Violinist Joshua Bell has followed the lead of symphony orchestra conductors since he turned 7 and made his orchestra debut. But now he's the one waving the baton — or at least waving his violin bow. Bell recently took over the music directorship of the venerable Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Winston Yellen didn't start singing until he was 18 — he's 23 now — but he's already got one of 2013's most arresting new voices. As the singer for the country-rock group Night Beds, Yellen often performs a cappella, with tremendous soul and nuance.
Formed in 2008, Pickwick members Galen Disston, Michael and Garrett Parker, Cassady Lillstrom, Alex Westcoat, and Kory Kruckenberg forged a path toward neo-soul and in 2011 released a compilation of music from three of their EPs. The result was Myths, released one single at a time on 7" vinyl, which put the band on the map and became one of the most popular albums of the year in Seattle.
Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a Chinese singer whose accented, croaky voice is hardly ever in tune. But for his fans he's the voice of a generation — one of the very few voices who dare to speak out. After a collaboration, Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins called him "China's Leonard Cohen."
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, pictured above in January 1970, are the subjects of Jonathan Cott's new book <em>Days That I'll Remember</em>. Cott met Lennon in 1968 and was friends with the couple.
Credit Anthony Cox / Getty Images
Jonathan Cott is a contributing editor at <em>Rolling Stone</em>. He is the author of the biography <em>Dylan</em><em> </em>and the co-editor of <em>The Ballad of John and Yoko</em>. He lives in New York City.
As the European editor of Rolling Stone, Jonathan Cott spent his time interviewing legendary musicians like Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend. But in 1968, he finally got the opportunity to meet his hero, John Lennon. Cott was nervous.
"He said, 'There's nothing to be nervous about,'" Cott recalls. "'It's going to be OK, and we're doing it together, and that's what really matters.'"
This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.
Every day at KEXP, we're witnesses to the gifts of musicians from around the world. On one balmy day in Seattle, the bluesy, hypnotic spirit of Sidi Touré brought something extraordinary, as he offered an intimate look into the spiritual influences that guided the creation of Koïma, his newest album.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 7:23 pm
You hear some music you hate. That's fair. We all do on occasion. But can you learn to love — or at least not loathe — that music? Can you intentionally transform the visceral response you have to certain pieces and styles, or does that happen at some more incalculable, subtle level?
Researchers at Australia's University of Melbourne say that the more dissonance (which they describe as "perceived roughness, harshness, unpleasantness, or difficulty in listening to the sound") that we hear in music, the less we enjoy said music. Seems obvious enough, right?
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:55 pm
Aaron Neville has been a radio mainstay for more than five decades. Coming from a musical family in New Orleans, he got his start singing with The Neville Brothers and had his first No. 1 R&B hit in 1966 with "Tell It Like It Is."