Arcade Fire is an indie darling that headlines major festivals like Coachella and has scored two No. 1 albums in a row -- Grammy winner "The Suburbs" and follow-up "Reflecktor."
Considering the Montreal-based band hasn't played Pittsburgh since 2004 (Rex Theater), you'd think the demand for tickets would be huge. Based on the Consol Energy Center seating chart, it doesn't look like that's the case.
So far, the Arcade Fire show on March 12 is looking more Jay-Z than Billy Joel in terms of attendance. The chart would indicate that the 200 level is closed (gray) and that there are plenty of seats on the floor and 100 level (blue). There was already a half-off Groupon deal.
What's the problem with AF in Pittsburgh? Could be we just don't know them as people.
"They have not paid their dues," says a local insider. "That sounds insane to most people, with No. 1 album after No. 1 album, indie darlings, critical press, international festival headline act... However, they never pounded away at the heartland over and over on their way up and didn't play all the midsize markets like Pittsburgh three to four times."
Or maybe people just don't have the right "formal wear or costume" the band suggested they wear to the show ...
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Check out some hits in music journalism:
From Anxious Machine, the placebo effect of headphones (and other gadgets favored by audiophiles) http://www.anxiousmachine.com/blog/2013/12/10/placibo-philes
From the BBC, Brazil’s opera house in the Amazon http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25471258
From Pacific Standard, the connection between aging and the arts http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/artists-musicians-live-longer-lives-72840/
From Slate, classical music is dead http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/01/classical_music_sales_decline_is_classical_on_death_s_door.html
From the New Yorker, classical music is alive http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/01/stop-trying-to-kill-classical-music.html
From the BBC, social hierarchy in string quartets http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25934323
From New York Magazine, how the Vienna Philharmonic handles change (or doesn’t) http://nymag.com/arts/classicaldance/classical/reviews/vienna-philharmonic-2014-3/
From the Detroit Free Press and Leonard Slatkin, African-Americans in classical music http://www.freep.com/article/20140222/OPINION05/302220015/Black-History-Month-Classical-music-detroit-symphony-orchestra-leonard-slatkin
From the Guardian, the 4’33” app http://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2014/feb/20/john-cage-4minutes33-seconds-silence-app
From the New Yorker, music and copyright in outer space http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/02/the-interstellar-contract.html
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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's recently released Strauss tone poems album has received plenty of praise, most recently as an editor's pick for Gramophone Magazine. The CD is available at www.pittsburghsymphony.org. More from the PSO:
Gramophone magazine picked "Strauss," the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's recent recording of Strauss tone poems on Reference Recordings Fresh! label, as one of its "Editor's Choice" recordings for March 2014.
Reviewer Ivan March said of the recording, "This is one of the outstanding Strauss CDs of the year; the quality of playing and recording makes it very recommendable indeed." He also credited Music Director Manfred Honeck for his interpretations, "which vividly bring out the music's emotional and pictorial detail."
The CD was released in November 2013 and has received numerous positive reviews. A second release in the collaboration with Reference Recordings will be released in July and features work by Dvořák and Janáček.
"Strauss" was recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 70 Grammy nominations and awards. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings' mission to encourage artists and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recordings are made possible by a generous grant from BNY Mellon.
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Violinist Inori Sakai, a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, has been selected for the second-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. This summer, she'll get to participate in two-week intensive training and tour with the group to venues and festivals across the country, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Ozawa Hall for the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Ma., Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and more. The orchestra will work with conductor David Robertson and violinist Gil Shaham. Sounds like a sweet deal to me -- congratulations, Inori! More from PYSO below:
Violinist Inori Sakai, a resident of Penn Hills and a senior at The Ellis School, has been accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of the USA after competing in national auditions. She is the only musician from western Pennsylvania in this year's National Youth Orchestra of over 100 musicians.
Inori was the concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years and performed as a soloist with PYSO at Heinz Hall in 2012.