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by Eric Allen Been

16 Nov 2010


British postpunk ensemble Wire announced today its first string of North American tour dates (check the stops below). The tour will be in support of the band’s new album Red Bark Tree. The LP will be released on 11 January 2011 on the band’s own label, Pink Flag. Wire’s core lineup—Colin Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey—recorded the new LP without any guests. Additional tour dates will be announced soon.

TOUR DATES 
April 01: Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
April 02: Montreal, QC - Le Cabaret du Mile End
April 03: Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs
April 05: Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg,
April 06: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
April 07: Washington DC - Black Cat
April 08: Austin, TX - Mohawk
April 09: Chicago, IL - Metro
April 12: Portland, OR - Dante’s

by Matt Mazur

16 Nov 2010


Oscar has an affinity for Australian actors when it comes to giving up the gold: Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, and Geoffrey Rush among the recent winners from down under. Animal Kingdom‘s Jacki Weaver, who is appearing in the Sydney Theater’s production of Uncle Vanya, is positioned to be the next performer to uphold the tradition this year for her bravura turn in the noirish film.

Playing Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody, the cunningly sweet matriarch with a heart of steel, Weaver seems to be shoe-in for an impending slew of trophies and critical hosannas. But will Academy voters bite? History is on Weaver’s side, Aussie heritage aside, playing a variation of the bad mother trope has won the top prize for Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden), Shelley Winters (A Patch of Blue), and most recently, Mo’Nique (Precious). If I were a Best Supporting Actress contender, I’d watch my back.

Check out this exclusive scene from Animal Kingdom to see Weaver in full-throttle action. It would work perfectly as an Oscar clip as well.

by Eric Allen Been

16 Nov 2010


On Jonquil’s “Get Up”, the Oxford trio gives a nod to the English math rock scene they emerged from by offering up a quick flash of fusion guitar before switching gears and melting together the sunnier sides of indie rock with early African pop sounds. To boot, the polyrhythm/pop combination isn’t a gimmicky affair but an affectionate warm homage to the sounds mined by Paul Simon on his album The Rhythm of the Saints. Once a six-piece outfit, Jonquil is now comprised of Hugo Manuel, Sam Hudson Scott and Robin McDiarmin. You can catch Jonquil’s live show at the dates listed below.

“Get Up” is Jonquil’s lead single for their One Hundred Suns EP, which drops today in the U.S. on Dovecote Records.

TOUR DATES
11/17/10 – The Harley (Sheffield, UK)
11/18/10 – Cardiff Arts Institute (Cardiff, UK)
11/19/10 – Jericho (Oxford, UK)
11/20/10 – Spanky Van Dyke’s (Nottingham, UK)
11/24/10 – CAMP (London, UK)
12/09/10 – The Courtyard (Yorkshire, UK)

by Devin Mainville

15 Nov 2010


Tim Kasher, who has spent the last two decades with Cursive and the Good Life, released his first solo album The Game of Monogamy on October 5th of this year. The album highlights the thematic, lyrical songwriting that has kept Kasher on the radar of music critics since 1997. The Game of Monogamy is equal parts catchy pop, grand orchestral arrangements, and stark instrumentation. The theme that ties these songs together is one of rocky relationships and the dark sides of marriage.

Kasher’s Daytrotter sessions are available at daytrotter.com. This session includes the The Game of Monogamy tracks “Bad, Bad Dreams”, “The Prodigal Husband”, “No Fireworks”, and a cover of David Bowie’s “Soul Love”.

Kasher is in the middle of a national tour supporting the album that will last until December 17, 2010.

by Eric Allen Been

15 Nov 2010


Henryk Górecki, the celebrated Polish composer whose compositions ranged from discordant avant-garde works to conventional harmonic arrangements, died on 12 November 2010, in Katowice, Poland. He was 76.

A noted pioneer of minimalist compositional techniques—though he adopted a more florid mode of expression when he began investigating religious themes in his later works—Górecki was perhaps best known for his 1976 work Symphony No. 3, or the “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.”

Though a somber piece that explored such issues as war and loss, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” became an improbable crossover hit in 1992 when a recording of the more than 15-year-old third symphony was released to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. The recording, put out by the record label Nonesuch, cracked into Britain’s top 10 pop music chart and went on to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide.

Though Górecki was often at lager heads with his country, perhaps most famously when he resigned in 1979 from his professor of composition post to protest the then communist government’s rebuff of a visit by Pope John Paul II, the composer was awarded Poland’s most prestigious award last month, the Order of the White Eagle.

In a remembrance posted on Nonesuch’s website, the Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington, who worked with the composer in his later years, stated the following: “There is no one who can replace Henryk Górecki in the world of music. Many others have created beautiful, passionate, even exalted music. But Henryk found a way forward and beyond, through thickets of styles and fashions, that resonates of the single human being in communion with the power of the universe.”

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