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Sydney Opera House to get an acoustic upgrade

Aug 11, 2016

Sydney Opera House to get an acoustic upgrade

The Sydney Opera House is set to undergo a multimillion-dollar overhaul, with an emphasis on improving its acoustics, which have been described as worse than an aircraft hangar, officials said Thursday. The 247 million Australian dollar ($190 million) revamp is the biggest since Australia’s ...

Okinawa's snakeskin banjo stands test of time

Aug 9, 2016

Okinawa's snakeskin banjo stands test of time

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Enormous python skins hang from a wire inside the sweltering workshop where Seibun Nakamine sculpts a piece of Okinawa’s musical identity. They are essential for the wiry 69-year-old craftsman who has spent nearly half a century making the three-stringed sanshin. The snakeskin-covered instrument, similar ...

Injecting a little music into Japanese politics

Aug 7, 2016

Injecting a little music into Japanese politics

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“Let’s not put politics into music.” This seemingly innocent phrase rose to prominence in June as a lightning rod for social media protest against the appearance of student political leader Aki Okuda at the Fuji Rock music festival. It also taps into a popular ...

Clarinetist Pete Fountain dead at 86

Aug 7, 2016

Clarinetist Pete Fountain dead at 86

Clarinetist Pete Fountain, whose Dixieland jazz virtuosity and irrepressible wit endeared him to his native New Orleans and earned him decades of national television fame, died Saturday of heart failure. He was 86. Benny Harrell, Fountain’s son-in-law and manager, said Fountain was in hospice ...

Bombon fuses equal rights themes and a surf rock sound

Aug 5, 2016

Bombon fuses equal rights themes and a surf rock sound

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A bit of Southern California cool hits Tokyo this week when Bombon — an all-female surf rock outfit comprised of guitarist Angela Ramos, bassist Paloma Banuelos and drummer Jerico Campbell — arrives in Japan for its first overseas tour. The group plays several shows ...

The fun we had at Fuji Rock 2016

Jul 31, 2016

The fun we had at Fuji Rock 2016

One of Japan’s oldest large-scale rock festivals celebrated 20 years of operation this July. Here’s a curated collection of the fun that was had in the mountains of Niigata. [View the story “Fuji Rock Festival 2016” on Storify]