Category Archive for 'Music'

The Critical Mass

  Prog rock is crushed beneath the pendulum The challenge came via Facebook from My Friend Patrick. “Jeff Spevak, what say you?” Followed by a link to The Atlantic magazine, and contributing editor James Parker’s review of David Weigel’s book The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock. The headline: “The […]

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People. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.   People. Meh… Crowds, that was the word for the weekend. I needed some new black jeans for Saturday night’s show, “What If Everyone In Rochester Wrote the Same Song?” So Friday afternoon, clutching 10- and 20-percent off Veterans Day coupons in hand, I drove over […]

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The Critical Mass

“How Did We Get Here?” gets to the big stage What If Everyone In Rochester Wrote the Same Song? It’s gone from an amusing, backroom challenge among a handful of local singer-songwriters at the Flipside Bar and Grill’s open mic night to sold-out shows at the Fringe Festival to, this Saturday, the big stage at […]

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The Critical Mass

Truth and beauty: Hurricanes and other blowhards is why we need the arts It’s been a month since the nightmare in Las Vegas. A month since Puerto Rico was flattened by a hurricane, and still more than 70 percent of the island is without power. Three weeks since the story broke that Harvey Weinstein, perhaps […]

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The Critical Mass

Bat’s advice on life from a Tennessee mountaintop: Keep it simple Bat McGrath is coming back to Rochester, with a gig Friday at The Little Theatre. I can use a little Bat right now. The signs are all around me. Yesterday, with my hands full of coffee cups and jackets, I put a set of keys […]

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The Critical Mass

Margaret Explosion, Paul and Leo Dodd: Filling in the lines Margaret Explosion has returned from its summer sabbatical for its usual Wednesday-evening residency at The Little Café. The band likes to call what it does “background music,” something for patrons to talk over as they discuss the French film they just watched. But Margaret Explosion’s […]

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The Critical Mass

The demons in our midst The backstories to tonight’s Mastodon concert at Rochester’s Main Street Armory run deep. It’s called one of the world’s top heavy-metal bands, but Mastodon is actually a genre-bending rock and prog quartet whose seven albums often reach for expansive themes, and the demons in our midst. Based in Atlanta, it […]

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The Critical Mass

Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and Tom Petty: Damn the Torpedoes. On this morning’s dog walk, I began to connect the dots between the big news of the last few days. Tom Petty died. More than 58 people murdered, hundreds more hospitalized, at a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our government’s efforts to being relief to […]

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The Critical Mass

Paul McCartney’s jailbreak Very few artists reach the enviable position of being a prisoner of their own success. After all, what creative person wouldn’t want to see their work so adored that tens of thousands of people are enraptured by it, celebrating it, showing how they have made it a part of their lives as […]

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The Critical Mass

What is a song, anyway? I’m a word guy. I love song lyrics. Greatest songs of all time? Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit.” Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.” Dusty Springfield singing “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The Beatles’ “Let it Be.” Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold […]

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