Atlas Genius, a project led by Aussie brothers Keith and Michael Jeffrey, has a pop sensibility that's hard to deny. "Trojans" caught my attention immediately, so we were thrilled to welcome the band in for a live session and get a preview of songs from its forthcoming full-length debut, When It Was Now.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 10:39 pm
Last year's collaboration between St. Vincent (Annie Clarke) and David Bryne was surprising on many levels. The album they wrote and recorded together, Love This Giant, is inspired and artful, if not as immediately accessible as some of the solo work each of them has made in the past. On stage, performed live at the Strathmore music hall in Bethesda, MD, the songs found their heart and soul.
"Telescope," the fictional hit single by the fictional country star Juliette Barnes on Nashville, is sung by the actress who plays Juliette, Hayden Panetierre. If it didn't become a real-life hit when the song was released a few months ago to country radio stations, it wasn't for lack of catchiness, courtesy of producers T-Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller.
As a teaching assistant for UCLA's undergraduate course "Jazz in American Culture," I spend much of my time in a scene found on college campuses around the world. My professor, the seasoned jazz guitarist Charley Harrison, lectures eager students on the music's geniuses. In the evening, he directs the college big band through classic Swing Era repertoire and modern reinterpretations of it. Harrison and his colleagues also lead smaller ensembles that take 1960s hard bop as their aesthetic core.
Rapper Amkoullel had one of his songs banned by Mali's government, which controls the southern part of the country. It's even worse in the north, where militants linked to al-Qaida have outlawed virtually all music.
Amkoullel, a 33-year-old Malian rapper, sings about self-image, immigration and respect. He's among a new generation of young rappers in Mali, mixing traditional instruments with new themes. He has played all over the world, performing with Malian legends Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:15 pm
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is something of a musician's musician in the classical world. He's a favorite among his collaborators: He's the artist in residence this season at the Berlin Philharmonic, and as a soloist/conductor, he's worked with ensembles ranging from the Boston Symphony to the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:50 pm
Few bands would categorize their sound as "mountaintop chamber music," yet The Last Bison's classical-influenced Southern folk-rock actually fits the bill. The septet emerged from the marshes of Chesapeake, Va., a couple years ago, and has since made a name for itself with its complex arrangements, refined lyrics and vocal harmonies. Singer-guitarist Ben Hardesty is the group's primary songwriter, and his style recalls the work of Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes.