Music

Highly Selective Listings

October Listings

Don't miss this month's selection of live performances in New York.

A Dance in the Aftermath: Peter Laughner, Smog Veil Records, 2019

If a professional musician was never a personal friend, you’re likely to have never wanted to hear demos, band practices, gigs recorded from the audience, radio broadcasts, and tapes made at home. But if the musician is Peter Laughner, an extraordinary singer/songwriter and a feral guitarist from Cleveland, Ohio, the only studio records are the first two Pere Ubu singles (“Thirty Seconds over Tokyo / Heart of Darkness” and “Final Solution / Cloud 149”)—on which he played guitar but didn’t sing—made shortly before he was fired from the group he’d founded with David Thomas.

WOMAD

The World Of Music, Art & Dance has been running since 1982, when its inauguration was a glorious cultural success, but unfortunately a complete financial disaster. Peter Gabriel was a founding (and funding) force, so he decided to reunite with Genesis bandmates to play a massive benefit gig. Given a second life, the WOMAD organization began to build a sound infrastructure, and the festival has subsequently become a revered global music institution, maintaining its annual English core version, as well as sprouting offspring in Spain, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. There was even a short-lived US edition, close to Seattle.

Outtakes

Steve Dalachinsky passed away in the middle of September, a good handful of days after this column had its final edits. Steve lived a full life and was at the age when his peers and colleagues were experiencing death, his dedications to them were an all-too-frequent kicker for Outtakes. So it is fitting and also very sad for me to write this dedication to you, Steve, lover of art, music, people, and a one-of-a-kind poet and man.

In Conversation

Lighter And Heavier

Adrienne Davies is one of two permanent members of Earth, a Seattle band formed in 1989 by Dylan Carlson and credited with inventing ambient metal—a contradiction that caught on and evolved into the doom genre associated with groups like Boris and Sunn 0))). When Earth re-emerged following Carlson’s recovery from addiction after 2000, his guitar playing confessed a tender spot for the gothic moments of American country music.

TIME:SPANS 2019

When Milton Babbitt wrote his article, “Who Cares if You Listen?” he unleashed a virus that has proven itself as robust and contagious as the flu. Published in High Fidelity magazine in 1958, the article quickly turned into a totem representing both every piece of new composing that audiences didn't even want to try to listen to and also how irrelevant those audiences were supposed to be to modern composers—and vice versa.

Newport Jazz Festival 2019

If the festival reflects the state of jazz (and I think it’s fair to say that it does) then folks: we’re good.

The Shed is Falling Down

Two things about The Shed are unsurprising: the banality of its programming and its shoddy construction—making money is the most banal pursuit, and so The Shed reflects both Hudson Yards' purpose and values as well as the cost-cutting and trimming that's all part of being a real estate developer.

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OCT 2019

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