106 posts categorized "MUSIC REVIEW"
I've seen Blondie perform live so many times at this point, I've lost track. Which is a good thing, and which is a thing I could not have dreamed (even if dreaming was free) in the late '80s, when I first got into them as a group. They were broken up and I was in Flushing, Michigan.
Now, they're not. And I'm not.
Thanks to a freebie ticket, I wound up in the old-persons' seats (great view, side loge).
Excitingly, Debbie spoke about SCOTUS, and ended their set by wrapping herself in the Gay Pride flag:
Debbie sounded great and had a sort of '6os-via-'90s bubblegum-pink dress on. She's turning 70 shortly. Hard to fathom Peggy Lee running around on the stage like Debbie, much less doing the punk rock. They played all their most essential hits and some great new-ish numbers, but I missed the first couple of songs because the geezers went on promptly at 8 p.m. It's okay, I feel I am in geezer territory myself.
Blondie was opening for Morrissey. Never been very into him. “Suedehead” (1988) might be my favorite (he did a great rendition of it two songs in), but I knew I was hoping against hope that I'd get The Smiths' “Girlfriend in a Coma” (1987). I did not.
Morrissey sounds great but without an organic love of his songs, it was a tough slog for me. I appreciated his positive remark about SCOTUS, wasn't as into his sung belief that voting just supports a corrupt system (he isn't into Bernie or Hillary, just Jon Stewart or Bill Maher) and had to look away from the extensive videos of animals being destroyed for meat as he sang “Meat Is Murder” KFC Version. I'm with him for the most part; it's unconscionable how we kill animals to eat, and I gave up eating pigs and cows long ago. But it's also just too hard to watch. That kind of thing instills in me a despair that is lasting.
The night ended oddly, with Morrissey unceremoniously removing his shirt, bowing slightly and disappearing. Lights up.
My pal Alan Light, who has shot the stars for decades (and whose '70s and '80s fan images are particularly amazing), sent me this link to his photos from a recent Bette Midler Divine Intervention tour. He had fourth-row seats!
Check out Alan's firsthand report from the show and the VIP meet-and-greet after the jump ...
BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 OUT OF ****
I thought my friend Mark MacKillop's show at 54 Below was going to be straight, or rather gay, cabaret, but that was before I realized the title was A ballet dancer/one-summer's-go-go-boy/aging model/aspiring musical theatre star/alcoholic sings the standards, or A Night with Mark MacKillop.
From the get-go, it was clear MacKillop wasn't going to simply croon, but was more interested in getting laughs, often at the expense of his own lampooned ego. He went on an aggressive smarm offensive worthy of Cinderella's Prince in Into the Woods, and it paid off. He oozed confidence, then pointed at the ooze and laughed at it.
His singing was solid, too, though jumps from surgically delivered satire sometimes made for slightly awkward transitions, especially when he was belting out something as over-the-top earnest as a signature Céline Dion tune.
But those moments were few and far between. More common were moments of hilarity, and some transcendent connections between singer and song.
Laura Oldham, as his bikini-clad helper, assisted MacKillop as he sang his way through the six steps to Insta-fame, sometimes snarkily and sometimes sincerely. She got huge laughs for her progressively drunken, seemingly improvised shtick, and MacKillop graciously shared the stage and his audience's appreciation for her bravura contributions. It was a match made in heaven, as both Oldham and MacKillop are hot, but were poking fun at themselves as if they were not.
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Well, here's a godsend: Bee Gees: 1974—1979 (Rhino, March 2015), is an amazing five-disc set that includes four studio albums and a bonus disc of hits from Saturday Night Fever, B-sides and outtakes.
It's crazy to think that they were on their twelfth album in 1974, when this collection picks up. This set really and truly collects the best of this underrated group of disco legends and musical geniuses. Name your favorite Bee Gees track and it's on here.
What a treat.
I had a gay old time at the Seth Sikes performance at 54 Below last night. Judy Garland died 15 years before he was born, but his organic appreciation for her material and style shone through. He sang just about every famous Judy song (except That One) and never missed a note. His stage patter was fun, too—self-deprecating and giddy; his excitement at the opportunity was infectious.