At this point, there's nothing special about jazz musicians playing post-Beatles pop: It's just the new normal. But one of the trendsetters on that score was pianist Brad Mehldau and his versions of Radiohead and Nick Drake tunes. Now, Mehldau's trio has a new covers album out.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:00 am
The Portland, Ore., rock band Menomena has just released Moms, its fourth album — and first since co-founder Brent Knopf left the group last year. The band's core members, Justin Harris and Danny Seim, carry forward Menomena's musical hallmarks (meaty baritone sax, bassline spines, rhythms that turn on a dime), which have made its sound such an original all these years.
Since 2008, the North Carolina band Holy Ghost Tent Revival has been crafting a sound rooted in its members' Southern upbringing. Along the way, it's made the transition from playing acoustic bluegrass and folk to becoming a soul-rock horn band that recalls '60s and '70s classic-rock influences such as The Band and The Flying Burrito Brothers, contemporary indie-rock acts like Dr. Dog, and New Orleans brass-band jazz.
American Idol has always been a show with two audiences: the real one and the imagined one. The real one has a median viewer age of about 50, while the imagined one has a median age of about 15. You don't see the real audience frantically waving signs during the live show, but the imagined one. Idol enjoys presenting itself as a phenomenon for excitement-hungry teenagers, but in fact, it's just as much a phenomenon for their parents.