Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Improving the Cure

When the Cure canceled their NYC gig this past weekend, I got worried. Happily, there were no drug overdoses or motorcycle crashes; no one even fell out of a coconut tree.

Instead, believe it or not, the whole tour was postponed until Spring 2008, for artistic reasons! The band finished their new album late, and did not feel they had time to rehearse a new live show properly.

In this era of Britney and other Barbies being unable even to lip-sync a performance adequately, it's a delight that a band cares enough to take the financial hit involved in postponing a tour, simply to make it better.
[The boys are shown here with a number of unidentified bunny rabbits.]

Monday, September 24, 2007

Prince of Polyphony

Happy birthday, Glenn Gould, re-inventor of Bach's keyboard works. He would have been 75 today. I imagine he trains the heavenly choir to sing cantatas now, since he always said he would prefer to be a conductor.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Flea in the Cosmos

Here's the odd musical pairing of the week: On the Sundance series Live from Abbey Road, Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea spoke with reverence about the musical philosophy of Pythagoras, who understood music to be made entirely of interrelationships of numbers. [Guess which is the picture of Flea.]

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Well, I'm just gobsmacked

On November 26, to commemorate the life of legendary Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun (and, not incidentally, mark my own 40th birthday), Led Zeppelin is re-forming for their first gig in 19 years. The three living original members will perform, with the beat kept by John Bonham's son, Jason. Now, I gather, pigs can fly! Play on, lads.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Grazie, Maestro

RIP, Luciano Pavarotti. There will never be another instrument like yours. I was blessed to hear you live in operas and recitals in your prime, and those sounds will stay with me forever.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

To My Favorite Music Man

Happy Birthday, Freddie, darling. Hope you're having a big party up there!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A little snarl in my love, please

OK, this is surely a sign of incurable cynicism. Every time I hear Harry Belafonte's beautiful recording of "I Know Where I'm Going," I wish he would sing the snide Irish line "I know who I love, but the divil knows who I'll marry," rather than doing the song as an earnest paean to his lady.

I have a similar reaction to "Tiergarten," on Rufus Wainwright's new album. This is not a composer from whom I'd expect a love song without irony. Further evidence of how hopelessly, sappily in love he was with the man who walked him through the Tiergarten ("zoo", in German): he doesn't mention a single animal. How do you walk clear across a zoo "to the other side of town" and not notice any animals?

Of course, if I were walking with either Harry or Rufus, I wouldn't notice anything else...