Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:18 pm
The 11-member group from Boston known as Debo Band has a sound influenced by the traditional music played in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late '60s and early '70s. This style, labeled "Addis swing," came about amid the cultural freedom of that period, before a military coup put an end to the era. Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, who was born in Sudan and grew up in Texas, founded Debo Band, which released a self-titled album in July.
It's been a tumultuous time for American orchestras. Labor disputes have shut down the Minnesota Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphony, and strikes and lockouts have affected orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta and Louisville in the past year.
Though it's been around for three decades, 3-D printing has finally started to take off for manufacturing and even for regular consumers. It's being used for making airplane parts on demand and letting kids make their own toys. One designer is pushing the limits of 3-D printing by using it to make an acoustic guitar.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:20 am
In the last decade or so, it's been invigorating to watch new developments in the American Primitive style of acoustic guitar, as it finds new voices and revives its progenitors. By my estimation, enough time has passed since the first Imaginational Anthem and By the Fruits You Shall Know the Roots compilations to influence a younger crop of guitarists.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:39 pm
(Pianist Jonathan Biss decodes the unconventional relationship between Robert Schumann and his wife Clara in this second essay for our week dedicated to this composer. Click the audio link above to hear him play Schumann and discuss his work with Performance Today host Fred Child.)
Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:21 am
Peter Bjorn and John are releasing a catchy, espionage-inspired track on the latest installment of the Yo Gabba Gabba! soundtrack. Yo Gabba Gabba! is a popular children's show in its fourth season on Nick Jr. The colorful cast of characters and landscapes captivates kids, while the show's soundtrack featuring alternative rock stars appeals to parents.