Monday, February 27, 2017

MP3 Monday: wwoman

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN MICHAEL WHITE
  • Photo courtesy of Ryan Michael White
This week’s MP3 Monday is “Eating Ass” by wwoman (probably best to avoid Googling song + artist at work, learned the hard way). For fans of minimalist electronic music, synth-y R&B, good music. wwoman will be performing at the Crafted Sounds cassette release show at the Bushnel on March 18 (read about that release here). Stream or download "Eating Ass" below.



To download, right click here and select "save as."

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: Gregory Porter at August Wilson Center

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 4:26 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
  • Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Jazz might not be front-and-center in the landscape of contemporary music, but vocalist Gregory Porter is helping to bring it there. The 45-year-old Sacramento native has been entrancing a new generation of jazz lovers since his 2010 debut, Water. It’s not often you see so many generations under one roof for a concert, but that was the case at Porter’s show at the August Wilson Center this week. Porter has almost a Mr. Rogers quality about him in the way he conveys lessons about morality through art, simplicity and art. In his signature tawny, brown-colored suit and his black Kangol Summer Spitfire hat, Porter’s appeal and charm were undeniable on Wednesday night.

Porter’s musical education began at church, which is evident in the way he connects with the crowd and in his impeccable vocal delivery (which earned him two Grammy wins for Best Jazz Vocal Album, most recently in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley). Porter performed that album’s title track with a solemn demeanor; empathetically waxing about the people living in the “alley” and how we treat them. In “On My Way To Harlem,” from 2012’s Be Good, Porter reflects on that neighborhood’s rich history and the changes its endured, channeling names like Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye and Langston Hughes.

Speaking of legends, Porter brought up the recent death of Al Jarreau, though he admitted he didn’t feel confident enough to pay tribute with a cover. Instead, his band’s bassist played a passionate and hypnotizing medley celebrating Jarreau’s legacy, which transitioned into “Musical Genocide.”

A personal favorite of mine is a song called “No Love Dying” from 2013’s Liquid Spirit, a beautifully composed piece lightly colored with stray piano notes and fluttering syncopation. Of course, it wasn’t all ballads and love songs: the lively and upbeat “Liquid Spirit” energized the crowd with hand claps and foot stomps, peppered with Porter’s encouragement to “sing that song” and “go ‘head.” Porter closed out the set with “Free,” a horn-heavy blues piece about hard work and sacrifice. He ends the song with a “thank you” to the audience for allowing him to be himself, and to be free.

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Listen Up! Feb. 22

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 12:28 PM

Every Wednesday (in this case, a Friday), we make a Spotify playlist containing tracks from artists mentioned in the current music section. Listen in the bathtub while reading the music stories in this week's paper for a fully immersive experience. This week's playlist has lots of "punk rock" in it, so be careful who you play it for.


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Monday, February 20, 2017

MP3 Monday: Cledus and the Cadillacs

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 11:39 AM

PHOTO COURTESY OF MAUREEN MACEL
  • Photo courtesy of Maureen Macel
Each week, we post a song from a local artist, for free online. This week, it’s Pittsburgh-style honky-tonk from Cledus and the Cadillacs. The best way to describe the band’s sound? Take Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars, Cadillacs,” a touch of George Jones’ “Your Heart Turned Left,” a dash of Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road” and a splash of blues guitar, and you’re in the ballpark. The band’s “Lonely Night in Texas” is a nice intro to its sound. Stream here or download below.


To download, right click here and select "save as."



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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Listen Up! Feb. 15

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Every Wednesday (in this case, a Thursday), we make a Spotify playlist containing tracks from artists mentioned in the current music section. Listen in the bathtub while reading the stories in this week's paper for a fully immersive experience. This week's is half jazz and half metal, like a Dillinger Escape Plan guitar solo.


Monday, February 13, 2017

MP3 Monday: The Long Hunt

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:34 PM

The Long Hunt - PHOTO COURTESY OF TREVOR RICHARDS
  • Photo courtesy of Trevor Richards
  • The Long Hunt
Okay, people who like minimalist post-rock, sludge, drone metal and repetition, The Long Hunt's debut is going to make you happy. Wilderness Tales is built on sparse guitar lines on the surface, but anyone who's spent any time with Earth or Sleep or OM will recognize the heavier — if less distorted — nuances in each composition. The band is a guitar-bass-drums three-piece, the album is out on Feb. 17 and this week's MP3 Monday is the seven-minute "Valley of the Sun." Listen/download below and keep an eye out for when these folks hit the road (play concerts).



To download, right-click here and select "save as."


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Listen Up! Feb. 8

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Every Wednesday, we make a Spotify playlist containing tracks from artists mentioned in the current music section. Listen in the bathtub while reading the stories in this week's paper for a fully immersive experience.


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: Ms. Lauryn Hill at Heinz Hall

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 4:18 PM

As couples swagger into Heinz Hall in furs, thigh-highs, cufflinks and alligator kicks, DJ Motormane spins neo-soul. The playlist transitions from '97 Erykah Badu and New Edition to ’90s hip-hop remixes.

This is how the night started for Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling!” at Heinz Hall on Jan. 31. The tour has a strong Fela Kuti/Afrobeat vibe, featuring all new arrangements of classics like “Lost Ones” and “Ex Factor,” with a much faster delivery and Caribbean drums.

Now of course I can’t do this review without mentioning her delayed arrival — she was three hours late. I’m young and a HUGE fan, and even I was annoyed at how long we had to wait. Musically, it was phenomenal, but she spent a lot of time trying to communicate with the lighting guy, and he was on stage about three times. For a delay that long, you’d think they would’ve had time to get the lights straightened out before the show.

First the band came out, followed by her background singers and then, finally, Ms. Hill graced us with her presence at 11:17 p.m. — more than three hours after the show was scheduled to begin. By that time, all of the —well, let’s just say more "mature" folks — had left the building.

Navy-blue lights shone over the audience, as light shapes danced all over the theater. She serenaded us with a melodic rendition of “Pittsburgh” (as in, just singing the word "Pittsburgh" in between songs). Her guitarist seemed to play a central role in the new arrangements, contributing a blues solo to nearly every song.

Ms. Hill's voice sounded as strong and clear as ever, as she danced around in all black, platform heels covered by the length of her skirt, topped off with a studded black beanie. She is truly alluring. After her covers of Sade’s “Your Love Is King” and “Sweetest Taboo,” the three-hour delay had completely slipped my mind.

Update:

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Monday, February 6, 2017

MP3 Monday: Marissa Hapeman

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 1:04 PM

Marissa Hapeman
  • Marissa Hapeman
This week's MP3 Monday is taking us to church with the local chiptune artist Marissa Hapeman. "Big Bad Crush" is the opener — I promise I listen to whole albums, I just appreciate a good track one — from Hapeman's latest, Solstice EP. It's delightful. Get the whole album if you know what's good for you but if you don't, I guess just stream or download "Big Bad Crush" here in the meantime.


To download, right-click here and select "save as."

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Listen Up! Feb. 1

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 1:36 AM

Every Wednesday, we make a Spotify playlist containing tracks from artists mentioned in the current music section. Listen in the bathtub while reading the stories in this week's paper for a fully immersive experience. Intense!


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