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Last week, Norah Jones at the Hammersmith Apollo. I know, I know, and I was not sure why I'd booked even before it started. I mean, I've never bought the new album. But as I'm sure I bored everyone wi

Going to see the Finn brothers in Central Park this evening. I assumed it would have sold out, but I got a message pushing half price tickets which I couldn't resist. Think it will piss down?  

Saw the Cowboy Junkies again last night, in an ice cold Beacon Theater. They had to wind up a ninety minute set at 11pm - union rules - which is a pity, as I think the audience would have loved anoth

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Just to close this loop, Trombone Shorty and his band played powerful good times funk and jazz, excellent sax and trombone, facing a small crowd in a wet muddy field. At least I saw the guy. 

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Tom Jones and Van Morrison at Forest Hills. This is not two acts I ever thought I'd see on the same bill, let alone sharing a stage to sing (among other things) Goodnight Irene. Jones, who I've seen only once before, at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, still has the pipes, but not the hips - he's got one new one (just like me!) and one on its way out. So he performed mostly sitting down. He rocked Delilah, of course, but I still think Sex Bomb is both a weird song, and a weird song for him. And yet panties littered the stage.

I've never been all that crazy about Van Morrison. No one would be who had to edit 500 bat mitzvah montages to Brown-Eyed Girl. Lucky for me did mostly covers, lots of swing and blues, which did not whip the crowd up much, but I liked it.

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15 hours ago, small h said:

Tom Jones and Van Morrison at Forest Hills. This is not two acts I ever thought I'd see on the same bill, let alone sharing a stage to sing (among other things) Goodnight Irene. Jones, who I've seen only once before, at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, still has the pipes, but not the hips - he's got one new one (just like me!) and one on its way out. So he performed mostly sitting down. He rocked Delilah, of course, but I still think Sex Bomb is both a weird song, and a weird song for him. And yet panties littered the stage.

I've never been all that crazy about Van Morrison. No one would be who had to edit 500 bat mitzvah montages to Brown-Eyed Girl. Lucky for me did mostly covers, lots of swing and blues, which did not whip the crowd up much, but I liked it.

Jealous. Interesting double bill.

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1 hour ago, Sneakeater said:

a "roots" musician

That must be why he didn't do What's New, Pussycat, despite the guy two rows in front of me bellowing requests for it every two minutes.

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Interesting looking back. He clearly could have been a pop (and I include soul) singer but chose to be a family entertainer for most of his career before reverting in late career to what one might assume was his preference.

Scott Walker, of course, took a long detour through family entertainment after his initial pop career. His last albums show what he would have preferred to be doing.

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4 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

I hope he didn't do Young New Mexican Puppeteer either.

Not that I noticed. Unless it was another duet with Van Morrison while I was out on a gin and sandwich run.

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14 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

Interesting looking back. He clearly could have been a pop (and I include soul) singer but chose to be a family entertainer for most of his career before reverting in late career to what one might assume was his preference.

Scott Walker, of course, took a long detour through family entertainment after his initial pop career. His last albums show what he would have preferred to be doing.

The thing is, though, in pop music it's hard to know.

Remember when at the cusp of the '60s-into-'70s seemingly every cabaret pop singer decided they were really long-haired folky singer-songwriters (or even worse, God forbid, psychedelic)?  I still can't figure out if Bob "Don't Call Me Bobby" Darin was sincere in his singer-songwriter move.  (Such questions never arose with respect to Rick "Don't Call Me Ricky" Nelson -- probably because his initial pop records were so persuasively rockabilly.)

I'm not persuaded by Tom Jones's "roots" albums.  Part of it is that I have a hard time believing that the guy who joined his friend Elvis in deriding John Lennon for being an "in-tell-ec-tual" really wants to be singing Leonard Cohen.  But most of it is that, to me, Jones's "roots" renditions just seem coarse.

But in this context, it's hard to know.

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Also, while I'm not a Scott Walker fan like you, I'd of course always have to admit that what Walker ended up doing was unique.  It clearly was his own vision.

Whereas Jones is just following in the trail blazed by Johnny Cash in his late Rick Rubin albums, since followed with varying degrees of sincerity by scads of aging singers (Neil Diamond's attempt, for example, never quite took).

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(And, just to say it before you do, the irony of that is that Johnny Cash was never just some pop singer.  But many, indeed I'd say most, of the people who followed his late-career example were.)

(And to be clear, I like Neil Diamond.)

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10 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

The thing is, though, in pop music it's hard to know.

Remember when at the cusp of the '60s-into-'70s seemingly every cabaret pop singer decided they were really long-haired folky singer-songwriters (or even worse, God forbid, psychedelic)?  I still can't figure out if Bob "Don't Call Me Bobby" Darin was sincere in his singer-songwriter move.  (Such questions never arose with respect to Rick "Don't Call Me Ricky" Nelson -- probably because his initial pop records were so persuasively rockabilly.)

 

I always thought it was weird when Darin after modeling himself on Sinatra suddenly began emulating Tim Hardin.

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