57 posts categorized "MUSIC REVIEW"
Tuesday night was the long-awaited An Evening with Patrick Leonard show at Joe's Pub in NYC, featuring prolific songsmith Patrick Leonard, the man behind some of Madonna's biggest hits and most soul-baring compositions.
He's 61 and a musical genius, but this marked his solo debut!
It was a nightmare for me professionally (to the extent that being a blogger is any kind of profession) due to a series of unfortunate photographic events not worth reliving, but I did get some stuff and the show itself was bliss, a total gift to fans of Leonard's immaculate work with Madonna. As generous as his 13-song set list was, he definitely left us wanting more.
Keep reading for my review, pics and mega-fan Luigi Saturnino's you-were-there videos ...
When Sec. of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, a huge slimeball, was testifying before Congress and attempting to evade Rep. Maxine Waters's (D-California) questions, she invoked a House rule by repeatedly stating she was reclaiming her time.
That went viral in 10 seconds flat.
Now, check out the drag reboot of Maxine's moment. Keep reading for that and more hot links of the day ...
See, lots of good stuff happened, but lots of bad stuff happened — and yet, I think it could be that the resolution was so appropriate, it wound up being a positive experience overall.
Plus, it's always nice meeting Debbie Harry! Keep reading for a full review ...
Last night, I caught Camp Wanatachi: In Concert, an official selection of the 2017 New York Music Festical (NYMF) — and I'm so blessed that I did!
Keep reading for my take on this weird and wonderful story of girls discovering who they are at Christian camp ...
My friend Jason suggested we catch Diana Ross at New York City Center last night, and I'm glad we took the plunge. Having never seen her, she was on my bucket list, and didn't disappoint.
The space was crazy-small, so even from second-to-last row, I got good shots and videos of the diva, who has not only not changed, but seems to have become even more Diana Ross as the years have gone by.
She wafted out like a vision, with her signature big hair and glitzy, sequined gown, welcoming herself with her Top 5 smash from 1980 “I'm Coming Out.” Like her presentation, it was an unapologetically literal choice, and had the crowd stomping.
She effortlessly cooed her way through a Motown segment featuring “More Today Than Yesterday” and “My World Is Empty Without You” (many of her song choices and stage gestures seemed tailor-made to communicate with fans), “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Come See About Me,” “You Can't Hurry Love” and “Love Child.”
After the first gown swap (she favored us with five looks in all), she moved into the '70s with “The Boss” and “Touch Me in the Morning,” taking a Red Hot Rhythm & Blues detour with “It's Hard for Me to Say,” her only shaky performance all evening (she seemed a little lost, then joked that she would just read the words, presumably from a prompter).
She then brought down the house with an ecstatic “Upside Down,” for which she welcomed two of her grandkids, one daughter and a step-daughter onstage.
The '70s were back with “It's My House” and an ultra-slinky “Love Hangover,” which segued into her '90s hit “Take Me Higher,” itself a '70s throwback. Ross would occasionally give us a little vamping while singing, always with a mega-watt smile that made fun of herself, as if to discount her sexiness at 73, but she can definitely still pull it off.
Tuesday night, I took my Encyclopedia Madonnica 20 designer Anthony with me to 54 Below for an evening of expensive scallops, microscopic dessert and a waiter who was serving ass for days, so we could take in the one-night-only show by crooner and pianist Michael Griffiths, In Vogue: Songs by Madonna.
If you've never seen or heard Griffiths, he's a nattily dressed cabaret performer who brings to life the oeuvre (said with all of Madonna's pretension) of the Queen of Pop, giving her songs the Cole Porter treatment while sardonically narrating her life and career.
The part of his show that takes some getting used to is that Griffiths addresses the audience as Madonna, but doesn't attempt to mimic her voice. For die-hard fans, his needling of Madonna's grandiosity and, at times, even her songwriting skills, can be alarming, but as the show unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that he's the type of person to keep his friends close and his icons closer.
Griffiths has a beautiful, clear voice that he uses aggressively, squeezing out phrases brusquely and with precision. At times, his renditions were so fabulously inventive and fun to hear (“Die Another Day,” for example), it was frustrating that he would cut things short in order to be funny ... but funny he was.
Some of the songs that received relatively full renditions include her obvious best work, like “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer,” but one highlight of his curation was his selection of “Cry Baby” from I'm Breathless: Songs from and Inspired by the Film Dick Tracy, a gem of a tune that he rewrote in order to skewer Madonna's failed marriage to Guy Ritchie.
For me, the most interesting part of the show was a brilliantly compiled mash-up arranged to capture Madonna's movie career (aw, he referred to Evita as a Musical and/or Comedy), using snippets of her movie songs to sketch her (now long gone) desperation to be accepted as an actress. It was probably his most intelligent use of his spoken-word vs. sung-song approach, and was a harbinger of the poignancy he achieved by show's end.
Griffiths is currently on a mini-tour, singing the songs of Cole Porter (presumably sans bitchy asides about Cole's contempt for Lady Gaga). Catch him if you can regardless of what he's warbling, but if you get a chance to witness him being like a Ciccone, live out your fantasies of Madonna as torch singer there with him.
Keep reading for his full set list: