This Saturday night, I'm appearing with Kenyon Phillips, the love child of Luther Vandross and Steve Tyler, who fuses "glam rock, surrealist theater, and cabaret into a heady froth with a little help from his all-girl backing band, the Ladies in Waiting."
Taking a classic song that's perfectly fine as is and exhuming it for financial gain is awful enough, but when the result comes out sounding excremental, you want to cover the new artist with a blanket and make them stop. Here are my 10 least favorite cover tunes: (1) Britney Spears, "(I Can't Ge ... More >>
If there's two things you'll find no shortage of every holiday season, it's Christmas music and complaints about Christmas music. Whether overheard on the radio while the family cooks Christmas dinner in the kitchen, or providing the soundtrack to some frantic last-minute mall madness, the seasonal ... More >>
Rap royalty loves the Queen of Soul. Or, at least, some very prestigious hip-hop types have found the intimate grooves of Aretha Franklin's discography to be fine and fertile fodder for their sampling kicks. So with Franklin preparing to warble her way through a couple of back-to-back shows a ... More >>
Back around 2001, a Transatlantic cabal of music critics led a media hype machine declaring that rock was "back." To further this thesis, it grouped together a disparate set of bands offering variations on the stripped-down "garage rock" template who were often cheekily referred to as the "The" Band ... More >>
Here's audio I could listen to through eternity ... or at least until a hawk swoops down and pecks my eardrums out. (6) "Losing My Religion by R.E.M. Don't tell me what it means! Don't even tell me they broke up! Just tell me I can have this on constant rotation! Its propulsive guitars and angst ... More >>
I'm not interested in the paint-by-numbers ones designed to make a quick buck. Here are the six cover tunes that I feel brought the most originality and fresh energy to standard tunes, making it more than worth the effort to do the remaking. (6) "It's My Life" by No Doubt. (2003.) Gwen Ste ... More >>
Michael Becker/FOXLast night's episode of American Idol started as this gramatically ridiculous question flashed on the screen: "Do you remember when they were just a face in the crowd?" No, I don't. I don't remember when they were all just one face. That would've been some weird David Cronen ... More >>
This shirt is a major problem. Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX.Before we say anything else about the first live American Idol show this season, we're going to need to talk about Steven Tyler's shirt. Steven Tyler came out wearing this impossible-to-figure silky blouse-y thing with pictures of gig ... More >>
Left to right: Raphael Saddiq, Luther Vandross, Usher, Gerardo, Masta Killa, and Jimmy RollinsIt's a poorly kept industry secret that rock writers are cheaters, frauds, and goons -- as dependent on Google as a clown is on facepaint. Our ongoing column "Are You Smarter Than a Rock Critic?" pee ... More >>
Tonight, creepy dubstep producer Shackleton headlines Dub War at Love -- the genre gets even darker thanks to his unexpected silences and evil whisperings in between all that bass wobble. WARP's Eskmo and Eprom are also scheduled to play, along with Dubwar residents Joe Nice and Dave Q, among ... More >>
Here is the bland soul-karaoke record you did not request
In the ghetto, vulnerability is the boldest possible emotion.
Rock stars, dating experts, and cartoon characters talk about Valentine's Day
Used to be a genius, I ain't lying, booked the numbers didn't need paper or pencil.
Memorial service for Luther Vandross brings out the star wattage and Holy Ghost power
Why Luther Vandross's Legacy Matters
Smooth Jazz leaves no room on the racks or on the airways, except for Dead Legends
Rules on the Wall: Make Needs Known Even if You Want to Lie About Them
So when are they gonna get Augustus Pablo and his melodica to cover an old Hooters hit?
Move over Dionne, Luther, Elvis tooMr. Biggs wants a piece of Burt Bacharach now
Today's Pop-Gospel Albums Affirm the Persistence of Faith Through Adversity
Six of these 12 picks recast known compositions, and only two of the six are in the rock tradition. But I did find one medium-obscure alt band worth writing about. One.