Mozart: Piano Concertos in C Major, 13 + 24.

In his newly released debut recording, Pianist Martin Helmchen offers a superb, well-balanced presentation of Mozart's 13th and much beloved 24th Piano Concertos, accompanied by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra under the conduction of Gordon Nikolic. In the words of one reviewer, "this is one of those rare and treasurable recordings where everything seems just right...this was almost like discovering the music for the first time".

Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2007


The annual Pitchfork staff list of the top 50 albums of 2007 has been up for a few weeks now; have you investigated yet? With 50 albums (as well as their 100 favorite songs of 2007 and the debut of the Pitchfork readers poll) there are many albums from a variety of genres. So if you’re looking for something new-ish or buzz-worthy, give it a whirl. The long list includes many we have at the AADL, some of which are:

8 Diagrams by Wu-Tang Clan
Andorra by Caribou
The Reminder by Feist
Graduation by Kanye West
Night Falls Over Kortedala by Jens Lekman
Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? By Of Montreal
Kala by M.I.A.
Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem
Person Pitch By Panda Bear (the #1 album) (And it is indeed divine!)

He looks pretty good for 252

Mozart turns 252 this month, and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is celebrating with a special concert featuring Orien Weiss on the piano.

Mozart's Birthday Bash will be January 26th at 8 pm at the Michigan Theater and will feature Mozart's Symphony No. 41, Piano Concerto No. 21, and the Overture to The Magic Flute.

Trying to avoid the cold until then? Check out our many biographies of Mozart. How many books about you will be in the library on your 252nd birthday?

Sticky Fingers: 0 out of 5 Stars… Wait, what?

In Rolling Stone’s review of The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, critic and future Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau gave the number one album containing “Brown Sugar,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’,” and “Wild Horses” zero out of five stars. But in fact, reading the text of the review, he writes, “The low points aren't that low, but the high points, with one exception, aren't that high,” which sounds more like a two- or three-star record. Nonetheless, he gives—in his mind—an okay record a scathing rating, because The Rolling Stones here are not The Rolling Stones he knows and loves.

A Mixed CD

As I tearfully prepared my Tundra Focus to return to the Ford dealership, its lease imminently running out, I found a mixt CD I'd made almost three years ago. In honour of my car, I will forgo my usual big blog today for twenty-two small ones about each track!

1. Handle With CareThe Traveling Wilburys: I had discovered The Wilburys in April of ’05, and I listened to their debut over and over on my way to Mt. Pleasant for a Dylan concert.
2. What Becomes of the BrokenheartedJimmy Ruffin: Having just seen Standing In The Shadows of Motown, Joan Osborne’s cover of this tune inspired me to seek out the original.
3. Step On Me – 1984: Off of a CD Borders dubiously marked an import, this late sixties group featuring pre-Queen Brian May on guitar. I hadn’t heard this song since ‘05, so rehearing it made me smile.

Sing "Down by the Old Mill Stream" and others.


Have you ever wanted to sing in a barbershop quartet? Well, here's your chance. Every Monday, the Motor City Metro Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society invites all male singers to join the weekly rehearsals of this local barbershop harmony chorus. It's all happening at Oz's Music Environment, 1920 Packard. Free to visitors ($130 annual dues for those who join). 474-1155. Contrary to popular knowledge,barbershop harmonies originated with African-American men who formed these pick-up quartets, sometimes in front of barbershops or at other local gathering spots.

Francophiles Delight!


Fans of French indie-pop artist Pauline Croze won't want to miss her brand new release, Un Bruit Qui Cour, and if you haven't yet, make sure and check out her self-titled debut album, Pauline Croze. Here's a clip of her performing live.

31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival


The 31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival takes place at Hill Auditorium on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26. Each night features a different line-up of artists starting at 6:30pm. Ben Folds Five, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin are among the long list of artists performing. All proceeds raised through the festival will benefit Ann Arbor’s The Ark. See The Ark’s website for more details on tickets and performers.

The Johnny Cash T.V. Show

Johhny CashJohhny Cash

Take a walk down memory lane….or get a glimpse of some amazing footage of the young Bob Dylan as a guest on the Johnny Cash TV Show. The show aired from 1969-1971. There’s an hour and a half of Cash singing with June as well as guest appearances of Neil Young, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, and Roy Orbison to name a few. Particularly touching was Cash’s launch of Man in Black as the lyrics are still significant. I can’t think of an artist today who can rally fans from such a wide range of genres, can you?

Top 100 Japanese Albums of 2007!


Ring in the new year with Oricon! They've just released their complete list of the 100 top selling albums of 2007 in Japan. Check out the top 20, most of which AADL owns, and if you see something else on the full list that we should carry, just let us know, below.

  1. Mr. Children -- Home
  2. Koda Kumi -- Black Cherry
  3. Kobukuro -- All Singles Best
  4. Avril Lavigne -- The Best Damn Thing ( Yup, she's big in Japan, anyone care to guess why? )
  5. Ayumi Hamasaki -- A Best 2-White
  6. >

  7. Ai Otsuka -- Ai Am Best
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