December 22, 2013 |
The raison d'être of Stevie Wonder's annual holiday concert is the collection of toys for needy children in the Southland, something he's done enthusiastically for 18 years now, each edition featuring a different lineup of friends, musical colleagues and family members. Saturday's installment of Wonder's House Full of Toys at the Nokia Theatre, however, may have given the biggest gift of all to the audience of about 7,000: the first-ever performance of his landmark 1976 double album “Songs in the Key of Life” in its entirety.
July 29, 2010 |
Ben Jaffe, the tuba player and creative director for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, was sitting in his Faubourg Marigny house one spring morning, drinking fresh-brewed New Orleans chicory coffee and worrying about the oil spill. He and music producer Bill Lynn had just watched oil executives blame one another for the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster, and Jaffe, who comes from a long line of jazz musicians, was sick of it. He glanced over at a glum Lynn, and as if by instinct, they started riffing on a standard New Orleans tune, "It Ain't My Fault."
June 29, 2013 |
In Saturday's Times, I published an account of my recent wedding, and the struggles and successes of choosing the perfect music for the occasion -- especially as a music critic. The essay mentioned any number of songs that my wife Jenny and I included, and others that were featured on a mix CD we gave to our guests. I've made a Spotify mix of the songs that landed on the mix, and included it below. Yes, the list of songs that we could have included is boundless, and on any given day the mix would have featured other selections.
June 16, 2013 |
Like beauty, sappiness exists primarily in the eye of the beholder, a truism demonstrated perhaps most clearly in songs about being a parent. To people without children, the subject has led to countless instances of emotional extravagance run amok. Yet to moms and dads, raising kids can seem so profound that it justifies - indeed, necessitates! - the kind of language those very moms and dads might otherwise be inclined to dismiss. (Pop & Hiss expects we might be in for some of that language soon from Kanye West, who as you may have read became a father early Saturday.)
June 22, 2013 |
Not one to risk being overshadowed by Kanye West, Jay-Z and J. Cole -- all of whom have dominated music news this week -- Drake took to the Web early Saturday to release a batch of new songs and reveal the release date of his upcoming album. The Canadian rapper -- who may also have been looking to divert attention from a video in which he appears to be turned away from the Miami Heat locker room following the team's win at the NBA Finals -- posted four tracks on his October's Very Own blog , including "The Motion," featuring Sampha, and "Jodeci Freestyle," featuring J. Cole.
February 2, 2011 |
Patients at the end of their lives often receive their final care from hospice workers. Contrary to what the haven't-really-though-about-it-crowd might suspect, not all such care involves administering drugs. Hospice therapists in Florida team up to use a combination of music and massage to treat dying patients such as Bernard Michels, 98. He, for one, sees the merits. "It brings back memories of when I was a younger guy," he says in a South Florida Sun Sentinel story . The music-massage approach delivers more than a passing feel-good emotion.
November 14, 2012 |
Beck Hansen continued the process of introducing his new work "Song Reader" on Tuesday night with an essay in the New Yorker magazine. The collection, which Beck hasn't recorded but composed as sheet music to be played by others, arrives through the lauded McSweeney's publishing imprint on Dec. 7. In thoughtful and elegant prose, the Los Angeles native explained that the project began after his song publisher sent him the sheet music of one...
November 7, 2012 |
With less than a week until the release next Tuesday of his major-label debut, the Canadian R&B singer known as the Weeknd is giving listeners a preview of some of his new material. "Trilogy" will primarily collect songs from a series of free albums the Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) originally issued online in 2011. But it's also to contain three previously unreleased tracks, two of which -- "Twenty Eight" and "Valerie" -- are now available to stream in radio-rip form on a website overseen by the Weeknd's XO crew.
May 28, 2013 |
Anxious travelers can turn to a special music playlist to help alleviate their stress this travel season, thanks to Spotify . The music streaming service commissioned a special study to investigate the type of music that best helps calm nerves, and they found Adele's “Someone Like You” to be the perfect song for nervous fliers. The study was carried out by anxiety psychologist Becky Spelman of the Private Therapy Clinic in London. Spelman's research found that slowing down breathing to be in time with music with a slow tempo - ideally around 60 beats per minute - helps lower a person's heart rate and blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
August 23, 2013 |
"Amélie," the whimsical 2001 French film starring Audrey Tautou, will become a stage musical with songs by composer Dan Messé, who has revealed the news on the Facebook page of his band, the Brooklyn-based Hem. The musical, which has no dates attached, is being co-written with playwright Craig Lucas and co-lyricist Nathan Tysen. Messé recently wrote on Facebook: "So not the best kept secret, but still I'm happy to announce that I've been commissioned to adapt the film 'Amélie' for Broadway... Can't wait to share it with you!"