As Judas, Brandon Victor Dixon was simply fantastic. The only capable actor among the principals, Dixon sang beautifully, interpreting the material instead of painting by numbers. He brought unpredictability and riveting vitality to the production, and made it seem effortless. He pulled me to my feet several times, my internal 16 year-old pumping his fist and lip-syncing with the TV.
On December 14, 2017, I sat in the second row mezzanine at Walter Kerr Theatre, about 60 feet from Bruce Springsteen. It was the closest I’d ever been, and the clearest I’d heard him over ten concerts I’ve attended. Unfortunately, it was my least favorite of his shows.
If you want to introduce someone who doesn’t know Springsteen to his work, there’s now a definitive choice. Ten middle-set songs by a band playing as well as they ever would, among the best mixed and mastered material in the entire Springsteen archive.
I’m amazed, humbled, and grateful that you’ve found Moss Island and read what comes out of my head. Thank you. Here’s to the year ahead, and a glance behind at my favorite things in 2015.
Moss Island’s agonizingly whittled-down list of the greatest Christmas songs ever. The shortlist started at 40. These are the best.
A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records is a distillation of Phil Spector’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Wall of Sound, over-the-top but perfect as a Christmas confection.
Steven Van Zandt has long complained that Springsteen held back his best material. Considered with The Promise, The Ties That Bind proves the point.
Adele’s musical gift is her voice, a once-in-a-generation talent that wraps itself around notes with astonishing power and variety; her phrasing is always masterful, often surprising. As a songwriter, she favors a strong melody and elemental sentiments – her compositions are fresh but seem timeless.
This recording is a beautiful document, with a higher-than-usual quota of “you haven’t heard this before.” At the start, Springsteen asks for “as much quiet as I can get,” and that’s a good way to listen. This is music for grown-ups – pour a Scotch, sit back, and save your red Solo cup for the Magic tour.
This collection is in the finest tradition of top-ten lists. Seemingly random and “aha-of-course” in equal measure. You’ll disagree and wonder how I could have possibly left out [your favorite theme song.] It’s probably because I’m a jerk, or because I have no taste.