Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 10:08 am
Albums that act like sketchbooks can be brilliant in their own messy ways, with tossed-off riffs or unfinished beats that offer a glimpse into the creative process. The uncategorizable Wreck and Reference has released two weirdly heavy and unnerving records thus far — Black Cassette and Youth (pronounced "No Youth") — by scribbling together doom metal, industrial, drone, noise and whatever else with drums, guitar and a Korg sampler.
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:10 am
It was probably the best performance piece I've seen in more than a decade. Specific Ocean, a piece by the dance troupe/rock band People Get Ready, which I saw at the New York Live Arts theater in the fall, was a model for the ways musicians can break from the standard, sometimes boring, format of playing on a stage. Some of the songs from Specific Ocean ended up on the group's 2012 self-titled album. Now there's a video, a documentation of that amazing New York performance, featuring the song "Middle Name."
A great art teacher can made a huge difference in the development of a young artist and a bad teacher can be, well, really bad. Concert pianist Lang Lang had one especially bad teacher. He's just going to call her Professor Angry.
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm
The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.
To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.
Bonnie Bishop makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Nashville-based by way of Texas and Mississippi, Bishop has made a name for herself with her songs and powerful live performances. In 2002, she toured Texas' vast roots-music circuit, and has since released four albums in a span of six years. Her work earned her a nomination for "Vocal Performance of the Year" at the Lone Star Music Awards.
Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going — his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.
The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be — and, of course, perform live in the studio.