Something wonderful happened in Brazil in the late 1960s. Stevie Wonder's soul-funk, Bob Marley's revolutionary reggae, and the smooth bossa nova of Joao Gilberto came together in one person: Brazil's irreplaceable Gilberto Gil.
As a youth raised in rural Bahia, Gil was intoxicated by the bossa
Percussion drums, those essential and heavenly instruments of Latin rhythm, cover the stage: they emit an unexpected presence, like silent band members waiting to come alive. The buzzing current in the air tastes sweet like brown sugar, but also hints at crackling spice. The crowd awaits a genius, a
Bobby McFerrin's voice scours the vast horizon of sound. Though he's only one man, he routinely transforms himself into a five-piece band, a skilled soprano, or a trio of tribal-sounding chanters singing in harmony. His voice can replicate the sound of almost any instrument, from the delicate whistle
Car accidents, spider bites, and head wounds are just a few of the subjects at the center of the Flaming Lips' 1999 album "The Soft Bulletin." But the album isn't dark, jarring, or the least bit disruptive. In fact, it's nothing if not light. This kind of light might be "chemically derived." Or is it