Music

Swift Takes a Dig at Spotify From AMA Stage

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The American Music Awards are usually a jumbled collection of different genre artists trying to outdo each other with crazy performances. But it actually got pretty topical on Sunday night. Host Pitbull got things started early with a shout-out to President Obama’s immigration plan. “We’ve got everybody here tonight,” Pitbull said, gesturing to the crowd. “Black, white, pink, purple, orange, Asian, Latinos. And guess what? President Obama says we can …

University Builds Dylan Collection

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Philadelphia — The question has lingered in song since it was first posed in the 1960s: How many roads must a man walk down — before he becomes the subject of a major university archive devoted to helping researchers discern the meaning of his every move and utterance? The answer, my friends, is …

Concerto Commissioned for Claremont’s 250th Debuts Friday

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Claremont — Far from his native Syria and New York City home — both geographically and culturally — composer Kinan Azmeh nonetheless feels a close connection to the rural landscape of Northern New England. It was in New Hampshire more than 20 years ago when he decided to pursue a career in music, …

‘A Death in the Family’

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The composer William Mayer was in his early 40s when he first read James Agee’s autobiographical novel A Death in the Family . Published posthumously, the novel, based on the death of Agee’s father in a car accident …

Going Mano a Mono With the Beatles Catalog

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The pin-your-ears-back moment came on a song I’d heard thousands of times. Having read of John Lennon’s complaint about the stereo mix of Revolution (“They took a heavy record and turned it into a piece of ice cream”), …

At 80, Old-Time Music Great Alice Gerrard Adds to Her Legacy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Last year, just weeks before turning 79, Alice Gerrard released Bittersweet, an album of new material recorded with bluegrass fiddler Laurie Lewis. Now, just months after her 80th birthday, the champion of old-time music is back with Follow …

Whole Lotta Nuance in Plant’s New Album

Sunday, September 28, 2014

As much as anyone, Robert Plant deserves credit — or blame — for bringing the adjective “histrionic” into the vocabulary about rock music. As the frontman for Led Zeppelin, Plant used his pliant voice to create a signature …

Fall Music Preview: Big Season Features Big Names

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Upper Valley devotees of live music will want to lay in plenty of the heating-fuel of their choice this fall. If you go to see even a fraction of the performers swooping through the region between now and …

Cat Stevens Announces Five-City U.S. Tour

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New York — New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Cat Stevens is taking the Peace Train back on the road. He announced Monday that he will make a six-city concert tour in North America this December, …

Strokes Singer Makes Startling Shift

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Musicians go to Coachella for all kinds of reasons: to hype fresh work, unveil an anticipated reunion, collect a fat paycheck. But not many use the annual music and arts festival in Indio to turn off members of their audience, as Julian Casablancas of the Strokes appeared eager …

Garth Brooks Brings It

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rosemont, Ill. — Four songs into Garth Brooks’ opening-night show of his first world tour in 17 years, the country superstar screamed at about 17,500 fans packed into the sold-out Allstate Arena outside Chicago. “You came back!” he …

Young Guy ‘Takes Over’

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Give me a reason O, I see no reason To fall in love with you — from Reason, by Noah Kahan Hanover — In his head, Dave Clark gave the kid five minutes to sing and play the …

Ariana Grande Takes Big Step Forward

Sunday, September 7, 2014

From Meet Miley Cyrus to Bangerz in less than a year — that was Ariana Grande’s path. In-your-face production. Cameos from high-profile rappers. A lead single about how, lingering attraction (and proper grammar) be damned, she’d have “one …