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Letters 06-20-2016

More About Kachadurian Columnist Tom Kachadurian’s recent fit to slash out at the world of science and scientists is just another example of his profound ignorance and shallowness...

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The New Normal Fifty more gunned down. They say it was a gay bar. Remember “saloons” had a connotation of a specific “type” of entertainment. Today, bars are simply social meeting places for all walks of life...

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4Play: Punch Brothers, Works Progress Administration, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2010
Punch Brothers - Antifogmatic - Nonesuc
Recorded and mixed in Hollywood with legendary producer Jon Brion
(Fiona Apple, Kanye West), Chris Thile and crew’s latest manages to
converge the generally-divergent genres of pop and bluegrass with both
emotion and sheer get-up-and-go. Opener “You Are” blends staccato
guitar with strings, while “Don’t Need No” rallies up the beats and
“Next to the Trash” is the closest thing to “real” bluegrass you’ll
find on this outing. It’s quite an accomplishment for a string band to
actually make tracks that are this crossover-friendly and catchy, too.



Works Progress Administration - WPA - Red
Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips and Chris Thile’s Nickel Creek
bandmates Sean and Sara Watkins team up on this album with an
impressive linup of fellow folk-pop musicians (including Pete Thomas,
Luke Bulla, Greg Leisz, and producer Jim Scott), on which they
collaborated on and recorded seventeen songs in five days. Album
opener “Always Have My Love” as sung by Phillips himself is perhaps
the song with the most staying power, although Luke Bulla’s “Who’s
Gonna Cry for You” and Sean Watkins’ “Paralyzed” are close seconds.


Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues - Downtown Records
Singer Cyndi Lauper - whose remarkable voice has been overshadowed, at
times, with the very costumey showiness she had to attempt in order to
draw attention to it - has gone through several phases in her career,
from radio pop to standards. Her latest effort is this set, on which
she traveled to Memphis to record a blues cover album. On it, Lauper
collaborates with the likes of B.B. King (“Early in the Morning”),
Jonny Lang (“How Blue Can You Get”), Charlie Musselwhite, and Allen
Toussaint to prove that this girl can have fun with any genre.



Chris Isaak - Live at the Fillmore - Mailboat Records

Recorded at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, this live CD aims to
bring a Chris Isaak show to CD, with as close an approximation of the
“Isaak live experience” as possible. Whether that works or not is up
to Isaak fans to say, but it is certainly recorded crisply and with a
lot of attention to detail, including much of Isaak’s on-stage banter
between songs like hits “Somebody’s Crying,” and classic “Wicked
Games,” as well as fan favorites such as “Worked It Out Wrong,” “Move
Along,” “Lonely with a Broken Heart,” and “Blue Spanish Sky.”

 
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