Brooklyn-based keyboardist and vocalist Xenia Rubinos likes to play with syncopation. Her debut album, Magic Trix, is based around rhythms that sometimes are identifiable as Caribbean, and at other times veer into the experimental.
"It's something I have a lot of fun with — just taking one rhythmic figure and turning it around as many ways as I can," Rubinos says. "That's a huge part of my compositional process, just messing around with something very simple and seeing how far I can take it."
In some ways, Michael Bublé is just of a different time. The songs the Canadian crooner sings are the Motown, jazz and swing classics he grew up listening to with his grandfather. Bublé says he misses the pure, unadulterated sound of music made back then — though he is willing to use a little Auto-Tune once in a while.
Karl Hyde is one-half of the English electronic dance duo Underworld. But he's also an installation artist, a painter and a composer. Last year, he collaborated with director Danny Boyle on the music for the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
The Chapin Sisters are a critically acclaimed duo, with tinges of folk, country and pop in their songs. For their latest project, Lily and Abigail Chapin looked to another famous set of singing siblings: Don and Phil, The Everly Brothers.
Lily Chapin says the genesis of their new tribute album, A Date with The Everly Brothers, was a creative workaround of sorts. The duo was once a trio featuring another Chapin sister, Jessica; the three siblings grew up singing three-part harmonies together. Several years ago, Jessica left the group to start a family.
As worked into the opening line of the brilliant "Song for Zula" by Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck, the famous words "Love is a burning thing" set the scene for one of the best songs Houck has ever written.
Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:56 pm
During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party. Jiang Qing (a.ka. Madame Mao), a former stage and screen actress and the notorious wife of Mao Zedong, led the creation of yang ban xi: "model works" that were meant, in words attributed to Chairman Mao, to "serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and [conforming] to proletarian ideology."