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...
October 28, 2013 |
There was no shortage of recording of rock, pop and R&B music going on in New York in the 1960s, but as a recognizable music scene, New York definitely held a lower profile than those of Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Detroit, Memphis and a few others we might mention. That's an aspect of Lou Reed's influence that came to mind for Grammy Museum executive director Robert Santelli on Sunday after news of the death of the influential songwriter, singer and bandleader who first came to fame with the Velvet Underground broke and quickly reverberated through the music community.
December 21, 2012 |
Here's how end-of-the-world projections, based on the Mayan calendar, are being greeted in some quarters of the pop music world on Twitter. Pop & Hiss has decided to include two end-of-the-world tweets from Weird Al Yankovic because 1) he had the foresight to name his latest album "Alpocalypse" and 2) who can blame him for trying to squeeze in as many tweets as possible before the end times? “Trying frantically to get this record done before the end of the world. Damn Mayans.” -- Brad Paisley “Good news!
February 19, 2013 |
Kelly Clarkson has gone off on Clive Davis in a way he almost predicted in his memoir, "The Soundtrack of My Life. " "It's clear that Kelly Clarkson has a decidedly independent streak, to say the least, and often speaks in public before she realizes the implications of what she's saying," he wrote in a chapter of the book that deals largely with their professional relationship. It's a chapter full of Clarkson not liking what Davis suggests, with Davis winding up always in the right.
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
September 13, 2009 |
When Bravo's "NYC Prep," hit the airwaves earlier this summer, it looked like any other unscripted reality show, this one following a pack of privileged Upper East Side private-school girls. But there was one very unreal -- make that surreal -- category of merchandise making its debut in the midst of all the teen angst: a quartet of $595 leather handbags named for, and carried in the show by, each of the four female leads. A collaboration between the accessories line Kooba and Bravo TV, the bags included the navy blue leather Camille ("made for a girl with high standards")
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)
November 1, 1995 |
An increasingly important entity in the chamber music world, Britain's Hilliard Ensemble dares to stitch together threads of traditions from medieval, post-modern and post-minimalist sources, while avoiding trivialities. As heard in the program titled "Ars Sacra: Sacred Music From Five Centuries and Six Countries" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Sunday afternoon, its musical identity remains one of both technical refinement and, contextually, only slight irreverence.