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The lowdown on Sound Session 2011

The seventh annual Sound Session festival jumps off all weekend long, and while this year's itinerary has been scaled down to three days rather than a full seven, you can expect another "multi-genre gumbo" at four locations.
Hot in the city
By CHRIS CONTI  |  July 08, 2011
Happy James Brown death day!

Happy James Brown death day!


For many years, rock and roll fans have chosen to celebrate the life of Elvis Presley not on the King's birthday, but during a week-long...
By Carly Carioli  |  December 25, 2010
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The word ''brown'' has been replaced in Arizona

Reasonably suspicionies
Idiot Box
By MATT BORS  |  April 30, 2010
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Joyride

It is May 1966, in the Prelude Club in Harlem, an Atlantic Records release party.
The Worcester Art Museum shows us ‘Who Shot Rock & Roll’
By GREG COOK  |  March 26, 2010
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Joe Cuba | El Alcalde Del Barrio

Fania kicks off 2010 with what is sure to end up being one of the year's most important archival releases of Latin music.
Fania (2010)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  March 12, 2010
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Fela Kuti | The ’69 L.A. Sessions

Amiri Baraka put it best in his poem "In the Funk World": "If Elvis Presley is King/Who is James Brown, God?" So, by that logic, is Fela Anikulapo Kuti higher than or equal to God?
Knitting Factory (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  February 12, 2010


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Excerpt: Evening’s Empire by BIll Flanagan

In this chapter, "The Drugs Don't Work," aging rock star Emerson Cutler and his manager, Jack Flynn, are seeking inspiration — and desperately trying to jumpstart his career.
An excerpt from Bill Flanagan’s new novel, Evening’s Empire , the true story of a band that never existed
By BILL FLANAGAN  |  February 05, 2010
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Oddballs

Even if they had closed up shop 15 years ago, the Residents would go down as some of rock's most prolific pranksters. They aped the Beatles on their 1974 debut, Meet the Residents , tormented short attention spans with 40-minute songs on 1980's The Com
After 40 years, the Residents ditch the script
By MATT PARISH  |  February 05, 2010

Review: Soul Clap with Jonathan Toubin at SPACE

Soul Clap with Jonathan Toubin at SPACE Gallery, December 11
Music Seen
By SONYA TOMLINSON  |  December 18, 2009

So you think you can dance?

One of the few things that heats up a winter's night more than a dance party? A dance competition . Yes, you heard right.
Soul Clap at SPACE
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 04, 2009
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The Big Hurt: Another Brown bagged

Ian Brown: lady hitter?
Plus Stockman sickened, Sublime subpoena'd,
By DAVID THORPE  |  November 13, 2009


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The Relatives | Don't Let Me Fall

Does the Devil really have all the best tunes? Go tell that to Bach, or the Sensational Nightingales, or Johnny Cash!
Heavy Light (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  November 13, 2009
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Review: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker | Burn It Down

These Nashville-based high ministers of retro-groove — known for their muscular live sermons — broaden their gospel on CD #2.
OuttaSight (2009)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 11, 2009

Onward, Christian governor!

It's nice to see Governor Don "Laughing Boy" Carcieri loosening up by sharing the real Donnie Boy with the people of Vo Dilun. Initially (certainly in his first campaign for governor in 2002) Don tried to come across as a moderate conservative, not unlik
Carcieri gets "loose"; plus, farewell to Tedy, and mind-boggling Bush
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  September 04, 2009
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Photos + Review: Pretenders, Cat Power at Pavilion

The Pretenders + Cat Power + Juliette Lewis | August 12, 2009 at Bank of America Pavilion
The Pretenders + Cat Power + Juliette Lewis | August 12, 2009 at Bank of America Pavilion
By MIKE MILIARD  |  August 14, 2009
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Review: Soul Power

Concert flicks are quite different from deliberately political documentaries. In the latter, the perception that filmmakers are too intimate with their subjects can reek of propaganda.
Leftover footage from When We Were Kings yields a doc that's anything but trash
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 17, 2009


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Pleasure principles

King Sunny Adé's music is bubbly as a tonic — a percolating, pop-infused update of the traditional Yoruba sound. "My songs are made to lift worries, so people can be happy and dance their troubles away," declares the 62-year-old Nigerian world-music sta
King Sunny Adé still brings the beats
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  July 10, 2009
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Inside out

Charlie Kohlhase's love affair with jazz began with the avant-garde. As a high-school kid in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he found that it was Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago who rocked his world.
Charlie Kohlhase's Explorer's Club, Lee Konitz + Minsarah, and Steve Swallow recanting
By JON GARELICK  |  July 03, 2009
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The Thriller is gone

With the release of Bad (Epic), Michael Jackson ends a recording hiatus of nearly five years. He could have stayed away for 10 years and still not have escaped the shadow of Thriller , the biggest-selling album of all time.
For Michael Jackson, Bad aint' good
By JOYCE MILLMAN  |  July 03, 2009
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Lee Fields and the Expressions | My World

It's hard to dislike Lee Fields. He's an almost archetypal jobbing soul singer in the shouter/grunter/talker/improviser tradition of Otis Redding and James Brown, and he's currently undergoing something of a revival as a Sharon Jones collaborator and fea
Truth and Soul (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  June 19, 2009
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The Big Hurt: Marley pimped, Miley sorry, Kanye secure

This goes to print a week after I write it because of the damnable pre-Web technology of the printed page, but I swear to God that I was the first son of a bitch to think of it: Jackson Browne, James Brown, Bobby Brown, Chris Brown .
Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  February 19, 2009


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Slideshow: Backstage Pass at PMA

Loving obsessive groupie
A photographic story of music
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  January 26, 2009
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Review: Let Freedom Sing! Music of the Civil Rights Movement

In any given Black History Month, the three-disc Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Civil Rights Movement would be a powerful anthology.
Time/Life (2009)
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 06, 2009

Nightwatch

Who's got the funk?
Providence gripped by funk shortage
By PHILIP EIL  |  December 29, 2008
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Dub Colossus | A Town Called Addis

This one-of-a-kind project connects the real-life fireworks of old and new, urban Ethiopian music with the Rastafarian mythology
Real World (2008)
By BANNING EYRE  |  November 18, 2008


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Close readings

The JCA has been at it since 1985, a collective of musicians who are primarily composers rather than players, in need of an outlet to hear their pieces.
Darrell Katz and the JCA, Ben Ratliff, Jeff Turton
By JON GARELICK  |  November 18, 2008

Wet fuse

The stakes were lower Sunday night in New Bedford than they were back in 1968 when Boston mayor Kevin White brought James Brown to the Garden for a televised concert often credited with keeping the city from going up in flames the night after MLK’s assas
Mr. Dynamite in New Bedford
By WILL SPITZ  |  October 27, 2008
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Various Artists | Jump Back

Crammed with tracks guaranteed to make your chit-chatting friends go quiet for a few seconds and ask, “Isn’t that ‘Sex Machine’ in Spanish?”
LSD
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  September 10, 2008
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Basic elements

Boston was a world-music stronghold even before the “world music” genre existed.
The international and roots-music scene heats up
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 08, 2008