all the records you want (more than 25 million), play sold-out
concert tours to your heart’s content (Dixie Chicks are
responsible for a few of the highest-grossing country tours
of all time), but say one bad thing about the president
and the whole thing goes to hell. Ask Dixie Chick Natalie
Maines, a proud Texan who experienced death threats—death
threats!—in the wake of a relatively innocent comment,
said onstage in London, shortly after the beginning of the
Iraq war: “We’re ashamed the president of the United States
is from Texas.” The backlash, boycotts, and bullshit that
followed eventually gave the Chicks license to withdraw
from a country scene that had all but turned its back on
the band, and they’re back with a new album, Taking the
Long Way, and an unapologetic new single, “Not Ready
to Make Nice,” co-written with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson. Taking
the Long Way was produced by the inimitable Rick Rubin,
and features contributions from rockers like Pete Yorn,
plus members of Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jayhawks, and
(Tom Petty’s) Heartbreakers—which makes you wonder: Did
country audiences shy away from Dixie Chicks because of
something Maines said, or because they aren’t actually country
Dixie Chicks, with special guest Anna Nalick, will perform
at the Pepsi Arena (51 S. Pearl St., Albany) tomorrow (Friday,
July 28). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $66 and $49.50.
For more information, call (888) 30-EVENT.
Chamber Music Festival
doesn’t get the attention that the Philadelphia Orchestra
does, but the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival has proved
itself equally impressive through the years. This season
seems particularly well-programmed; kudos to violinist Chantal
Juillet, who is celebrating her 16th year as the festival’s
This Tuesday, the SCMF will present a tribute to Mozart
featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman and this year’s SPAC composer-in-residence,
Bright Sheng. Concertgoers are already familiar with regular
SPAC guest Bronfman’s virtuosity; Sheng’s work, which will
be featured in a series of SCMF and Philadelphia Orchestra
performances, should win over audiences with its inventiveness
and dramatic flair. Sheng, who has written symphonic, opera
and chamber music—his String Quartet No. 3 will be
performed at this concert—is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow.
Saratoga Chamber Music Festival will present Yefim Bronfman
and the Mozart 250th anniversary celebration concert on
Tuesday (Aug. 1) at 7:30 PM at the Spa Little Theater (Saratoga
Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $40, $35.
For reservations and information, call 587-3330.
Spirit, Different Movement
better way to preserve the foundations of hip-hop culture
than bringing the spellbinding, rhythmic dancing to the
masses? That’s exactly what Illstyle & Peace Productions
do. Illstyle & Peace Productions is a New York City-based
dance company whose choreography, according to their Web
site, “fuses the moves and spirit of hip-hop with a variety
of other disciplines.” The company are touring to exhibit
a new work, Same Spirit, Different Movement, that
The New York Times has called “killer.” The performance
is done to live music, and incorporates pop-and-lock, ballet,
folk and tap dancing, along with human beatboxing and DJs.
See the talent of Illstyle & Peace Productions when
they come to the Egg this weekend to present the new work.
Spirit, Different Movement will be performed by Illstyle
& Peace Productions at the Egg (Empire State Plaza,
Albany) on Saturday (July 29) at 7:30 PM. Tickets to this
event are $15, $5 children and students. For more information
or to order tickets, call 473-1845.