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Rock on the Bronx

ITEM: Things are heating up for local music this summer. When you think about it, local bands and singer/songwriters are still the best value for your entertainment dollar in this day of rising gas, food and movie prices. There are certain places that are starting to catch on as the place to be for bands. Dudley’s in New Rochelle has been around for a long time and still hosts some of the better rock cover bands in the Bronx/Westchester scene. It’s on the water and easy to get to. (Right off Shore Road.) The Haunt in Yonkers is quite possibly this generation’s answer to The Rising Sun. The place features a great sound system, two huge bars, massive stage and local and National acts.

The Starving Artist Gallery in City Island and The Uptown Coffee House in Riverdale are the places to see the cream of the crop of singer/songwriters. Throggs Neck Clipper, Patrick’s Pub and “Fiddler’s El-bow, all on East Tremont Avenue, have steady live bands and friendly atmosphere.

Barney McNabb’s on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers has been booking the big bands in the area.

Chelsea’s on Fifth in Pelham has been getting good reviews. Chat 19 is really hot. You want blues? I mean really good blues and food: Look no further than The Bayou in Mount Vernon. Check online for June’s Calendar for these venues. This is going to be a rocking summer.

ITEM: I have some advice for one of the TV shows that I record every week and watch when I’m cleaning the house. You want to stop the rating drain on American Idol next year? Here’s what I would do: What-ever it takes, however long it takes, no matter how many extra assistants and multiple musical directors you would need, I want them to literally try out every single person who shows up to every single stadium to try out. Next year we don’t want a cross section of America’s good to worst. Weed out the talent-less, tone deaf and wannabe’s before hand. Make the show truly about who is the single BEST singer in America. Whatever it takes, no matter what it costs give each person who shows up at the stadium tryouts 40 whole seconds to sing. No more, no less. Then when you have picked the 1000 or so best singers from each state, then re-audition them and weed out the best singers from that. THEN, what finally ends up in front of Randy, Simon and Paula is the cream of the crop. From that pool of hundreds of honestly talented people let the judges cull the best of the best of the best. Now that would be a real championship bout. Then you end up with the 12 best singers in America. (Not so called ‘singers’ like Jason Castro in the top 4.) Not only will that improve the credibility of the show but the judges would be forced to really give critiques. They’ve gotten so lazy over the last two years. This would solve American Idol’s problem of no one taking the show seriously anymore. Rock on. Rock out.

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