One of the true bright spots of last year's bummer of a musical 2008, The Week That Was (the current solo project of Field Music's Peter Brewis) is in the midst of a brief jaunt across the Pond. In fact, the show was billed as "Field Music Presents The Week That Was". Last night brought them (and a trio of openers) to the rather intimate Mercury Lounge in New York City's Lower East Side. It's the first time a Field Music-related project has hit the States since School of Language was here early last year, so I jumped at the chance to see them. But first, let's talk opening acts. There were three of them, although I missed the first one (Monuments). The second, Philadelphia's own Arc in Round, put on a decent performance that was unfortunately partly sunk by lousy vocal acoustics.
Listening to most of Los Angeles-based pop chanteuse Eleni Mandell's recorded output brings to mind a smoke-filled club full of broken-hearted hipsters on a lonely Wednesday night (for those clubs where you can still smoke anyway). But after spending years perfecting the role of lovelorn torch singer, Mandell released Miracle of Five in 2007. Its comparatively spartan, acoustic guitar-driven sound was a departure for the singer, and the album finally brought her some much-deserved critical attention. Mandell moves even further from her roots, albeit in a different direction, with her latest effort, Artificial Fire. Gone is the sultry film noir atmosphere, and in its place is a much more mainstream effort (although there are still plenty of tales of failed romance). That's not to sa
To no one's surprise, last year's round of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees included not one progressive rock act. This despite the millions of albums sold, the countless musicians inspired, and the long-lasting impact of the genre's best. Hell, can anyone under 50 even name two Dave Clark Five songs? Yeah, me neither. But to be fair, I can understand why someone not very familiar with prog rock might be inclined to write it off as so much boring instrumental wankery and bastardized classical music pastiches. But to paint an endlessly rich style of music with such a broad brush is not only lazy, it's downright inaccurate. So to show that prog ain't all clinical sweep arpeggios and no heart, I've put together a mixtape to showcase the gentler side of the genre. What we've got