7 June 08 - Nobu Stowe & Alan Munshower, Baltimore... supposed to be a trio with Badal Roy (tabla), but Roy couldn't make it. Wonder how he would have fit in? I thought the group sound needed a bass and electronic keyboard.
Stowe has plenty of pianistic skills but the works he played would've benefited more from a fusion ensemble sound. (Although, now that I think about it more, he did start off with an improv sound, standing up and reaching into the piano to pluck some strings or whatever. So I don't know how he would've been able to do the same with an electronic keyboard.)
8 June - Fiesta Filipiniana, Towson, Md -- Steel Polly, Third Element, The Speaks, The Happy Analogues, and others
9 years ago, The Speaks looked like this.
13 June - a couple days ago, All Things Considered (Nat'l. Public Radio) ran a profile about The Slants, an Asian American band from Portland, Oregon.
21 June - Hiromi's Sonic Bloom, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Wilmington, Del.
Wow! What an exciting group! Shazam!
I might've said it before (5 years ago to the day!), but I'll say it again -- Hiromi's pianistic technique is absolutely fearsome! (Like Oscar Peterson on steroids.)
She solo-ed on George Gershwin's "I've got Rhythm", and she shredded it every which way.
27 June - A couple days ago, NPR ran a story on independent musicians in China being helped by a website and sound streaming application.
4 July - Folklife Festival (FLF), Mall, Washington, DC ...exhibitions, this year, covered Texas, Bhutan, and NASA... I arrived at the Mall as various elements were assembling to start the 4th of July parade. As I walked towards the area where the FLF was sited, I saw high school marching bands from Pulaski, Wisconsin and Fulton, Missouri, as well as groups like the Hare Krishnas, Falun Gong, and Taiwanese Americans. (I wonder if there was a Muslim American contingent. That would've been cool.)
Pictured below are the: Red Raiders and Marching Hornets marching bands, a conjunto band from the Rio Grande Valley, Kenji Williams (hapa?) and his Bella Gaia act, and a Bhutanese banjo of sorts.
12 July - Listened via C-SPAN radio to Rosa Clemente, the Green Party vice presidential candidate addressing her party's convention in Atlanta... she's a hip hop activist and mentioned Jeff Chang's hip hop history book Can't Stop, Won't Stop. (To see him hawking the book a couple years ago, scroll down to the February 18 entry.)
5 August - Priscilla Ahn, Annapolis, Maryland - she's got a supple voice that caresses the microphone, and the word has gotten out, so a good-sized crowd was on hand... As for her songs, they vary in terms of hooks ("hookiness"? "memorability"?), but she's got a bunch of good ones... She mentioned that she'd be appearing on late late night tv (Craig Ferguson show), next Monday, doing "Leave the Light On". And next month, she'll be opening for Willie Nelson... In the meantime, her appearance at the end of June on the Mountain Stage radio show (in Charleston, West Virginia) was recently posted in the podcast archives of the Mtn. Stage website. (She shows up at the end of the 1st half.)
19 aug -- a couple weeks ago, was listening to some violin concertos by Czech composer, Bohuslav Martinu...
Lately, though, it's been more pop. Namely, Swedish pop sensation, Amy Diamond (btw, she's half British). Been checking out her performances on YouTube.
I think I'll take her over Miley Cyrus, expecially 'cause she's so dynamic on stage. (Although I normally don't follow this kind of music.)
Continuing in the pop vein, I, recently, finished reading a small-sized book by Elisabeth Vicentelli about the ABBA Gold album. It's in the "33 1/3" series and was published in '04.
Learned a few things, but I didn't always agree with the author's opinions. I also thought she may have overlooked some details (like the inpiration for the Andean pan pipes intro to the hit, "Fernando" -- possibly Simon & Garfunkel's "El Condor Pasa"?).
Her British point of view was often interesting. (OTOH, I would've liked to have learned how much or how little the U.S. and Latin America embraced ABBA.)
Nonetheless, I'd recommend the book, especially if you're an ABBA fan (like Sen. John McCain).
25 August - I find myself in El Paso and have run into the metal rock band, Testament. They're from the Bay area. They're staying at the same place I am.
They're playing at the Coliseum tomorrow night with Judas Priest and Motorhead. I guess El Paso must be a heavy metal town, 'cause the road crewman (manager?), Troy, said he's been through here a couple times over the years. (The band's about 20 years old and have put out about 9 albums. They're now on the Nuclear Blast label.
It seems they've been touring for about 5 months. They've played Europe (Wacken, Bospop, Bologna, etc.). Now, they're on the last stretch, finishing on the 31st with a concert at the Shoreline amphitheatre in Mtn. View, Calif.
The upcoming tour, starting next month, has them visit places like Jakarta, Australia, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. I ran into the bass player at the Denny's next door, and he told me that they played Taiwan last year. They've also played in Beijing.
The biggest dates on their current tour has been when the 3 bands (Testament, Judas Priest, and Motorhead) play with the group Heaven & Hell (formerly known as Black Sabbath). These bigger gigs have been titled, the "Metal Masters" tour.
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