Top Tunes: 2015

Top Tunes: 2015

After four years, I returned to live in Hong Kong to be greeted with the stench and glitz of this metro’s many charms. The music that accompanied me was a melange of styles that replicated the hurly-burly whipping me silly for most of 2015. It’s been a great year and I’m glad to say the music measured up. My top picks begin with a legend that once again gave her voice to her...

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2014: High Notes

2014: High Notes

I covered a lot of ground in 2014 – from Rio to Wan Chai, Monaco to Niigata, and Salt Spring Island to Playa del Carmen. The best music of the year kept me moving and kept me from asking, “Are we there?” Here’s to enjoying the journey as much as the destination in 2015! 1. Sharon Van Etten: Are We There The best thing I heard all year was this stately meditation on the...

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U2’s Vandal Charity

U2’s Vandal Charity

The way U2 dropped Songs of Innocence last week was emblematic of the type of vandal-charity that Bono has excelled at over the past few decades. Don’t ask those directly affected how best to help, just assume they’ll appreciate free stuff, and let ’em have it. The road to hell is paved with Bono-like intentions. Just ask an Iraqi. Of course, the urge to do good isn’t...

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The Girls Of Ipanema

The Girls Of Ipanema

We’ve been spending a lot of time in Ipanema, watching the world become, as Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes once said, more beautiful “because of love.” Their collaboration, “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”) introduced the world to bossa nova and was the embodiment of saudade, the Portuguese term meaning something like yearning, or a deep...

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Inside Llewyn Davis: Never New, Never Old

Inside Llewyn Davis: Never New, Never Old

There’s that photo. You know, the iconic one where the young, cherub-faced scruff is cuddling up against a beaming girl, a you-and-me-against-the-world pose to keep off the chill of the cruel world slushing around their footsteps as they make their way through New York’s Greenwich Village… The poster for the Coen Brother’s latest, Inside Llewyn Davis, sums up the great...

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2013: Tunes That Schmeck’d

2013: Tunes That Schmeck’d

2013 was the year the monoculture came roaring back to prevail. After years of splintering returns, the Internets clustered around hyper-events like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” and Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love.” Everyone was dancing to the same tunes, even if they weren’t. Indeed, it’s never too difficult to...

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New Chops & Pressure Drops

New Chops & Pressure Drops

(Shelley’s Guitar) “The artist wrought this lov’d guitar, And taught it justly to reply To all who question skilfully, In language gentle as thine own…” ~ With A Guitar, To Jane I hope you’ve rehearsed. And I really hope you’ve chosen well. When you arrive, Lulu, you’ll be joining a musical home and that means you’ll be expected to PLAY! We...

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