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Music: heavy rotation


 

It can’t all be politics. This is what I’ve been listening to lately.

kd lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Sing it Loud (Nonesuch): Reviews have been mixed. This guy hated it. I wonder whether people thought she would return to torch-and-twang guitar bands, after a decade as a cabaret and concert-hall crooner, and sound the way she did when she was 30. Of course she wouldn’t. These are big, broad-strokes songs, very little like the old stuff with the Reclines even if they use some of the same melodic vocabulary: guitars and electric organs, frequent Latin-tinged drum beats, and a melodic vocabulary straight out of Roy Orbison. Darker and more earnest than her early music. Never a lark. To my ears it’s gorgeous.

Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music): The album it’s closest to is 2000’s often-overlooked You’re the One: intimate, essentially a basement production with friends, except in Simon’s case the friends have now for three decades often brought African guitars, koras, drums from around the world, gospel choirs, what have you. It’s odd, inevitably off-putting at first, but it’s not contrived and after a few listens it has its own logic. That’s when it becomes apparent that Simon’s gift for melody and lyrics still pays rich dividends. He brings the wisdom and worry of age (he’s 69 now) to his considerations of the everyday and the eternal. There’s a cockeyed cosmic ballad here called Love and Hard Times as radiant and heart-breaking as anything Simon ever wrote.

Little Scream, The Golden Record (Secretly Canadian): A strong return to the Montreal sound of a few years ago, moody, orchestral alternative rock. Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry produced this debut from the singer and visual artist Laurel Sprengelmeyer. A lot of Canadian groups sound a bit like this, wistful and cinematic; Sprengelmeyer’s affecting voice and ear for melody keep this from being interchangeable with those.

Truls Mork, Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy, CPE Bach: Cello Concertos (Virgin/EMI): Carl Phillipp Emmanuel Bach was the second surviving son of Johann Sebastien Bach; by the 1760s he had (for the moment) surpassed Dad’s fame. His cello concertos are tuneful, sometimes dazzling, a stepping stone on the way to Haydn’s and Mozart’s more elaborate designs. Norwegian cellist Truls Mork handles it all with panache. The main attraction here is the poised and elegant Quebec City chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, who show why they are becoming regulars at Carnegie Hall and further afield.


 

Music: heavy rotation

  1. Awesome article!!! You should discover this band that's rising out of Montreal and is starting to have a global impact through everything they stand for and do. http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/ While you're at it…click on the HOPE PROJECT banner and see just how active they are! I think it will be worth your effort!

  2. Awesome article!!! You should discover this band that's rising out of Montreal and is starting to have a global impact through everything they stand for and do. http://yourfavoriteenemies.com/ While you're at it…click on the HOPE PROJECT banner and see just how active they are! I think it will be worth your effort!

  3. Paul Simon is one of my favorite artist. I should look into that cd. Thanks for the overview. Great stuff!

  4. Paul Simon is one of my favorite artist. I should look into that cd. Thanks for the overview. Great stuff!

  5. The lang disc sounds interesting; I may check it out.

    Two weeks ago I picked up Robbie Robertson's "How To Become Clairvoyant" and it has been my constant driving companion. His voice is showing its age, but musically it's in the same vein as Storyville and his self-titled disc. It runs a close second to those two. No obvious single, but the songs are gems that keep growing on me. Tasty guitar work from both Robertson and Clapton (who also co-wrote two of the tracks); his trademark layered sound. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed. If you aren't acquainted with Robertson's solo work, but like laid-back bluesy rock, give this a try.

  6. The lang disc sounds interesting; I may check it out.

    Two weeks ago I picked up Robbie Robertson's "How To Become Clairvoyant" and it has been my constant driving companion. His voice is showing its age, but musically it's in the same vein as Storyville and his self-titled disc. It runs a close second to those two. No obvious single, but the songs are gems that keep growing on me. Tasty guitar work from both Robertson and Clapton (who also co-wrote two of the tracks); his trademark layered sound. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed. If you aren't acquainted with Robertson's solo work, but like laid-back bluesy rock, give this a try.

  7. I had heard nothing but praise from every outlet for the kd lang and am interested to see there were other, more negative reviews.

  8. I had heard nothing but praise from every outlet for the kd lang and am interested to see there were other, more negative reviews.

  9. Saw the show, bought the cd: Fearing and White

    good Great stuff

  10. Saw the show, bought the cd: Fearing and White

    good Great stuff

  11. Wow! Old person music. KD Land? Paul Simon? Way to stay relevant. Look, I hate Biebs and gaga as much as anyone but review something good and not re-hashed for once. Something like, "The Gaslight Anthem" or "The Derek Trucks Band". And What about "The XX"? If it's good enough for "Q", it's good enough for me!

  12. Wow! Old person music. KD Land? Paul Simon? Way to stay relevant. Look, I hate Biebs and gaga as much as anyone but review something good and not re-hashed for once. Something like, "The Gaslight Anthem" or "The Derek Trucks Band". And What about "The XX"? If it's good enough for "Q", it's good enough for me!

    • Maybe we could euthanize them when they hit 30, just to be on the safe side.

  13. Maybe we could euthanize them when they hit 30, just to be on the safe side.

  14. Les Violins du Roy never disappoint and Bernard Labadie is at the height of his artistic powers. Any recording of baroque or classical period repertoire that bears his name deserves a listen. This recording, which sound-wise is clean and well-balanced, possesses great phrasing and signature lines from the cellist. Pick it up!

    Also, if you're a fan of Truls Mork, pick up his recording of the American composer Aaron Jay Kernis (Virgin Classics) with the o Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Eije Oue.

  15. Les Violins du Roy never disappoint and Bernard Labadie is at the height of his artistic powers. Any recording of baroque or classical period repertoire that bears his name deserves a listen. This recording, which sound-wise is clean and well-balanced, possesses great phrasing and signature lines from the cellist. Pick it up!

    Also, if you're a fan of Truls Mork, pick up his recording of the American composer Aaron Jay Kernis (Virgin Classics) with the o Minnesota Orchestra and conductor Eije Oue.

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