Mid-winter blues? Brighten your day with some music news and features:
From the New York Times, a requiem for China's WWII victims http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/12/world/asia/china-wang-xilin-symphony.html?_r=0
From Harvard Magazine, a profile of the composer Lei Liang http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/12/hearing-history
From New Music Box, an interview with Royce Vavrek, opera's "it" librettist http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/royce-vavrek-so-many-juicy-amazing-words/ (By the way, he wrote the libretto for the opera "27," with music composed by Ricky Ian Gordon, which will be produced by Pittsburgh Opera resident artists next month.)
From the Washington Post, a music critic's efforts to instill a love of classical music in her son https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/how-not-to-get-your-child-to-love-music/2016/01/07/df5c17d2-a7a5-11e5-bff5-905b92f5f94b_story.html
From The New Yorker, John Williams' music for "Star Wars" http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/listening-to-star-wars
From Variety, the Martin Scorsese biopic about pianist (and McKeesport native) Byron Janis http://variety.com/2016/film/news/martin-scorsese-producing-byron-janis-biopic-paramount-1201674748/
From The Economist, the rise of opera's stage directors http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/01/changing-face-opera
Every now and then (not really that often, to be honest), people will say, "Scott, you seem to only like old bands. Who do you like that's current?"
Well, near the top of the list would be Savages, the British post-punk band that plays with the dark fury of Patti Smith, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gang of Four, etc.
The all-female quartet played to small but ecstatic crowd at Mr. Smalls in September 2013, touring behind debut album "Silence Yourself." It was one of the PG's Top 10 concerts of the year (according to me).
A week after I complained that the current tour was skipping Pittsburgh, like many others, Opus One Productions comes up with a return date to Smalls of May 17. Tickets are only $20 advance; $20 door and go on sale Friday via ticketweb.com.
Savages just dropped a second album, "Adore Life," that sounds every bit as great and intense as the debut.
If you adore punk, post-punk, British rock, life itself, don't miss it.