Children’s Book By Robbie Robertson Introduces Kids To Music Giants
Music album economics and industry evolution
Compass Rose meets the challenge with a set designed by Joe Powell, who allows audiences to imagine the Alps within the confines of the 70-seat theater through a minimalist approach. Powell uses the stage height to create three levels, with a middle staircase accommodating a series of actions. A variety of flags are hung to indicate specific locations from convent to chapel to Salzburg Theater. As director, Merry-Browne, moves the action speedily and smoothly, drawing the audience in by using the theater’s center aisle for various processions. Adaptive of the minimalist approach, Merry-Browne uses space for maximum effect with her talented cast, so that intimacy is taken to full advantage to engage the audience in the von Trapp family’s plight. All the young cast members are excellent, each distinctly individual and disarming, from young Gretl, adorably played by Sophia Nasreen Riazi-Sekowski, to the eldest, Liesl, beautifully played by Broadneck High School senior Mariel White. White is already a veteran of Talent Machine and Children’s Theatre of Annapolis productions. Completing the stage family of von Trapp children are Daniel Starnes as Friedrich, Mallory Holson as Louisa, Annabelle Cotton as Kurt, Madelyn Schloss as Brigitta and Sarah Grace Clifton as Marta. A. J. Whittenberger impresses as Rolf Gruber, especially when he joins White in “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” both are charming in song and dance. Adding humor and sophistication are characters Elsa Schraeder, played by Jamie Odgen, who has graced Toby’s Dinner Theatre productions; and opportunistic concert entrepreneur Max Detweiler, played by Equity actor Daniel Seifring, a reliable Compass Rose favorite. Seifring provided a memorable Louie in the Compass Rose production of “Lost in Yonkers” and defined the role of Fagin in “Oliver.” As Captain von Trapp’s fiancee, Baroness Elsa Schraeder is a successful career woman with a survivor’s instincts, and is well played by Odgen, who proves a talented musical performer. Together, Ogden and Seifring deliver a sardonic “How Can Love Survive?” humorously expressing their worldly views.
According to the book’s introduction by Robertson, the project began when his son was working part time at a childrens recreation and learning center, and noticed that they didnt respond to the average, pandering childrens music near as much as they did to really good songs performed by great artists. So the quartet of lifelong music aficionados began to work together to create a book that could introduce and inform kids about artists whose music has shaped the world around them. The list of those included stretches back as far as jazz innovator Louis Armstrong and journeys from jazz (Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald) to Great American Songbook pop (Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole), primal rock (Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard) to R&B and soul (Ray Charles, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield) to country (Williams, Johnny Cash , Patsy Cline) to classic rock (Dylan, Carole King) and reggae (Bob Marley). PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations The connective thread, beyond the essential quality of the chosen recordings, was focusing on music created by those Robertson refers to as the original risk takers, extremely unique, and tremendously influential to future generations. The 128-page books descriptions of the artists, while short and to the point, is colorfully revealing. Ray Charles, for instance, redefined rhythm and blues with his personal brand of high-energy ultra-groove, a comment complemented by a quote from Frank Sinatra saying Ray Charles is the only real genius in the business. Of Joni Mitchell, whom Robertson famously backed on her recording of Raised on Robbery, the book states, Rather than focusing on political and social issues like traditional folk artists such as Woody Guthrie, Joni wanted to tell stories that spoke to personal, human truths and her songs revealed quite a bit about her life. Her romances, her neighbors, and the daughter she had to give up for adoption all found their way into her songs. The tracks selected for each artist, not surprisingly, are kid-friendly choices including the Beatles Here Comes the Sun, Cashs Get Rhythm, Mitchells The Circle Game, Billie Holidays Lets Call the Whole Thing Off and Marleys Rebel Music. The illustrations were created by 15 different artists. All four authors will appear at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Barnes & Noble store at the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. Robertson also will be a guest on Tavis Smiley’s show Wednesday, Oct. 16. Update at 12:05 p.m. Oct. 16: An earlier version of this posted listed the price of ‘Legends, Icons & Rebels’ as $35. The price is $29 U.S., $35 Canadian. ALSO:
So when I read an article in New York Magazine this week that explored the changing economics of the industry, I thought it would be interesting to explore it in a little more detail and review some investment ramifications of these changes. The main story centred around Grizzly Bear, a popular indie band, that has had a great deal of artistic success, which hasnt translated into the same amount of commercial success (although they did sell out Radio City and their latest album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Chart). When the band tours, it can afford a bus, an extra keyboard player, and sound and lighting engineers. (That U2 tour had a wardrobe manager.) After covering expenses like recording, publicity, and all the other machinery of a successful act (Agents, lawyers, tour managers, the merch girl, the venues take a merch cut; Ticketmaster takes their cut; the manager gets a percentage; publishers get a percentage), Grizzly Bears members bring home well, theyd rather not get into it. I just think its inappropriate, says Edward Droste of Grizzly Bear. Obviously were surviving. Some of us have health insurance, some of us dont, we basically all live in the same places, no ones renting private jets. Come to your own conclusions. Before we hop into the analysis, I also want to acknowledge that musicians getting hosed by records labels et al. isnt exactly a new phenomenon (read:Motown). Its just different people taking a cut of the pie this time around. New album sales One of the more interesting statistics is regarding new album sales.