Mustapha Khan's American Anthem

A couple of years ago, the filmmaker and songwriter Mustapha Khan played me an early demo of his galvanizing “Song for Our People.” Not long after that, his wife, Allyson Smith, told me that Mus had booked a Brooklyn recording…

Forever Jungr

Barb Jungr at Joe's Pub, February 15, 2020.

Last Saturday night I took my husband, the writer Robert Rosen (Nowhere Man, Bobby in Naziland), to the glamorous but velvet-womb-like NYC venue Joe’s Pub for a slightly belated Valentine’s…

Jesse Malin & Lucinda Williams

“When you’re young/And you run/And you’re burning like a star/And it’s fun/And it’s done/And it leaves you with a scar” — “When You’re Young,” by Jesse Malin 

We might call Jesse Malin, who grew up in Queens and lives in…

Buckley and Brown

Betty Buckley—she of Cats (Broadway), Eight Is Enough (TV), and Tender Mercies (film), to name just a few early achievements—shines on her own, whether playing such roles as the title one in Hello, Dolly! (national tour) or singing an eclectic…

Notes on a show

With Graig Janssen and Joan Chew at the Map Room at the Bowery Electric. Photo by Allyson Smith.

When/where was it: Tuesday evening, July 23, in the Map Room at the Bowery Electric, a funky room at the end of…

A Revved-up Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio at City Winery, NYC, January 19, 2019. 

The improbable pairing of Italian band Don Antonio and Mexican-American singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo made for some riveting rock ‘n’ roll at Escovedo’s concert at City Winery Saturday night…

Supersinger Darlene Love

How cool to see the great Darlene Love at the new venue Sony Hall in NYC last night! Ecstatic harmonies and waves of nostalgia flowed during songs like "He's a Rebel," one of the "Wall of Sound" recordings she did…

"Unity and Change" with Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields.

“I think someone’s in there.” As I turned toward the person speaking those words, I thanked her for letting me know that the restroom, in a small hall just…

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My Night with Aretha

The great Aretha Franklin died today. I saw her only once, in 2008, and wrote about it for an arts blog:

Aretha Franklin gets a little respect in East Hampton. Photo by Cesar Vera/Ross.

I am staring into Christie Brinkley’s…

Eros and Thanatos: Shelby Lynne

Ben Peeler and Shelby Lynne at City Winery, July 21, 2018.

“When a line hits you, you’d best to put it down somewhere,” said the southern singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne, by way of introducing the Jimmy-Webb-esque “Lookin’ Up.” At City Winery…

Broken Bone / "Broken Bone"

It was all I could think of and it kept me from being strong: a broken radius, that is to say, wrist, the result of a fall in my sister’s urban-fairy-land front yard in the Benton Park neighborhood of St…

Grist for the (Hayley) Mills

 

 Allison Jean White, Brenda Meaney, Hayley Mills, Gina Costigan, and Klea Blackhurst 
in Party Face. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

It would have been enough to witness Hayley Mills singing the first few lines of “Over the Rainbow,” which called to…