Concert Review: Darcy James Argue Secret Society at Ives Concert Hall


Jazz composers – especially ones whose music falls outside the mainstream – rarely generate a lot of buzz. Darcy James Argue is a notable exception, having recently garnered a Grammy nomination for his 2009 debut big band release, “Infernal Machines.” On Saturday, Argue’s Secret Society gave a mesmerizing performance at the Ives Concert Center in Danbury; the leader’s repertoire brimmed with enticing sonic combinations and fresh instrumental possibilities.

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Steve Reich, by Kronos Quartet and Others at Carnegie Hall

American composer Steve Reich performing clapp...
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Steve Reich is in the enviable position, for a living composer, of not having to wait for milestone birthday celebrations to hear his music performed. Certain seminal works — “Drumming” (1971), Music for 18 Musicians (1976) and “Different Trains” (1988) — are heard at least once a season, and new scores are added immediately to his expansive Nonesuch discography. So when those birthdays do come — like Mr. Reich’s 75th birthday, on Oct. 3 — the stakes are raised: How do you make a concert of a composer’s works seem special when the music is heard all the time?

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Cardiacs Benefit in San Francisco, May 8th


From Cafe du Nord. Dominique Leone, Moe! Staiano, and Amy X Neuburg are also going to be playing. All proceeds are going toward Tim Smith‘s medical expenses.

This is a benefit for Tim Smith, leader and founder of the UK band Cardiacs.

Cardiacs are an English alternative rock/psychedelic pop band formed in 1977 and led by Smith. Noted for their complex, varied and intense compositional style and for their eccentric, theatrical stage shows, they have been hailed as an influence by bands as diverse as Blur, Faith No More and Radiohead.

In 2008, Smith suffered a stroke, and has not been able to perform or finish the new Cardiacs record. Since the accident Tim Smith’s body has become his enemy. He is in a great deal of pain and is experiencing difficulty with the finer points of control with regard to his extremities so obviously perfected prior to the unhappy event, but Tim Smith, his family and those so called friends, (with whom he keeps counsel), all assert that his mind, however, has been sharpened by the episode. THE ALPHABET BUSINESS CONCERN can confirm that no part of YOUR favourite pop star’s intellect or personality has been found to be absent WHATSOEVER.

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Latest New Braxton House Records Release is Available

From Tri-Centric Foundation & New Braxton House Records, Sextet (Boston) 2005:

It was a frustrating situation. Braxton hadn’t played in Boston since well before he’d started writing and performing his Ghost Trance music. He lived and worked at Wesleyan University, which was relatively speaking, just down the road in Connecticut—so close and yet so far. The Boston Creative Music Alliance had tried for several years to put something together, always to no avail. In 1995, when BCMA founding director Gillian Levine and I drew up a list of the musicians we most wanted to present, Braxton was at the top. Over the years, we worked with Taylor Ho Bynum on several attempts to host Braxton, but plans always fell through for various reasons. Given the often ambitious scale of Braxton’s ideas, some of the plans were not entirely, shall we say, practical. But Braxton has a way of making the most quixotic of plans a reality, so even farfetched schemes seemed worth pursuing. You never could tell…

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