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12 mai 2006

Genesis Reunion Still Likely

But won't happen until 2008...

Phil Collins has revealed that a Genesis reunion may still be on the cards after the band met in Glasgow recently.

The much-speculated reunion is touted to feature the original Genesis line-up with Peter Gabriel on vocal duties.

Now, speaking to 6Music in New York, Phil Collins has said that the reunion is still a possibility, but won’t happen until 2008.

Peter Gabriel is tied up until at least the end of 2007 which is the reason for the delay.

11 mai 2006

Jon Brion's Amazing Musicquarium

With only his 10 digits and this tiny piano, Jon Brion will attempt to stay submerged for at least a month . . . or until the coffee runs out. (Photos by Garik Gyurjyan)

The Nowhere/Everywhere man on Kanye West, Fiona Apple, Frank Sinatra, quantum physics, Roxy Music, acoustic alchemy, God and extreme coffee drinking

Because he can, ladies and gentlemen, and because life is short but not entirely meaningless, Jon Brion will now attempt to do it all. And he will do it all, or most of it, anyway. Consider that he’s a Grammy-nominated producer of hit records for rock and jazz biggies like Kanye West, Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Macy Gray, David Byrne, Marianne Faithfull, Polyphonic Spree and Brad Mehldau; and he’s a twice-Grammy-nominated composer of film scores for high-profile films (Magnolia, I ♥ Huckabees, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love).

He is a studio session multi-instrumentalist/sound guru who, with his battery of vintage/obscure musical instruments, has enlivened the recordings of a massive list of acts, from Elliott Smith, The Crystal Method and Jellyfish to
Peter Gabriel, Perry Ferrell, Melissa Etheridge and countless others. Oh, and he’s been a member of a melodically spectacular pop-rock band called The Grays, as well as the crafter of a cruelly unrecognized solo album, a whimsical pearl called . . . Meaningless.

[read more here] John Brion play mandolin & chamberlin on More Than This

Momix Channels the Circus and Other Sources of Movements

Hard-core dance audiences may mutter all they like about Cirque de Soleil on leaving "Passion" which opened the Momix season at the Joyce Theater on Tuesday night.

There are resemblances. "Passion" is as much stretched and curled athletic bodies as anything resembling traditional dance, though no one but a highly trained dancer could pull it off. Even more, the full-evening piece is a series of images from a museum tour, brought to life.

Djassi Johnson of Momix performing in "Passion" a sequence of 21 vignettes by Moses Pendleton, at the Joyce Theater.

But Moses Pendleton, who conceived and directed the suite of 21 vignettes, has a brilliant eye and mind. And it is a shock to see that the cast is a mere five tireless men and women — Djassi Johnson, Suzanne Lampl, Yasmine Lee, Steven Marshall and Brian Simerson — rather than the 20 or so performers who seemed to fill the stage.

The dancers perform behind projections, also created by Mr. Pendleton, that flow by on a front scrim, ranging from his signature sunflowers and clouds, ice floes and outright abstractions to ghostly, vaulting architecture. Kitty Daly's costumes enhance the effects with creations like pale blue puffballs, keening Renaissance women and individuals with suspiciously angling legs who turn into two people. The seamless whole is completed perfectly by Peter Gabriel's score, most of it from Martin Scorsese's film "The Last Temptation of Christ."

The pyramid sequence, in which a man sitting inside the structure is joined by a priestlike figure who materializes behind him, has a positively Jungian feel. Another sequence occurs behind an eerie painted corridor, an arcade along which sits a long row of sculptured-looking figures resembling ancient Egyptian tomb carvings. And there are images that are simply pretty and fun, among them hoops and bumbling, scurrying upright worms.

Momix will perform "Passion" through Sunday and"Lunar Sea" from Tuesday through May 28, at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, at 19th Street, Chelsea; (212) 242-0800 or

Photographs by Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Members of Momix dance in the "Troubled" segment of "Passion."

10 mai 2006

TV on the Radio in Person

Memo to the Showbox: If you are going to open your doors two hours before any music, please let us know that in advance. Otherwise, we will assume you're following standard operating procedure (doors an hour before opening acts) and will arrive accordingly. And then you end up with a grumpy crowd on your hands who have just been given an unexpected extra hour to drink. No one wants that.

Such was the scene at the Showbox Friday night, when Seattlest arrived at 8:45pm for what we thought was a 9pm show---only to be informed at the door that opening band Celebration wouldn't be going on until 10pm, with headliners TV on the Radio at 11pm. We were pissed, but bided our time by having a couple Smirnoff™ Jolly Ranchers, a drink that varied in ingredients as well as size depending on which bartender was pouring. The version we preferred included every flavor of vodka (except for vanilla), plus a splash of soda and cranberry. Juuuuuuuuice!

So we waited over an hour for the music to start, and when Celebration finally began their set (right on time, thankfully), we were less than impressed. We'd sum up lead singer Katrina Ford in four words: Poor Man's Karen O. Seriously, all she did was tone down the Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer's vocal stylings and theatrics. Her flouncing-about schtick got old real fast, and the only thing at all compelling about her performance was her left nipple poking through her shirtdress. Besides that, meh. Perhaps Celebration is better in recorded form, because we couldn't care less about them live.

mini-beatboxing.jpgWe were greatly relieved when Celebration's set was done and TV on the Radio took the stage. Their setlist was evenly distributed between their stellar debut Young Liars EP, the mixed results of Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, and their forthcoming, terribly-named Return to Cookie Mountain. Handsome lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, unlike the Celebration chick, was way compelling to watch---we think it's the deep Peter Gabriel-esque vocals coupled with his dramatic, lithe limb-flailing delivery. We're a big fan of guitarist Kyp Malone as well. His harmonizing falsetto always comes as a surprise, given his afroed and big-bearded look. And then there's David Andrew Sitek, otherwise known as "the white dude," who played a guitar with dangling metal chimes and sang along with Tunde, despite not having a mic. TV on the Radio saved two of our favorite songs for the encore, performing a driving, intense version of "Staring at the Sun," while Sitek broke things down beatbox-style on the sweetly unconventional love song "Ambulance."

TVotR always gives an energizing performance, and this show got us really excited for the new album. We'll be doing a countdown till Cookie Mountain is available, all the way to June 20th. To quote Jack Bauer, "Dammit!"

Photos care of Gavin Radkey.

Djivan Gasparyan - Endless Vision

Djivan Gasparyan

Maître incontesté du doudouk, instrument symbole de l'Arménie. La réputation de
Djivan Gasparyan a largement dépassé les frontières de son pays.

Endless Vision

Ce disque est le témoignage d’un dialogue rare et précieux, d’une conversation profonde entre deux maîtres de musique enregistrée live au palais Niavaran de Téhéran en 2003. L’hôte se nomme Hossein Alizadeh. Virtuose du tar, le luth iranien, ancien chef et soliste de l’orchestre de la radio-télévision nationale, il chemine depuis des décennies dans les méandres de la musique classique persane. Pour l’occasion, il a troqué son tar pour un instrument très peu utilisé, le shurangiz, un luth à six cordes muni d’une table en peau.

Son invité n’est rien moins que
Djivan Gasparyan, le maître du duduk, l’instrument arménien proche à la fois d’une clarinette et d’une bombarde qu’il a fait découvrir au monde entier via ses collaborations avec Peter Gabriel ou le Kronos Quartet. Derrière les deux hommes, l’ensemble Hamavayan, des voix, des percussions, d’autres cordes.

Le concert débute par une ouverture somptueuse d’
Alizadeh, puis les voix s’imposent, envahissent l’espace. L’heure est à l’exploration sereine de nouvelles voies entre les traditions iranienne et arménienne. Sur des compositions d’Alizadeh, sur des improvisations, sur un poème exaltant l’amour contre la raison, sur une superbe chanson signée Gasparyan, Endless Vision est une ode envoûtante à la musique et à la vie.

Jean-Stéphane Brosse/ Mondomix

09 mai 2006

Look, you can see the roof of our house from here. In the water

Wondering what the map of Britain, Europe, the rest of the world will look like when the icecaps melt? Don't worry, there is (inevitably) a Google Maps page that shows how the coastline will look at various sea-level rises. Try it out at Alex Tingle's Flood Maps page (suitable background music: Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood". Here's the MIDI file. Here's the lyrics. Now go find your house).

Some music is worth the long wait

Peter Gabriel

If history is anything, Peter Gabriel's next album should come out sometime at the beginning of the next decade.

Gabriel is notorious for recording when he wants to. His last album "Up" came out 10 years after its predecessor. Fortunately, he is one of the few who does not disappoint after a lengthy lag.