Jaguar Makes Music, Art and Friends at the Hollywood Bowl. If you want a look at the new Jaguar XJ and you’d like a little night music to go with it, you should know that Jaguar has leaped into the Hollywood Bowl with a three-year sponsorship of Platinum Series Concerts. An eight-concert run begins this month and runs through September, starting with opening night on June 18 that will feature Bowl Hall of Fame inductees Donna Summer, Richard Carpenter and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. On the other hand, if it’s just the XJ you really want, the new sedan will be on permanent display at the VIP valet entrance and an ride-and-drive event for the entire Jaguar line held on a non-concert day. Put your baksheesh in the right hands and you might even get invited to one of the Jaguar receptions. Other concerts in the series will include classical violinist Joshua Bell with the LA Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl conductor Gustavo Dudamel conducting Carmen, Harry Connick, Jr. and his Big Band, Herbie Hancock celebrating his 70th birthday, and Pink Martini letting you know what they je ne veut pas. Or you can skip all of that hanging around with the genpop, go get yourself a Jaguar and its Bowers & Wilkins audio system and play any music you want with studio-level high-fidelity. Decisions, decisions…
Sir Paul McCartney Receives Gershwin Prize At White House Performance. President Barack Obama reiterated the role music plays in hard times, referring to the “difficult time” for the Gulf Coast on Wednesday evening while speaking at the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song presentation to Sir Paul McCartney during a star-studded ceremony in the White House East Room. President Obama who sat along with his family in the first row, surrounded by politicians and big names in music, said that his thoughts are with friends in an area (meaning the Gulf Coast) “so rich in musical heritage.” Obama said it is “heartbreaking” adding that the group in the room is committed to help and see the community “made whole again.” The president noted, “part of what gets us through tough times is music” and that there’s always a kernel of ourselves “that sings even when times are hard.” Obama said the United States stole McCartney and singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi for praise as being a champion of the arts.He said the Beatles “blew the walls down for everybody else” and “changed everything overnight” by appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show.” Obama said McCartney and the Beatles “helped to lay the soundtrack for an entire generation.” According to cream colored programs with a yellow tassel and emblazoned with the presidential seal, provided to the journalists, the program was listed as “Selections by” the following artists: Corinne Bailey Rae, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, Herbie Hancock, Emmylou Harris, Faith Hill, Jonas Brothers, Lang Lang and Jack White. Another notable episode of the evening was at the very close of the event. After Obama had left the room, McCartney took the mic again and thanked the Library of Congress again for the award. He then said, “After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.” Obama last year presented the same award to Stevie Wonder. According to the White House communique, the prize commemorates “George and Ira Gershwin, the legendary American songwriting team whose extensive manuscript collections reside in the Library of Congress. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.” The program, taped by WETA Washington, D.C., as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series, will air on PBS stations nationwide on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, at 8 p.m. EDT (check local listings) as “Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House.”
Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry and Dave Brubeck are extolled at gala. The Boss, a GoodFella and the king of irreverent comedy were among five performing artists to receive lifetime achievement awards Sunday in a glittery event that’s as close as Washington comes to the Oscars. This year’s recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual black-tie gala that recognizes performers who transformed the arts in Continue reading →
Some critics regard Ruud Houweling as one of Hollands best songwriters. The music of Cloudmachine, in which according to OOR (leading Dutch music magazine) the entire history of popmusic is compressed with influences like John Lennon, David Bowie, Neil Finn, Radiohead and the classical music of Arvo Pärt, slowly finds its way to a larger audience. Their first two albums received a warm welcome by the Dutch music press. Continue reading →
Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Norah Jones will release her fourth studio album on Parlophone / Blue Note Records this November. Jones wrote nearly all of the songs in the past two years since completing tours in support of her 2007 global chart-topping, U.S. double-platinum album Not Too Late. Beloved by fans for her sultry vocals and jazz-informed, piano-driven pop songwriting, Jones has taken a new direction on the as-yet-untitled album, seeing it as a chance to experiment with different sounds and an opportunity to work with a new set of Continue reading →
Some critics regard Ruud Houweling as one of Hollands best songwriters. The music of Cloudmachine, in which according to OOR (means Ear) (leading Dutch music magazine) the entire history of popmusic is compressed with influences like John Lennon, David Bowie, Neil Finn, Radiohead and the classical music of Arvo Pärt, slowly finds its way to a larger audience. Their first two albums received a warm welcome by the Dutch music press. The first one, Sweater For The Cold World (2003) was bursting with ideas. On the balanced second album Hum Of Life (2006) Houweling finds his own voice in writing. The record brings many new opportunities for the band. The played the finest Dutch venues and festivals like Haarlems Bevrijdingspop with 150.000 visitors. The also had some decent airplay on Dutch radio. The third album, Back On Land is released on April 20th 2009. The band worked with renowned American engineer/producer Oz Fritz who is known for his Grammy-winning work with Tom Waits (Mule Variations, Alice, Blood Money). He also produced bands like Primus and Oysterhead (Stewart Copeland) and worked many years with Bill Laswell on projects with Ginger Baker, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, William S. Burroughs and Bob Marley. Also has credits on recordings with John Cale, Ornette Coleman and Elvis Costello.
The band recorded in Weesp, in a vintage studio designed in the sixties by the same man that designed the famous Abbey Road Studios. The mixing took place in California in the same studio and with the same gear used on Tom Waits’ Mule Variations, the album that triggered the band to contact Fritz. The arrangements on Back On Land have great variety. It’s not just the band playing, there’s room for strings and brass, vibraphone, triangle, and authentic keyboards like a wurlitzer, cp70 and a 1939 Steinway grand piano. On the album they ‘ve further refined the characteristic pleasant melancholic Cloudmachine sound. With a lot of focus on the lyrics and arrangements.