Monday with Messiaen

If you need a little help getting into the holiday spirit this year, I suggest you head on down to the Sheen Center on Bleecker Street next Monday, December 10, for a complete performance of Olivier Messiaen’s monumental 1944 piano work Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus (Twenty Gazes on the Infant Jesus). Originally composed for Messiaen’s […]

Love, no border

Over the past several years, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir have made holiday visits to Joe’s Pub, and this year is no exception. On Sundays at 2:00 p.m. from now through December 23, they’ll be offering their freewheeling Love, No Border service at the Public Theater’s club — a production of […]

Christmas with Messiaen

If you need a little help getting into the holiday spirit this year, I suggest you head on down to the Sheen Center on Bleecker Street on Monday, December 10, for a complete performance of Olivier Messiaen’s monumental 1944 piano work Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus (Twenty Gazes on the Infant Jesus). Originally composed for Messiaen’s […]

The roots of the roots

When American roots music is celebrated, it’s usually done so with the Ken-Burns-like solemnity of PBS specials like American Epic — eminently worthwhile, but also studded with the kinds of celebrities (Willie Nelson, Jack White) who can tart up the joint enough to guarantee a least-embarrassing rating. All well and good, and if PBS can […]

Cephas & Wiggins play “John Henry”

I’m feeling distinctly ambivalent about yesterday’s election results; as I sort this out, a little classic American music may be appropriate. According to Bruce Bastin’s Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southwest, the American traditional “John Henry” was usually among the very first songs that Piedmont blues musicians would master. “Many bluesmen in […]