mon 26/09/2016

Howard Male

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Howard has written on music for the Independent, Songlines, The Word and other publications. He is also a musician and has just completed his first novel, Etc Etc Amen.

Articles by Howard Male

CD: Jherek Bischoff – Cistern

When David Bowie died in January, one person quick off the mark with a striking and respectful tribute was the American composer Jherek Bischoff with Strung Out in Heaven – a string quartet medley of...

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CD: Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

It’s not that there’s anything lacking in the writing quality on Ms Mvula’s second album (or third if you include her powerful orchestral revisiting of Sing To The Moon), it’s just that its overall...

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CD: Elza Soares – The Woman at the End of the World

When producer Guilherme Kastrup asked this 78-year-old Brazilian icon what she wanted this album to be about she replied, “Sex and blackness.” Listening to the end result makes one wonder if she was...

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CD: Leyla McCalla – A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey

Brave is the songwriter who sets a piece of classic poetry to music, never mind creates almost a whole album of such Frankenstein creations. Poetry is meant to work against silence, not compete for...

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CD: Kel Assouf - Tikounen

When the Tuareg band Tinariwen first started to come to prominence a decade or so ago, world music purists tried to lay claim that they were purveyors of what they called "desert blues". The reason...

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Oliver Sacks remembered

Oliver Sacks, peerless explorer of the human brain, has today died of cancer aged 82. Inspired by case histories of patients suffering from neurological disorders, Sacks's eloquent musings on...

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DVD: The Servant/Accident

These two 1960s movies have more than just their director, Joseph Losey, and their writer, Harold Pinter, in common. They also both star Dirk Bogarde, escaping his matinee idol mould to...

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David Bowie Is, Victoria & Albert Museum

How much more of a melancholy experience walking round this exhibition would have been if its subject hadn’t just sprung a new album on us that’s so suffused with energy and life. It’s meant that the...

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Salif Keita, Royal Festival Hall

The only time the great Malian singer spoke at any length to last night’s audience was when he said, “I don’t know my birthday. I don’t know the day or the year. So any day can be my birthday. So can...

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CD: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

With BBC Four currently mourning the passing of the LP, it’s encouraging that some artists still like to confine themselves to the format’s time limitations and its implicit requirement that the...

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Sahara Soul, Barbican Hall

Bassekou Kouyaté’s ngoni looks like a real bugger to play. Its hollow body is the size and shape of a child’s cricket bat and its rounded fretless neck is thinner than that of a broomstick. It’s a...

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CD of the Year: Tiger Cats - Isle of Dogs

How does one choose just one favourite album of the year? Should it be the one that knocked you for six on a first hearing, the one that you admired rather than loved but nevertheless admired an...

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Lives in Music #2: How Music Works by David Byrne

Reading How Music Works feels a bit like breaking into David Byrne’s house and randomly nosing around the Word files on his computer. First there’s some stuff about whether specific types of music...

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DVD: Peep Show - Series 8

I suspect that this cruel, clever sitcom is more loved by men than women, because what woman really wants to delve this deeply into the murky pool of the unreconstructed male psyche? But after a...

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Let’s Wrestle, Tigercats, Omi Palone, The Lexington

Twenty-first century rock bands have a problem, and it’s a problem that they’ve had for decades: how to stay focused on the rebel oomph of distorted guitars, rudimentary drumming, sorting-out-...

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CD: The Bryan Ferry Orchestra - The Jazz Age

It might have looked good on paper; the best of Bryan Ferry revisited in a 1920s swing jazz style. But in practice, rather than reveal previously unrecognised properties of some of the most haunting...

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latest in today

First Person: The Juilliard Experiment

Introducing an intimate film of a painter working to music, premiered at Ra...

Tubular Brass play Tubular Bells, Howard Assembly Room, Leed...

Mike Oldfield's 70s classic. Performed live. With extra trombones.

James Acaster, Touring

Beautifully crafted show of offbeat observations

CD: Gruff Rhys – Set Fire to the Stars

The Super Furries frontman releases a soundtrack that stands tall and on it...

First Person: Steven Isserlis on Schumann's advice to t...

The cellist and writer on a new book annotating a great composer's wis...

Reissue CDs Weekly: John Foxx

Lavish package devoted to the three ‘Cathedral Oceans’ albums

Lammermuir Festival 2016, East Lothian

Biggest and boldest event yet for Scotland's early autumn musical harv...

CD: Van Morrison - Keep Me Singing

First new work for four years is beautiful but nostalgic

David Gilmour, Royal Albert Hall

The spirit of Pink Floyd lives on as the Rattle That Lock tour comes home

Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Energy, alcohol and bucketloads of paint: a triumphant reunion for New York...