I’ve started this review a few times. One attempt discussed the massive success found by Donora’s Rostrum Records labelmates, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. Rostrum seems to have the right distribution and press channels and is definitely doing something right commercially. Can that success be transferred to Donora, an act that has significantly less raps? It seems like to some extent it has. A previous album song, “The Chorus,” wound up on the Abduction soundtrack, nudging elbows with Train, Lenny Kravitz, and Raphael Saadiq. A few days ago, Teen Vogue blogged and streamed “The Untouchables,” one of the more anthem-ic tracks on Boyfriends, Girlfriends. Continue reading this post and comments »
Becoming More and More is a new series that aims to document local musicians, the creative process, and current projects while addressing critique in local music writing, distribution of music, and the general state of music in and out of Pittsburgh. The second segment comes in two parts and features tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE demonstrating a system of bird calls and bird call imitations and also providing a tour of his vinyl output. Continue reading this post and comments »
Becoming More and More is a new series that aims to document local musicians, the creative process, and current projects while addressing critique in local music writing, distribution of music, and the general state of music in and out of Pittsburgh. The first segment features Ben Opie, a local saxophonist and composer that has lead a number of groups, including OPEK, Thoth Trio, and Watershed 5tet. In this segment, Ben provides a brief history of his music activity in Pittsburgh. He also takes us through one aspect of his approach to creating music. Continue reading this post and comments »
Since forming in 2004, Ennui have taken on a number of lineups and styles, while still keeping the core songwriting and production of Jim Doutrich. One of the earliest incarnations frequently drew comparisons to the piano-pop found in Coldplay, while a recent trio of Doutrich, Daniel Burgun, and Christopher MacDonald (of Cuddle Magic) focused the group on shifting electronic pop, resulting in the heavily-produced The Myth in Which We Live. The current version packages up elements from all Ennui eras and adds a number of new tricks. Continue reading this post and comments »
Anthony Braxton / Ben Opie
Duets (Pittsburgh) 2008
The 2008 collaboration between Ben Opie, Anthony Braxton, and a slew of Pittsburgh musicians is the gift that keeps on giving.
In May 2008, the legendary composer and saxophonist, Anthony Braxton, visited Pittsburgh to perform in a number of environments with a number of musicians. The weekend trip, dubbed “Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton,” included an Anthony Braxton septet performance at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, two sets at the CAPA school (one by students, one by Pittsburgh musicians), and a collaboration between Braxton, Pittsburgh’s loose Syrinx Ensemble, and the birds at the National Aviary. Listeners were engaged, musicians were challenged, and the weekend proved to be one of the year’s cultural highlights. Two years later, documentation of the weekend is starting to seep out. Continue reading this post and comments »