Live: The Songwriters Hall Of Fame Awards Roll Back To The '70s

Larry Busacca
Constantine Maroulis and Meat Loaf.
43rd Annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame Awards
Marriott Marquis
Thursday, June 14

Better than: Disco roller derby.

If you closed your eyes and listened to the parade of songs and familiar voices emanating from the Marriott Marquis' luminary-packed sixth-floor ballroom last night, you might have thought you had been transported back to another era when the nation was distressed about the economy and rising oil prices. (Apparently some things don't change.)

Indeed, four of the five new inductees at the 43rd annual Songwriters Hall Of Fame Awards—Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Steinman and Don Schlitz—arguably had their greatest success in that window between the resignation of Richard Nixon and the one-term presidency of Jimmy Carter.

More »

Live: Stevie Nicks Closes Out The Season At Jones Beach

Stevie Nicks w/Michael Grimm
Nikon Theater At Jones Beach
Sunday, September 4

Better than: A radio stuck on the classic rock station.

"Welcome, Jones Beach," Stevie Nicks said before her second song on Sunday night, the last night for both her current mini-tour and the Long Island oceanfront amphitheater's 2011 season. "If you know me, you know there's nowhere I'd rather be than the ocean. I love it here." The crowd—even those people flouting her request to not hoist their cameraphones and get video of her performance that night—cheered.

More »

Betty Ford, R.I.P.

In recent years, people holding the vice-presidential seat have had complicated, if not vaguely hostile, relationships with pop music. Before Al Gore became Bill Clinton's veep in 1992, his wife Tipper founded the PMRC. In 2002, six years before taking his seat to the back-left of Barack Obama, Joe Biden introduced the R.A.V.E. Act, which Congress passed a year later. The acronym stands for Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy. (Biden's legislature clearly worked; the Electric Daisy Carnival—the biggest rave in American history—happened a few weeks ago in Las Vegas.)

But stickering records and/or outlawing big swathes of a youth culture is relatively small potatoes against Betty Ford's great contribution to pop music. Ford, who died at 93 over the weekend, was an accidental innovator, but she was key nevertheless. By opening the Betty Ford Clinic (now the Betty Ford Center) in 1982, the widow of Gerald Ford removed the stigma of drug rehabilitation—and cemented it as part of the rock mythos, a rite of passage for arena rockers like Stevie Nicks and Steven Tyler seen as similar to a stay at L.A.'s Hyatt House or the Chelsea Hotel.

More »

The Voice Trots Out The Biggish Names, Crowns Its First Champ

Here we are, at the end of The Voice's almost shockingly successful debut season, one that may have actually turned around NBC's abysmal fortunes. There's not a ton of internal drama in The Voice's reality, and I can't say I cared too terribly much which of the four finalists would win. But the journey has been an altogether pleasant one, and everyone who appeared on the show last night looked like they somehow belonged on television—everyone who wasn't Carson Daly, anyway. The guest stars were all pretty low-rent by American Idol standards (the guy from OneRepublic? Now?) but last night's finale was more a beginning than an ending, and we're still a long way away from learning if the show will ever become a part of the cultural firmament the way Idol has.

In the end, Javier Colon narrowly squeaked out a win over Dia Frampton, and nobody looked all that surprised. In the moments leading up to it, the only people who looked stressed were Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, Javier and Dia's respective coaches. It was nice, but it wasn't earth-shaking, and all four finalists have almost the exact same likelihood to go on to do anything.

More »

Get Well Soon: Stevie Nicks Is Too Sick To Play At Webster Hall Tomorrow

Tomorrow night's Stevie Nicks gig at Webster Hall, commemorating the release of her seventh solo album In Your Dreams, has been canceled because the legendarily witchy singer is suffering from pneumonia and the flu and has been instructed to "stay and bed and not fly" (quotes from the press release now up at Bowery Presents' site) until she's in better health. The above track, "Secret Love," is the lead single of the album, and it was apparently originally written all the way back in 1976; after the jump, some live Stevie of recent vintage, for those of you bummed out about this recent turn of events.

More »