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Articles by S. Balaji Mani

ARTS EDITOR
April 3, 2009
Kicking off this Sunday is the Beeline Festival at the Broad Institute. The festival hopes to introduce MIT and the surrounding community to new and exciting music, as well some exciting culinary treats. Co-coordinators Christine N. Southworth ’01 and MIT professor Evan Ziporyn, both musicians themselves in Gamelan Galak Tika, have organized six outstanding performances every weekend in April. The opening concert this Sunday will feature The Calder Quartet, as well as a reception where guests can taste honey and pastries made by local beekeepers and chefs. After the reception is a second set with Gutbucket.
ARTS EDITOR
April 3, 2009
Former Smiths frontman Morrissey stopped by Boston on Sunday, March 29th as part of his Tour of Refusal, in support of his latest studio record Years of Refusal. A crowd waited in line hours before doors opened in order to get a great spot at the House of Blues. The general admission floor area filled up quickly with eager fans awaiting a chance to touch the singer himself, as he is known to generously offer his hand to those in the first few rows.
ARTS EDITOR
March 31, 2009
Northampton’s Calvin Theatre transformed into a dark, intimate living room as Jeff Tweedy took the stage last Friday. In a characteristically happy mood, though more talkative than usual, Tweedy sounded up close and personal, his voice naked with only a guitar behind it. Bringing an arsenal of guitars with him (arced around him on stage), he smoothly switched between different guitars, evoking a soothing palette of sounds for his meticulous set list selections. Early in the set he mentioned that he looked through his archives to see what he played the last time he was at Calvin Theatre just to make sure he didn’t play the same song twice.
ARTS EDITOR
March 31, 2009
To be honest, I wasn’t going to pick up U2’s most recent effort, No Line on the Horizon. When I was looking at Billboard release listings for the month of March, U2’s name didn’t even stick out. Yet, their album cover did. I saw it in a magazine, but recognized it as something else: Boden Sea, Uttwil, or a time-lapse photograph of Lake Constance taken by my favorite photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto. I wasn’t sure how the use of the photograph could have anything to do with the content of the music, so I delved a little deeper.
ARTS EDITOR
March 20, 2009
Manami Morita, a fresh graduate from the Berklee College of Music, celebrated the release of her CD Colors last week at Sculler’s. A young girl from Japan, Morita made her way to Berklee by impressing enough important people with her piano skills — and earning a full scholarship to get her degree in composition. Her short stature says nothing about her sound — when she sat down at the keys she pounded out song after song, flattening the audience with her speed and smooth directions towards her band members.
ARTS EDITOR
March 13, 2009
Girl power incarnate Eleni Mandell is currently on tour promoting her latest record, Artificial Fire. Stopping in Cambridge last Sunday, Mandell and her band provided an energetic performance and stayed true to the intricacies of their studio recordings.
ARTS EDITOR
March 13, 2009
The four and a half years of waiting are over: Phish is back. Better yet, they sound good; I mean really good. Phish’s farewell tour in 2004 exposed a band at its absolute worst. As drummer Jon Fishman (whose surname inspired the group moniker) later admitted, their final concert in Coventry, Vermont was one of the “greatest train wrecks in live music history.” Pianist Page McConnell wrote a letter to fans last summer hinting at a reunion, and last October Phish uploaded a video to their website making a reunion official with a run of three shows at Hampton Coliseum in Virginia, a prized venue of the band.
ARTS EDITOR
March 6, 2009
You either know Nels Cline as the thin-framed lead guitarist for the alt-folk collective Wilco, or as one of LA’s most experimental composers of avant-garde jazz guitar fronting the Nels Cline Singers. Either faction of Nels-fanatics would find something new in the accomplished guitarist’s latest endeavor, Coward. Though Cline’s canon dates back to 1979 (including myriad collaborations, trio projects, and a fraction of the Wilco discography), this is his first true solo album in that he composed all of the music and plays all of the instruments.
ARTS EDITOR
March 6, 2009
The Ben Folds fanbase has spoken: 2008’s Way to Normal was TOO LOUD and we want our money back; or, at least, a remix.
ARTS EDITOR
February 27, 2009
Two years after the success of her 2007 Zedtone release Miracle of Five, Eleni Mandell is back with her latest work, Artificial Fire. If you take a quick listen to Miracle, you might not imagine that the same artist is the mastermind behind both albums. However, that’s where Mandell’s strength as a songwriter and band member comes through.
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