Stephen Wade Uncovers ‘the Beautiful Music All Around Us’

I like the architecture,” said Lucian Huxley Smith, a 26-year-old writer from London. FULL COVERAGE: Walt Disney Concert Hall at 10 Smith was with Penni Killick, 25, who works for a London literary agency. “I like music. But I’m here to see the building,” agreed Killick. Architecture buffs Timo Kersten and Aline Jede, both from Germany, joined a dozen others for one of the free guided tours offered most days at Disney Hall. Music Center employee Jan Hilander led the group from the Grand Avenue lobby to the second floor, called the stage level. As the visitors peered over a railing, she explained that the Douglas fir wood panels on the curving wall were designed with acoustics in mind for BP Hall, where lectures, dinners and other events are staged. On the third-floor garden level, Hilander told of how Gehry himself drew up the geometric floral design used in the Disney Hall carpeting. The same design, called “Lillian” after original hall donor Lillian Disney, is replicated in the fabric upholstery created for the performance hall’s 2,265 seats. PANORAMA: Inside Walt Disney Concert Hall Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, launched the campaign to build the 3.6-acre hall and garden on a former Bunker Hill parking lot used by jurors at the civil courthouse. She gave the project its first $50 million in 1987. It took an additional $274 million to actually design and build Disney Hall, with fundraising taking 12 years and construction taking four, Hilander explained to the group. Donors are thanked with discreet signage inside and outside the hall. The names of major ones are spelled out in steel lettering embedded in laser-cut industrial felt that lines one interior wall, she said.

Music festival, road work and rain could cause traffic mess this weekend

Wade deep into southern Appalachia, the Great Plains, and the Mississippi Delta. His hunt, which involved interviews with more than 200 people, produced intimate profiles of 13 singers, musicians, and groups heard on the Library of Congress field recordings made between 1934 and 1942 that today are considered the foundation of American song. Many of the songs these individuals sang are well known today: “Another Man Done Gone,” “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down,” “Shortenin’ Bread,” and “Rock Island Line” have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Wilco, and countless others. But little is known about the people who originally recorded them for the world to hear (Alabama housekeeper Vera Hall, Delta laborer Bozie Sturdivant, Mississippi schoolgirl Ora Dell Graham, and a prison camp of convicts outside Little Rock, Ark., respectively). “What is extraordinary about this book is it takes marginalized voices and shows us how each one has contributed to American culture, in fact, world culture. Each of these stories, each of these lives, has that kind of impact,” Mr. Penn says. “It may be a scratchy field recording, but it makes a greater impact on our lives as it travels pop culture.” Wade operates with the belief that “American lives are interconnected,” he says. Growing up in Chicago ‘s Near North Side, he encountered street performers such as Casey Jones , a showman who for years performed a sidewalk chicken act, often with the fowls nesting on his head. Mr. Jones became so beloved in his hometown that, upon his death, his remains were moved from a funeral home to a church to accommodate the steady stream of visitors. “He showed generations of bystanders that art is wherever you find it,” Wade writes in the book’s preface. That experience made Wade want to learn more about the people who are hidden behind the music that has inspired him and others, and to explore how their environments played a role in the shaping of their music.

Miley Cyrus Performs at iHeartRadio Music Festival

Even without the rain, traffic was expected to be a mess in spots this weekend. Music Midtown will cause part of 10th Street between Piedmont and Monroe streets and part of Charles Allen Drive to be blocked off, according to WSB Radio. Traffic reporters recommend taking MARTA to avoid congestion in the Piedmont Park area. For information on schedules and ticket prices, visit www.itsmarta.com. Other weekend events include the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, the Georgia Tech-North Carolina football game at noon Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium and the Georgia State-Jacksonville State football game at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome. In Athens, the University of Georgia plays North Texas at Sanford Stadium, with kickoff at 12:21 p.m. Construction crews will be placing beams on the I-85 and Ga. 400 Interchange project this weekend, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The project will close two lanes on I-85 northbound from Piedmont Road to Ga. 400 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There also will be work associated with the project on Sidney Marcus Boulevard, Cheshire Bridge Road, Lenox Road and Buford Highway. Construction crews also will be closing single lanes on I-285, I-75 and I-20 to conduct drain cleaning and shoulder sweeping.

Evolution of Disney Hall in pictures

The pop singer was a crowd favorite at the iHeartRadio music festival day event Saturday in Las Vegas. Before she hit the stage, the crowd of a few hundred chanted: “Miley! Miley! Miley!” The 20-year-old emerged onstage in all white, wearing a tight corset and high wasted shorts that revealed some of her backside. Her four-song set opened with the anthemic “We Can’t Stop,” where people onstage were dressed in flower, mushroom and rainbow costumes. She gyrated and slapped a dwarf-sized dancer’s butt onstage. She followed the colorful performance with “Party In the USA.” But it was her emotional rendition of “Wrecking Ball” that was her set’s highlight. Cyrus’ mascara was running as she left the stage after the song and the performance comes days after she announced she was no longer engaged to actor Liam Hemsworth. She thanked the audience for helping the song top the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week. “I couldn’t have done it without all you guys,” she said. Cyrus broke a record with the debut of the song’s provocative video, which features her in the nude. It became the fastest music video to reach 100 million views on VEVO. The wild child singer said she knows “things I’m doing that’s getting me into trouble and it’s just me doing what my heart and soul is telling me what to do.” Everything she’s done is “inspired by the music,” she said. Cyrus, who will release her new album “Bangerz” next month, also sang a new song called “Look at What They’ve Done to My Song.” The guitar tune featured lyrics like “They think I’m half insane” and “I wish I could find a book to live in.” Cyrus has been added as one of the main performers for the second night at iHeartRadio’s festival at the MGM Grand Arena, joining a list that includes Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney and Drake. Elton John, Katy Perry and Chris Brown performed Friday.