Top Picks: Welsh ensemble 9Bach's new album 'Tincian,' the iOS app Sidereel, and more
Dolly Parton's new album 'Blue Smoke' shows she hasn't lost any of her charm and verve, the movie 'Her' is the perfect romantic scenario for the age of smart phones, and more top picks.
Schubert for strings
Franz Schubert was one of the greatest musical minds of all time. Because he is one of the few so-called Viennese composers who was actually born and bred in Vienna, Schubert: String Quintet D956 and Quartettsatz D703 – recorded by the Cypress String Quartet, who are joined by one of the première cellists of the day, Canadian Gary Hoffman – is getting more-than-usual attention. Neither work was performed during Schubert’s relatively short lifetime. It is available from Avie Records.
Poetic and atmospheric, Tincian is the second album from the innovative Welsh ensemble 9Bach. The ethereal quality of Lisa Jen’s voice brings lightness to the weighty topics of these folk songs, ranging from birth, the passing of a loved grandmother, a fox on the hunt, and the Stolen Generations of Australian Aboriginal children, in the gently urgent “Plentyn.” The album notes help, but you don’t need to know Welsh to feel the depth of emotion and originality.
Track your shows
Your own pocket TV planner is now available with the new SideReel iOS application. Add your favorite shows to the app’s tracker and SideReel will alert you when new episodes are airing. Or if you’re looking to watch an episode online, the app provides a list of websites, such as iTunes or Hulu, where it’s available. The SideReel app is available free of charge through the iTunes App Store.
After more than half a century in the spotlight, Dolly Parton can still put a new album on the top of the charts. Blue Smoke, featuring duets sung with Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers (both previously released titles), shows she hasn’t lost any of her singular charm and verve. For Parton fans, this is more of her regular sugar and spice, singing songs from different periods of her life, covering a Bob Dylan tune, and singing about the heartbreak every country singer knows as well as her memories of growing up in the Appalachian Mountains.
In the age of smart phones, the movie Her is the perfect romantic scenario. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore, a man who falls in love with his computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and scenes that could have just been satirical come across as deeply resonant under the direction of Spike Jonze. The movie, which includes some adult content, is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
I’m Not the Beatles: The John & Yoko Interviews 1969-72 is an eight-CD set featuring five in-depth conversations with Village Voice journalist Howard Smith, remastered from tapes stashed for 40 years in his New York loft. The interviews reveal the thought process the couple went through as they moved beyond the shadow of the Beatles’ supersuccess to become individual activists. This fascinating glimpse into the lives of these two icons is available from MVD.