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The Guide: music: City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Birmingham: Jessy Lanza On tour: Arcade Fire London: Pat Metheny Unity Group Salford, London: Rhys Chatham Birmingham: James Lavelle's Meltdown London

June 7, 2014

Jennifer Lucy Allan, Andrew Clements, John Fordham and John Robinson-



James Lavelle's Meltdown, London

In the august company of Meltdown curators past n say, Yoko Ono, David Bowie or Scott Walker n James Lavelle cuts an anomalous figure. As far as many people must be concerned, he isn't a particularly important artist, more a man of his time. True enough, in that time (specifically, the mid-1990s), Lavelle did get some important work done. As label head of Mo'Wax records, he curated a nice line in hip-hop, releasing in particular the spectacular EndtroducingN album by DJ Shadow. A man with impressive connections, Lavelle's own music with Unkle has attracted guest artists from Thom Yorke to Josh Homme, and he's drawing on these contacts here. As well as performances by Unkle (Fri) and Shadow (14 Jun), there's Homme playing acoustically (16 Jun) and a show by Mark Lanegan (14 Jun) n as well as more recognisably hip-hop propositions, such as Grandmaster Flash (Fri).

Southbank Centre, SE10, Fri to 22 Jun

JR

Arcade Fire, London

Always a theatrical band, these days the Arcade Fire are almost participants in their own musical. You'd think that would be an entertaining prospect for the Canadian band, whose music has historically strived to transform its dark subject matter (death, America, suburban life) into something more epic and complex. There have been times, of course, when some of this ambition has manifested itself in overwrought fashion, but recent time spent working with James Murphy on their 2013 album Reflektor seems to have brought out an unexpectedly wry and approachable side to the group.

Earl's Court, SW5, Sat

JR

Jessy Lanza, On tour

It can be tough in a post-Timbaland world. While the stars of R&B propose and endorse a glamorous life in their music, artists on the experimental fringes of the music are in a slightly less enviable place. That's never more obvious than live, where an artist like Jessy Lanza isn't so much a vocal star, as a harassed multitasker attempting to keep a number of plates in the air at one time. Vocalist, producer and performer, that's the workload the Canadian musician devised for herself with her debut album Pull My Hair Back. That album, created with Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys n her neighbour in Hamilton, Ontario n is a fairly intense place, where Lanza's R&B-style vocal melodies circle above a gritty post-dubstep throb. Rather than compromised between those two positions, however, Jessy Lanza is making it a place of her own.

Field Day, E8, Sat; Parklife Weekender, Manchester & Bungalows And Bears, Sheffield, Sun; Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Tue

JR

Rhys Chatham, Birmingham

The king of massed guitar music, Rhys Chatham performs with 100 guitarists in Birmingham tonight as part of the Frontiers festival, which this year sees some of the key figures from the New York avant garde scene descend on the West Midlands. A Secret Rose For 100 Guitars is being performed in the UK for the first time by an orchestra assembled from volunteer players, with Sebastiano Dessanay battling on bass and Pram's Laurence Hunt on percussion, whose presence should make this more reminiscent of Chatham's punkier No Wave days. Believe it or not 100 guitars isn't a huge amount for Chatham, who has been known to use 400.

Town Hall, Sat

JA

Pat Metheny Unity Group, Salford & London

Pat Metheny, the Missouri-born guitarist, became a box-office favourite more than 30 years ago for his catchy mix of Latin grooves, jazz and songwriting skills, producing memorable original themes. But his improv instincts and virtuosity have allowed him to pull off the rare trick of keeping both mainstream listeners and the jazz cognoscenti onside. These UK gigs feature the versatile and prolific Metheny's Unity Group n his first to feature a saxophonist in three decades n and mark a return to his funkier work.

The Lowry, Salford, Tue; Eventim Apollo, W6, Wed

JF

City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham

Thomas AdEs is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducting his own works and those 20th-century pieces with which he feels a particular affinity, as well as championing the music of contemporary composers he particularly admires. So his latest appearance in Symphony Hall (to be repeated at the Aldeburgh festival on 21 Jun) features Ravel's Mother Goose and a piece from former AdEs pupil Francisco Coll, and ends with his own huge composition Tevot. In between, there are two UK premieres, both works for piano and orchestra, composed for the soloist, Nicolas Hodges.

Symphony Hall, Wed

AC


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Source: Guardian (UK)


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