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The Monkees / Live – The Mike & Micky Show

The Monkees

Live – The Mike & Micky Show (Rhino)

http://www.monkees.com

Micky Dolenz has often joked about the aging Monkees over the years, saying, “Eventually, there’ll be just one of us touring, billed as The Monkee.” Truth be told, though, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Mike Nesmith have toured in so many different groupings over the years, that diehard fans don’t find it particularly odd that further shows will only include Micky and Mike. Seems like par for the course, actually.

The Mike & Micky Show chronicles a string of shows done in March of 2019, and it’s one that is sure to please. Micky opens the show with an enthusiastic “Last Train To Clarksville,” followed by Mike’s “Sunny Girlfriend.” Both Monkees are in fine voice, evidenced by the fact that Mike belts out the ringing high notes in the bridge of his “You Just May Be The One,” and Micky still squarely nails the high notes at the end of “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

Fans are also treated to several neglected Nesmith gems like “You Told Me” from 1967’s brilliant  Headquarters, and “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster,” written for him by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller for the recent Good Times! long-player.

Also from Good Times! and arguably the highlight of these evening shows, is the beautiful duet between the old friends, which is an absolute master class in harmony vocalizing. These two Monkees have always had a really fine vocal kinship, but here, in the tender ballad, “Me & Magdalena,” it’s nothing short of gorgeous.

Fronting a skilled band that includes Mike’s son, Christian, and Micky’s sister, Coco, The Monkees are as strong and smile-inducing as they ever have been. Unlike their initial live album way back when, The Mike & Micky Show’s sound quality is superb. Additionally, it boasts a whopping twenty-five tracks, each as welcome to these ears as the one before it. Highly recommended.

D.P.

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Stone Temple Pilots / Perdida

Stone Temple Pilots

Perdida (Rhino)

http://www.stonetemplepilots.com

It’s never an easy row to hoe when a new member steps into a band replacing an original member. Vocalist Jeff Gutt has just such a task, having to walk a very narrow line somewhere between his own personal voice and that of Scott Weiland. In my humble opinion, he succeeds on all counts here.

Perdida is a soft, atmospheric affair, fleshed out by acoustic instruments that lend honesty to the songs. “Fare Thee Well” is a lonely, Southern ballad, and stands  confidently amongst the best tunes in STP’s back catalog. “She’s My Queen” is a dreamy love song, buoyed by clouds of hazy background vocals. 

My fave of the set is “Sunburst,” which aims for Abbey Road greatness, and very nearly achieves it. While not everyone might appreciate the band’s new direction, I’m betting they gain far more fans with Perdida than they lose. It’s refreshing to see an established rock band take a risk by shifting gears.

D.P.