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Boston Globe: Randy Newman, "Pop's Most Incisive, Sharp-Witted Satirist," Takes the Stage

  • Monday, September 22, 2008
    Boston Globe: Randy Newman, "Pop's Most Incisive, Sharp-Witted Satirist," Takes the Stage

    Randy Newman kicked off the first leg of his world tour last week with songs from his recent Nonesuch release, Harps and Angels, and through his 40-year career. Three nights of shows over the weekend started at Carnegie Hall in New York on Friday, headed up to Toronto's Convocation Hall on Saturday, and closed out on Sunday with a show at Boston's Symphony Hall.

    New York magazine's Stephen Rodrick reports from the Carnegie Hall show that Randy "sang about micro and macro American hypocrisy with more sharpness and poignancy than the combined works of Thomas Frank [(What's the Matter with Kansas?)] and Maureen Dowd. He's been doing this for 40 years now, and the jarring fact is that his political songs still apply." Read the concert review at nymag.com.

    ---

    In a similar vein, in The Star-Ledger review of the show, writer Bradley Bambarger says "the droll raconteur provided more food for thought than a year's worth of media punditry, and he did it with soul." After pointing to a particular song as "both funny and funky," Bambarger insists that, for all the praise of Randy's lyrics, the songwriter "doesn't get enough credit for the funky part."

    Of course, Randy's songs also go beyond the fun and funk, with one song in particular taking on even greater significance in recent years: "Although he penned the beautiful 'Louisiana 1927' long before Katrina," writes Bambarger, "there is no more resonant song about the Southern poor left feeling as if 'they're trying to wash us away.'"

    To read the full concert review, visit nj.com/starledger.

    ---

    Prior to the next night's show at Convocation Hall, the Toronto Star featured a profile of the performer, in which columnist Greg Quill calls Randy "a graduate cum laude of the master class of mid-1970s American musical poets" and says his latest creation "matches the caustic intelligence and musical virtuosity of his classic 1970s albums Sail Away and Good Old Boys." As for the orchestrations and arrangements to which Randy pays such close attention, "some of his best are on the new album," says Quill. Read the article at thestar.com.

    ---

    The Toronto Sun's Jason MacNeil says Randy "hasn't lost his sense of irony or wit" on the new record, or in their discussion on the phone prior to Saturday night's concert. You can read the interview at torontosun.com.

    You'll also find reviewer Sean Fitzgerald's report from the show, which he encapsulates this way

    [I]t's remarkable how a show with only one man and a piano can be so versatile. Newman shot at the audience from all angles, simultaneously delivering punch lines, providing political commentary and stirring strong emotions.

    To read the complete review, click here.

    ---

    The Boston Globe's Joan Anderman spoke with Randy before Sunday night's concert at Boston's Symphony Hall, introducing the transcript from the interview by calling him "pop's most incisive, sharp-witted satirist." Read the Q&A at boston.com.

on September 22, 2008 - 12:44pm
Excerpt: 

Randy Newman's world tour got under way last week with stops at Carnegie Hall on Friday, Toronto's Convocation Hall on Saturday, and Boston's Symphony Hall on Sunday. Reviewing the Carnegie Hall show, New York magazine says that
Randy "sang about micro and macro American hypocrisy with more sharpness and poignancy than the combined works of Thomas Frank and Maureen Dowd." The Star-Ledger says "the droll raconteur provided more food for thought than a year's worth of media punditry, and he did it with soul." The Toronto Star calls Randy "a graduate cum laude of the master class of mid-1970s American musical poets" and says his latest album, Harps and Angels, "matches the caustic intelligence and musical virtuosity of his classic 1970s albums Sail Away and Good Old Boys." The Boston Globe calls Randy "pop's most incisive, sharp-witted satirist."

Copy: 

Randy Newman kicked off the first leg of his world tour last week with songs from his recent Nonesuch release, Harps and Angels, and through his 40-year career. Three nights of shows over the weekend started at Carnegie Hall in New York on Friday, headed up to Toronto's Convocation Hall on Saturday, and closed out on Sunday with a show at Boston's Symphony Hall.

New York magazine's Stephen Rodrick reports from the Carnegie Hall show that Randy "sang about micro and macro American hypocrisy with more sharpness and poignancy than the combined works of Thomas Frank [(What's the Matter with Kansas?)] and Maureen Dowd. He's been doing this for 40 years now, and the jarring fact is that his political songs still apply." Read the concert review at nymag.com.

---

In a similar vein, in The Star-Ledger review of the show, writer Bradley Bambarger says "the droll raconteur provided more food for thought than a year's worth of media punditry, and he did it with soul." After pointing to a particular song as "both funny and funky," Bambarger insists that, for all the praise of Randy's lyrics, the songwriter "doesn't get enough credit for the funky part."

Of course, Randy's songs also go beyond the fun and funk, with one song in particular taking on even greater significance in recent years: "Although he penned the beautiful 'Louisiana 1927' long before Katrina," writes Bambarger, "there is no more resonant song about the Southern poor left feeling as if 'they're trying to wash us away.'"

To read the full concert review, visit nj.com/starledger.

---

Prior to the next night's show at Convocation Hall, the Toronto Star featured a profile of the performer, in which columnist Greg Quill calls Randy "a graduate cum laude of the master class of mid-1970s American musical poets" and says his latest creation "matches the caustic intelligence and musical virtuosity of his classic 1970s albums Sail Away and Good Old Boys." As for the orchestrations and arrangements to which Randy pays such close attention, "some of his best are on the new album," says Quill. Read the article at thestar.com.

---

The Toronto Sun's Jason MacNeil says Randy "hasn't lost his sense of irony or wit" on the new record, or in their discussion on the phone prior to Saturday night's concert. You can read the interview at torontosun.com.

You'll also find reviewer Sean Fitzgerald's report from the show, which he encapsulates this way

[I]t's remarkable how a show with only one man and a piano can be so versatile. Newman shot at the audience from all angles, simultaneously delivering punch lines, providing political commentary and stirring strong emotions.

To read the complete review, click here.

---

The Boston Globe's Joan Anderman spoke with Randy before Sunday night's concert at Boston's Symphony Hall, introducing the transcript from the interview by calling him "pop's most incisive, sharp-witted satirist." Read the Q&A at boston.com.

Publish date: 
Monday, September 22, 2008 - 11:00
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