Song of the Month: Glen Campbell - "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"

"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is the last song Glen recorded in the studio before being forced to retire from the music business due to his well-documented slide into Alzheimer's. The lyrics reflect all of the pain and suffering so many feel when dealing with this brutal disease. Written specifically for his new documentary I'll Be Me, go see it; you will not easily forget it or Glen's much-deserved legacy as on the giants of the music industry. It opens in New York on October 24th and then nationally soon after. This video features some of the moments from the film which captures his unforgettable farewell tour with his family and friends in tow -- both on stage and off.

John Coltrane's Latest Offering

The question is not whether this album is good. It's freakin' John Coltrane, of course it's good (though my expectation of your agreement with that assumes that you appreciate him in free-jazz mode). It's a matter of setting up your expectations properly and prioritizing. So, although this is "the first official release struck from the original master tapes," as opposed to dingy-sounding bootlegs, you still have to be prepared for sub-par sound. This concert was recorded by the Temple radio station, apparently using one microphone up front, so the horns dominate -- though even they come and go.  Read more »

Steve's Review Roundup for October

Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp)

Though the length of Richard D. James's absence from the electronic scene has been overstated by people who neglect his less famous aliases, it HAS been almost a decade since we got new music from him, and yes, the release of Syro is a welcome surprise. It is less abrasive (by my tastes, at least) than the aggressive beats found on his previous Aphex Twin album, Drukqs (I'm thinking of the blast-beat assault of 'drill-n-bass' tracks such as "Omgyiya Switch 7"); like Drukqs, Syro offers a wide variety of styles, but the whiplash factor is absent; there are no juxtapositions of frenetic computerized beats and beatless ambient piano pieces here.  Read more »

Song of the Week: David Bowie - "Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)"

As David Bowie and Tony Visconti continue work on a new album, the enigmatic rocker will release a career-spanning greatest hits package entitled Nothing Has Changed due out before Christmas featuring two new songs, the one above and "Tis A Pity She's A Whore," both recorded this past summer. Is "Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)" , a collaboration with jazz arranger Maria Schneider's big band, the track were Bowie finally gets his Anthony Newley meets Gil Evans meets drum-n-bass on? You decide...

Oh, Those One-Percenters

That Poor Dream
Directed by Jess Chayes
Presented by The Assembly at the New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher St., New York, NY
October 4th - 26th, 2014

That Poor Dream was written and developed collectively by the members of the Assembly Theater Project, which describes its goals as creating performances that both "address the complexities of our ever-changing world" and ground artists and audience alike in “a profound sense of community;” the play transposes Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations onto the social topography of current-day New York City. The play recontextualizes the social and economic rise and fall of the original, Dickensian Pip in a world of penthouse apartments and $1,000 omelets, a move that highlights that while the world may be "ever-changing," the class systems of Victorian England and the twenty-first century United States remain closer and more rigidly exploitative than we like to tell ourselves.  Indeed, the Metro-North train that serves as the play’s setting (and most of the set) could be seen as a metaphor for, among other ways of looking at the course of a life, the determinism of a society in which, Pip's heretofore secret benefactor Magwitch tells us, one can be only either a shepherd or a sheep.   Read more »

Quote of the Week: Stan Lee

"There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love." Silver Surfer

Stan Lee (born December 28, 1922) is an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, voice actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics (now in its 75th year). He and Jack Kirby created the lasting legacy of the Silver Surfer, born in 1965. In honor of NY ComicCon 2014.

NY ComicCon 2014!

It's time once again for NY ComicCon...

Check out my pals Mr. Gray and Richard Kind (the Mayor in the new hit TV show Gotham) in action. And don't forget to watch Mr. Gray getting grilled by David Lynch in the episode Getting Lynched!

Matthew Shipp, State-of-the-Art Jazz Pianist

Those who keep up with the more avant-garde end of the jazz spectrum have long known that Matthew Shipp is one of the great pianists, but he's reached a higher level of creativity this decade, most recently displayed in his two releases this year, the new solo album I've Been to Many Places and the trio album The Root of Things. Read more »

Cover Song of the Month: Arborea - "Bad Moon Rising"

Okay, so I admit that for me cover songs are nearly impossible to best. Huge props to the indie folk duo Arborea's pastoral and haunting take on '60s rock icon Creedence Clearwater Revival's hit single -- "Bad Moon Rising" -- as they remolded it in their own image. Perfect fare for a movie soundtrack. Buy it today on iTunes and Amazon!

Poetic License in Public Spaces

Siah Armajani: The Tomb Series
Alexander Gray Associates
September 4 - October 18, 2014

Iranian-born Siah Armajani, inarguably one of the finest sculptors in America to have emerged out of minimal and conceptual art, the main aesthetic strategies of the late 1960s, creates deeply affective rigorous and ruminative work. It appears to be at once elementarily simple and tautly complex. Read more »

Video of the Week: Ty Segall - "Manipulator"

At one time Ryan Adams was the music savant releasing 2-3 albums a year. Now it's West Coast guitar wizard Ty Segall. His latest is a double set of Nuggets-friendly fare that is well worth the effort. Check out director Matt Yoka's play through of the interactive music video for the of his song "Manipulator" from the album of the same title from the fine folks at Drag City!

The Irish Have Landed!

The McGowan Trilogy
Directed by Kira Simring
The Cell 338 West 23rd Street, NYC 
September 11 - October 5, 2014

Séamus Scanlon's The McGowan Trilogy: A Serial in Three Acts embodies the best things about New York City's annual 1st Irish theater festival. The play’s run at The Cell, which bills itself as a twenty-first century salon incubating new works of art, offers a chance to witness the work of a rising talent in Irish drama in an intimate venue. McGowan's assemblage of three one-act plays creates a satisfying arc centered on the title character, Victor M. McGowan, an I.R.A. soldier and killer played by Paul Nugent, who originated the role in 2012. In the published version of the play, Nugent describes his character as maybe having "a genuine soul under all that devilish sneering bravado," and he succeeds in bringing those emotional nuances out over the course of the evening. Read more »

Darius Jones Switches Genres

A jazz-identified musician who, for this release at least, is working in the classical realm, Jones is an excellent alto saxophonist, but also a consistently interesting composer, so this move to fully notated music for an a cappella quartet of female singers is hardly too big a hurdle for him to clear. The degree to which I loved this on first hearing, however, surprised me; this isn't just interesting, it's downright masterful.

This is the fourth volume in Jones's Man'ish Boy series, which I have never really understood the finer points of. That this one's sung doesn't help, because the 'words' are in an invented language of short syllables; the press release says it's a song cycle for a sacred alien birthing ritual. Read more »

Little Q+A: Margaret Roleke + Bradley Rubenstein

Margaret Roleke's life has been spent in New York or the surrounding tri-state area except for three years living in London and two studying in Ohio. Her many trips to Europe, Asia, Central America, and South America have informed her practice. Roleke's art has been exhibited widely in the tri-state area, and also in several international shows. In the last year her work was seen at Scope Miami, Cutlog in New York, Fountain Art Fair in New York, and in several group exhibits in Connecticut, Harlem, and Brooklyn. Read more »

LP One-Take - "Night Like This"

Singer-songwriter LP performs a riveting solo acoustic version of her hit "Night Like This" recorded in NYC at the studio formerly known as The Hit Factory. One-Takes are live performances by artists you know, should know, or will know soon enough. Thanks to Warner Brothers and LP for the rights of usage.

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