer Cover) / The Fallen / Brief Encounters / This Fire / Take Me Out / Michael / Ulysses / Love Illumination / Goodbye Lovers & Friends 


EncoreRight Action / Darts of Pleasure / Outsiders

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Muhammad All Me

Deltron 3030 
Highline Ballroom
October 14, 2013
Buy The Album | Band Website

Dude, you know all about Deltron 3030, right????  They’re like the older brother of the Gorillaz that has always been overshadowed by their younger, more popular broseph.  In 2000, Dan the AutomatorDel the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala (the first two being Gorillaz album #1 collaborators) formed like voltron and came up with a masterful eponymous concept album about a dystopian future.  It’s basically hip-hop’s Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  9reals, it’s that good (for hip-hop).  And then what?  Nothing, literally NOTHING.  13 years passed and they finally decided to follow-up album #1 with #2 – The Event II, which not only continues on the same bad future theme, but also on the same rAWEsomeness in all around musical craftsmanship + a who’s who of coolness for guest starringness - Damon Albarn, Mike Patton, Zack De La Rocha, Emily Wells, Jamie Cullum, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (and her HEAVENLY voice) + (pointless) interstitial skits from David Cross, Amber Tamblyn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Chang and the Lonely Island boys (theirs is worth skipping every time it plays cause they are unfunny like Nazis)

Don’t remember if the original album was ever toured, but I remember not having the chance to ever see the 3030ers live, and would jump at the first opportunity to do so.  That day finally came, and boy was it well worth the wait.  Supported by a 16-piece orchestra, Dan, Del & Kid took their concepts and put them into overly-good practice.  Kid’s beats were sick, and Del’s voice, clear to hear (a rarity in a hip-hop show), was even sicker, while Dan automated the rawking orchestra by conducting all the madness.  This was a big big big show that deserved an even bigger venue.  The Highline Ballroom juss can’t handle something of this magnitude.  Deltron 3030 should be playing the likes of MSG or Radio City, and if they did, they should do it with a symphony CAUSE THIS SH!T IS SYMPHONIC, YO!!! 

SetlistState of the Nation / 3030 / Things You Can Do / Positive Contact / Stardate / The Return / City Rising From The Ashes / Nobody Can / Mastermind / Melding of the Minds / The Agony (Kid Koala Solo) / Virus / My Only Love / Memory Loss

EncoreDo You Remember / Clint Eastwood (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!  but why couldn’t they get Damon to show up???)

Buy the albums, and see them when they come to your town

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Fetch Clay, Make Man 
New York Theater Workshop

fetch clay

I know you know who Muhammad Ali is, but how about Stepin Fetchit?????  As a movie buff, it almost pains me to say that I knew NOTHING about the first black man to ever receive a screen credit!  Fetchit (real name Lincoln Perry) was a trailblazer, but also a controversial figure.  The roles he typically played were of a lazy black man.  Those were the only roles Hollywood allowed him to play, and so he went with it, and made a career out of it, until he didn’t have much of a career.  By the time the civil rights movement was in full force, he was basically nothing, and his own people looked down at him for what he had done to further stereotype the existing stereotypes

Anywho, as a big man of his time, Fetchit knew boxer Jack Johnson - aka the first African-American heavyweight champion – and newly-minted heavy weight champ, and Nation of Islam convert Muhammad Ali wanted to know Johnson’s boxing secrets – specifically his ‘anchor punch’ – and so he brought Fetchit into his inner circle as a secret strategist, before his rematch with Sonny Liston in 1965  

This is the subject of the mos eggsalad play Fetch Clay, Make Man, a knockout look at the crossroads when a new black identity in America was being forged, with Ali at the forefront, and moving away from the one Fetchit represented in the times leading up to it.  Ray Fisher went all in as Ali, and K Todd Freeman frees Fetchit from his own ghosts, giving the man some depth and understanding.  Supporting, most strongly is Nation of Islamer John Earl JelksRichard Masur (the guy who played a dad in every 80s movie) as Hollywood mogul William Fox

The play ended its run, but it should be turned into a movie cause I said so

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Blue Caprice 
Insight In Sight
Official Website | Trailers & Mo
R | 93 min

blue caprice

You remember the DC Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, right????  Honestly, it’s best to forget about the horrible horribleness that happened, but now I can’t stop thinking about it, after catching the  directed /  written powerful account of how John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo got from point A to the point of no return – senseless murders of innocent people, and terrorizing a region, and in turn, a nation  

What were Muhammad and Malvo’s motivations?  That’s not clearly stated in Blue Caprice (named after the make of car that ultimately became their killing machine), but their motivations were never clearly made in real life either.  And does their motivation even really matter?  What’s done is done, and it’s hard to make sense of any of it  

Muhammad was endlessly bitter about the custodial loss of his children to his ex-wife.  He met a basically abandoned Malvo in Antigua, took him under his wing, and back to America.  He was good for Malvo, until the surrogate father figure turned him into a sniper, bent on creating death and chaos.  Watching the transformation of these drifters into killers, embodied by incredible performances by both  and , is a sight to be seen, and to be feared.  Adding solid support is , and when does he not add solid support in anything he’s in??

Verdictgo: mos def mos def mos def Jeepers Worth A Peepers

 

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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