The three seasons of Treme have all found their way to Mardi Gras; appropriately, the day is always depicted with all the spectacle, vice and musical mayhem you might expect. Josh Jackson of WBGO returns to break down the many musical scenes in this year's go-round.
Patrick Jarenwattananon: So many flashes of live music this episode. Let's start at the beginning. Did you recognize the band where Lieut. Colson and his fellow officer are talking, and there are (clothed) women on poles in the French Quarter?
Scott Yoder and Brendhan Bowers formed The Pharmacy in 2002, envisioning it as a garage-punk band before also embracing dance-pop and psychedelic rock. In 2007, classically trained pianist Stefan Rubicz joined the group, which has since maintained a steady schedule, earning positive reviews and touring with Vivian Girls, Matt+Kim and Japanther.
Wanda Jackson makes her second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in the border town of Bristol, Tenn./Va., in partnership with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance. Enjoying yet another career renaissance on the heels of her Jack White-produced album The Party Ain't Over, Jackson returned to the studio earlier this year alongside Justin Townes Earle.
Here's a puzzle: You're a not particularly well-known rapper with a couple of albums under your belt, trying to introduce yourself to a wider audience. You've got a song with a harp sample and lyrics with a wide range of references that include Afrika Bambaataa, Cash Money Records, Rammellzee, Burt Bacharach, the Brill Building, Zola Jesus, Human League, outrageously expensive high-fashion brands like Prada and Balenciaga and low-budget but prolific art collectors Herbert and Dorothy Vogel.
Sometimes, it's hard to know what constitutes a band. Billy Corgan wrote and sang all the songs for The Smashing Pumkpins and still records under the name, even though the other original members are long gone. Same deal with James Mercer and The Shins.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 8:32 am
Saxophonist Gregory Tardy came of musical age in New Orleans, then moved to New York after being picked up by drummer Elvin Jones' band. He found his way into a wide variety of groups — including a long tenure with Andrew Hill during the pianist's prolific final years — and made several albums as a bandleader. Still an international-caliber musician, Tardy has been less visible in the big city since he moved to Knoxville, Tenn., for a teaching position, but he returns here with his own concept and own band.
Author Anton Treuer has written several books, including Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask. For Tell Me More's occasional "In Your Ear," series, Treuer offers his crash course on music from Indian Country.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:36 pm
Few classical musicians these days are serious improvisers — aside from organists and early-music practitioners. But pianist Gabriela Montero is absolutely fearless when it comes to creating a new piece, right out of the air, right on the spot. At her concerts she takes requests from audience members. They can suggest a song for her to improvise on, or simply a topic of interest.