Music Box: Madame Zzz

Madonna - Medellin & I Rise Staunch defender of her previous two releases (MDNA and Rebel Heart), I am supremely underwhelmed with the two songs released from Madame X, Madonna's upcoming new album. The saturation of autotune aside, both tracks lay flat, delivering none of the Madonna mastery I'm used to: songcraft. "Medellin" is breezy … Continue reading Music Box: Madame Zzz

Music Box: Prince – Partyman/Let’s Go Crazy (Tower Records, West Hollywood, CA 3.21.06)

Prince Shreds On "Let's Go Crazy" at Tower Records in West Hollywood 3.21.06 Three years later, and the loss of one of the singular pioneers in the history of Rock N Roll still stings as if we just heard the news. Ubiquitous for decades, that he’s not here to continue to gift us with his … Continue reading Music Box: Prince – Partyman/Let’s Go Crazy (Tower Records, West Hollywood, CA 3.21.06)

Legacy: RIP James Ingram

Buttered Soul Pop is how I once described his emotional, sweet, passionate baritone voice...and now it - one of my favorite vocalists - is silenced at 66. Rest peacefully, James Ingram. Here he is in 1981 on "Soul Train" singing one of his (many) signature songs (and one of my eternal favorites), "Just Once." Yes, … Continue reading Legacy: RIP James Ingram

Legacy: Jerry Orbach – We’ll Always Remember

Jerry Orbach photo courtesy Masterworks Broadway Of course we all loved him as Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order, a role he played for 12 years before succumbing to prostate cancer. But many of us, who are old enough, have loved Jerry Orbach for years prior, whether as a leading song-and-dance man on Broadway (he … Continue reading Legacy: Jerry Orbach – We’ll Always Remember

Legacy: George Michael – The Grave

Remembering him on the second anniversary of George Michael’s too-early death, here’s his haunting version of Don McLean’s “The Grave.” Originally released on McLean’s 1971 landmark album, American Pie, Michael recorded the song in February 2003, as a protest to the imminent invasion of Iraq. McLean wrote it as a Vietnam protest song. After hearing … Continue reading Legacy: George Michael – The Grave

Music Box: The Queen of Soul-pra

In 1998, twenty-two minutes after she was asked to cover for her ailing friend, Luciano Pavarotti, Aretha Franklin walked on stage at the Grammy Awards to perform the legendary aria “Nessun Dorma." With little time to prepare Franklin performed the aria as is. In Pavarotti's key. No one knew what to expect. No one knew … Continue reading Music Box: The Queen of Soul-pra

Music Box: Nobody Beats “The Wiz”

Too many changes pissed me off: Ne-Yo is curious enough, but Ne-Yo writing an original song FOR this? Ugh. Removing “I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday” and replacing it with a song not even good enough to make the cut of the dreadful movie version, called “You Can’t Win”? Feh. (Though, I do … Continue reading Music Box: Nobody Beats “The Wiz”