April 18, 2014 |
INDIO, Calif. - Dee Dee Penny, lead singer of the Dum Dum Girls, is no stranger to performing at giant summer musical events. At the first of the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival events last Friday, her retro-rock act played before thousands of ecstatic fans. She was just one of an eclectic roster of female artists who galvanized Coachella audiences. Teenage provocateur Lorde dazzled amid a howling dust storm in her summer music festival debut. R&B diva Solange got a surprise assist from her superstar sister, Beyoncé Knowles.
August 9, 2012 |
A year ago Chinese pianist Yuja Wang was the talk of the classical music world after she wore a little orange dress for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Some thought the mini-dress inappropriate for a symphonic concert, while others cheered the young musician for her personal style. Thursday night she returned to the Bowl for a performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and delighted the audience with a smart purple gown and a memorable playing of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Gustavo Dudamel conducting.
March 20, 2012 |
In his keynote speech at the South by Southwest Music Festival and Conference in Austin, Texas, last week, singer Bruce Springsteen spoke at length about his musical story. The 62-year-old rock icon told the capacity crowd of his life as a fan, recalled the records that he fell in love with as a New Jersey teen, and conveyed the feeling of a shared victory when rock 'n' roll upended American youth culture and transformed the world. Springsteen then ran down the many ways that his version of the story is long in the past, offering evidence by reeling off an amazing list of subgenres from today's fractured American music scene.
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.
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.
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
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?