Atoms for Peace are an English-American experimental rock supergroup comprising Radiohead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, piano), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synthesisers, guitars), drummer Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M., and percussionist Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark. Yorke formed the band in 2009 to perform songs from his debut solo album, The Eraser (2006). They released an album of original material, Amok, on February 25, 2013.
There are a number of arguments to be made for and against Maria Muldaur's 2008 antiwar statement Yes We Can! on Telarc (before actually listening to it; remember, we live in a cynical culture). The "perceived" negatives all relate to the intent of the recording and who it's supposed to reach (no doubt an expression of the same set of beliefs rooted in Muldaur's 1960s music), and the fact that it's loaded with guests (in all fairness, these star-studded affairs seldom work). On Yes We Can!, her guests include Muldaur's old friends (Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Snow, Jane Fonda, and Holly Near) and influences (Odetta) and new pals (writers/spiritual gurus Anne Lamott and Marianne Williamson, and Indian spiritual teacher Amma). Does it read as if it is yet another exercise in self-referential backslapping? Yep. But don't believe everything you read on the back of a CD jacket. The positives are all musical.
The Flaming Lips have announced a new “live(ish)” album. It’s called Onboard the International Space Station Concert for Peace, and it is out for this year’s Record Store Day on April 22 (via Warner Bros.). The set is pressed on orange vinyl and limited to 2,700 copies. It includes seven tracks from their 2017 LP Oczy Mlody “reimagined as a fictional/fantastical live Flaming Lips performance on the International Space Station.”
This particular CD is an exception to these rules: This is a straight reissue of a live album, recorded in 1990 in Zagreb, Croatia. Also, Drew is accompanied by George Mraz on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. The fact that the rhythm section inspired Drew on stage is apparent from the burning-hot opening track "Autumn Leaves." This is a very exciting live album!
There is no string quartet that has ever been written that can compare length and diversity with Terry Riley's Salome Dances for Peace. Morton Feldman has written a longer one, but it is confined to his brilliant field of notational relationships and open tonal spaces. Riley's magnum opus, which dwarfs Beethoven's longest quartet by three, is a collection of so many different kinds of music, many of which had never been in string quartet form before and even more of which would – or should – never be rubbing up against one another in the same construct. Riley is a musical polymath, interested in music from all periods and cultures: there are trace elements of jazz and blues up against Indian classical music, North African Berber folk melodies, Native American ceremonial music, South American shamanistic power melodies – and many more. The reason they are brought together in this way is for the telling of an allegorical story. In Riley's re-examining Salome's place in history, he finds a way to redeem both her and the world through her talent.
This disc contains two works that have been newly recorded. And they are strange works indeed. During the late 1930s Prokofiev wrote three pieces based on works of Pushkin – incidental music for a production of Pushkin's play, Boris Godunov; incidental music for a stage production of his Eugene Onegin; and music for The Queen of Spades. The latter was never finished and never produced, largely because of a change in attitudes from Stalin's government about what art works should focus on. As for the 1950 oratorio 'On Guard for Peace', the less said the better. This is one of those god-awful patriotic oratorios that Stalin's apparatchiks ordered by the yard from the country's composers. This one extols Stalin and the Soviet state, and recalls the sacrifices of WWII. History notes and lyrics in Russian and English can be found in the booklet.