Temptations, Supremes, Alan Parsons, Low and Blonde Redhead top winter concert season

They may not help you decide who to vote for in the elections, but their shows will surely provide some relief from the non-stop campaigning that will have saturated our consciousness by then.

December 13, 2014 23:20
3 minute read.
The Supremes

The Supremes, fronted by Kaaren Regland (middle), who joined the group in 1977. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Just like the upcoming elections will offer voters a spectrum of choices from the far Right to the extreme Left, all music fans will find something they like among the array of winter performances by musical acts headed our way.

For the traditionalists, three beloved American soul groups will be sharing a stage when The Supremes, The Temptations and The Platters bring their oldies to the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center on March 2.

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Most of the members are replacements for replacements of the original 1950s and 1960s legends (don’t wait up for Diana Ross), but the hits will be there – from “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” to “Only You” and “The Great Pretender” to “Baby Love” and “Stop in the Name of Love.”

There is some connection to the fabled glory of the musical pioneers. The Temptations are being led by Dennis Edwards, who joined the group in 1968, replacing David Ruffin, and The Supremes are fronted by Kaaren Regland, who joined the group in 1977.

The soul revue was originally scheduled to arrive last month, but was postponed due to concern over the summer Gaza war.

Moving a decade ahead, progressive rock favorites The Alan Parsons Project is returning to Israel following two well-received sold out shows in 2010. They’ll be playing this time at the Nokia Arena on February 10.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the group was at the zenith of the pop world, zinging off a string of ambitiously conceived and lushly recorded progressive rock concepts like 1977’s I, Robot (based on the work of sci-fi icon Isaac Asimov) and 1982’s landmark Eye in the Sky.


Largely the studio concept of former Abbey Road studios engineer Parsons (who worked on The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon) and late vocalist Eric Woolfson, the latter-day group faithfully recreates their studio magic with an enlarged lineup. It didn’t hurt their reputation when Mike Meyers playfully recalled the group in his Austin Powers film series.

Moving even a little closer to this century, January 26 will see the return to Israel of the acclaimed low-fi, low-key rock of Low, who wowed the crowd on their first visit here in 2008.

The Minnesota trio formed in 1993, and their string of albums (one produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy) have helped define the “slowcore” sound. It’s a term decried by band founder Alan Sparhawk, who told The Jerusalem Post back in 2008 that he preferred to call Low’s music “minimal.”

Whatever it’s called, the harmonies conjured up by Sparhawk and his drummer/singer wife Mimi Parker are as evocative and haunting as classic male-female duos like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.

The band’s show at the Barbie Club will get 2015 off to a delicate, soothing start.

Less tranquil but just as riveting, experimental indie-rockers Blonde Redhead return to the Barbie Club in Tel Aviv on March 7. The Italian-Japanese-American band consisting of Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amadeo Pace has also appeared previously in Israel, in 2007.

The striking Makino met up with the Pace brothers, who had moved from Milan in their childhood to Montreal, Canada, and then on to Boston to study jazz, in the New York underground music scene where all three converged in the early 1990s. She later married her bandmate, Amedeo Pace.

Named after a song called “Blonde Redhead” by New York “no wave” band DNA, the band formed in 1993 and released their first album two years later.

Originally patterned after the Sonic Youth noise squall concept (their debut was produced by Youth’s Steve Shelly), they’ve gradually transformed into a more ambient dreaminess.

Then, there are the previously announced shows at the Barbie, like the Afghan Whigs on February 24, the Mark Lanegan Band on March 23 and Mark Gardener from the early ‘90s Britpop favorites Ride, on January 14.

Collectively, they may not help you decide who to vote for in the elections, but their shows will surely provide some relief from the non-stop campaigning that will have saturated our consciousness by then.

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