When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth...apparently
Soaring temperatures and enormous parks are such a gift when living in London. Add multitudinous summer shows and you are as close to music heaven as anyone can be. Such is the aftertaste that Kings of Leon left on the 65,000 people that attended their last gig at Hyde Park. With support sets by the White-Stripes-like Ohioan duet known as The Black Keys and the super fabulous New Yorkers that are currently rocking my world, The Drums, the event was fit for a mega band, and come to think of it, the Kings of Leon have just become that.
With a solid 2-hour long performance that did nothing less than clearly remind the audience why they have thoroughly turned themselves into this southern rock phenomenon, Caleb, Nathan, Jared and Matthew Followill are not only genetically related, they are also so musically in tune. With a revering cover of "Where is my mind?" by The Pixies and very special moments such as their own "Molly's Chambers", "Use Somebody" and "Sex on Fire" they left a deep imprint of their passing through Hyde Park.
There were more mega shows in town, this time in the hands of the mayor of Jurassic Park, Mr. Jon Bon Jovi. As it had been promoted to obscene levels, Bon Jovi had taken on a residency at the O2 that was infamously destined to Michael Jackson's dramatically halted Farewell Tour. Whatever you say, and I trust there will be plenty of material; these people are in the right profession. Playing 72 different tracks, going over and over 25 years of producing rock anthem after rock anthem, the long-haired veterans pleased an audience that was as faithful and committed (I am talking tattoos, highlighted hair and cowboy hats) as they were trapped in a time capsule that belongs very much in the 80s. Kid Rock, the super solid support act, took the challenge of bridging the distance between those days and the new millennium. Needless to say, with the Kid on the stage, the bridges were very much musical, with his show-off performance, playing every instrument available on stage, hitting the decks as in his old days as a white hip-hop cowboy, serenading country music to the gasping ladies in the room with half the ease of Willie Nelson and twice the sex appeal of Tim McGraw, and rocking the room like only he can.
Speaking of dinosaurs, I am somewhat unimpressed by the inexplicable return of Kylie Minogue. Did we not have enough already? I am very happy that she has recovered from her illness and I absolutely mean that but please, can you not accept that a butt-based music career is better left for the younger generations (Unless you are Madonna in which case we would be ok with butt shaking beyond the grave, of course)? Seriously! Were you not well off enough with the hunky European model boyfriend, parading the fashion cities of the world, showing us what trends are suitable on pint-size women while getting photoshopped for all those profitable endorsement contracts? Why? Why, oh, why?
Following on the subject of inexplicable music (?) releases, there are two bits of news that I find very suited. Number one: Jordan. Yes, Jordan is singing again and is going to delight us with the dance number "Free To Love Again" that is already impressing the likes of reality show starlet Heidi Montag who, as a fellow musician (please refer to you tube for her own single and a laugh), is gagging to make a video together with the glamour model. If you find in this paragraph a hint of sarcasm, you are not paying good attention, there isn't a hint here, there is a truckload of concentrated industrial-like sarcasm. May I just add that maybe, all these clef related camaraderie may just be silicone induced? Which in turn would explain the disproportionate size of Amy Winehouse's new breasts... must be her attempt at a come back.
Women that are not pissing me off today come in the shape of lovely Kelis. This lady is the quintessential representation of today's world: African-Chinese-Puerto Rican musician with an attitude. The single "Acapella" from her last delivered album "Flesh Tone" is flawless beauty, please, please, we want some more! It is true, she has the rare virtue of making music that I hate or that I love, no lukewarm feelings with her, but boy, when she gets it right it is sheer magic.
Musically, there are a few things that are transcendentally magic: Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Frank Sinatra and yes, of course, the fabulous four... and there are news on that front. First, and again going into saurian territory, Ringo Starr turned 70 years old last 7th of July and as the rock star that he is, the birthday party was held at none other than the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, NY. Surrounded by his music mates of yesteryears, Ringo had the only other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney, singing to him their song "Birthday" from the laurelled "White Album". It should have gone into history as a Marilyn Monroe's moaning "Happy Birthday" to JFK moment, but who knows, it might just be forgotten. For the ones that want to keep the memories alive we can tell you that the Red and Blue albums are joined by a brand new and much buzzed about Beatles compilation to be released at a not-confirmed yet date in the next few weeks. Like Elvis, The Beatles are the band that keeps on giving.
"Night Work" is the third album just released by the Scissor Sisters and as I anticipated, it does not disappoint. Twelve discoesque tracks that just make you want to dance...or have filthy non-committal sex if you are that way inclined. "Fire with Fire" is undoubtedly the jewel of this pseudo master piece and I strongly recommend it. They just have played their usual joint and my favourite venue in London, the Brixton Academy and it was gorgeous. Catch them this December and get into a very questionable Christmas spirit dancing with them at the O2.