THE STANFORD ARTS REVIEW

Features Opinions
Perspectives Art

Break Down of a Bad Seeds Show, or The Search for the Real Nick Cave

image

by MARIE VACHOVSKY

This year is a pivotal one for the classier of the goths, the now grown alt-kids of the 80’s, and the shadowier inhabitants of the Land Down Under, because this is the year of 20,000 Days on Earth, the documentary of the elusive Nick Cave.

Read More

Kishi Bashi Brings Joy to the World

by SOPHIA LAURENZI

In the scientific community, the theory of chaos as a lens for studying the world says that variability, static, and noise are not exceptions to the steady state—they are the state of the world. In our culture, noise is all that is not music. There is a separation between what is structured and beautiful and downloaded, and what is distracting and plain and blocked out.

But there is joy and beauty in this noise. At his May 17th performance at The Fillmore, Kishi Bashi, the pseudonym of Kaoru Ishibashi, reminded the audience that the boundary between noise and music is not so rigid after all. Though far from noisy, his original music captures something very everyday within its intricacies. In concert, that richness intently came to Lighght—the name of his newest album and current tour, released only four days before the Fillmore performance.

Read More

crossing states and genres with Youngblood Brass Band

image

by SOPHIA LAURENZI

New Orleans
The dark mustiness of this bar wraps around the band so tightly that they appear permanently constrained to maneuvering ten grown men, three different drums, two trombones, three saxophones, two trumpets, and one sousaphone around what can be no larger than a 25 x 15 foot stage. But this is New Orleans, and a traditional brass band draws an already lively city to its feet—this is the music of dancing in the streets, and Youngblood Brass Band’s song choice of “Is That a Riot?” suggests that even they would prefer to take their music and fans outdoors and through the city.

Read More

trouble and redemption: The National at the Greek Theater

by WENDING LU

Sometimes melancholy doesn’t just come from traumatic events, but also from trying to understand the nature of the wounds that linger. The songs in The National’s latest album Trouble Will Find Me conjure many vignettes of people in this state of agony—caught in the middle of a storm and trying to find some meaning in their suffering. How the troubles come about is never made explicit, but we get an impression of how the singer feels when various kinds of trouble with people he cares about seemingly appear out of nowhere.

Read More

diary of a converted coachella fanboy: a perfectly unbuttoned floral shirt

image

by LAWRENCE NEIL

part three of a three-part series

read part one and part two

***

On Sunday, it was hot.

As the morning progressed, the bad news trickled in, first as a joke, then as a fact, then as a reality.  Chance the Rapper was in the hospital and his main stage show was cancelled.

Ah.

Read More

diary of a converted coachella fanboy: how to be cool

image

by LAWRENCE NEIL

part two of a three-part series

read part one here

***

Today, it was Saturday and it was hot.  I discovered a cooling technique — I took a small towel, plunged it into ice water, then secured it under my Teamsters hat and over the back of my neck.  It kept my internal temperature at a bearable level.  Thankfully it was pragmatic, because I looked like an idiot.

Read More

diary of a converted coachella fanboy: no salad bar, no plantains

image

by LAWRENCE NEIL

part one of a three-part series

***

This is the diary of a converted Coachella fanboy.

I’ll admit it.  I’ll admit it.

Over the past three years, Coachella has been built up in my imagination as a fantastical desert paradise where details are sparse and music is tangential.  No one ever gave coherent representations of their experience, only “I wish I could go back,” or, “It was amazing,” or, “TUPAC IS ALIVE!”

Read More

agile and ambigious: an evening with Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone

image

by JUSTINE BEED

‘Agile’ and ‘ambitious’ are words you might use to describe a pair of young Broadway-bound performers, but instead these are in reference to Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.  They’ve been to Broadway and back, LuPone, 65, and Patinkin, 61.

Read More

why we fall for certain musicians: Jake Shimabukuro and his ukelele

image

by KATIE SALMON

Everyone loves Jake Shimabukuro.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t have known it sitting in Bing Concert Hall, listening to the crowd’s seemingly uncontainable cheers and applause for the ukulele virtuoso.  But a hush fell the minute Shimabukuro hit the first chord.  Here on his Uke Nation tour, Honolulu-based Shimabukuro played a mix of his original compositions and cover arrangements.  His latest album, “Grand Ukulele” was released in 2012, six years after the YouTube video of his cover “As My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral, one of the first on the then-new website.  Since, he has become an international sensation, playing for audiences all over the world (including the Queen of England). 

Read More

around the universe with emperor steele

image

by SASHA PERIGO

Empire of the Sun never ceases to impress me. I first discovered the band in 2012, when I Shazam-ed “We Are The People” while browsing the teen section of my local Nordstrom (though admitting this will surely lose me any indie cred I once thought I had). I went home and listened through their first album Walking On A Dream and was vaguely unimpressed. Though I liked “We Are The People” and “Walking On A Dream,” the two singles released on the album, the rest of the album initially seemed bland in comparison.

Read More