One of NPR’s Fifty Favorite Albums of 2012 was the self-titled debut album fromDebo Band. The eleven member band, based in Boston, blends 1960’s Ethiopian music with American funk, brass band music, and rock. Tonight, the Debo Band is playing on the Dartmouth Green in Hanover. Band leader and saxophonist is Ethiopian-American Danny Mekonnen, who we spoke with about the band and their unique sound.
We spoke with beatboxer, comedian, musician, and kinda TV talk show host Reggie Watts about his music and other ongoing projects. Reggie takes suggestions submitted via Youtube and turns them into original songs which have never before been performed, and may never be performed again. It’s all part of his online comedy collective called Jash with comedians Sarah Silverman, Tim and Eric, and actor Michael Cera. In addition to his online performances, Reggie has also been playing shows and festivals around the country. He’ll be at the Portsmouth Music Hall in the fall.
“Yellow Cocktail Music: The Great Gatsby Jazz Recordings”, is a kind of way-back machine for the contemporary songs featured in the new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Jay-Z, Will-I-Am, and Beyoncé, are featured on the original soundtrack and this follow-up album imagines what the songs might have sounded like coming out of a Victrola in 1922…with help from the Bryan Ferry Orchestra. Joining us to discuss the album is Baz Luhrmann; the distinctive director, producer, and screenwriter for Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge, among others, including the movie that kicked off the summer blockbuster season – The Great Gatsby.
Have you ever heard some music on NHPR and wondered, "what was that song?" Those musical interludes set the tone and pace for the stories you hear, because great storytelling demands great music. It’s why we choose the music that surrounds our reporting so carefully. This week, we’ll hear more of that music in between.
Our favorite content from Word of Mouth's weekday show...all wrapped up in one gratifying and glam program.
This week: The emerging forum for high school confessions on Facebook; a sunny picture for the relationship success of online daters; a documentary looks at the life of experiential journalist George Plimpton; Dr. Who's potential recast as a woman; and Glam Rock...it matters more than you know.
Our favorite content, all in one spit-polished piece of ear candy.
This week, a program pairs juvenile delinquents with Russian literature, a musician asking NYC commuters what inspires them, a play about traumatic brain injury, Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth, and the healing power of a special horse named Chester.
Vinx has performed, recorded and toured as a singer and percussionist with Sting, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, and many others. As far as we know, he's the only R&B crooners of his caliber currently working and residing in the state of the New Hampshire. This memorial day weekend he’ll be leading Soul Kitchen Volume 29 – that’s three days of collaborative jams and songwriting workshops hosted at Dreamsicle Arts and Entertainment Studios in Suncook Village. But first, we invited Vinx to our Concord studio to tell us a little bit about the event, and maybe even give us a lesson or two.
Back in 2010, I interviewed Ray Manzarek, founding member of The Doors. I was sad to hear of his death earlier this week, and went back to listen to that interview...here it is in case you want to hear it, too.
Gabriel Kahane made his recital debut as a composer and performer at Carnegie Hall, played piano for Mark Morris Dance Company, premiered a song cycle with John Adams conducting the LA Philharmonic, and performed his “Craigslistlieder” at a number of New York City bars. It’s little wonder the NY Times called Gabriel Kahane a one-man cultural Cuisinart. He’ll be mixing it up Friday, April 19th at the HOP with the premiere of “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States”. It’s the culmination of two years as composer-in-residence with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Moving back in time for a moment to 1976 when The Band released The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s film of that final show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The film is often held up as the greatest rock movie ever and almost universally loved, except by Levon Helm…the musician, actor, composer and original member of The Band who died a year ago this week. But then, Levon Helm was a drummer who marched to a different drummer, Helm ’s creative struggles, crippling personal losses, and musical renaissance after battling cancer are at the heart of a new documentary film,and a new book by the writer, editor and spy magazine alum Jamie Malanowski.
You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.
Howard Fishman is no stranger to the diverse potential of musical genres. His first project, The Howard Fishman Quartet, captured the New York City music scene. The group has released three eponymous quartet volumes since its inception in 1999. After several live and studio albums, he diversified further by helming a brass band echoing hints of bluegrass and New Orleans street music in 2008. This was followed by an original theater work, “We Are Destroyed”. His most recent endeavor consists of a concept album, “No Further Instructions,” which illuminates the traversement of Romania and Eastern Europe.
The Eiffel Tower has inspired countless t-shirts, souvenirs and sentimental works of art. A new Kickstarter project aims to turn the iron and lattice landmark into a gigantic instrument. That’s the dream of composer Joseph Bertolozzi, who proved that he can tackle projects on a mammoth scale when he wired and then played New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge.