Recordings

Howard Fishman’s Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

by Seth Rogovoy (October 1, 2010) – For a guy who has won the praise of critics from the New York Times to the New Yorker, the Village Voice, and NPR’s Terry Gross, Howard Fishman has done a pretty good job of not becoming a household name. With a half-dozen albums to his credit, and…

Mashing Up Mozart: Paul Schoenfield Messes with the Master

By Seth Rogovoy (GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., May 2006) – With the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth upon us, this year we’re going to be inundated with the master’s music. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, after all, was no slouch, and immersion in the works of one of the greatest composers of…

Personal Playlist, Mid-March 2013

I hope to lay down some words soon on some or all of these, but in the meantime, here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been listening to repeatedly so far this year (as of mid-March 2013): New albums Yo La Tengo, Fade Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away David Bowie, The…

My Favorite Albums of 2012

by Seth Rogovoy I keep hoping that I will find the time to write about these recordings, but if I wait for that to happen, the change of the calendar year will most likely come and go and it will really be old news and no one will care what my favorite albums of 2012…

(Music Review) Natalia Zukerman’s ‘Gypsies & Clowns’

Natalia Zukerman has always combined the pop songcraft of Shawn Colvin, the rootsy, organic yearning of Lucinda Williams, and the fierce, funky determination of Ani DiFranco, and given these elements a unique twist with her unmistakably personal and intimate voice. Never has all this been heard to better effect than on her new, two-disc live…

(Music Review) Tommy Sharp’s ‘State Street Breakdown’

Tommy Sharp State Street Breakdown Tommy Sharp’s debut album, State Street Breakdown, introduces an artist of multiple talents: a singer with raw, organic power and achy vulnerability; a songwriter infused with the sounds and lessons of classic rock, from the garage to the top of the pop charts; and a guitarist who wields the sounds…

Arcade Fire’s ‘The Suburbs’ : The Great American Novel

by Seth Rogovoy For those who think the rock concept album is a thing of the past, for those who fear that in the age of the single download, the big statement is no longer the province of pop, take heart. With The Suburbs, a glorious song cycle that is novelistic in scope, the contemporary…

Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy

by Seth Rogovoy For the vast majority of listeners, Warren Zevon will be forever known for his freak hit, “Werewolves of London.” While in some ways the song is quintessential Zevon — a multilayered number that functions on a literal level as a comic-horror story and on another level as a social critique (the “werewolves”…

Steve Reich: Beauty in Repetition

by Seth Rogovoy From children’s songs like “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” to blues like “Freight Train Blues” to the Clash’s “Train in Vain,” the relentless, repetitive rhythms of the railroad have inspired countless songs that recapitulate those rhythms musically while making overt reference to them textually. But perhaps no music has ever made…

The Other Basement Tapes: The Rolling Stones’s Exile on Main Street

by Seth Rogovoy Since its release thirty-eight years ago, the Rolling Stones’s double album, Exile on Main Street, has widely been regarded as the British rock ’n’ roll band’s greatest achievement and one of the greatest — if not the greatest — rock albums of all time. Rolling Stone magazine recently called it “certainly rock…