- Rising Senegalese star Yoro Ndiaye plays the Millennium Stage this week.
Whether you were born during the Johnson administration or Reagan's second term, you might as well be dead if John Hughes' look at teen stereotypes doesn't warm your heart even a little. Me, I first saw this when the clothes were fashionable, though Judd Nelson was as believable as a surly high school tough then as he was as a breakdancing street hood in Making the Grade the year before. It doesn't matter. The lesson of the film — we're all a little bit geek, a little big freak, and maybe some of us still dream of making out with Ally Sheedy's character.
I don't pretend to understand the internal politics of jazz; some jazz fans are still mad at Mose Allison for being popular with British rock stars in the '60s. Surely now that he's in his ninth decade and still making music that, as Ben Greenman said perfectly in the New Yorker last year, "sits happily at an uncomfortable intersection of blues, jazz, and pop," isn't it time to forgive the man his fanbase and just enjoy his otherworldly voice and lambent piano playing?
Yoro Ndiaye is a rising star from the center of Senegal who moved to Dakar at the turn of the century, caught Youssou N'Dour's eye, and has been touring Western Europe ever more extensively ever since. This can only mean one thing: Any day, Manu Chao is going to get his hooks in Ndiaye and prepackage him for Bonnaroo 2013. Get down to the Kennedy Center now, when you can enjoy Ndiaye's silky voice and underplayed beats. It may be your last chance to hear him without Bill Laswell playing bass or standing next to some dirty hippie.
I should probably disclose right off the bat that Pietasters singer Steve Jackson's kid and my kid are classmates, and that I never paid his band much mind before they became friends. But as kindergarten turned to first grade, the Pietasters' last CD, 2007's All Day, has stayed in rotation in my car for reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that I find him a welcome conversation partner during school events. It's his voice, this smoky, burnished, misplaced soul instrument that makes me and my kids bounce around like 2 Tone fans at a Specials reunion show, wondering where all the rude boys have gone.
Your kids like science. They might as well go the whole nine yards and get into classical music. This program teaches them about parts of the brain, how sound works, and how endangered trees are making it hard to get decent instruments.