December 1989, sitting next to my best friend at the time, young men drawn to exciting and daring artistic ambitions that we couldnt quite understand. Were in Town Hall, witnessing Cecil Taylor and Max Roach playing a concert celebrating the ten-year anniversary of their historic live recording at the Miller Theatre.
Jarnows book, ostensibly a YLT bio, also encompasses many of the related arms of the American indie rock explosion of the 1980s and 90s, managing to link a slew of disparate fragments to make an affectionate and entertaining narrative.
Maywhich, unlike March, isnt famous for going out like anythingwent out in warm weather and raindrops, which provided a fitting atmosphere for pianist and impresaria Vicky Chows performance at the Stone. Chow, who recently curated an avant-garde series at the Gershwin Hotel, played a ranging, mostly minimalist set by ten mostly contemporary composers.
The poet, translator, and editor Robert Pinsky was the U.S. Poet Laureate for three years. Ben Allison plays upright bass, recently debuted at Carnegie Hall, and is perhaps best known for composing the theme song for NPRs On the Media. The two of them got together with guitarist Steve Cardenas and percussionist Rogério Boccato on a Tuesday evening in early May at Hunter College for a performance of what they called PoemJazz.
Theres nothing quite like a highway road trip to exorcise a creative malaise. When J. Tillman motored away from his grey Seattle home, he was looking to shatter an immobilizing depression and the bleak confines of his prior solo work. Steering his van out of King County with no destination in mind, he was determined to find the fun in his wound-licking music again.
I am writing this in a crowded subway car on my way to a gig, afraid that if my foot touches someone somewhere, or I say God bless you to someone who sneezes, my photo will be snapped, my soul stolen, and Ill be hauled off in handcuffs.