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  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    Ry Cooder kicks off European tour with Nick Lowe in Ireland ... Bill Frisell Trio try a trifecta in Rochester, Louisville, Philly ... Youssou N'Dour does Q&As for film screenings in NYC ... eighth blackbird performs Reich's Pulizer Prize-winning Double Sextet at Ojai Festival ... Bonnaroo welcomes Amadou & Mariam, David Byrne, Toumani Diabaté with Béla Fleck, The Low Anthem, Allen Toussaint, Sara Watkins, and Wilco, who starts its summer tour ... and more ...

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    The Nonesuch artist invasion of Bonnaroo, the big four-day music and arts festival in Manchester, Tennessee, began last night with an opening-night performance by The Low Anthem, which performs again this afternoon. Also performing today are Toumani Diabaté with Béla Fleck at The Other Tent's all-day program of African music, culminating in an evening set by Amadou & Mariam. David Byrne closes out the day's performances on the Which Stage and leads the first-ever artist-curated stage. On Saturday, Allen Toussaint plays two stages; Sara Watkins plays with Fiction Family; and Wilco, one of SPIN's "must-hear" acts there, plays a two-hour set on the What Stage.

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    The Low Anthem's Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, was released this week. Rolling Stone places it among "the year's best indie records." The Independent calls it "fascinating" and its opening tune "a gorgeous, fragile piece of work." The Guardian concurs, giving the album four stars and stating: "On the beautiful opener, 'Charlie Darwin,' and the startling 'To Ohio, the Low Anthem evoke a hushed, ethereal transcendence similar to the Cowboy Junkies' The Trinity Session. These are magical songs laden with imagery and poignancy." You can hear a live performance of "Ticket Taker" and a chat with the band on the latest New York Times "Music Popcast."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews Web
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    Seya, Oumou Sangare's first album in six years, is out now. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, citing "grooves limpid enough to dive into" and comparing Sangare to Aretha Franklin, as "a supremely gifted singer who commands R-E-S-P-E-C-T." The Star-Ledger too cites Sangare's "arresting voice ... as strong and lithe as ever," and sees the album as "a series of upbeat, well-produced songs" with melodies that are "something to marvel at."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    Today marks the US theatrical debut of the documentary film Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love, an examination of Egypt, N'Dour's 2004 album, which highlights the tolerance central to his practice of Islam. The New York Times enjoys the ample opportunities for audiences "to groove to [N'Dour's] crisp, soaring, polyrhythmic music." The Daily News says its director has "given fans a gift in her performance-heavy documentary" and "an enlightening portrait" to newcomers. The director tells Metro: "Through his music, Youssou brings together audiences of many cultures and many faiths. He shows us that each individual has the power to affect change.”

    Journal Topics: Reviews Film
  • Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love, the award-winning film that documents the creation of and response to N'Dour's 2004 Grammy-winning album Egypt, begins its theatrical run in New York tomorrow at the Paris Theatre and IFC Center in Manhattan, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The Senegalese superstar and the film's director, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, will make personal appearances at the three New York-area theaters on opening day and the following day, Saturday, taking questions from the audience about the film.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Film
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Nonesuch will release a new recording of the complete Mozart violin concertos by Grammy Award–winning Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Baltica orchestra on July 21. Following their performance of the concertos at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart 2006, the New York Times praised Kremer's "ability to make a work, however familiar, entirely his own, dissimilar in most important details from the way other violinists play it, yet fully within both the spirit and letter of the score.” This two-disc set captures their performance of the five concertos at the Salzburg Festival two days later.

    Journal Topics: Album Release On Tour
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    The Low Anthem's Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, is out today. The album receives a Paste rating of 90 and is described in the review as "gorgeous chamber folk," another step in "the evolution of folk music ... following the path cleared by Nick Drake and Tim Buckley." Paste concludes: "[T]hese 12 songs are exquisite." The Boston Phoenix hears ties to Tom Waits's Mule Variations in this "excellent" new record, "moving gently among sepia-toned arrangements of pump organs and clarinets and gruff barnyard blues."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Oumou Sangare, the Malian singer/songwriter known as the "Songbird," has released Seya, her first international release in six years. Toronto's Globe and Mail says the album's title, meaning "joy," is certainly reflected in the music, calling it "modern Malian music at its finest: sophisticated, subtle, beautifully produced ... Its cross-rhythms and flowing, hypnotic instrumental lines underpin all she does, and all she does on Seya, whether crooning, chanting, chuckling or singing with majestic power, is excellent."

    Journal Topics: Album Release On Tour Reviews
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Amadou & Mariam performed for a frenzied, sold-out crowd last night at New York's Webster Hall. They also stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform "Africa" off their new album, Welcome to Mali, on last night's episode, with The Roots' Black Thought. Last Saturday, the couple performed for a sold-out crowd in Boston. Reports the Boston Globe: "[I]f Amadou and Mariam each shone individually, they practically glowed when they performed together." Previewing tomorrow's show outside DC, the Washington City Paper describes the new album as "wonderful" and says it's "Amadou’s rhythms that drive their songs forward, and his joyous-feeling choruses that make the tunes transcendent."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Television
  • Monday, June 8, 2009

    The Low Anthem's Nonesuch debut, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, is set for release tomorrow. The album's first track, "Charlie Darwin," opens this week's episode of NPR's All Songs Considered. "If you listen to just one song today," insists the show's host, Bob Boilen, "make it this opening track to the new CD by The Low Anthem. It all starts off with a sound that at times feels Gospel and then at the very same time feels agnostic. Those two ideas seem at odds with one another, but then the title of the record's called Oh My God, Charlie Darwin."

    Journal Topics: Album Release On Tour Web Radio
  • Monday, June 8, 2009

    David Byrne will perform a very special free concert at Brooklyn, New York's Prospect Bark Bandhsell tonight as part of the Opening Night events of the  Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series. Byrne will offer music from his ongoing Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno tour, featuring material from his collaborations with Eno, including 1981’s groundbreaking My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. "One of the city's coolest summer concert series," says the Village Voice, "opens its 2009 season with a free show by one of the city's coolest art-rock deities, David Byrne."

    Journal Topics: On Tour

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