Tag Archives: Sheryl Crow

Camping…in Brooklyn?

If it’s Brooklyn, Michigan – damn straight!

The inaugural Michigan Music Fest is going to take place September 17th, and discounted tickets are on sale now. Featuring one of the few performances this year by Jack White (with The Racounteurs, no less), the lineup includes an amazing array of legendary Detroit talent as well as some hot up-and-comers.

And Sheryl Crow, who for some reason is getting all the lead press. Hey, she’s good-looking and very successful, and by all accounts a nice person. But when your festival boasts The Rockets, Mitch Ryder, The Howling Diablos, The Romantics, Alto Reed and Mark Farner, do you really need to lead with that? Unless she’s planning to bring Kid Rock with her, I think this is a bit ass-backwards.

Other bands announced to date include Whitey Morgan and The 78s, Jill Jack, The Juliets, Ty Stone and The Truth; Jack White is poised to bring more acts from his Third Man Records roster.

More than a concert, it’s a full-blown arts festival with food and beverage tents manned by Michigan vendors and an art gallery featuring the work of local artists including Johnny “Bee” Badanjek and the legendary Stanley Mouse, who is designing the events poster. Gates open at noon, the first band is on at 1pm, and the show is slated to end at 11pm. Ten hours of mind-blowing music and an opportunity to see some of the greatest musicians in Detroit history, even if you would rather camp in a hotel.

Big thanks to my Detroit buddy Sue for tipping me to this can’t-miss event.

Get more information here.

Buy Michigan Music Fest tickets.

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MusiCares: Neil Young

Got to see the video of the show tonight, and I feel bad being disappointed, but that’s the truth.

Let’s start by separating the wheat from the chaff – MusiCares  is a first-rate organization, and I have nothing but respect for any artists that donate their time to help raise funds for charity. During his acceptance speech as Person of the Year, Young stated that it was the biggest crowd to date. I believe Barbara Streisand topped the total this year – it’s for charity, that’s a good thing, people! Neil’s philanthropy is well-known, and between his recorded legacy and his charitable efforts, I’m frankly surprised it took that long to honor him with the award.

But since the DVD was being heavily marketed during the broadcast, all bets are off. The performances are what they were, and that is – sad to say – particularly uninspired. With a wealth of amazing material to choose from, sometimes it was a bad match of artist and song, sometimes just an underwhelming performance. And surprisingly, two of the most banal came from a pair of legendary artists. Jackson Browne and James Taylor breezed through their songs as if they did not comprehend the lyrical content. Taylor, in particular, was innocuous despite the support of an all-star chorus of background singers.

People my age will remember the double take they did when Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle, USMC) first opened his mouth and sang. I get the same feeling when Josh Groban’s voice comes out of Josh Groban’s head. Technically, a great voice, but eerily mismatched to the material for my tastes. And while it’s always nice to see Elton John perform – and I’m really thankful that he is making Leon Russell relevant again, I wish he shared more of “Helpless” with Neko Case and Sheryl Crow, who were reduced to background vocals (and phenomenal eye candy).

 Many of the other performers – Lady Antebellum, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, CSN – were good, not great, while others (Dave Matthews, Dierks Bentley) were immediate fast-forward moments. What did work wonders were John Fogerty (with Keith Urban) bashing out “Rockin’ In The Free World” and Wilco’s amazing rendition of “Broken Arrow“, an absolute jaw-dropper. Kudos also to Ben Harper’s rousing “Ohio“, a song he seemed totally invested in that one would think he was a Kent State alumni (no – I’m not checking).

If you pick up this DVD, your money (or some portion thereof) will go to a good cause, and there are a couple of strong performances worthy of multiple repeats. I’m just saying that you, too, are being charitable… to some of the performers if you skip over their tracks.

Get yer Neil on here.

Wilco hit the bulls-eye with "Broken Arrow"

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Blast From The Past: Sheryl Crow

Digging through albums while assembling candidates for end-of-the-year’s “Best Of” is always fun;because I invariably come across a forgotten treat. In this case, it was Sheryl Crow’s third album, The Globe Sessions.

WTF, Doc? She’s a mainstream success, a household word!

Yeah? So what? Her first album was launched on the backs of her songwriter circle collaborators – a cardinal sin – and lately she’s been so glammed up she makes Liz Phair look positively indie again. There’s a slew of people who love her regardless of what tripe whe shovels out (her cover of “The First Cut Is The Deepest” was brutal)…but there are also people who slag her simply because she’s successful…or has legs to die for. I prefer to consider the music above the rest.

I’m just saying that sometimes you need to be more open-minded. This was a good album – here’s my original review from TransAction Magazine.

Crow’s third record is a large leap forward, and she may have finally shaken the critical backlash shes been wallowing in ever since her initial success. Maybe its the freedom the label gave her, maybe its a natural maturation of a songwriter, or maybe she just doesnt give a shit about pleasing others anymore, but whatever crawled up her back and forced this out should be bottled and saved.

Amid the nods to Tom Petty, The Band and especially The Rolling Stones, Crow’s confessional songs about sour relationships, painful affairs and surviving the nineties are light years better than her previous work. She wrote most of the songs on bass to force a fresh approach and produced the record herself; songs like “My Favorite Mistake”, There Goes The Neighborhood”, “Anything But Down” and “Am I Getting Through” are much the better for it.

The instrumentation is diverse and well chosen, and her vocals have never been better. Bonus video of “My Favorite Mistake” for those playing the CD on their computer. Give this one a spin before you dismiss her; you might be very surprised at what you think afterwards.

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Hot Tickets: More Mott and BeatleMania

Reunited and it feels so good

Reunited and it feels so good

 

Mott The Hoople announce the final dates of their HMV Hammersmith Apollo residency. The original two nights (October 2nd & 3rd) sold out in a weekend, and the first additional night (October1st) has now sold out as well. So due to high levels of public demand, Mott The Hoople have added two final shows at the Apollo on October 5th and 6th.

UK classic rock station Planet Rock has an exclusive seven day pre-sale for the two new Mott The Hoople dates at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo. This will be your best chance to get the best tickets available for the two new shows on October 5th and 6th . The pre-sale starts today and will run for 7 days. Click HERE.

***

Also on sale today are tickets to see The Twotles* next month at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are teaming up to headline a benefit concert on April 4 for the David Lynch Foundation. Other performers joining the two superstars include Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Moby and Bettye LaVette. Tickets go on sale 11am EDT today through Ticketmaster. (Vedder has to be just thrilled about that!)

The David Lynch Foundation provides funds to teach students how to meditate so they can “change their world from within.” Yes, that David Lynch. Like me, you might find it a bit ironic that a man whose movies are among the most dense and confusing ever made is the founder of an organization to help children think more clearly, but it’s a serious and worthy endeavor.

(* it was so much more fun referring to surviving Beatles as The Threetles when George was alive.)

 

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