REVIEW | Thomas Dolby’s “The Invisible Lighthouse” at the Cedar Cultural Center

Performances at The Cedar Cultural Center always have a rather informal quality, but Thomas Dolby’s show on Tuesday, November 5 was downright intimate. That was appropriate for the material. Dolby has recently finished his first film, The Invisible Lighthouse, about the Suffolk rivers and marshes that have inspired him throughout his career and about the closing of the Orford Ness Lighthouse, which stood above them all.Local DJ Jake Rudh prepared the crowd for what they were about to see with a set built mostly from artists who paved the way for the performance we were about to see. Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, footage from Tron—the screen was full of innovators in film and music. One of the highlights was a Lene Lovitch performance of “New Toy,” featuring a very young Thomas Dolby (who wrote the song) on keyboards. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Socially conscious rapper M.anifest rocks The Cedar as part of the African Summer series

At first I was wondering if M.anifest’s June 15 performance was going to be cancelled as only about a dozen people were there at the beginning of the show, the second in The Cedar’s African Summer series. Then the opening act, Minneapolis local, Ashley Dubose, came on stage and was so personable and sweet that it didn’t matter how many people stood around as she did a fantastic job to create a feel good atmosphere for the main act.Ashley especially connected with the group with her song “Life Goes On.” Her style is neo-soul and reminded me a bit of Nelly Furtado when she sang “Like a Bird.” It was touching to see her mom out in support of her. As she continued to sing her repertoire for the night, the crowd began to build and by the end of her set, everyone was glad to be there.About ten minutes after Ashley left the stage, M.anifest came out, and there were applause and shouts of joy from the crowd of fans. Not knowing what to expect as the last time I listened to rap music was way back to the Sugarhill Gang, I was more than pleasantly surprised with the songs and sounds of M.anifest. Continue Reading