February 21, 2016
Victorious (EMI/Ume ***) After that metal mess of a performance from the Hollywood Vampires at the Grammys last week (Alice Cooper, yes; Johnny Depp, no), it's good to hear that cleaving heavy rawk isn't just for dilettantes - that Australia's Wolfmother and leader Andrew Stockdale have something to say on the matter. Sure, that might seem a wee disingenuous, considering Stockdale's interchangeable band has done little but ape Blue Cheer and regurgitate aged Zep and Sabbath riffs since its 2004 debut.
May 16, 2015 |
On Valentine's Day 2014, Adrien Reju played a set of what she called "unconventional love songs" at the Fire. The singer-songwriter covered songs by Sonny Bono, Lou Reed, Skeeter Davis, and others, and the show sent her down the path that led to her second full-length album, Strange Love and the Secret Language . "My choices for that show were a little more wacky or quirky," says Reju, who will perform a solo show Friday night at Burlap &...
June 30, 2014 |
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - By the time Kevin Allred walked in, his students had just finished discussing the day's reading on black feminism and Billie Holiday, had tied the ideas to some of Beyoncé's work, and had begun analyzing the identity politics in her songs and videos. For what looks at first glance like just a fun undergraduate class at Rutgers University on the reigning queen of pop, his students sure were going above and Beyoncé. As Kanye West rapped in the background, Allred began discussing his latest album, Yeezus , comparing it with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ("So good")
May 2, 2014 |
On "I Never Wear White," a track from Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles , her first album of new material in seven years, Suzanne Vega refers to herself as "the poet of the dark. " The song is surprisingly gritty, with an edgy electric-guitar riff from producer and collaborator Gerry Leonard. "Black is the truth/ of my situation,/ and for those of my station/ in life. All other colors lie," she sings. It might be more apt to call Vega, whose first album came out in 1985, a poet of the true.
April 4, 2014 |
So just what is The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller ? Even director Sam Green, the creative force behind the evening of entertainment that has sold out two shows at FringeArts on Friday, isn't quite sure what to call it. "I use different terms," the filmmaker said. "At a film festival, I'll call it a 'live documentary.' At a museum, it's a 'performance.' And I've also done shows at libraries. There, I'll just call it a 'fancy lecture.' Which it is. It's a lecture with a band.
April 20, 2013 |
In the late 1800s, Harvard University professor Frances James Child collected hundreds of lyrics and poems from the British ballad tradition. Published as Popular English and Scottish Ballads , they became known as the Child Ballads. The collection - five volumes of variations of 305 story-songs - has influenced generations of artists, from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez to Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span to the Decemberists and Fleet Foxes. Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer recorded seven of them for their new album, also called Child Ballads , and their understated, direct approach stresses the captivating narratives of songs such as "Tamlin" and "Sir Patrick Spens.
March 24, 2013
Tooth & Nail (Cooking Vinyl ***) The first album in five years by the bard of Barking, Essex, is a largely subdued affair that plays to Billy Bragg's underrated strengths as a writer of tender, subtly revealing love songs. Bragg is best known as a political firebrand and the guy who collaborated with Wilco on the Woody Guthrie project Mermaid Avenue . Tooth & Nail is produced by Joe Henry and features a stellar band of backing musicians, including pedal steel player Greg Leisz.
February 10, 2013 |
The passion for collecting can be a happy diversion. It also can quickly turn into a space invader. And when you happen to own what is believed to be the largest private sheet-music collection in the world, as Sandy Marrone does, space becomes an overwhelming challenge. It all began 38 years ago, when Marrone was seeking a diversion beyond her work as a photojournalist for Penn Mutual in Philadelphia and as a new mother. She had energy to spare. Soon, passion turned into magnificent obsession, as the sheet-music collection morphed into a thriving business, with collectors flocking to her. Five years ago, when Sandy and her husband, Dennis, looked around at their two-story house in the Cinnamon Hill section of Cinnaminson, one word flashed: "Basement!"
January 11, 2013 |
M OSHE BENABOU , a former bodyguard for Justin Bieber, sued the pop superstar Thursday, seeking more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages and claiming that the singer repeatedly struck him during an October incident. Benabou's suit alleges that Bieber berated him and repeatedly punched him in the chest after a disagreement about how to handle a member of the singer's entourage. After he walked away, Bieber fired him, the suit claims. Benabou claims that he was mistakenly told that he wasn't entitled to receive OT despite having worked 14- to 18-hour days between March 2011 and October 2012.
December 12, 2012 |
The Wonderettes made their first appearance with 11th Hour Theatre Company back in June. Then, the quartet was the Marvelous Wonderettes, a nostalgia trip to the 1950s and '60s whose conceit was a last-minute girl-group substitution for a canceled boys' glee club performance. Now, they're Winter Wonderettes, still in beehives, go-go boots, and cat's-eye frames, trading on nostalgia - this time, for the ghosts of Christmases past - while filling in for a missing Santa at Harper's Hardware Holiday Party.