Matthew E. White is an old soul conversant in music's past. On the cover of his debut album, Big Inner, his aesthetic is reminiscent of 1970 John Lennon on the cover of Abbey Road. The Manila-born, Virginia-raised musician was heavily influenced by the early works of Randy Newman — specifically Newman's 1972 album Sail Away.
Regina Spektor plays the piano so loudly, she has to convince piano tuners to adjust the instrument to her liking.
"It gets so loud that the strings reverberate in a certain way," Spektor says. "And I always want them to work on the voicing and to soften the hammers, and they get kind of argumentative with me — they're like, 'You're not supposed to play this loud.'"
Double bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons was destined to create music that spans genres and borders: He was born in France to a family with roots in the Catalonia region of Spain, and he's fluent in French, Spanish and English. Classical, jazz and flamenco represent equal parts of his musical DNA, and his technique reflects the delicate arco stylings of concert halls, the deep groove of jazz and the raw vitality of flamenco.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:35 pm
"Duquesne Whistle," begins in the middle of a scene, like the fade-in in a classic Western. It's the first song we get to hear from Bob Dylan's Tempest, the album he will release on September 11, 50 years and six months after the commencement of his recoding career.
Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 5:15 pm
In 2009, The Avett Brothers became one of the surprise hits of the year. Paste Magazine considered their I and Love and You the best album of that year, calling it "an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul."
That sadness took on new meaning recently. Bassist Bob Crawford took a temporary leave from the band to tend to his infant daughter, Hallie, after she developed a brain tumor.
Next month, The Avett Brothers release a new album, The Carpenter, which explores the delicate balance between life and death.
"My favorite location is Miller Park, bar none," Scott Summers says. "Go Brewers!"
Summers is a saxophone player based in Milwaukee. He's been blowing the horn for 30 years — and about 10 years ago, he started playing on the street. Summers says performing outside the ballpark has brought him loyal followers.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 6:57 am
This week was a lot. We were busy, you were busy and even though it's August, musicians, music writers and fans aren't taking a break. There were several Twitter spasms, somebody broke into LL Cool J's house, the Pussy Riot verdict continued to reverberate and we took our regularly scheduled, but heartfelt, moment to mourn Aaliyah.