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The Gospel According to Josh (Rivedal)

IMG_1952 2Yes, I need to work on my recording technique – I’ve never been one for shoving mics in people’s faces, but I guess that has to change – but here’s my conversation with monologuist Josh Rivedal, who brings his solo show The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah to The Players Theater at 115 MacDougal Street in the Village for four shows starting this Friday, May 16.

Josh’s show, developed over the last few years and returning to New York after runs out of town, delves into his struggles with depression and suicide in his family, but it’s hardly a dour show: Rivedal plays a variety of characters, from family members to  Moms Mabley and Elvis Presley, and finds the humor in struggle.

http://soundcloud.com/davidwattsbarton/josh-rivedal-4-21-14

 

 

Jherek Bischoff’s “Composed” Comes Alive

JherekBischoffWhen Jherek Bischoff dubbed his 2012 recording Composed, he was being accurate. But only minimally so.

Saying Bischoff’s music is “composed” is like saying that the Sistine Chapel is “painted” or Grand Central Station is “decorated” – it is a pretty inadequate description. And calling his intricate, detailed songs “pop” doesn’t help much, either.

But based on Wednesday night’s performance at St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO (the second is tonight), however you describe it, Bischoff’s music is well worth hearing. Read more…

Steampunk musical retools The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 book The Wind in the Willows has seen many adaptations, from cartoons to musicals – one of which is running on London’s West End through January – and has attracted interpreters from playwright Alan Bennett to electronica DJ Paul Oakenfold.IMG_0502

So when composer Collin Simon and his lyricist partner Liz Muller found themselves inspired by the century-old tale of Mr. Toad and his animal friends, they felt free to take it somewhere the story had never gone before: Steampunk. Read more…

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to close in January

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is going where it belongs: Las Vegas.Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 10.58.59 AM

According to the Wall Street Journal, the $75 million blockbuster show will be closing in January after a troubled three-year run. “Troubled” was the word most-often attached to the show, and the show’s deep-pockets investors are likely feeling the same. But they know when to cut their losses. Read more…

Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quartet at Le Poisson Rouge

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 11.11.25 PMHaving a favorite guitarist is almost as dumb as having a favorite food (though in a pinch I’d have to choose cheese…or chocolate…or a nice Malbec…doh!). But – with apologies to Nels Cline, Sonny Landreth, Jonny Greenwood, Derek Trucks – if I had to pick one from the last 20 years or so, it would be Bill Frisell.

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The early Beatles, earlier Lennon

Nowhere-Boy-2 Monday’s announcement of an impending auction of a new cache of Beatles items, including a previously unknown song (McCartney’s “Pensioner’s Waltz,” 1968), was international news. I want to hear that song, but of greater interest to the media was the inclusion of some of  John Lennon’s high school detention sheets from 1955 and 1956, which are expected to fetch as much as $4000 per page. No one was particularly surprised at what was in the reports, which showed that Read more…

Big Fish flops; parting thoughts

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Many, if not most, of today’s Broadway musicals are the products of a difficult transition: From film to stage, from drama (or comedy) to musical, a transition that can go any number of ways. Whether or not we enjoy such musicals depends on how much we love the originals – and on how well that transition is handled.

Little Miss Sunshine, Once, Kinky Boots: How we receive a movie-based musical is inevitably tied to how we felt about the film. I was eager to see director Susan Stroman’s musical version of Tim Burton’s 2003 film version of Daniel Read more…

Stones live Hyde Park DVD out 11/11

50 years as a band, average band member’s age just shy of 70, with a couple even older…and here they are, playing this past summer to a Hyde Park crowd even larger than when they played there in 1969, in their artistic prime.

They were heroes to us then, but who thought the Stones would turn out to be role models for us in our later years, too? Not to make too much of the age thing; despite the fact that most of the songs are older than many members of the audience, the band still rocks better than bands of any age.

Inspiring.

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