String quartet performs for a sold-out audience of 3,000 plants

On Monday, the UceLi Quartet performed at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu. The opera house was filled to capacity... with 3,000 plants. They played Giacomo Puccini's "Crisantemi." From National Public Radio:

"After a strange, painful period, the creator [conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia], the Liceu's artistic director and the curator Blanca de la Torre offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature," according to a release on the Liceu's website.

The plants came from local nurseries and will be donated along with a certificate from the artist to 2,292 health care professionals, specifically at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

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Listen to a rare Kraftwerk live concert from 1975

In the latest edition of High Weirdness author Erik Davis's essential e-newseltter The Burning Shore, he points us to this wonderfully rare live recording of a complete Kraftwerk concert from a 1975 performance in Canada. It's charging my battery and now I'm definitely full of energy. Erik writes:

...It captures the newly-christened touring quartet of Schneider, Hütter, Flür, and Bartos stretching their electronic wings on their first full international tour. Delicate, playful, and unpretentious, having fun with their goofy machines and modest vocal chops, the group enters a low earth orbit with a “robot pop” sound that remains organic, improvisatory, and still friendly toward the flute. We open with the diaphanous cascades of “Kling Klang”, pass through the galactic drift of “Komentenmelodie 1”, and close with a 25-minute “Autobahn” that manages to both ride the groove and break down in all the right ways. The home-cooked rhythm rigs are particularly charming, constantly shifting timbres and patterns while forging the revolutionary conjunctio of electronics and The Beat. At a time when most prog bands were sludgy with cleverness, this music enacts a genuinely progressive marriage of kosmiche slop and electronic futurism, deployed with the lightest of radioactive touches.

image: "Kraftwerk concert in Zürich, 1976" by Ueli Frey (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Today! Free Passover concert stream with Nicki Bluhm, Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Jeremiah Lockwood, and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave)

My friends at Reboot, the Jewish arts and culture nonprofit, are hosting a free Passover concert stream today at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT with a killer lineup! The show, "Reboot Ideas: Liberation Through Music," features Nicki Bluhm (The Gramblers), Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Jeremiah Lockwood, and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave). Dayenu! Tune in here on Zoom.

And check out the calendar of upcoming Reboot Ideas sessions here!

L'Chaim! Read the rest

Join me to watch Talking Heads perform in my living room

Well, they're performing at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey in 1980, but I'm watching it in my living room right now.

This killer lineup includes the great avant-garde axman Adrien Belew of King Crimson and The Bears and the late Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bernie Worrell on keyboards!

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Genesis (the trio) are reuniting for a tour

Prog-turned-pop band Genesis will hit the road later this year for their first tour since 2007. As usual, this will be the Genesis of the late 1970s and 1980s, after Peter Gabriel left the band. Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford will be joined by Collins' son Nic on drums and guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer. The Last Domino Tour 2020 begins in Dublin on November 16 before heading to England. No US dates have been announced. Yet.


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George Harrison, "Beware of Darkness," on his birthday

Happy birthday to the late George Harrison, born Feb 25, 1943. Okay, as he revealed toward the end of his life, he was actually born at 11:50pm on Feb 24, but close enough.

Enjoy this video from the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden, 1971. It's his duet with Leon Russell, performing "Beware of Darkness" from Harrison's 1970 record, All Things Must Pass. Words to live by.

[H/t Jayme McLellan]

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K. D. Lang stuns the crowd at Fire Fight Australia with "Hallelujah"

The crowd at this weekend's Fire Fight Australia was humbled by an intense, heart-felt performance by k.d. lang of her signature cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

Fire Fight Australia was a benefit concert held in Sydney to help raise relief money in the wake of the country's devastating brush fires.

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Weekend tunes: close to an hour with Shooglenifty and Dhun Dhora

Scotland's Shooglenifty was one of the first acts that I had the opportunity to interview for the music magazine I still occasionally write for, over two decades ago. That it was one of my first paying assignments, well before I'd finished J-school, and that I'd been a fan of the band for years has made the experience a fond memory. 10 albums in and the Shoogles are still on regular rotation in my home.

Recorded in 2018, Written in Water, was a collaboration between the band and Rajasthani musical geniuses Dhun Dhora. It's in turns a challenging and rewarding collection of tracks to listen to. The more I jog it through my ears, the more I like it. I'd like you to have the same opportunity.

This piece of concert was recorded last year off of Bellstone stage at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Read the rest

Watch Kraftwerk's earliest concert video and witness the birth of the man-machines

From the archives of Germany's public broadcasting institution WDR, this televised concert video of Kraftwerk from 1970, the year of the band's formation. Even then, their post-Krautrock motorik dynamism is trance-inducing.

Far fucking out.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace" concert film will finally be released

In January 1972, Aretha Franklin performed at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood. The LP of those performances is an absolutely breathtaking celebration of soul gospel. It won a Grammy, became the biggest selling live gospel record in history, and remains the highest selling record of Franklin's career. Filmmaker Sydney Pollack documented the performance and the plan was to release the concert movie as a double feature with Super Fly during the summer of 1972. The problem though is that Pollack hadn't used a clapper board during the filming that would enable him to sync the audio and footage from the five cameras. With no way to properly edit the film, the project was shelved until about ten years ago. And in a few months, the world will finally see it. From the New York Times:

(Alan) Elliott, who had been obsessed with the lost footage since working as a music executive in the mid-1980s, ultimately persuaded Warner to sell him the reels in 2007. (He mortgaged his house.) By 2010, digital technology had evolved to a point that syncing film and sound was finally possible....

As a planned release date approached in 2011, however, Ms. Franklin sued Mr. Elliott for using her likeness without her permission. That started years of legal wrangling, with Ms. Franklin and her lawyers blocking Mr. Elliott and the Telluride Film Festival from showing “Amazing Grace” in 2015 and 2016, even after deals for her compensation seemed to have been worked out.

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Watch The Breeders and Melkbelly cover John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme

At Asbury Park's The Stone Pony last week, alt.rock icons The Breeders and Chicago noise pop band Melkbelly covered John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme. According to Kim Deal, the band was inspired by a recent viewing of the new Halloween film and worked out the tune at soundcheck. Read the rest

Turnaround's fair game: Toto cover's Weezer's Hash Pipe

After all the noise made over Weezer covering Toto's Africa, it was only a matter of time before Joseph Williams and the rest of the lads decided what's good for the goose is good for the gander: at a concert in Vancouver, Canada earlier this week Toto unleashed their cover of Hash Pipe upon an undeserving world. Read the rest

Death Cab for Cutie teases us with new album and tour announcement

"I dreamt we spoke, I dreamt we spoke again."

My friends in Death Cab for Cutie just posted this enchanting video teaser to announce a new album coming in August and a US tour this fall! This record will be the band's first release since 2015's marvelous LP Kintsugi and their anti-Trump number from 2016, "Million Dollar Loan."

Fall tour pre-sale starts May 2.

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A concert with instruments made of ice

Deep in the Jostedalen glacier in Norway, musician Terje Isungset puts on an annual concert played on instruments made of ice. It just completed its 2018 run, though they had to move further north this year to an icy lake due to warming temperatures. Read the rest

Enjoy this barrel house blues and early country concert with Laura Jean Anderson, Gregory Fleischut, and friends

Here's a terrific set of music from Laura Jean Anderson & Friends, which was performed last year at Deep End Ranch in Santa Paula, California. She's got a beautiful voice.

Laura Jean Anderson & Friends perform live in a classic, all acoustic house concert. Celebrating her roots in the Barrel House Blues era, old-time & early country, and her own amazing songwriting, Laura Jean’s powerful vocals & guitar are joined by Marcus Buser, bass & vocals; Gregory Fleischut, mandolin, guitar, lapsteel & vocals; Keenan Hately, fiddle; Sharon Hutson, vocals; and Christian Lee Hutson, guitar & vocals. This rare unplugged performance took place on June 10, 2017, in front of a full house in the living room at Deep End Ranch.

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When Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees

"At one of the last shows, he finally flipped off the audience," says The Monkees' Mickey Dolzenz. "I don't blame him, frankly."

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Hans Zimmer performs "Inception" live at Coachella

By all accounts, German soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer's performance at Coachella last night was magnificent. Here he leads his talented orchestra in a rousing, tension-inducing Inception medley.

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