On Monday, January 16 at Carnegie Hall,Distinguished Concerts International New York brings together over three hundred musicians to give the world premiere of The Peacemakersby Karl Jenkins. The composer will conduct this work for choir, orchestra, and instrumental soloists. It is the first world premiere of one of his large-scale works to take place in New York.
The recording of The Peacemakers just came out this past Tuesday on EMI Classics. It features the strings of the London Symphony Orchestra and three choirs: the City of Birmingham Youth Choir, Rundfunkchor Berlin, and the 1000-strong Really Big Chorus.
EMI is offering a free download of a track from the album here.
The label’s also been kind enough to offer us several copies of the limited edition version of The Peacemakers for a CD giveaway. Interested parties should email me here.
I’ll use a Cageian (random) method to determine the “winners.” The contest is open until Monday, 1/16 at midnight.
I was a big fan of Bryan Ferry’s dalliance with standards – I thought his voice was far better suited to the American songbook than the gristly pipes of his chart-topping colleague Rod Stewart. He’s also recently done some strong work on a Bob Dylan covers record. Still, it’s nice to see him back recording art-pop in the vein of his earlier solo albums and Roxy Music.
Olympia is a mix of originals and covers. Among the latter are two standouts: Tim Buckley’s “Song To the Siren” and Traffic’s “No Face, No Name, No Number.”
The album features an A-list set of musical collaborators: Nile Rodgers, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Groove Armada, Scissor Sisters, Marcus Miller, Flea, ex Stone Roses Mani (Primal Scream) , and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. It also sees Bryan Ferry reunite on record with members of Roxy Music, including Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, and Andy Mackay.
With the help of club airplay, one hit, “You Can Dance,” has already gotten off the ground (video below).
We’re giving away a copy of Olympia to the first person to email me with the correct title of Ferry’s 1999 album of standards.
For those who don’t win the giveaway, you can purchase the CD here.
It’s hard to believe it, but Dar Williams has been recording for seventeen years! Many Great Companions (Razor and Tie) is the folk singer-songwriter’s just-released double CD. A career retrospective, it features a number of guest appearances by folk and pop stars: Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Larkin, Motherlode, and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks.
One disc is a greatest hits compilation; but the other is a set of 12 stripped down acoustic versions of songs from Williams’ catalog. Thus, while it’s a handy overview, it’s hardly a redundant addition to any fan’s collection. Indeed, it’s stirring to hear Williams’ voice as strong as ever on the new acoustic versions of her songs. It’s equally refreshing to witness the strength of this material, which thrives without the need for any studio embellishments.
A free download of one of these unplugged renditions, “If I Wrote You,” is below.
“I think that the world is full of people that will give you opinions about your creative work, and a lot of those opinions are terrible opinions. If you wind up trying to go the major-label route with your band, you’re really inviting those ______s right into the studio with you.”
The Dig are playing a record release show on June 5 at Mercury Lounge (The Grates are opening).
Their debut album Electric Toys comes out June 8. Its produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony & the Johnsons, The Ramones.)
In celebration of the new Dig CD, we’re giving away a free copy to the first person who emails me (christianbcarey _at_ gmail dot com) with the subject header ‘Electric Toys.’ Congrats to our winner! Check back over the weekend – we’ll be giving away a set of EPs!