It’s not every song about death and destruction that can produce a warm sigh in listeners. But the moment fans hear the opening track on Black Sabbath’s first album with their original crypt keeper Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years, they won’t be able to squelch a nostalgic smile. “End of the Beginning” clearly references the creepy-crawly gait, and rhythmic girth, of the track named “Black Sabbath,” which opened the band’s world-changing debut in 1970. Once again, the band’s riffs lumber like a thousand-pound creature set to stomp a city to ash, while Ozzy’s vocals recreate their original morbid cackle and Tony Iommi’s guitar adds a funereal flourish. Luckily, the song — like all those here — never resorts to cheap rehash. Each has its own demonic allure. That’s both a relief and a surprise. The band produced the CD during an especially fractious time. Original drummer Bill Ward refused to sign on at the last … [Read more...] about Black Sabbath, ’13’: Album review
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Driving in a hired Toyota Camry out of Karachi toward Koohi Goth General Hospital in Landhi Town, a Pakistani actor gave an impassioned response after I referred to a performing arts group as a company. “Oh, we are not a company,” said Waheed Ali. “We are a movement.”Ali is a member of Tehrik e Niswan, which literally translates to a "women’s movement" in Urdu, the lingua franca of Pakistan. Founded by artist and dancer Sheema Kirmani nearly 40 years ago, the group has since grown to take on not only issues facing women but issues facing Karachi and much of Pakistan.On this Saturday, the actors were putting on a play for midwives in training – who came from communities throughout Pakistan – at the Koohi Goth General Hospital. The drama, about a woman and her daughter who are secluded and work inside the home under the orders of the men of the house, unfolds on a stage barely shaded by nearby palm trees.The play touches on … [Read more...] about Pakistani artists, journalists give voice to issues government is reluctant to face
On a recent night, our small group of five American journalists on a short trip in Pakistan set out to find music in Karachi – just another aspect of free speech, one might say.We found it at a place called Base Rock Café. There, Pakistani bands have open mic nights and do sets, mostly covers and generally western music.While we missed the first band, we caught the second that sang Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” as well as Coldplay’s “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.” It also gave a rock version of a well-known Sufi poem that got a warm reception.But the closing band really got the small crowd going with its renditions of several Black Sabbath songs — notably “War Pigs.” Related: Louisville's cultural impact evident halfway around the globe Related: Taking freedom of American media for granted in Pakistan Reach reporter Elizabeth Kramer at 502-582-4682 and [email protected] Follow her on … [Read more...] about Listening to Black Sabbath at a bar in Pakistan
KORE Gallery sheds light on a new form of printing when they exhibit Patricia Brock Blewett's photography work this June.Brock's work, "Line, Form, Color," features unique printing on both acrylic and brushed aluminum, giving her work a diversified quality not often seen in photography. Brock Blewett believes an artist's work should always evolve, which explains her shift in photography in recent years toward a more "artistic" interpretation of the world. “My work has transitioned into semi-abstract images with bright colors that stimulate strong feelings: joy, contentment, delight,” she explains in an artist statement. “...I see this as a natural progression of my photography sparked by significant change in my life.” More: A sense of place - and spirituality - in latest Art Sanctuary exhibit You may like: Louisville's own named among 25 Best Coffee Roasters in America You may like: Listening to Black … [Read more...] about Photographer takes ‘artistic’ approach to covering life
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like too many inner-city schools, is overcrowded. And as with too many inner-city schools, it’s going to be hard to do anything about it. The Hall this week announced its latest class: Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, the Beastie Boys, the Faces/Small Faces and Donovan. They’re a solid bunch. They’ve got diversity, just like rock ’n’ roll. They’ve scored a lot of hit records, they’ve got cult hip cred (Chili Peppers), they’ve got attitude (Beasties), they've generated fire on stage (Guns N’ Roses), they’ve got songwriting skills (Nyro). Taken artist by artist, you can weave compelling stories about their skills and their musical journeys and where they fit onto the great graffiti wall of rock ’n’ roll. You can show why each of these artists is skilled and important. I’m just not sure, with the possible exception of Guns N’ Roses, … [Read more...] about Doors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame swing too wide when Donovan (and the Dave Clark Five) can enter
It's stupid, it's sexist, and it might even be Satanic. That trilogy of ignorant views has obscured the true achievements - and the sonic rarity - of heavy metal from the start. Isn't it about time we shot them all in the head once and for all? Now we've got a perfect excuse. June 1 marks the 40th anniversary of Black Sabbath's self-titled first album, a work that, arguably, did more than any other to cement this revolutionary new approach to sound. Of course, many songs by others contained elements of what would come to be known as metal before Sabbath's ground-zero effort, including: * Dave Davies' concussive, stop-start riff in The Kinks' 1964 smash "All Day and All of the Night." * The Who's murderously thick riffs in 1965's "My Generation. * Jimi Hendrix kamikaze guitar on 1967's "Are You Experienced?" * Blue Cheer's riot of sound on January 1968's "Summertime Blues." * Iron Butterfly's dinosaur stomp in the sidelong track from June '68, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" … [Read more...] about Heavy metal turns 40: Four decades after first Black Sabbath album, the music still rocks
A lot of radio stations have come and gone over the years, but few locally have had the impact, or left as many memories, as WSAY.Located for years at 1370 on the AM dial, WSAY was a scrappy little station that launched the careers of plenty of big-name broadcasters and strayed far from the mainstream. Deejays went by pseudonyms and played music you didn’t hear anywhere else, blending avant garde and heavy metal into a bizarre gumbo amidst ethnic- and religious-themed shows, including the "Rosary Hour".WSAY was Rochester’s third radio station when it began in the 1930s. The longtime owner was Gordon P. Brown, alternately referred to as a “genius” and “the battling broadcaster,” a man who built his first radio transmitter when he was 10 years old. After Brown died, the new owner hired away top talent from industry leader WHAM-1180 AM and changed formats, but WSAY only lasted a few more years.Perhaps best known for its free-for-all style of … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened to … WSAY radio station?
Club 2 on 2 was a disco that opened in a former Super Duper grocery store in Brockport during the height of the disco era.The short-lived, split-level club had a huge dance floor, lavish interior and elaborate sound and light systems. Fog machines, bubble machines and synchronized floodlamps helped create the atmosphere.Dance contests and dance lessons were held and weekend days were set aside for “teen disco” events for underage kids. The place even had a theme song written by a local musician.Crowds of 500 to 600 people packed 2 on 2 frequently, but the club quickly ran afoul of the law because of noise, parking issues, fights and other legal issues. When disco fell out of favor, 2 on 2 officials switched to a rock music-format, but it wasn’t enough to keep the club going.The place opened on North Main Street in April 1978. That was right around the time another disco, the 2001 Club, debuted in Chili, and a year or so after Club 747 opened on West Henrietta Road … [Read more...] about Remember disco? Whatever happened to Club 2 on 2?
Ozzy Osbourne begins his new album with a declaration:"I'm not going away."In case you miss the point, he spends the first 20% of the album making similar announcements, including "I won't give up," "I'll go on till I drop" and "I don't wanna stop."As this implies, Ozzy doesn't really have anything to say at this point. He just wants to make sure he keeps on saying it.With his reality show having run its course, and his music in mothballs for the last six years, the singer made a reflexive retreat back to the studio last year. But the resulting CD makes clear he hasn't really rethought, let alone revitalized, his style. "Black Rain" presents the same slog through the type of unthinking heavy metal that fans have endured in Ozzy's music since the early '80s. The legend's foghorn voice remains as transfixing and unique as ever. But unfortunately, Oz hasn't found a band or sound of equal distinction since his headiest days with Black Sabbath."Black Rain" straddles Ozzy's … [Read more...] about Ozzy out of touch? Hard to believe
A heartbroken father sought solace in his Jewish faith Sunday as he mourned the loss of seven of his children in a Brooklyn blaze. Friends and relatives joined devastated dad Gabriel Sassoon at Shomrei Hadas Chapel in Borough Park for the funeral of the kids aged 5 to 16. “My children, they were so pure,” Sassoon said. “They all had faces of angels. Hashem (God) knows how much I loved them.” Many of the hundreds of Orthodox Jewish mourners dressed in black wept in the street as they listened to the father’s eulogy broadcast over a loudspeaker. Sassoon spoke of faith, surrendering to God, and loving children above all else. The pious dad was composed, but he paused periodically to cry. “I want to ask my children’s forgiveness. I did my best and my wife did her best. Please, everybody, love your child, love your children, love others’ children. That’s all that counts. Understand them, don’t negate them,” … [Read more...] about Father mourns death of 7 children at funeral service as Orthodox Jewish community says goodbye to siblings killed in Brooklyn house fire