Music

The Raw and the Cooked

In the past few years, the Unsound Festival has become a must-attend event for any New Yorker invested in left-of-center and experimental music. Begun in 2003 in Kraków, Poland, by writer Mat Schulz, the New York outpost was established in 2010.

Music of the Sphere

The utopian world of New York music continues to amaze. All over town free—free—concerts of world-class and emerging talent are to be found, one of which is the Friday Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals series at Rockefeller University, which regularly plays to a packed and enthusiastic house.

The Constellar Sounds and Stories of Shelley Hirsch

Listening to Shelley Hirsch’s new CD Where Were You Then?, a collaboration with composer/arranger Simon Ho, the first image that sprang to my mind was of a rare, brightly feathered bird from some distant, quasi-fictional island alighting on my Brooklyn fire escape.

On Blunderbuss and Jack White's Lonesome Mass Appeal

Jack White had the number-one album in the country last month with the beautiful, bereft Blunderbuss. The eccentric White—who imitated Cab Calloway at the turn of the last century, played a junkyard guitar at the Grammys, and used his increasing clout to produce records by living relics like Wanda Jackson and Tom Jones—is now, inexplicably, a bona fide star in contemporary pop.

Forever’s No Time at All

In 1967, 18-year-old pop troubadour Billy Nicholls of Shepherd’s Bush, London, made a bus pilgrimage to Kinfauns, George Harrison’s estate in the town of Esher, in the Surrey borough of Elmbridge in southeast England. In the anything’s-possible spirit of the time, the teenage composer was determined to hand-deliver his Beatles-inspired homemade demos to the Fab Four’s lead guitarist.

Outtakes

A movie gangster once remarked, “It’s just money. It’s made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it.” Then he shot the other guy dead and took his. Another said, “Walmart [itself a kind of gangster] sells to the bottom ranks of the American working class.”

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JUNE 2012

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