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ART takes on Porgy and Bess 2

Reimagining Porgy and Bess

In the new production at the American Repertory Theater, directed by Diane Paulus, Messrs. Heyward and Gershwin have been reworked by two actual African-Americans: two-time Obie Award winner Diedre L. Murray and Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-Americ
The A.R.T. takes on the Gershwins' classic and prep it for Broadway
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 12, 2011
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Arborea sail across a fossil sea

When critics say a band have a timelessness about them, people generally mean the band's music is sort of universally appealing, outside of trends or genres.
Hearing Red
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 22, 2011
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Hot summer moves

The 2010 Bates Dance Festival's first main stage performance, a concert by Monica Bill Barnes and Company, was hot — playfully theatrical, intensely human, ardently physical.
Bates Fest opens with Monica Bill Barnes
By JUNE VAIL  |  July 16, 2010
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Bettye LaVette | Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

Bettye LaVette’s previous two albums had titles that required a little digging to unpack.
Anti- (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 04, 2010
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Jew note

Defining "Jewish" music is pretty much a fool's task — not much easier than defining jazz.
First Annual Boston Jewish Music Festival, plus the Klezmatics
By JON GARELICK  |  February 26, 2010
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Review: Tom Russell | Blood and Candle Smoke

This LA-born troubadour with a Dustbowl voice works voodoo on his 24th studio album, conjuring ghosts of the ’60s and ’70s along with apocalyptic visions as he relates tales of gun-toting madmen and dark rifts of the heart.
Shout! Factory (2009)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 25, 2009


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Levon Helm | Electric Dirt

Helm's 2007 Dirt Farmer won the Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy for its acoustic arrangements of songs plucked from the Delta soil of the Band drummer and singer's rural Arkansas youth.
Dirt Farmer Music/Vanguard
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  June 26, 2009
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Mixed messages

Given the sound of its first track (which is also the title of the album), you'd have every reason to think that 3play+'s debut CD is about to plunge you into Bill Frisell–style Americana.
3play+ do what they wanna; Melody Gardot follows her instincts
By JON GARELICK  |  June 05, 2009
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Heavenly host

Perhaps it's due to the delicate gentility of his demeanor, or the soft warble of his signature trill, but Antony Hegarty tends to be described in the airiest of terms.
Antony and the Johnsons, live at Berklee Performance Center, February 22, 2009
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  February 26, 2009
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A voice from on high

On his new album The Crying Light, Antony Hegarty lifts his voice without raising it.
The second coming of Antony and the Johnsons
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 18, 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


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Review: Nina Simone - To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story

Nina Simone was her own gospel, a sinuous force of uncompromising power and righteous beauty.
RCA/Legacy
By ZETH LUNDY  |  December 09, 2008
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Mixed grill

Dave Bryant stood among the folding chairs in the audience before Scarecrow Mobius's gig at Outpost 186 a week ago Monday night, looked at his two-deck keyboard rig, and mused, "Not pretty, but I guess it will do. I had more room at rehearsal."
Scarecrow Mobius, Monique, and Morley
By JON GARELICK  |  December 01, 2008

Seven Sirens

SPACE Gallery showcased a "Seven Sirens" all-lady lineup last Friday, in front of a packed house.
Music seen at SPACE Gallery, November 14
By SONYA TOMLINSON AND JEFF INGLIS  |  November 19, 2008

Live: Andrew Bird in Portland

For his nearly-sold-out show in Portsmouth’s Music Hall, Bird compensated for the absence of bandmates by doing, well, everything himself.  
Music seen at the Music Hall, October 8, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 16, 2008
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Who brought the cool kid?

“For me, punk is the new idea, always the new idea, forever the new idea. That’s why punk can never die. Because as long as there are people, there will be new ideas.”

Ian MacKaye visits Tufts


By WILL SPITZ  |  April 15, 2008


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Less is best

González possesses the will power and the patience to dig into each of his songs until he has exhumed its bleeding heart.
The spare science of José González
By SHARON STEEL  |  March 04, 2008
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Finding a voice

Closer inspection, however, shows a choreographer making a series of perplexing musical choices that don’t always serve him well.
Battleworks at the ICA
By DEBRA CASH  |  February 29, 2008
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A whole new rush

You are obviously not a brilliant musician who appreciates the grand gifts that Rush displays.
Dr. Lovemonkey
By DR. LOVEMONKEY  |  February 28, 2008
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Allison Moorer

Working with producer Buddy Miller, Moorer takes an approach opposite to Lynne’s on the stripped-down Lovin’ , giving each track its own distinct personality.
Mockingbird | New Line
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 26, 2008
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History rocks

“Not radical,” he replied. “I’d say ‘the truth.’ ”
Zinn's people's history comes to life, and song
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  January 15, 2008


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Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah is never going to be Billie Holiday.
Trav'lin Light | Verve
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  December 31, 2007
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Start with some Spice

The game is on for the reunited Spice Girls.
A recipe for a tuneful 2008
By MATT ASHARE  |  December 26, 2007

Nostalgia, remixed

It’s not that I think Billie Holiday: Remixed and Reimagined is some kind of unforgivable desecration.
Billie Holiday unstuck in time
By JON GARELICK  |  December 07, 2007
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Covering Dylan

Dylan is his own cover band.
From Newport to I’m Not There
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  November 20, 2007
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Nuovomondo|Golden Door

The lack of focus on the main characters and some bad artistic choices cause the film to slip beneath the waves of its own ambitious vision.
A vast but uneven period piece
By PEG ALOI  |  June 13, 2007


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A pleasant Reminder

Canadian singer Feist’s third solo album is a soundtrack for watching your lover walk out the door.
Feist comes into her own
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 04, 2007
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At home with home

Women may dominate the pop charts from time to time, but in the annals of acknowledged rock/pop greatness, they are few in number.
Sara Cox arrives at domesticity with Crowded Is the New Lonely
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 30, 2007
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Longing for a Reminder

The Reminder is a soundtrack for watching your lover walk out the door.
Feist's inevitable breakthrough
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 25, 2007
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Not quite phenomenal

Fans of deep-roots blues and soul are always looking for new heroes and heroines.
Ruthie Foster, Johnny D's, March 28, 2007
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  April 03, 2007