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  • Thursday, September 24, 2020
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  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    John Adams's opera Doctor Atomic, which chronicles the hours leading to the detonation of the first atomic bomb, received its UK premiere this past Wednesday at English National Opera. The Independent gives it four stars, asserting that its central aria "might just be the single most beautiful thing Adams has ever written ... There is more, much more, where that came from." The Guardian and the Evening Standard also give the production four stars, as does The Times, which concludes: "Once again Adams has turned 20th-century history into absorbing, provocative music-theatre."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    Dan Auerbach kicks off his two-week US tour with songs from his recently released solo debut, Keep It Hid, at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club Saturday night. The Washington Post says The Black Keys' "beyond-the-blues elements are explored much further on the terrific first solo album from the duo's singer-guitarist ... and the broader range reveals a major pop songwriter.” Metro UK gives the album four stars, stating: “Fans of his main concern will find plenty to enjoy; anyone else will simply hear an early contender for 2009's finest solo effort.”

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's recent Nonesuch release, Tchamantché, receives an 8.4 from Pitchfork, asserting that her "sense of independence has imbued her music with a special quality that sets it apart from that of many of her erstwhile peers." The review cites the album's "gorgeous guitar tones and Traoré's quiet vocals. These twin strands of transnational DNA—guitar plus vocals—wend through all music, but here they're made more entrancing by Traoré's refusal to abandon her roots while at the same time working subtly but assiduously to build upon them."

    Journal Topics: Reviews
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    John Adams's 2005 opera Doctor Atomic receives its UK premiere tonight in the English National Opera production at the London Coliseum. The production, based on the Metropolitan Opera's New York premiere last fall, is directed by Penny Woolcock and stars Gerald Finley as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, and Sasha Cooke as his wife, Kitty Oppenheimer. Conductor Lawrence Renes leads the ENO Orchestra and Chorus in the performances, which run through March 20.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Wilco's live concert film Ashes of American Flags, set for DVD release on Record Store Day, April 18, had it's world premiere at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, last Friday night. Tonight, it will be screened at San Francisco's Roxie Theater as part of the Noise Pop Festival. The film receives its first screening in Wilco's hometown of Chicago on March 9 for the inaugural Chicago International Movies and Music Festival.

    Journal Topics: Film
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    The Best of Bill Frisell, Volume 1: Folk Songs, the first collection of tunes culled from Frisell's extensive Nonesuch catalog, is out this week. You can listen to every track from the album streaming on the Nonesuch Radio channel First Listen now. "Two words will sum up anything the exemplary guitarist has turned his hand to: 'very good,'" says the BBC. "But when it comes to his explorations in Americana as on this collection, it's very very good. If you don't already own most of these tracks, beware. Because when you do hear them you'll have to go out and buy all the parent albums that they're culled from."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    Dan Auerbach's newly released solo record, Keep It Hid, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, a list of the week's best-performing albums from new artists. The Independent gives it four stars, citing the album's "broad sweep of blues styles" and Dan's vocals, channeling "the haunted quality of an authentic soul singer." The Cleveland Plain Dealer gives an A- to the new record, which sees Dan "cutting loose with a marvelous solo debut ... Crank it up."

    Journal Topics: Artist News Reviews
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    Amadou & Mariam have been touring Europe all year and have made their way to the UK this week. The Scotsman's Scotland on Sunday spoke with "Mali's hottest exports" to discuss what "might just be the longest, most fruitful love affair in music," and how that relationship has contributed to their making "some of the most joyous, melodious funk and bluesy pop you're likely to encounter anywhere in the world." This Malian couple, says the paper, has "done for Mali what Buena Vista Social Club did for Cuba in the Nineties."

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Monday, February 23, 2009

    Rokia Traoré is the subject of a feature article in the Financial Times that examines the life and career of "Mali’s most ambitious, experimental singer," in particular her place in a culture in which musical roles are often strictly defined by tradition and deep-rooted tastes. The article closes at a soundcheck in a London club in which Rokia and her band are getting ready to play, and even with the day's distractions, "when Traoré sings quietly, more to herself than to anyone else, the room is hers and hers alone."

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Friday, February 20, 2009

    Kronos Quartet provides an oasis of music from Central Asia and the Middle East at Stanford ... Graz Opera Ballet premieres dance set to works by Adams, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky ... Afro-Cuban All Stars tour the West Coast ... Gipsy Kings conclude their winter tour ... Philip Glass plays to Leonard Cohen's words and images in Austin ... Richard Goode performs Mozart at the Barbican ... Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin close out their quartet tour ... Stephen Sondheim chats with Frank Rich in Philadelphia ... and more ...

    Journal Topics: On Tour Weekend Events
  • Friday, February 20, 2009

    Bill Frisell has crafted a Nonesuch catalog of more than 20 albums that DownBeat included among "the best recorded output" of the last decade. Now comes the first anthology of songs assembled from that rich catalog in The Best of Bill Frisell, Volume 1: Folk Songs, out this Tuesday. The Independent gives a perfect five stars to this album of "beautiful, ringing musicality: 15 pieces of fathomless depth played with the freshness and simplicity that only genius brings. Make your world anew and treat yourself." The Guardian gives the album four stars, calling it "a delectable collection." All About Jazz calls it "a thing of rare joy and beauty."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews
  • Friday, February 20, 2009

    Elliott Carter's centennial celebration continues this Tuesday with the release of a four-disc retrospective of the composer's Nonesuch recordings. The Observer says that "with performances from the 1970s and 1980s by some of his best interpreters," this Carter collection is "covetable and historic." The Guardian gives the set four stars, saying this collection, with "a whole clutch of outstanding performances" that first expanded the composer's reach in the UK, "is a must for all Carter admirers."

    Journal Topics: Album Release Reviews

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