Category: Music

  • Hey Man, It’s Your Trip: Michael Wedleigh’s Woodstock Documentary

    Hey Man, It’s Your Trip: Michael Wedleigh’s Woodstock Documentary

    The classic feature documentary Woodstock captures the full experience of the near-mythical 1969 festival of the same name, from septic tanks to traffic jams to brown acid. It remains an important record of one of the most peaceful spontaneous gatherings in human history, not to mention the brief-lived spirit of the hippie movement as a […]

  • Champagne & Reefer: Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones’ Shine a Light

    Champagne & Reefer: Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones’ Shine a Light

    Martin Scorsese’s long history with musical documentaries and concert films includes working as assistant director and editor on Woodstock (1970), directing an account of The Band’s final concert as The Last Waltz (1978), executive producing and designing the shots for Peter Gabriel’s concert film PoV (AKA Point of View, 1987), directing part of the massive […]

  • The Ultimate Six-String Summit: It Might Get Loud

    The Ultimate Six-String Summit: It Might Get Loud

    It Might Get Loud indeed, when three generations of rock guitarists convene for the ultimate six-string summit. Jimmy Page (representative of 1970s stadium rock and, with Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, part of the canonical trinity of guitar heroes) joins The Edge (child of the punk/new wave era but also paradoxically a bit of an […]

  • Scratching in the Dirt: Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back

    Scratching in the Dirt: Peter Gabriel’s Scratch My Back

    As a Peter Gabriel fan for over two decades, it’s difficult to admit that I find myself struggling to appreciate his first new album in many years. There have always been three core things to love about Gabriel’s work: his literate songwriting, meticulous soundscapes, and emotionally expressive voice. Behind the creepily organic album art, Scratch […]

  • MGMT live in Brooklyn, July 1, 2009

    MGMT live in Brooklyn, July 1, 2009

    The electronic/disco/pop/rock group MGMT has made a huge splash, earning spots on tours with no less than Paul McCartney and Beck. The wildly catchy “Time to Pretend,” “Electric Feel,” and “Kids” (the latter featuring a truly deranged music video) are not out of keeping with the rest of their repertoire in terms of style and […]

  • Explosions in the Sky live in Central Park, June 30, 2009

    Explosions in the Sky live in Central Park, June 30, 2009

    Explosions in the Sky is an instrumental post-rock quartet from Texas. Their characteristic formula of a chiming guitar power trio on top of pulsating drums is a bit more palatable than their extremely loud, menacing Scottish peers Mogwai (read our review of their April show in New York). Personally, I hear a kind of homogeneity […]

  • California Guitar Trio & Tony Levin’s Stick Men, live at the B.B. King Blues Club, New York, June 22, 2009

    California Guitar Trio & Tony Levin’s Stick Men, live at the B.B. King Blues Club, New York, June 22, 2009

    The California Guitar Trio may not actually be from California (they actually hail from Belgium, Japan, and the US), but there are indeed three of them and they each play a guitar. In a way, that tells you everything and nothing you need to know. As designated spokesman Paul Richards explained during their June 22nd […]

  • The Decemberists Live at Radio City Music Hall, June 10, 2009

    The Decemberists Live at Radio City Music Hall, June 10, 2009

    Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 (including Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Bill Rieflin of Ministry, R.E.M., and The Humans) opened with an enjoyable 30-minute set. I was unfamiliar with Hitchcock, but by total coincidence had just days before seen his appearance in Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married. His quirky non sequiturs between songs (“I […]

  • Nine Inch Nails & Jane’s Addiction live at Jones Beach, June 7, 2009

    Nine Inch Nails & Jane’s Addiction live at Jones Beach, June 7, 2009

    Street Sweeper Social Club Street Sweeper Social Club, the new band formed by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, opened. Their badass cover of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” was a highlight. Nine Inch Nails It felt wrong somehow to see a band as moody and dark as Nine Inch Nails play while the sun was […]

  • Mogwai live at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, April 2009

    Mogwai live at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, April 2009

    The Scottish instrumental rock outfit Mogwai earned their reputation in part for sheer volume, like My Bloody Valentine and The Who before them. Their music is also notable for exploring the kinds of extreme dynamics you usually only hear in electronica or progressive rock, wholly unlike the fatiguing constant loudness of most pop, punk, and […]