GRAMMY-award winning rap superstar Kendrick Lamar released his third studio album DAMN last month. There was a lot of hype and anticipation for this album. A lot of people including myself were wondering whether the overall sound of the album would mimic his sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly. After the release of the first single from the new album, “Humble” the answer was no. Lamar went the route of using hard hitting beats over his vicious flows and it’s a refreshing change of pace.
The Theremin was one of the very first electronic instruments. It is the only musical instrument that is played without being physically touched. Stop by the CLP – Main International Poetry Room on Thursday, May 18th, 12 – 1 pm for a free lunchtime lecture and performance by world-class thereminist Pamelia Stickney as part of a day long Theremania!!! celebration.
Charles Mingus is one of a handful of the most important jazz composers of the 20th century. He was a giant of jazz, an innovator whose music blends classical, bop, and free jazz to create something else again. In addition, in the volatile time that he lived, he was an unapologetic advocate of civil rights in the United States.
“Take Me Out To the Opera” has been the theme for the 2016-2017 season of the Pittsburgh Opera in anticipation of their first world premiere in the company’s 78 year history, The Summer King, the story of Pittsburgh baseball legend Josh Gibson. Daniel Sonenberg, composer of the opera, began working on this opera almost 15 years ago, but his love of baseball and his interest in the history of the Negro leagues goes back to his childhood. Reading the blog on his website, you feel his joy at finally having a fully staged version of this piece come to life in the city where Josh Gibson made his mark.
Previously, I posted a list of my favorite “guilty pleasure” songs. Today, I want to talk about covers. Sometimes they’re good; other times… not so much. Some are more popular than the originals. Then there are some songs, like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” that are so great they get covered over and over.
When it comes to the current state of rhythm & blues, the two names most people mention are Beyoncé and Rihanna. Both of whom I love, but there are a lot of other Black women out there making great music. One in particular is Jazmine Sullivan. I first heard Sullivan’s music when I saw the music video for her debut single “Need U Bad” on BET (back when they actually played music videos). She immediately captivated me with her voice.
Singing with your child is a wonderful bonding experience. Did you know it also helps them get ready to read?
Recently, actor Donald Glover won two Golden Globes for his new TV show Atlanta, which is one of my favorite TV shows that debuted last fall. Glover is a man of many talents. In addition to acting, he’s also a rapper and goes by the moniker, Childish Gambino. Back in December, Glover released his third album called Awaken, My Love. This album is vastly different from his previous albums, Camp and Because The Internet. Glover is known primarily as a rapper who sometimes sings but on this album he doesn’t rap at all. It was a surprising change, but it works.
This past Christmas, the world lost George Michael, which capped off the list of great musicians who left this Earth in 2016. As a kid, I grew up listening to George Michael because my father is a fan of him. I heard “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Praying For Time” a lot over the years. I know that Michael had his share of personal issues, but I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on his music and how it made me feel.
“Wham!” said the headline, “star George Michael dies.” And that’s how I read it. If you pretend for a moment that Wham! isn’t the name of a band, the statement perfectly sums up how 2016 felt. We were cursing January for taking beloved celebrities from us, but it didn’t stop there. It kept going to […]