Emblazoned across the chests of the available-for-purchase tour tees, the initials "LMFP" hit just the right F.U. tone for a night of music from none other than Lisa Marie Fucking Presley. The King's only offspring hit the Roseland stage at around 10 Friday night backed by a full band and a giant plexiglass wall separating her from her drummer. She was also separated by a half-dozen security guards and yet another wall from her adoring audience made up primarily of hard-drinking dykes (lesbos love Lisa!), Scientologists and die-hard Elvis fans. Rocking out in her own performance island, Ms. Presley didn't care that the audience couldn't hear her (her voice was continually washed out by the music) or that it was hard to see her through all the murky mood lighting. When she was visible, she looked much shorter and more burnt-out than she ever did in any of those tabloid photos next to any of her ex-husbands. If this prodigal princess really wants to be taken seriously, she needs to start working on her stage presence/musicality and stop fucking around.
Benefit CDs are always an iffy proposition. The cause might be good, but the music can be very bad, resulting in a CD that sits quietly in your stack as little more than evidence of your good-heartedness. Not the case with a couple of recent benefit CDs from area artists. Both the James LaRocca Project's A Different Road and Kevin Moyer's Live from Nowhere Near You are works that give aural and philanthropic pleasure.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago, LaRocca wants listeners to understand MS. But he doesn't preach with his lyrics--in fact, there aren't any lyrics. The entire album features instrumental tracks with LaRocca's guitar as the centerpiece, weaving the listener through contemplative melodies and moments of meditation. LaRocca has been playing guitar since he was 9, and it shows in his control over his instrument.
Fifty-one percent of the proceeds from the album are going to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Find more info about LaRocca and his cause at www.jameslaroccaproject.com.
Live from Nowhere Near You is a bit less traditional than LaRocca's project, but, with profits going to the homeless and street-youth programs of Outside In, the cause is equally just. Moyer has brought together street musicians and the likes of Gus Van Sant, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Spoon, Stone Gossard and more to perform the 27 tracks on this compilation. Highlights include "Merlot," by the Robots, and "Far Out Group of People" which finds Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the United States of America constructing audio clips of street musicians explaining their craft played over a jazzy shuffle. For more info, check out www.nowherenearyou.com.