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Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews | 2 comments

What Separates Mariah Carey from Britney Spears?




What separates Mariah Carey from Britney Spears?

Well, talent for one thing.  Ms. Carey can sing.  Ms. Spears can’t.  Simple as that.

Comparing the two pop divas might seem pointless.  But with Ms. Carey’s new residency underway at Caesars Palace this week, the adriot singer-artist with a remarkable 18 number one hits spread out over the course of her illustrious 25-year career does draw inevitable comparisons to the empty-headed bimbo lip-synching her entire show across the street over at a Caesars’ sister property Planet Hollywood, while living inside a cocoon most of time and charging her nitwit “fans” $2,500 a pop for an up-close-and-personal meet-and-greet that’s been timed as short as 3 seconds.  Oh, and no autographs or photos are allowed when the pop princess is present in the room.  No folks, I’m not making this up.  [READ MORE HERE]

I’ve been accused of being a hater, and there’s some valitity to the charge.  Indeed, I do hate mediocrity being celebrated and obscenely rewarded in our society.  Yes, I do hate it that so many marvelous singers and talented songwriters can’t get into the music business let alone make a decent living, while blundering Britney makes a whopping $475,000 per show [SOURCE HERE] for basically doing this every night:

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Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

The Real Star of U2’s Classic Anthem — “Pride (in the Name of Love)”




For those of us of a certain age, raised on a steady diet of MTV (when music videos were played exclusively), many of us will remember U2’s huge breakthrough hit, “Pride in the Name of Love,” recorded in 1984 which came off The Unforgettable Fire album, a masterpiece.

That’s always been one of my favorite rock songs, written by Bono and intended as a tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Long before other musicians were winning Oscars for other anthems dedicated to MLK, U2 did their own salute, which certainly stands the test of time.  Rolling Stone magazine routinely picks that as one of the greatest songs of all time, and rightfully so.  Even if you weren’t around back then, you’ve probably still heard it.

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Posted by on Mar 21, 2015 in Blog, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

Las Vegas Show Review: “Frank: The Man, The Music” (at Palazzo)




Of all impersonations, Frank Sinatra’s might be the toughest to pull off convincingly.

The baritone voice, the tuxedoed savoir faire, the quirky and often comical mannerisms, the working-class New York accent — all these classic Sinatra trademarks are relatively straightforward to copycat with some practice combined with the proper flair.

What isn’t so easy to incorporate is the epochal stage presence and the personal charisma.  More like impossible.  Like all of our most celebrated musical icons — Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles — the tribute shows might look and sound like the real deal, but they never quite spark the same electrifying voltage of atmospheric energy.  We’re never quite able to shake the awareness that we’re consuming Spam from a can instead of real meat.

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Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews | 5 comments

The Most Baffling Grammy Award Winners of All Time (i.e. “My Anti-Grammy Awards”)




To suggest the Grammy Awards have been reduced to a guilty pleasure would be an understatement.

That’s because ever since these awards were first doled out in 1959, the Grammys have always translated into little more than a rubbernecking occasion for dedicated listeners and lovers of music.  Now in it’s 57th year, the annual presentation is a proverbial car crash of clashing musical genres and a twisted assemblage of conflicting generational tastes.

Seriously, what’s measured or achieved when pitting Arcade Fire, Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry against one other, tossed and blended into the same melodic gumbo, as occurred in 2011 when these were the five nominees in the “Album of the Year” category?  Aren’t most of the rockers going to vote for the rock group?  Won’t all the rappers instinctively vote for the rap artist?  Isn’t the country singer going to attract the votes from those connected to country music?  What’s the whole point of it all, other than an extended time buy on a major television network and a three-hour commercial for additional sales and airplay?

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Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews, Sports Betting | 0 comments

Matt Lessinger’s Annual Grammy Awards Picks for 2015 (Handicapping the Odds)




I’ve written this before and I’ll say it again.

Matt Lessinger is one of the most trusted gamblers and wagering analysts I know.  He’s solid.  I don’t need an explanation when I’m told Lessinger has taken a position on a game or an event.  I can be confident that the work’s already been done and he’s on the right side.

This doesn’t mean he always wins, or course.  It just means he’s made a solid wager based on getting the very best value most of the time.  Ideally, that’s all you can hope for when you engage in sports wagering or in the case of what I’m about to discuss — wagering on popular events.

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