If you think all the twitchy rhythms and random shards of melody flashing through Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring sound complicated, consider the poor musicians who have to learn it. And then there's the conductor, who needs to perfectly place every piccolo tweet and bass drum boom.
One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps — The Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. As the orchestra played TheRite's swirling introduction, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées began to murmur. Then the curtain opened.
Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes are an Australian band whose sound is a little bit of soul fused with blues, doo-wop, jazz and R&B. That musical diet, rich in harmony, is the same one lead singer Clairy Browne grew up on.
"My dad had a band in South Africa in the '60s called Browne, and so he really brought that into our home," she says. "We were always around the kitchen table with a guitar and four-part harmonies, playing on late into the night.
Overmountain Men makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Taking its name from the soldiers of the American Revolution who lived west of (or "over") the Appalachians, Overmountain Men began as a collaboration between North Carolina singer, songwriter and attorney David Childers and Avett Brothers bassist Bob Crawford. Crawford had written a song about a real-life prison rodeo for a documentary, and sought out Childers to sing it.
The L.A. band Fitz & The Tantrums broke through in 2011 with its debut album, Picking Up the Pieces. Undeniable songs and exciting concerts led the group to festival dates and other high-profile live appearances around the world.
We got a lot of thoughtful comments and replies from readers this week when we asked whether they really listen to full albums from start to finish. Much of the discussion focused on the ways we listen and what constitutes actually engaging with an entire album in a full-on listening, as opposed to merely having it on.
Host Scott Levin interviews legendary jazz master and 2011 Grammy nominee, Freddy Cole. Levin will preview selections and discuss Freddy Cole's upcoming May 21st new release, "This and That," on High Note Records.