Tuesday, January 6, 2009|0 comments
John Adams's memoir Hallelujah Junction was featured on 2008's final episode of NPR.org's Book Tour, which broadcast a reading from the book the composer gave in November. The show's host calls Adams "one of America's leading avant-garde composers, and as he proves in this compelling memoir, possibly one of the loveliest human beings you're likely to encounter between the covers of a book." She describes his compositions as "erudite, philosophical, but spun through with the play and polish of popular culture."Read more|Journal Topics:RadioRadioFriday, December 19, 2008|0 comments
"I'm always in the mood for Randy Newman lately," says author Sarah Vowell during her stint as guest DJ at KCRW. She includes Randy's song "The World Isn't Fair" among the five favorites she brings to KCRW's Guest DJ Project. In the song, Randy offers the success of certain "froggish men, unpleasant to see," with their beautiful Hollywood wives, as a contemporary example of capitalist disparities Karl Marx might find repugnant. "[T]he thing I really love about this song and it's something I guess I try to do writing about history," says Vowell, "is this song takes this turn in the middle."Read more|Journal Topics:RadioRadioThursday, December 18, 2008|3 comments
Emmylou Harris, a longtime animal lover and advocate, has teamed up with the animal-rights group PETA to record two new and timely public service announcements. Emmylou urges listeners not to keep their dogs chained outdoors, particularly during the bitter cold of winter, and to bring them indoors, as part of the family, for the benefit of both dog and family alike. She also encourages pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs to help ensure that all dogs and cats find the loving homes they deserve.Read more|Journal Topics:Artist News RadioRadioMonday, December 1, 2008|0 comments
John Adams's A Flowering Tree and Kronos Quartet's The Cusp of Magic have been named among NPR's Top 10 classical CDs of 2008, the latter a seamless blend of Eastern and Western influences, the former demonstrating the power of Adams's "imaginative musical language." Audiophile Audition gives A Flowering Tree five stars and exclaims: "John Adams has produced a masterwork." With this "shimmering soundscape," Adams has written "some of the most purely gorgeous music of recent years," all captured on this "beautifully recorded" album. "Most strongly recommended!"Read more|Journal Topics:Reviews RadioRadioMonday, November 24, 2008|0 comments
Randy Newman, The Black Keys, The Magnetic Fields, and Punch Brothers. It's quite an eclectic list of artists, but they all share one thing, in addition to being Nonesuch label mates: they've all made the list of the Top 100 of the Year's Best CDs from NPR's All Songs Considered. The show is now looking for your input to narrow down the list to the Top 10. And speaking of year-end bests, Blender's annual Top 33 lists Randy's Harps and Angels at No. 8.