March 31, 2006 Rocky Votolato, former leader of the Seattle band Waxwing, mixes hopeful love songs with biting commentary about the world around him. "White Daisy Passing" is a searingly personal look at fleeting moments and treasured memories, the song wallows in the details of love lost.
March 30, 2006 American opera visionary Sarah Caldwell founded the Opera Company of Boston in 1958. The company's principal prima donna was Beverly Sills, and Placido Domingo was an unknown young tenor when he first sang with the company. Caldwell died on March 23 at the age of 82.
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March 30, 2006 One of the few bands to improve with every album, Centro-Matic makes room-filling country-pop that's been winning converts for more than a decade. In "Patience for the Ride," Will Johnson's gravelly, intimate voice sounds warm and inviting — a perfect complement to the fuzzy classic-rock guitars.
March 29, 2006 In the age of the sampler, three innovative guitar players are taking their instruments to new heights: Richard Leo Johnson, Dominic Frasca, and Jonas Hellborg. Johnson taught himself 12-string guitar. Frasca has translated the music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. And Sweden's Hellborg leads his own trio.
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March 29, 2006 Soul singer King Floyd died on March 6 at the age of 61, but his passing barely merited mention in the media — an oversight that seems at odds with his brash style. What most know about Floyd begins and ends with his massive and enduring 1971 R&B hit "Groove Me."
March 28, 2006 Every time Andrew Hill takes a seat behind a piano, the jazz world takes note. "Time Lines" speaks to his brilliance at teetering between the worlds of the blues and the abstract. And it's one of the funkiest compositions in Hill's massive repertoire.
March 27, 2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker is the new CD by Willie Nelson. Cindy Walker died last week at the age of 87.
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March 27, 2006 The mostly instrumental "Variation on 'Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at Magruder Park'" appears on I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey, a set that also features such Stevens contemporaries as Devendra Banhart, M. Ward, Calexico, and Grandaddy.
March 24, 2006 Tucked right in the middle of the drinking-too-much and not-loving-enough songs on The Little Willies' debut is one unassuming Norah Jones Moment. The song is "Roll On," and the intro, punctuated by brushes on a snare drum, suggests that what's to come will be just like the aw-shucks ambling of the preceding tracks.
March 23, 2006 Capturing all the magical madness associated with the first warm days of spring, Georgia Anne Muldrow's "Larva" brims with so much optimism and anxious energy that it barely contains itself.
March 22, 2006 Just about every successful rock band seems to have a side project these days. This month, an unlikely spinoff of the jam trio Medeski, Martin and Wood arrives -- a family affair known as the Wood Brothers. The duo's first CD is called Ways Not To Lose.
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March 22, 2006 Violet Violets is the new CD by 81-year-old saxophonist Sam Rivers.
March 22, 2006 Sidney Bechet played soprano saxophone in the early decades of jazz, before John Coltrane popularized the instrument. A new anthology, Mosaic Select: Sidney Bechet, offers listeners a chance to hear Bechet's music, transferred and restored from rare recordings from 1923 to 1947.
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March 22, 2006 Imbued with a catchy hook, irrepressible energy, and a freewheeling confidence, Magneta Lane's "Secrets Aren't So Bad" commands attention from the song's opening seconds. With a brassy voice that recalls Debbie Harry in Blondie's heyday, Lexi Valentine exudes boundless charisma.
March 21, 2006 Tapes 'n Tapes' simple pop music treads the line between stupid and clever in a way that's oddly intelligent, not to mention enormously entertaining. The band often mines familiar territory — Talking Heads, Violent Femmes, Pixies — but it infuses those sounds with its own weird sense of mystery and mischief.
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