Zhang Junmin (second from right) and his band perform the Lao Qiang music special in northwest China's Shaanxi province. The character behind the stage means "drama"; Lao Qiang music used to accompany puppet plays and includes a strong storytelling component.
When Guns N' Roses released the album Chinese Democracy five years ago, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman commented that, questions of politics aside, the GNR sound just wasn't most Chinese folks' cup of tea.
"According to my knowledge," he said, "a lot of people don't like this kind of music because it's too noisy and too loud."
Singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson and her late husband Nick Ashford formed one of the most powerful musical duos of the modern era. From the Motown staple "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman," along with their own smash "Solid," Ashford & Simpson are some of the master architects of soul and R&B. Forty years on, Valerie Simpson carries their songwriting legacy into the present day.
Composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Lalo Schifrin has written some of the most famous music in ﬁlm and TV history. His works include the original Mission: Impossible theme and the scores to Cool Hand Luke and the DirtyHarry ﬁlms. On this page, Schifrin performs his tune "Down Here on the Ground" and joins host Marian McPartland for a duet of "Woody'n You."
Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch and guitarist David Rawlings made their first Mountain Stage appearance on Nov. 19, 1995. At the time of this performance, their landmark debut Revival was many months from release, and Welch was celebrating having her songs covered by Tim & Mollie O'Brien and the Nashville Bluegrass band on their latest albums.
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Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:17 pm
It would have been easy for Radiation City to make a retread of its 2011 debut, The Hands That Take You. Moody and hazy, yet easy to like, it was that record which introduced Radiation City to Portland and beyond, helping it score Willamette Week's "Best New Band" honor along the way.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:57 pm
The four members of Do Amor have been playing together since they were 15, when they first bonded over their love of cheap vinyl records. They recently released their second album, Piracema, even though they haven't had much time to play together; the band shares a rhythm section with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso.
Listen to Do Amor's special performance for World Cafe, recorded live in Rio de Janeiro.