Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:14 pm
Wolf Larsen's life is a complicated mix of mysterious and nearly debilitating health issues and desire to dig deep in art for meaning and hope. Wolf Larsen is the stage name (and pen name) of the singer and writer Sarah Ramey. In 2008, Ramey served as the personal blogger for Obama's presidential campaign and is currently writing a book — The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness — due out in 2013 under her own name. Her new record as Wolf Larsen, Quiet at the Kitchen Door, is a bedroom recording, a project that began as a way to deal with her illness and solitude.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:35 pm
Opera: the stuff of passion, fury, sorrow and ... disquisitions on jurisprudence?
Maybe, if a panel discussion at the just-finished annual meeting of the American Bar Association is to be believed. Called "Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in Opera and the Supreme Court," the session, which was created and moderated by Craig Martin of Jenner & Block LLP, featured U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Anthony Freud, general director of Chicago's Lyric Opera; and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr.
Being the only child of rock 'n' roll's king has kept Lisa Marie Presley under a long shadow, but she's found ways to make her music stand out that don't involve her lineage or occasionally stormy personal life.
Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 am
The "Graffiti Park" in Austin, Texas, is stunning from any angle: Essentially a giant public canvas, the staggered façade on Baylor Street is constantly refreshed with new eye-popping murals by aerosol artists. When the members of Now, Now met us there, they were good enough sports to haul their guitars and amplifiers all the way to the top.
Experimental folk-rock singer Joseph Arthur appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Though Arthur appears solo (as he almost always does), a listener might assume he's backed by a full band. Arthur uses his mastery of digital looping machines, harmonizers and distortion boxes to create a lush, multi-layered background for his songs — culminating with his five-and-a-half-minute spoken-word tune "I Miss the Zoo."
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:58 am
Here's a pairing that raises the question: "Why hasn't this happened before?" The Bad Plus have been a revisionist cover band and today mostly make original piano trio music sui generis. Bill Frisell is the quintessential jazz collaborator: The guitarist, making the second of three appearances at this year's Newport Jazz Festival, is down for anything involving good musicians, and can be counted on to execute it well. Together, they paid tribute to one of their mutual heroes, the late drummer Paul Motian, in a set comprised mostly of his haunting compositions.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:16 pm
In its 21-year career, Enslaved has stayed ahead of the curve. While defenders of the orthodox black-metal sound have a field day hating modern-day mold-breakers like Wolves in the Throne Room and Deafheaven, Enslaved was tearing down Valhalla with Pink Floyd-ian psychedelia and '70s prog-rock back around 2000's Mardraum.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:41 am
A classic male singer, Kurt Elling has an old-school vibe to everything from his mannered stage banter to his declamatory, full-chested delivery. But he isn't afraid to write brainy, twisty lyrics over an obscure jazz number, or take a pop song back to the drawing board. He can do a lot with his voice, you see, and the band featuring long-time collaborator Laurence Hobgood, a pianist, helps to set the stage.
Curtis Salgado is a blues icon in Oregon. During his 40-year career in music, he's held long stints with The Robert Cray Band, fronted Roomful of Blues and done his own thing with The Nighthawks and Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos. Growing up in Eugene, Salgado began playing music on the guitar, but fell in love with the sound of blues harmonica and changed course. When he inherited a small amount of money for education, his parents used it to pay for vocal lessons, which helped Salgado nurture his huge voice.