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Third Stream Symphony: Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica at Barbès

The Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical-instrument classification includes four types: idiophones (struck), chordophones (strings), membranophones (drums), and aerophones (winds). (Moderns will also note the later-added electrophones, including synthesizers.) Many ensembles include three types, presumably to present listeners with a pleasingly complex acoustic range and solo sonic diversity.

In Which Prince at Last Wins the Battle Against Evil, and Yet Y'all Still Make Fun of Him

I know Spooky Electric say, till my dying day, but Lovesexy is the one, till my day is done. Let me hear the choir sing: Hundalasiliah! And if you weren’t among the chorus of amens just then, you are to be forgiven. It’s been a dark night. Many have strayed from the path.

Patti Smith
Unplugged Dreams
Cité de la Musique, Paris

Go to any YouTube video of Patti Smith and look at the comments. Most of them look like little notes left at the feet of a saint in a sacred grotto. The unbelievers have their say as well, and as often happens, their skepticism or rancor provokes the faithful’s pugnacity.

Anarchist Voices

It’s one thing to pioneer and propel a sound, and another to give it to the people. In a 30-year career, the Ex has remained dedicated to social causes and worldly influences and maintained a devoted, pan-cultural fan base.

Words Without Song

When was the last time you heard anyone singing in the street? I mean, not at some “street fair” with mic and an electric backup group. Not a professional singer. Just someone walking in the street and singing aloud. For joy or melancholy, or even just mindlessly.


This month I’d like to finish up with my listening experiences in Paris and talk about some of what I’ve managed to hear since returning to Appletown. So here is my last bi-polar report between Paris and New York. And I promise, no intellectualizing this time.

Deserted Cities of the Heart

While I can’t claim to be the biggest fan of Jack Bruce’s work since, oh, 1974 or so, I consider the man virtually beyond reproach. A musical prodigy who was performing Dvorák and listening to Monk and the Modern Jazz Quartet when he was a teenager, Bruce is indisputably one of the most original and influential bassists of all time.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2011

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