Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 1:47 pm
For a metro area of only about 3.5 million people, the Twin Cities region is unusual in the way it supports not one, but two world-class orchestras. Now, with looming deficits on the horizon and musicians' contracts at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra expiring Sept. 30, the Twin Cities may have two orchestras on strike.
Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 8:55 am
At 11 a.m. on a weekday, Calexico rehearses for its upcoming tour in a cramped studio on the south side of Tucson, Ariz. The stereotypical musician would just be getting up, but lead singer and songwriter Joey Burns has been up since dawn with his twin baby girls.
Trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela arrives late to the rehearsal — and that's because his washing machine broke and he had to deal with a small flood. Valenzuela grabs his trumpet as the band launches into "Splitter," the first single from Calexico's new album.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:50 pm
The focal point of The xx, on its debut as well as its new album Coexist, is the existential romance between the singers, Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft — each of whom sounds adrift in his or her own bubble.
This past July, the prolific indie-rock band Dirty Projectors returned with a new record, Swing Lo Magellan. Just as accessible as the group's 2009 breakthrough, Bitte Orca, Dirty Projectors' sixth studio album places an added emphasis on the songs' concepts rather than just unique pop arrangements.
Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 2:53 pm
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. You know that old saying, you have big shoes to fill? As the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Ben Taylor probably knows more about that than most. His dad was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His mom has an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy. Each is one of the most beloved artists of their generation, so a little pressure, maybe?
Thankfully, critics found, in his 2003 debut album, "Famous Among the Barns," a unique twist on American folk music.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:11 pm
Maybe you remember when you first realized that the rabbit hole of jazz was far, far deeper than you'd possibly imagined. That the same tenor saxophone player on Kind of Blue also made Blue Train and Giant Steps and A Love Supreme and Interstellar Space and dozens of other albums and who knows how many guest appearances, and that that was just what people recorded of John Coltrane. And that all those records involved scores of other contributors, who in turn played with scores of other people over scores of years.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:26 am
Very touching: the ailing Van Cliburn addressed the Fort Worth audience at the concert celebrating his competition's 50th anniversary: "I personally want to thank you all for all of your faithful support. Never forget that I love you all from the bottom of my heart forever."
If you haven’t heard The xx before, their unique sound is hard to describe, but it's irresistible. (I still regularly turn to their first record from 2009 for everything from road trips to cooking music.) The music is soft, and although the vocals are lovely centerpieces, they also somehow fade into the songs. Chord arrangements are simple but combine to make beautiful tracks.
Not many artists stay sharp, relevant, and great into their 70’s and later (Picasso, Neil Young, Vladimir Horowitz, et al., come to mind), I have no problem including Bob, at 71, in this elite group. If you are a Dylan fan and don’t have this record you must run, not walk, to your computer and order it.
Seattle band, Pickwick, have cultivated their own unique take on garage rock, gospel, and 60s era pop while interpreting those genres through a modern lens. KVNF DJ, Stephanie Ogburn interviewed the band backstage at Blues and Brews…
If this is your introduction to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, you are meeting a man part-genius, part-indulgent rambler. His score’s of albums under a variety of names (Palace Music, Palace Brothers, Palace, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Bonnie Billy, Bonnie 'Blue' Billy, & Will Oldham) are expansive and lonely, romping and snide, and all together strangely harmonious