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35 posts categorized "MUSIC REVIEW"

May 28 2016
The Empower Station: Cyndi Lauper & Boy George's Bangin' Bang A Gong Show Comments (0)
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(10 images in above gallery by Matthew Rettenmund)

I've seen Cyndi Lauper perform live probably a dozen (?) times, going back to her True Colors World Tour in (December 14, 1986) and including the Twelve Deadly Cyns World Tour (in NYC sometime in 1994-1995), She's So Unusual: 30th Anniversary Tour (October 20, 2013), her opening slot for Cher (May 9, 2014) and quite a few of her holiday and fundraising gigs (like this one). She's great, but I wondered if I really needed to see her yet again, as I did at the Beacon Theatre here in NYC on Thursday night.

Img151My room, 1987. (L) Full Madonna-cover mags in bags on the wall, plus Eurythmics, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Cyndi Lauper. (R) View of my ceiling, with Madonna, Molly Ringwald, Marilyn, Cyndi, Ally Sheedy, Debbie Harry, Sade and ... Boy George! (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

The real draw for me was Boy George. I absolutely loved Culture Club as a teen; I vividly recall the day I bought Colour by Numbers at a record store in Flint in the '80s. I even had a promo poster for one of the group's video collections on my ceiling, with a huge image of George in full makeup. I also remember the very first time my pals Mike Ashton (at his house) and Eric Olson watched the video for “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” (1982) on MTV and openly discussed the novelty of the dude who totally looked like a girl. Liking George was somewhat of a political statement in a small town—in any town, really.

But even without the tantalizing gayness, I thought Culture Club created two amazing albums (and the other not-half-bad ones), records I listened to and memorized. I was a pretty fair voice mimic for George, too.

Back in the day, Culture Club had a bad reputation as a live act, and I didn't summon the guts to attend any pop tour until Eurythmics' Revenge Tour on August 21, 1986, by which time Culture Club was kaput. Also, I'd heard more recently that George didn't sound so hot on a reunion jaunt, but I believe that was due to vocal issues.

So when I failed to get tickets and the joint gig between Cyndi and George (with Rosie O'Donnell as a special guest) neared, I reached out to a friend with a connection and, after his previous invitees fell through, I found myself seated in the fourth row for what turned out to be a thoroughly satisfying show.

DSC08639You better pink! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi came out first, weirdly; I'd expected George would open for her, considering her relative success and being 3/4 of the way to being an EGOT. She looked great in her pink hair and punky leather get-up, and thanked us all for being there while also ensuring she educated the young'uns about the days when R&B and country were quite close in form. This was relevant because she's recently released a C&W album, Detour. Her roots with Blue Angel make this a good idea:

As reluctant as I was to see her again (at some point, seeing an artist over and over can almost dull my enthusiasm), and as little interest as I had in hearing her do country stuff, her set wound up being phenomenal. She had us on our feet the whole time and was in superb voice.

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DSC08598Cyndi is an instrumental part of my musical taste (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi gave us four hits and four C&W covers from her new record:

(1) “Funnel of Love” (originally by Wanda Jackson)

(2) “She Bop”

(3) “I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart” (originally by Patsy Montana)

(4) “Walking After Midnight” (originally by Patsy Cline)

(5) “The End of the World” (originally by Skeeter Davis)

(6) “I Drove All Night”

(7) “When You Were Mine” (originally by Prince, covered by Cyndi on her first album)

(8) “Money Changes Everything” (originally by the Brains, covered by Cyndi on her first album)

For her encore, she treated us to one more cover and two of her biggest hits:

(9) “Misty Blue” (originally by Eddy Arnold)

(10) “Time After Time”

(11) “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (with Rosie O'Donnell on the drums)

DSC08644A moment when she was mine (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Just a fantastic performance from her, and I couldn't believe I'd been unenthused going in. She also said something that relates to my false fatigue while she was honoring Prince. She said: 

I hope you appreciate all the artists while you have 'em.

Noted!

DSC08737Wanna be a cowboy 'n' you can be my cowgirl... (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Her other remarks about Prince were respectful without attempting to make it seem she was a major part of his story (she sang his “When You Were Mine” on She's So Unusual, an excellent cover that she performed live at the show perfectly):

I did one of his songs on my first record, and when he passed I couldn't believe it and it broke my heart—a bright light went out ... Life is short. But he was funny, and he was smart as a whip ... he was quirky—but I loved him.

Cyndi joked about Madonna's English accent but quickly said she loved her, and also gushed about being on Sire Records now, a label she had always considered to be so creative, the home of so many punk acts and also Madonna.

DSC08885Cyndi Lauper is 62 years old, y'all! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi loves Madonna and Sire, but there was no love lost on Donald Trump when Rosie O'Donnell took the stage for what amounted to a quickie cover while Boy George and his band prepped behind the curtain. Awkwardly, George's voice and other distracting noises were coming through on the monitors, so Rosie kept getting interrupted and eventually just had to shout over it all—glad it was her and not, say, Mindy Kaling.

DSC09117Rosie's set trumped anything The Donald could ever say. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Rosie used her brief time onstage to lambaste Donald Trump. Though she declared the Beacon a Trump-free zone, that wasn't quite true—it was more like an anti-Trump zone, and rightfully so:

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Mar 11 2016
No, Madonna Was Not DRUNK, But Her Show Was Intoxicating Comments (0)

2016-03-11-22-27-53-jpg(Image by Marguerita Tan)

First-hand account of Tears of a Clown from a longtime fan who was there.

 
Oct 19 2015
Madonna Critic Eats Her Words Comments (0)

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It's gratifying to read a former Madonna critic—who had previously snarked about Madonna's relevance, talent, motivation—take in a Rebel Heart Tour show and ... take it all back!

 
Oct 05 2015
Need To Know: She Did It Miley's Way + AC Drenched In Holy Water + NYC Bash + Biden, His Time + Bernie's Boston Tea Party + Semi-Nude Balance + Gaga For Disco + MORE! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureMiley's SNL monologue was a song—a hilarious song. Images

*widget boy cultureMadonna's Atlantic City Rebel Heart Tour stop was all wet.

*widget boy cultureGrace Jones's book party left guests Jonesing for Grace.

*widget boy cultureGay right-winger mocks rape at Amber Rose's SlutWalk, gets boot.

*widget boy cultureAnother gay bashing in NYC.

*widget boy cultureJoe Biden gets rock-star welcome at HRC.

*widget boy cultureBernie Sanders gets rock-star welcome in Boston.

*widget boy cultureKochs might now think Fiorina is dumb enough to pull it off after all.

*widget boy cultureSean Bergara is very well-balanced! Images

 

Bosu ball pistol squats. #instadaily #instagood #pilates #yoga #fit #fitfam #fitness #fitspo #muscled #balance #palmsprings

A video posted by Sean Bergara age: 46 (@seanbergara) on Oct 3, 2015 at 6:25am PDT

*widget boy cultureLet's reinstate the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons.

*widget boy cultureDan Osborne's most bulge-tastic shots!

*widget boy cultureHandsome Matt Morrison jettisons his beard.

*widget boy cultureLady Gaga wants your love, she wants — your love.

*widget boy cultureHOT tennis daddy.

*widget boy cultureDavid McIntosh's KILLER ass. (Work Unfriendly)

*widget boy cultureHey, there, Handsome! I do anal!

*widget boy cultureAlan's booty pic (with my book!) got banned from Facebook. Over to Buttbook? Images

ALAN-ILAGANWho would report his work of art? (The book's nice, too.)

 
Sep 25 2015
Need To Know: REBEL HEART-On + Pope Has 'em On The Ropes + Tears For Fears + The Spy Who Loved Cock + Caitlyn Marie's Crisis + New Hercules Is A Marvel + MORE! Comments (0)

Madonna-Matthew-RettenmundYes, it actually did taste a bit like holy water.

*widget boy cultureAmazing coverage of Madonna in Philly, her “Popey-Wopey” dedication.

*widget boy cultureBuy my book on Amazon or BN or anywhere you buy books.

*widget boy cultureAnother devastating Stonewall review.

*widget boy cultureThe Pope spanks Congress.

*widget boy cultureNO MORE TEARS: The Speaker has left the House ... or is about to.

*widget boy cultureSam Smith's Bond theme is here.

*widget boy cultureAmazing Dancer from the Dance to get film version 40 years on!

**See Dancer from the Dance's 1st 'n' last lines, plus those of many more gay classics.**

*widget boy cultureTim Tebow tries dating a woman.

*widget boy cultureEric Decker is rock-hard!

*widget boy cultureJUICY: On how to write someone else's memoir

*widget boy cultureCaitlyn Marie Jenner is now legally a woman.

*widget boy cultureStr8 boy who bottoms and swallows? Put a ring on THAT.

*widget boy cultureGHOULISH: Ghost Adventures couple dead in murder-suicide.

*widget boy cultureMarvel's new leather-daddy Hercules looks like Jaxton Wheeler!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 2.48.42 PMPhoto by Matthew Rettenmund. Bodies by God.

 
Sep 17 2015
Need To Know: Not Up For Debate + Face-Off + Jeb Bush Gets High(er) + Don't Go For 2nd-Best, Baby + Gay Munchies + Oh, Brother! + Haring Gain + Tru Dat + MORE! Comments (0)

UnnamedHillary's campaign sent this gif out in response to the clownish GOP debate.

*widget boy cultureBernie Sanders calls for revolution after debate, Hillary is SHH. Images

*widget boy cultureRepublicans' descent into madness on display in debate.

*widget boy cultureJeb humiliates himself with tippy-toe gambit.

*widget boy culturePerhaps Fiorina was the least insane last night

*widget boy cultureFacing off, Fiorina spanks Trump; he still focuses on her beauty.

*widget boy cultureRich, post-menopause Fiorina don't need no stinking Planned Parenthood. Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.18.18 PM

*widget boy cultureFive-star Madonna review, and the Splash photos are mine!!!

*widget boy cultureRolling Stone gushes over Madonna.

*widget boy cultureThe boy's got the right attitude.

*widget boy cultureDon't miss Matthew Wilkas on InstagramImages

 

Something VERY STRANGE happened today when I drank from my giant black penis shaped sports bottle....

A video posted by Matthew Wilkas (@mwilkas) on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:12pm PDT

*widget boy cultureWhy Doritos are so totally gay. NYR_11021_0009.jpg

*widget boy cultureCody Calafiore's bro has hot buns!

*widget boy cultureIs Ellen DeGeneres a Cait-haiter?

*widget boy cultureAh-mazing Haring drawings for sale.Images

*widget boy cultureHe's suing his insurer to be able to take Truvada.

*widget boy cultureHow Jussie Smollett discovered he is famous.

*widget boy cultureNaked Highway's excellent “Never Cared” (lyric) video after the jump ...

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Sep 11 2015
Need To Know: LGBTeen + Grace Saying + Beyoncé From A To B + Critics Heart REBEL HEART + Kim Davis Sued + Payne Does Gay Damage Control + MORE! Comments (0)

Landscape-1441748818-sev-raymond-braun-watermarkedSeventeen.com's fresh gay voice

*widget boy cultureRaymond Braun is Seventeen.com's new LGBT contributor. Images

*widget boy cultureBig and meaty J.J. Watt!

*widget boy cultureGrace Jones believes everyone copied her, drags Gaga anonymously.

*widget boy cultureBeyoncé hasn't granted a proper interview in over a year.

*widget boy cultureActors claim cabbie hurled slurs, had them wrongfully arrested for fare-skipping.

*widget boy cultureGay porn actor dies @ 24.

*widget boy cultureNY Daily News rave for Rebel Heart Tour. Pop Crush digs it, too. Images

UnnamedCrossing over with Madonna

*widget boy cultureMadonna can sing ... get over it. Images

*widget boy cultureTrump slams Fiorina's face, Cuomo pushes back.

*widget boy cultureKim Davis will be making bank soon, glad Survivor is teaching her a lesson.

*widget boy cultureHuckabee's Biblical B.S. torn to shreds on live TV.

*widget boy cultureHot and hairy stud alert: Don't click if allergic to shaggy underarms.

*widget boy cultureCaitlyn goes after Kris Jenner over being disinvited from their daughter's graduation.

*widget boy cultureCaitlyn opens up about that fatal crash in which she was involved.

*widget boy cultureOh, joy ... family values fan Liam Payne covers Attitude.

*widget boy cultureHillary Clinton is a good sport, a moderate and contrite. Plus amazing with Ellen: Images

 
Sep 01 2015
Dammit, Janet, They Love You Comments (0)

Janet Jackson launched her world tour last night. Sounds like it was an unabashed, stan-pleasing oldies tour, albeit one with new-song surprises.

 


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