Million Dollar Quartet
June 20th, 2013
Apollo Theatre, Chicago, IL
I have always had a fascination with musical talent scouts like Ahmet Ertegun, Berry Gordy, and Sam Phillips, who discovered and were able to identify talent when they saw it and capitalize on it time and time again. So I was excited to see the musical Million Dollar Quartet, not just for the reliving of a legendary night in rock ‘n’ roll history, but also to see a little bit more into the character of Sam Phillips, who for all intents and purposes is the main protagonist in the musical, even if the picture is a shallow and glamourized portrait of the famous musical producer. I found the musical to really highlight the charisma of Phillips and be a thrilling live musical performance from start to finish.
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How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘N’ Roll
I realize that LxL doesn’t ordinarily fashion itself as a book club, but extremely good books – and specifically extremely good music books – require our attention. Believe it or not, this isn’t our first book review, as Austin praised Songs of Ice and Fire series about a year ago, the series that has spawned the hugely popular Game of Thrones on HBO. Well, enough of this justification, and on to the review.
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A Wasteland Companion
Over the past few years, Portland singer/songwriter Matt Ward (aka M.Ward) has become more famous for his various side projects than his own solo career. Ward sat in the backseat in his retro pop project She & Him with “New Girl” Zooey Deschanel, and he also didn’t get much limelight when he took part in Monsters of Folk, the super group folk trio formed with better known folksters Conor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes) and Jim James (of My Morning Jacket fame). While lesser known in each project, M. Ward was no less vital and I would even argue he is more responsible for Zooey’s musical success than Zooey herself for helping coach, produce, and craft her songs. Now, a couple side projects later, M. Ward releases his first solo album in three years, A Wasteland Companion, an album that is unmistakably M. Ward but doesn’t quite reach the heights of his best efforts.
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