More stories

  • in

    ‘The Collective’ Is Kim Gordon’s Coolest Act Yet

    The day she turned 60, the artist and musician Kim Gordon felt, by her own admission, “shipwrecked.” She had recently gone through a painfully high-profile divorce from her husband of 27 years, Thurston Moore, and in the wake of their split, their band Sonic Youth — the freewheeling and fearlessly experimental group that almost single-handedly defined the sound and ethos of American alternative rock — ended its 30-year-run. Plenty of people she loved attended her 60th birthday bash in New York, but she still felt unmoored.Gordon’s 70th birthday party last year, though, was another story entirely.For one thing, it was in Los Angeles, the city she’d grown up in and returned to in 2015. But also, as Gordon explained on a video call from her book-strewn home in late February, it doubled as a celebration of finishing her second solo album, “The Collective.”“It was kind of great to have done that on my 70th birthday,” she said and laughed from behind tinted sunglasses. “Because I’d actually worked that day and felt a finality to the project, it was really satisfying.”Not many artists welcome their 70s with a new album, and virtually none with a record as blistering and gloriously strange as “The Collective,” which has more in common with postmillennial SoundCloud rap than the dulcet tones of 21st-century indie-rock. (The title is partially inspired by Jennifer Egan’s novel “The Candy House.”) But left turns are business as usual for Gordon, a restlessly curious artistic polymath who has never settled for the conventional, expected or familiar.“She’s one of those people that was meant to be an artist,” said the musician Kathleen Hanna, who has known Gordon since the early 1990s. “Painting, writing, music — she’s one of those people who was born to be around any kind of art.”Justin Raisen, the 41-year-old L.A.-based producer who worked with Gordon on “The Collective,” noted that “Lots of careers go downhill with age, but there are also lots that go upward.” He cited as examples David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave — and Kim Gordon.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Popcast (Deluxe): Is TikTok Done? 4 Crises Holding the App Back

    Subscribe to Popcast!Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | YouTubeThis week’s episode of Popcast (Deluxe), the weekly culture roundup show on YouTube hosted by Jon Caramanica and Joe Coscarelli, includes segments on:What made TikTok so addictive and effective in the pastThe introduction of TikTok Shop and the commercialization of the For You PageTikTok’s golden era: Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, the Hype HouseRecent TikTok bright spots: Pookie & JettInnovations in TikTok narrative formatsDurational content on TikTokTikTok’s decreasing reliance on the music industry and its cold war with Universal Music GroupThrowback TikTok songs of the week from ppcocaine feat. NextYoungin and Gucci ManeSnack of the weekConnect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at popcast@nytimes.com. Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica. More

  • in

    A K-Pop Star’s Lonely Downward Spiral

    Goo Hara’s life was a struggle from the start. She ended it at 28, isolated and harassed online.The K-pop star looked utterly drained. Her face scrubbed of makeup, Goo Hara, one of South Korea’s most popular musical artists, gazed into the camera during an Instagram livestream from a hotel room in Japan. In a fading voice, she read questions from fans watching from around the world.“You going to work, fighting?” one asked.In halting English, she gave a plaintive answer: “My life is always so fighting.”By the time she climbed into bed at the end of the livestream in November 2019, she had reached a low point after a lifetime of struggle. As a child, she was abandoned by her parents. Her father at one point attempted suicide. After grueling training, she debuted in a K-pop group at 17, early even by the standards of the Korean hit-making machine.With the group, Kara, she found international fame, and Ms. Goo became a regular on Korean television, eventually anchoring her own reality series. But with celebrity came ravenous attacks on social media from a Korean public that is as quick to criticize stars as it is to fawn over them. Following a sordid legal fight with an ex-boyfriend, the harassment only intensified, as commenters criticized her looks, her personality and her sex life.Ms. Goo in 2018, the year before she died by suicide.Choi Soo-Young/Imazins, via Getty ImagesOn Nov. 23, 2019, less than a week after her Instagram appearance, she posted a photo of herself tucked in bed, with the caption “Good night.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Philadelphia Orchestra’s Home to Be Renamed Marian Anderson Hall

    Because of a $25 million gift, the venue, Verizon Hall, will be renamed to honor Anderson, a pioneering Black opera singer.Marian Anderson, the renowned contralto and civil rights figure who broke racial barriers in the arts and helped pave the way for other Black artists, is being honored in her hometown, Philadelphia.The Philadelphia Orchestra’s home will be renamed Marian Anderson Hall in recognition of a $25 million gift in her honor, the ensemble announced on Wednesday.Anderson, who was born in Philadelphia in 1897 and died in 1993, became the first Black singer to perform a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, at a time when Black artists in the United States faced rampant racial discrimination.Matías Tarnopolsky, the president and chief executive of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center, which oversees what is now known as Verizon Hall, said in an interview that Anderson was an “extraordinary artist who used her artistry fearlessly in the fight for civil rights.”“We hope to inspire everyone who comes through our doors with this idea that the arts are a transformative force for good in the world,” he said. “We also want to show through this gesture that everyone is welcome.”The naming rights for the hall expired in January. (Verizon contributed $14.5 million through its foundation to the construction of the Kimmel Center, which opened in 2001.)We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Amaro Freitas Takes His Jazz Somewhere New: The Amazon

    For his latest album, “Y’Y,” the Brazilian composer looked to inspirations in nature and experiments with prepared pianos.In the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco — a narrow, humid stretch of land where the South American coastline juts out into the Atlantic — fables endure the test of time. “There’s one about the Pajeú, the river which runs through the state,” the jazz composer and pianist Amaro Freitas said on a recent morning, video-calling from his sun-drenched living room in Recife. “It goes like this: Once upon a time, a Brazilian viola was buried in the riverbed. From that moment on, anyone who drank from the stream would become a poet.”Freitas, 32, who was born in Pernambuco and grew up surrounded by stories like this, never became a poet (though he is now married to one). But his work — which weaves traditional Northeastern musical styles such as baião and frevo into the language of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk — has always drawn from the cultural traditions and history of his homeland. Part of a new generation of Brazilian jazz artists looking to democratize and inject fresh life into the genre, Freitas and his trio first garnered critical acclaim with albums including “Sangue Negro” (2016), “Rasif” (2018) and “Sankofa,” a 2021 work he has described as a spiritual journey into the forgotten narratives of Black Brazil.His new solo record, “Y’Y,” out Friday, sees him travel out of Pernambuco and into the Amazon, where the sounds of birds, water and rustling leaves lend themselves to polyrhythmic compositions reminiscent of the rainforest. Drawing from Freitas’s encounters with the Sateré-Mawé Indigenous community, these new songs pay homage to the natural world.“National media here don’t cover the Amazon in depth,” said Freitas, speaking in Portuguese, wearing a graphic T-shirt printed with Nelson Mandela’s face. “So when I went there, and I saw the floating houses, saw the hammocks on boats, visited a tribe for the first time, and looked at the place where the straw-colored waters of the Amazon River meet the black Rio Negro, I felt like I was accessing another Brazil.”It was around the same time that Freitas became more interested in playing prepared, or modified, pianos. The technique — popularized by the 20th-century American composer and musical theorist John Cage — refers to placing items like bolts or screws between the instrument’s strings to create unique, unconventional and often more rhythmic sounds. “The difference is, unlike Cage, I didn’t want to use any metal — that damages the instrument, which would make touring really difficult. People would be like, ‘You’re putting a nail in my piano?’” Freitas said, laughing. “So I use wood, among other things: Amazonian seeds, clothes hangers, dominoes.”“There are times where I’m splitting myself between the Amazonian seeds, the African rhythms, and, on the other hand, European melodies,” Freitas, center, said. “It’s as though my left hand is Africa and my right hand is Europe.”Carlos BarneyWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Toby Keith and His Complexities

    Subscribe to Popcast!Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon MusicThe country music superstar Toby Keith, who died this month at 62, was best known for the songs he released in the wake of 9/11 — especially his big, brawny anthems about American power and soldiers.But while he is most remembered for those tracks, they comprised only a portion of his whole catalog, which also included tenderly lighthearted love songs and numbers about the hollowness of masculinity.On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about Keith’s various modes, and the ways in which they bolstered each other; how his most successful songs were used as cultural proxies for political arguments; and the ways that patriotism and jingoism have shaped country music over the past two decades.Guest:David Cantwell, longtime country music journalist, co-author of the No Fences Review newsletter and author of “The Running Kind: Listening to Merle Haggard”Connect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at popcast@nytimes.com. Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica. More

  • in

    Meet Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts World Tour Openers

    The 21-year-old pop star wears her influences on her sleeve and, in one particular case, books them for her live show.Olivia Rodrigo onstage in California on Friday night.OK McCausland for The New York TimesDear listeners,Last Friday night, the pop sensation and verbal vampire slayer Olivia Rodrigo kicked off her Guts World Tour, one of the most anticipated live shows of the year. My colleague Jon Caramanica caught opening night in Palm Desert, Calif., and named it a Critic’s Pick, writing that Rodrigo “brought the perfection and order of musical theater to the pop-punk and piano balladry that her songs toggle between.”An avowed student of female-driven ’90s alternative rock — when I saw her two years ago at Radio City Music Hall, she played a rousing cover of Veruca Salt’s “Seether” — Rodrigo wears her influences on her sleeve and, in one particular case, books them for her tour. Though the brash, big-voiced pop singer Chappell Roan kicked off the show in Palm Desert, for some dates Rodrigo will be joined by the legendary Gen-X rockers the Breeders. Any young pop supernova who picks the Deal sisters to open for her — and who convinces them that she’s a talent worth supporting — is all right by me.While not everyone who sees the Guts World Tour will be lucky enough to witness some lavender-clad grrrls experience “Cannonball” live for the first time, every opener Rodrigo selected is worth arriving early to catch. Today’s playlist, comprising her supporting acts, hopes to convince you of that.Roan, a rising star whose influences connect the dots between Katy Perry and “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” opens the show until April 2, when the Breeders take over for a four-night stint at Madison Square Garden. They’ll pass the baton to Remi Wolf, an eclectic and charismatically in-your-face singer-songwriter, who will handle the European dates, until the tour returns to North America in July and is supported by the whispery electro-pop upstart PinkPantheress. In mid-August, for the tour’s last splash — forgive me — the Breeders return for several dates in Los Angeles.In her music, Rodrigo centers her own personal experience of girlhood, and in some sense all four of these supporting artists offer different variations on that theme. Get ready for some towering choruses, gigantic personalities and refreshingly expansive takes on musical femininity.Got that long hair, long beard, turtleneck sweater,LindsayWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

  • in

    Review: Lise Davidsen Cements Her Stardom in Met Opera’s ‘Forza’

    Lise Davidsen, entering the Italian repertoire at the company, was part of a superb cast as Verdi’s opera returned for the first time since 2006.As dramatic music swirled late Monday evening, the woman trudged a few steps pushing a filthy shopping cart — so hunched and bedraggled that she seemed like an extra, sent onstage to set the scene before the star entered.Then she opened her mouth, and a note emerged so pure and clear, widening into a cry before narrowing back into a murmur, that it could only be the soprano Lise Davidsen, cementing her stardom in a new production of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” at the Metropolitan Opera.In her still-young Met career, Davidsen has triumphed in works by Tchaikovsky, Wagner and especially Strauss. She has quickly become the rare singer you want to hear in everything. But Verdi and the Italian repertoire traditionally belong to voices more velvety and warm than hers, which has the coolly powerful authority of an ivory sword, particularly in flooding high notes.There were moments on Monday that wanted a soprano more fiery than ivory. Davidsen is statuesque, and her sound is too: grand and decorous. There were moments when the anguish of Leonora, the heroine of “Forza,” would have been more crushing if her lower notes had earthier fervor.But come on. Quibbles aside, there are vanishingly few artists in the world singing with such generosity, sensitivity and visceral impact.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More