October 28, 2013 |
The music world is in mourning over the death of Lou Reed, the indescribably influential singer, composer and bandleader. He was one of the first to marry rock insouciance with high-art ideas: reducing the form of a guitar band to its absolute minimum, while sounding unprecedented and scary and occasionally even lovely. He put raw drones and white noise into the rock-instrument canon, and wrote about smack addiction and transvestism 40 years before...
September 29, 1988 |
It's an image of pathos that fits into American movies very well: A reticent teen-ager in jeans, with unkempt hair, who is constantly dropping his glasses, turns out to have the right stuff to be a talented concert pianist. In Sidney Lumet's latest movie, "Running on Empty," River Phoenix portrays Danny Pope, a. k. a. "Mike Manfield" and several other fictitious names. He is 17, in a state of emotional hibernation, and a mystery to his teachers. Yet he performs Mozart's Fantasia, K.
October 27, 1990
I felt compelled to give you some feedback to your article about the New Kids on the Block. I'm the parent of a teen-ager who dearly loves the New Kids. As a parent, I'm glad to have a group that sings, dances and entertains in a manner that I don't have to worry about the words of their songs. It is nice to have such a refreshing young group come to the forefront of the music world. LEONARD MOEDER Diamond Bar
June 12, 1990 |
The music world hasn't exactly been going out of its way to celebrate the centenary of Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890-1974). Too bad. Sunday afternoon at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, the Cambridge Singers performed Martin's Mass for Double Chorus (1929) in a manner to remind every listener of the profound substance of the composer's output, and to do the group itself and its conductor, Alexander Ruggieri, proud.
January 24, 1988
I am appalled that someone who claims to be as informed about the music world as Robert Hilburn would neglect to mention at all a man who since the '70s and well into the '80s has been more influential than any other figure in music--Bryan Ferry. Whether the creative drive behind Roxy Music, or as a solo artist, he consistently turns out masterpieces during an age when most of the premier artists of the '70s wallow in their creative droughts. One only has to look at two of the greatest albums in rock history, "Avalon" (1982)
December 22, 1985
Robert Hilburn's fascinating record company exec survey ("The Big Deal," Dec. 15) immediately brought to mind the old saying "the music business is not the music world." Reading between the lines, one can discern an interesting undercurrent of confusion and panic among these alleged "executives." The truth is, they are utterly frozen with fear for losing their jobs over one false move. My message to those surveyed in Hilburn's piece: Give us some new sounds or dig your own grave.
April 27, 1996
I read with great interest Don Heckman's review of the Guitar Summit concert at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium ("Four Players, One Remarkable Instrument," March 9). He described Stanley Jordan's guitar-playing style as follows: ". . . he plays the guitar by tapping the strings in two-handed, piano keyboard style, [producing] sounds not quite like anything ever before heard from the instrument." Has Mr. Heckman been living in a soundproof cave for the past 20 years since Eddie Van Halen first introduced "tapping" and "hammering" to the music world?