February 26, 2013
Kevin Ayers, 68, an influential singer-songwriter who cofounded the band Soft Machine, has died in France, his record label said Thursday. Mr. Ayers was an important figure in the British psychedelic movement spearheaded by the Beatles in the late 1960s. He did not achieve sustained commercial success, but his work is treasured by musicians and many fans. Jack McLean, assistant to the managing director of Lo-Max Records in London, said Thursday that Mr. Ayers' body had been discovered in his bed at his home in the medieval village Montolieu in the south of France.
February 22, 2013 |
On Thursday at the Merriam Theater, Sweet Honey in the Rock will be bringing it - and then some. "We have everything," says longtime (and retiring) member Ysaye Maria Barnwell, "from African to spiritual to doo-wop to folk to jazz to civil-rights music - we have it all. " This year is the group's 40th anniversary. Since 1973, Sweet Honey - present lineup Barnwell, Louise Robinson, Aisha Kahlil, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Carol Maillard, and impassioned signer Shirley Childress Saxton - has crisscrossed the world, with song-and-dance performances that combine musical journey, dance, spoken-word, political statement, and ecstatic exploration of the human voice.
February 8, 2013
THE CONCEPT of a Broadway musical scored with rock music is hardly a radical one. After all, "Hair" debuted when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. But a punk-rock musical? Now that's a horse of a different decibel level. On the surface, punk seems like the genre least-suited to musical theater, having been forged in the mid-to-late-1970s as a response to safe, mass-market mainstream pop, whose own roots can be traced, in large part, to the Great White Way. Sonically, the two genres are worlds apart.
December 12, 2012 |
Ravi Shankar, 92, the sitar player and composer described as the "godfather of world music" by Beatles guitarist George Harrison, has died. Mr. Shankar, who first performed internationally as a child, devoted his adult life to Indian classical music. His audience widened after Harrison, who introduced the sitar into rock music by playing the instrument on the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," sought out Mr. Shankar's tutelage. "It's with a very heavy heart that I confirm this sad news," his manager, Earl Blackburn, said in an e-mail Wednesday.
April 19, 2012 |
HE WAS VOTED "Most likely to sell the Brooklyn Bridge" by his high-school classmates. But Dick Clark did much more than that. He sold America on a kit bag of rowdy trouble and seductive pleasures. And he did so fordecades —from those lurid "Great Balls of Fire" goosed by Jerry Lee Lewis and the hip, grinding come-ons to do "The Twist" evoked by Chubby Checker, to the coded drug-'n'-revolution messages he let fly on national TV from the Jefferson Airplane, and the totally tarty aura of Madonna that became America's obsession.
February 24, 2012
THEATER AGAIN AND AGAIN At the end of Eugene Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano," a one-hour absurdist comedy about the ridiculous nature of British social conventions and language, the play dictates that the actors start again from the beginning. The reliably-wacky Brat Productions - which staged a fantastically camped-out musical version of "Carrie" last year - takes that prompt literally. Beginning tonight, they'll perform the play for a full 24 hours, with the actors taking nary a break to catch their breath.
August 28, 2011 |
SEOUL, South Korea - Kang Hyun-Min remembers the first time he slid an album from its cardboard jacket and delicately, almost reverently, placed it on the turntable. It was 1979, and Kang's father had ruled the record player off-limits to the 10-year-old. But home alone one day, the young Kang gave in to his curiosity; he flipped through his brother's album collection, thinking he might for once take control of that magical music player. Unable to read English, he knew musicians only by their album-cover art. He knew he had to hurry because someone could arrive home at any minute.
April 27, 2011 |
Can the Grammys do anything right? This month, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, responding to years of criticism that the Grammy Awards were hopelessly out of touch, decided to do something about it. Academy president Neil Portnow announced that instead of giving out 109 golden gramophones at next year's 54th annual awards, it would give out 78. The Grammys have been widely mocked - by this critic, among others - for being...
July 9, 2010 |
WHEN YOU look at what Chubby Checker has accomplished in his half-century as an entertainer, it's impossible not to be impressed. His recordings - including "The Twist," "Let's Twist Again," "The Fly," "Pony Time" and "The Limbo Rock" - have sold millions of copies worldwide and made him one of the most recognizable figures of the rock era. "Let's Twist Again" was the first recipient of a Best Rock 'n' Roll Recording Grammy (in 1962)....