“People study that D.W. Griffith film as one of the best of the period… It’s the epitome of racism, the highest point of racism I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s literally disgusting, completely against everything we know of, and it’s being studied by everybody.”
Associate Editor, Hartford/New Haven Advocates, Fairfield Weekly, CT.com. Follow me on Twitter @MikeHamad.
Marrying art-song sensibilities, contemporary pop frameworks and angular, outside grooves, Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors are a musicologist’s dream. Composer David Longstreth’s songs sometimes work within conventional structures; elsewhere they struggle against them. The last two Dirty Projectors albums — 2009’s Bitte Orca and Swing Lo Magellan, from last year — have established them at the forefront of cerebral indie rock. They’ll perform at Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton on April 15, with Delicate Steve opening.
In the spring of 1972, Yes guitarist Steve Howe was recording a guitar solo for “Siberian Khatru” for the upcoming Close to the Edge album. Engineer Eddie Offord mic’ed his amplifier up close, as usual, then asked his assistant to stand in the studio and swing another microphone, plugged into a twenty-foot cord, in circles around his head, creating an improvised Doppler effect as the microphone arced close to Howe’s amplifier, then backed away.
Way back when, the family would congregate around the warm, vacuum-tube glow of the household radio every evening, to soak up scintillating, one-size-fits-all tales of femme fatales, gumshoes and Martian invasions, side-splitting comedic skits and the latest pop hits from Tin Pan Alley.
Want to buy a Mike Doughty song, in the key of your choice (the options right now are C, C# and D; perhaps others can be negotiated), with a bridge (that’s extra), performed by Doughty, signed, numbered and delivered (via digital recorder) right to your mailbox? ($810.27, please.)
We’ve arguably reached a point where we measure a musician’s global impact by how many views they’ve gotten on YouTube.
To the casual, iPhone-toting observer on the street, success in the app-development game means launching the next Angry Birds, the next Words with Friends, the next Fruit Ninja. It’s all about creating that simple, super-addictive, viral app that pays for the 65 or so clunkers you’ve designed along the way, spinning off movie scripts and T-shirt licensing deals in the process.
Over the last 12 years, the week-long Women Composers Festival of Hartford has grown into one of the Northeast’s top destinations for hearing new music by living female composers.
Hartford musician Ben Golder-Novick, also known as Ben the Sax Guy (or Benito the Troubadour, if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing), was hoping to have a new recording out this year. Then he got mugged.
As a teenager, Matisyahu — the shape-shifting Chassidic-reggae-hip-hop musician who performs at Hartford’s Bushnell Center on Feb. 17 — freestyled for spare change at Phish shows. A few years ago, he sang Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” to 50,000 people at Bonnaroo. God certainly works in mysterious ways.
In his 52 short years on this planet, what hasn’t saxophonist Branford Marsalis done? Composing Broadway scores and movie soundtracks; recording with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and his brother Wynton; running the Tonight Show band, when Jay Leno took over from Johnny Carson; jamming with the Grateful Dead (check out the exquisite “Eyes of the World” on Without a Net) and subsequently venturing out into the jam-band world with Buckshot LeFonque; teaching college; winning Grammys; starting a record label; bringing aid to his native New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; leading his own quartet for more than a decade. (Whew.)
This will only make sense if you’re temporarily willing to imagine Phish studio albums being comparable in quality to Led Zeppelin records.
Franz Liszt did it. So did Gustav Mahler, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Anthony Braxton, Liz Phair, Dirty Projectors, on and on.
There’s a lot to love about Dave Grohl: his body of work with Nirvana and Foo Fighters, his old-school rock boosterism, his affable pizza delivery-guy persona.