The 2017 Meadows Music Fest was full of nostalgia, rap and surprises. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect too (almost too hot even) for September. And it helped that the festival was super easy to get around, with four stages arranged facing out in a semi-circle arrangement and super close to mass transit. Unfortunately, one of the acts I wanted to see most, Swet Shop Boys, had pulled out of the festival in the weeks leading up to it. But I had a genuinely good time at the Meadows and hope to see it return.
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Limpid, mysterious, and heavy with darkness, Nancy Buirski’s The Rape of Recy Taylor is a kind of true ghost story. The characters are all real, and the events described are painfully so. But so much of it floats in a twilight gulf between the reality of what happened and what should have happened that it cannot help but feel at least in part unreal.
Of course, to most of the people Buirski interviews here, what happened to Taylor and what failed to happen to the six men who raped her one hot September night in 1944, isn’t just all too real—it’s the reality that they have lived and how they understand it. A reality in which a young black woman in the Deep South never had agency, much less any say over what happened to her person. If a white man wanted to have sex with her, who was she or any other black person to say no?
For something a little different, Queens of the Stone Age recruited Mark Ronson to produce their latest album, Villains, their first since 2013’s ...Like Clockwork. Ronson helped give the new record a tighter sound as well as a bit of groove (likely no surprise from the producer of “Uptown Funk”). And as Josh Homme and the band, including Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar, Dean Fertita on keys, Michael Shuman on bass and Jon Theodore behind the drums, begin their tour, Queens of the Stone Age are sure to draw fans old and new to their shows with this album.
This year’s Global Citizen Festival still acknowledged extreme poverty and its goal to reduce the number of people living under such conditions. However, the festival has made poverty less of the focus and instead addressed many more of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (of which eradicating extreme poverty is the first of eight), including women’s rights (gender equality) and global partnership for development, plus other issues like sanitation, vaccination and the environment.
As a press release notes, Paul McCartney‘s ‘One on One’ tour, “features dozens of classics from the most beloved catalog in popular music, spanning Paul’s entire career—as a solo artist, member of Wings and of course as a Beatle—and no shortage of surprises”. Well at Madison Square Garden on September 15th, one of eight NYC area shows this month, fans of the famed Beatle got a (double!) surprise near the end of an already outstanding show. (Okay, I am pretending that “FourFiveSeconds” didn’t happen.)