Adam Lambert’s debut CD, For Your Entertainment is definitely one of my favorites of 2010. Shocking in its completeness and variety, I have listened to it repeatedly and it’s holding up wonderfully. You can argue that all the songs are pop and I will grant you that, but it’s different pop from each other, from the Matthew Bellamy written and striking Soaked to the ballad Whataya You Want From Me?, there’s something on here that I think anyone with a pop sensibility will enjoy. Lambert’s voice lends itself with precision to each song – this is difficult to do. Think about most singers and their voices for a minute. Now imagine them trying to sing nearly different genres. It’s almost always a disaster. Lambert’s voice is a versatile actor, and the moods of the songs flow with no misfires whatsoever. Beginning with the glam wonder Music Again and the sexy title track, it doesn’t let up, continuing with the sublime Whataya You Want From Me: (That Baby you’re beautiful/There’s nothing wrong with you/It’s me/I’m a freak/But thanks for loving me/’Cause you’re doing it perfectly) and Strut’s thumping urgency, For Your Entertainment is dazzling. Other favorites are the dance stompers If I Had You and Pick U Up – plus Fever. Fever is super: I wanna get you alone/ Give you a fever, fever.
For Your Entertainment (RCA Records)
Show Review by Shana Restall Crick
Photos by Alex Crick
The music of Concrete Blonde comprised a sizeable portion of the soundtrack to my college years. I was fortunate to be able to see them perform on June 24th at the Showbox during a stop on their “20 Years of Bloodletting” tour. Opening the show was Jim Bianco, who sang about subject matter such as Tennessee Williams and made a request for “stalker lighting” to complement one of his songs. Eclectic and funny, Jim Bianco proved to be a crowd-pleaser.
The real draw of the evening was Concrete Blonde, and specifically, the amazingly mesmerizing vocals of Johnette Napolitano. One gets a sense of the depth of her talent as a singer and a bassist by listening to their albums. However, nothing prepared me for how stunning her voice was live. She pushed the boundaries of every song to spectacular heights. And then she went a little further. Unquestionably, Concrete Blonde achieved a performance that was technically brilliant, but they also were able to connect emotionally to the crowd. They began their set with two very recognizable songs – “Bloodletting” and “Joey”. However, the show became more alluring as the night progressed, and the rapt audience became more and more entranced. Particularly memorable were their performances of “Heal It Up,” “Caroline, Tomorrow,” “Wendy,” and “Mexican Moon”. I was astonished by how incredible this show was, and I am certain that no one left disappointed.
I Don’t Need a Hero
Days and Days
Scene of the Perfect Crime
Ghost of a Texas Ladies’ Man
When I Was a Fool
God is a Bullet
Run Run Run
Heal It Up
Never have I experienced a show like last Saturday’s at the Crocodile. Discs of Fury tell a mystical story of epic proportions and have serious musical chops to back it up. There’s a hero, the typical mix of mythical characters, guitar licks galore, and of course a talking tree. Really, what else do you need? I’m not a huge fan of classic hard rock, but their draw is undeniable. Death Star brought nerdcore goodness in the form of rap to warm up the stage; it was a hell of a good time.
A fantastic lineup played the High Dive on Saturday night: Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles and Past Lives. Dum Dum Girls have a massive summer ahead of them with dates in Europe, and you can see them in the NW when they have a date with Vampire Weekend at Marymoor Ampitheater on August 29th. Crocodiles have a new album coming out soon, and Past Lives play the Capitol Hill Block party. We’ve got some brilliant photos from Simon Krane here. I have a crush on these photos.
Dum Dum Girls
Katzenjammer, from Oslo, Norway – consisting of Anne Marit Bergheim, Marianne Sveen, Solveig Heilo and Turid Jørgensen – perform their circus-like show, utilizing ~30 instruments. Their new CD, Le Pop, will be released in the US this week.