Music

Photographed at Union Episcopal Church in Claremont, N.H. on July 21, 2014, Kinan Azmeh is composing an orchestral piece for the city's 250th anniversary. (Valley News - Ariana van den Akker)

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, and for the last six years Azmeh …

Bloodshot Records Celebrates 20 Years

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chicago — Chicago’s scrappy country-punk Bloodshot Records observes two decades in the music business trenches this year. Celebrating that benchmark, the label released the ambitious compilation While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records this week. Bloodshot’s raw aesthetic has always been the antithesis of polished commercial country music. Even within the roots music scene, the record label has marched …

Wonder Mixes Politics With Music

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New York — Stevie Wonder has always blended his musical genius with social activism, and as he launched his new tour, he stayed true to form, advocating gun control, pleading for an end to racism and promoting equality for those with disabilities. “I challenge America, I challenge the world, to let hatred go, to let racism go,” Wonder told the sold-out audience at …

Elmore Leonard Shoots His Way Into the Library Of America

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The new Library of America volume of four Elmore Leonard novels from the 1970s has a winner on just about every page. Flipping . . . let’s see . . . here. From Fifty-Two Pickup : Harry Mitchell’s …

Smokey and Friends

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Los Angeles — After five decades in show business, the man who shaped Motown with instantly recognizable hits like My Girl and Tears of a Clown said he can’t stop writing. Smokey Robinson said he scribbles down lyrics …

At MTV Video Music Awards, Expect Surprise Performances

Sunday, August 24, 2014

With a legacy that includes Madonna tongue-kissing Britney Spears, Beyonce announcing her pregnancy and Howard Stern’s bare behind, the MTV Video Music Awards has never had trouble generating buzz. But this year’s ceremony, which will be shown Sunday …

Who Should Win — And Will Win — Top Awards

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The MTV Video Music Awards have always been less about the awards and more about the performances. (What got more attention last year? Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors winning video of the year or Miley Cyrus’ twerking? Case closed.) However, …

Woods Takes Helm Of Bel Canto Singers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lebanon — Jane Woods, former choral director for Hanover High School and Richmond Middle School, is returning as music director of the Bel Canto Chamber Singers, the group announced recently. Woods, who previously led the ensemble from 1991 …

Clapton Says Thank You to JJ Cale

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. — For Eric Clapton, the early 1970s were filled with drug addiction, personal difficulties and growing dissatisfaction with music. Singer-songwriter JJ Cale rescued him and gave him a direction, though the man known as the main …

Opera North’s ‘Street Scene’ Is Magnificent

Thursday, August 14, 2014

After hearing Kurt Weill’s epic Street Scene , which is being given a remarkable production by Opera North at the Lebanon Opera House, I’m staggered that it hasn’t been revived on Broadway since it opened in 1946, and that it isn’t as well known by the general public …

WRJ Venue Splits With Tupelo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

White River Junction — While the beat will go on at the music stage next door to the Elixir restaurant on South Main Street, the venue will go by a new name: Freight House Hall. Citing “creative differences” with the management of Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, N.H., …

Kiss’ Gene Simmons Is Not So Mean, Well, Maybe

Thursday, August 14, 2014

No surprise: Gene Simmons ate up a lot of our interview time singing the praise of his biggest fan. Yep, Gene Simmons. More surprising, Kiss’ tongue-wagging, demon-faced co-founder also had nice — or at least not entirely antagonistic …

Tom Ellis Gains Attention as Renegade Doctor on ‘Rush’

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Ever since he was born, Welsh actor Tom Ellis has entertained an audience. “I have a twin sister and when we were born in Cardiff at the University of Wales hospital — it’s a …