Jazz Fest: Catching Up with Helen Gillet

Helen Gillet’s Jazz Fest shows present a fascinating challenge. How does she represent the breadth of her musical interests in one solo 55-minute set? She succeeds largely by gesturing toward some parts of it—her improvised music side—while pulling her interests in pop music and art songs together in cello-based, loop-heavy compositions that build efficiently with a sense of drama. Before she’s finished, Gillet displays musical and artistic gravity, but her sense of humor and fun is also evident.

The Vettes Lose Context on "Gold Star"

In 2008, The Vettes’ “Give ‘em What They Want” got airplay on B97, and you could imagine the song finding the band a national audience. It didn’t happen, likely for a number of reasons that had nothing to do with music, but it didn’t help that The Vettes’ ‘80s new wave-influenced dance rock wasn’t in style at the time. That year also gave us Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song,” Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” all of which were on a different musical page.

A Living Soundtrack Soundtracks Life in Japan

Matt Aguiluz of A Living Soundtrack lived in Japan from 2011 to 2013, and while there he was involved in a life-threatening car accident when a passenger van he and his wife were on collided with a dump truck. Two people on the van died and Aguiluz had to be hospitalized with ruptured intestines. That experience led to Tezukayama, the new, half-hour long EP from the electronic duo—the first since 2011. 

Peaches Shares the Spotlight at The Music Box

“I’m an everlasting iconoclast,” raps Merrill Beth Nisker--Peaches--on her most recent release, Rub (2015). It’s a bold claim, but a well-deserved one. Peaches has made performative sexuality her signature for over 20 years now. For much of that time, she was dismissed as a gimmick by the mainstream, despite amassing a huge cult following. But now at 50, she’s an icon, celebrated internationally as a pioneer for her brazen attacks on society’s stale sexual norms.

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