There's a statement of intent in the sequence of an album's opening one-two punch. There's Harvey Milk's The Pleaser, a title reversal of set 'em up ("Down") and knock 'em down ("Get It Up & Get It On").
Last night, the 10 American Idol finalists were announced, and one thing is for sure: the five-year streak of pleasant-seeming, guitar-playing white dudes (in reverse order: Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, and David Cook) is over.
Stompin' Tom Connors was a Canadian folk legend. He was 77 when he died Wednesday at his home in Ontario. To those of us stateside, his most well-known tune is "The Hockey Song," played at hockey games everywhere. But to Canadians, Stompin' Tom Connors was an inspiration because of his naked nationalist pride.
In this 29th installment of Latin Roots from World Café, David Dye and Grammy-winning Latin music producer Aaron Levinson embark on a transcontinental journey exploring the history and richness of bolero music — a slow-tempo dance with distinctive forms in Cuba and Spain. Bolero typically focuses on themes like love or loss, but as Dye and Levinson discuss, the critical difference between both forms is actually the rhythm.
Scott and Seth Avett formed The Avett Brothers in their hometown of Concord, N.C. With an inspired mix of bluegrass, folk, pop, country and rock, the Avetts create a raw sound that can be solemn, energetic or catchy — sometimes all at the same time.
Gregory Porter's new album, Liquid Spirit, is out this week from Blue Note. Porter is making his career in a time-tested way. With two Grammy-nominated albums from a small label named Motema Music and a lot of touring — international touring — now he's gotten himself signed to a major labor.
On this JazzSet, Porter's singing at the annual Strings of Autumn International Music Festival in Prague. The Czech audience loves him! Applause between songs is running a minute or more.