As we mentally prepare for what will be, it’s always helpful to look back at what was. Looking forward, 2013 will undoubtedly be an exciting year for new music. With anticipated releases from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, A$AP Rocky, Bad Religion, Kid Cudi, Black Sabbath (maybe...), M.I.A., and bands that will pull a ‘Lumineers‘ on us by coming out of nowhere to take over the radio waves, we have a lot to look forward to...
But as we wait for an exciting 2013, why not listen to the best of 2012? Looking back, it was a wonderful and endlessly fascinating year for music. Veterans Neil Young and Crazy Horse stampeded back onto the scene by releasing two (!) critically acclaimed albums, in addition to Young’s biography Waging Heavy Peace (read Bobby’s book review). Die Antwoord returned and reminded us why they hold such a special place in our hearts.
You're welcome to interpret that as the library giving out some, but it's also the title of the newest creation by Medeski Martin & Wood. Comprised of a collection of recordings from their all-acoustic tour in 2007, it manages to simultaneously surprise and maintain a level of consistency that fans expect.
MMW has been around since 1991 and, like most jazz groups, has a complex history deeply intertwined in collaboration with other musicians. Members John Medeski--piano and keyboard, Billy Martin--drums, and Chris Wood--bass, have each dabbled in many projects over the years individually, and together combine a host of talents and backgrounds. Speaking of jazz, you can think of MMW as that, but such a wide variety of other genres go into it that maybe the most accurate moniker would be experimento-jazz-funk-jam-band.
I have no patience for TV awards shows, but I love the Latin GRAMMYs! And this year's performances and winners were no exception. Last night's event (November 15) showcased the fantastic variety that is Latin music and the winners reflected that diversity, too. We're fortunate to have the music of many of the winning artists and albums available for checkout in the Library.
Juanes won Album of the Year and Best Long Form Music Video for MTV Unplugged, his collaboration with Spanish composer Joaquín Sabines. Jesse & Joy won in multiple categories--Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album and Best Short Form Music Video.
If you caught the Madonna show at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night, you were probably operating at a sleep deficit if you had work Friday morning.
The material girl arrived on stage nearly 3 hours late for her show and by the end was almost universally forgiven by those who stayed for the spectacular production, rife with elaborate sets, costumes and her trademark flawless troupe of dancers. While her inclusion of an opening number in which the black-clad diva brandishes guns and repeatedly "kills" members of her troupe had angered some audiences even before she reached Colorado, site of the recent horrific Aurora Theater Shootings,
The Jefferson Symphony Orchestra (JSO) is celebrating by offering an ambitious and engaging schedule this 2012-2013 season, including their October 21st opener Afternoon at the Opera, with gifted guest mezzo soprano Kara Guggenmos.
The pieces to be performed will include Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Four Last Songs and Der Rosenkavelier from Strauss and Tristan und Isolde, Wagner's piece that inspired Herrmann Bernard's haunting theme for the movie Vertigo.
Are you one of the 450+ people waiting for the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel? No reason to sit idly by until that hold arrives at your local library. Check out these great artists who paved the way and discover the rich tradition of American roots music behind these British folksters.
Like other revivalists, Mumford & Sons have put their unique stamp on the sound but much of it harkens back to earlier eras of bluegrass and country. Here are some of my favorite artists and collections that exemplify some of the same soulful singing, tales of love and yearning, and driving instruments that have made Mumford such an exciting band to see rise up so quickly and pack venues with thousands of foot-stomping fans.
Southern rock can be likened to a tree with many branches and even more roots. Tapping deep into the ground, it draws nourishment from blues, country, soul, folk, and a whole lot of other genres, all tangled together. The up-and-coming group Blackberry Smoke is the real thing, and their brand new album, The Whippoorwill, is distilled Southern goodness.
Channeling the heyday of Lynyrd Skynyrd before the plane crash that killed three band members and a crew member in 1977, BBS captures that essence with a sound that has the power to transport listeners straight to Jacksonville. With edge, humorous storytelling, and skilled musicianship, they put together songs rich with a sense of place and time. See for yourself in this recent performance of "Everybody Knows She's Mine":
July 14th, 2012 marked what would've been Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. Although he passed away in 1967, his legacy is as vibrant as ever.
Like many of my generation, I was introduced to Woody in my elementary school music class. Along with songs such as "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" and "Rainbow Connection," "This Land Is Your Land" was a staple of our teacher's singing selections. Of course we sang the sanitized version which excluded the political verses. I don't remember knowing who actually wrote it but it just went into the mental category of "Songs Everyone Knows."
If music was like sports, the Flobots might be Denver's home team. This socially conscious hip hop band is a major local community player, and they have both an upcoming album and a couple of concerts happening in the very near future.
No song by the Flobots is unremarkable, but listeners less familiar may remember them by their first major hit from the 2005 album Fight With Tools, "Handlebars," which captivated minds and gained the group international recognition.