Imagine an era when mainstream music wasn't filled with synthesizers. When electronic music wasn't a force propelling everything from pop and hip-hop to music from the underground. There was a time when this world existed. Then Kraftwerk emerged, and the world we knew changed.
Uruguay boasts that it has the longest Carnival celebration not just in Latin America, but the world. The 40-day celebration is dotted with makeshift stages all around the capital city of Montevideo for performances of choral music called murga. Murga is both entertainment and a sociopolitical commentary that survived the military dictatorship of the 1970s.
The other day I posed a question on my Twitter feed: What is the music of Occupy Wall Street? As a veteran of many street protests and an amateur historian of popular music rabble rousing, I've been waiting for someone to grab center stage in Zuccoti Square and emerge as a new Bob Dylan or Joan Baez.
Credit Sasha Arutyunova / Courtesy of Mason Jar Music
For a hundred years, there was singing in the classrooms of St. Cecilia's School in Brooklyn. But since the parish closed it down a couple of years ago, the space has been pretty quiet. The empty rooms are rented by artists or for the occasional film shoot.
This spring, musician Dan Knobler got the keys to the five-story school building from the church, and when he opened the door, he says he knew it could work.