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CMJ Music Marathon 2008 Day 3: Pela

Words and Pictures by Steve Stirling

If I knew anything more about Pela outside of their Thursday night performance at Mercury Lounge, I'd probably hate them. Pela strike me as a glorified bar band that -- as evidenced by a small horde of young girls that lined the front of the stage -- has a following. They put forth a brand of unapologetic, straightforward rock led by a charismatic frontman whose ambition likely outweighs his ability. That said -- these guys can play. At face value, they gave one of the best performances I've seen thus far at CMJ. Pela galvanized a crowd subdued by the quieter Frances, utilizing a phenomenal group chemistry to lift the Mercury Lounge from a state of suspended animation. In a city where a holier than thou attitude can often reign over a performance, the unabashed lust for rocking Pela brought was refreshing.

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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