Wednesday, December 17 2014
When everyone feels they can be an expert, how do you reassert your ownership over a topic? By waiting for its crossover moment.
Wednesday, July 9 2014
Parenthood comes with a lot of change, and a lot of decisions to be made, including this one: What’s your musical strategy?
Monday, May 19 2014
You just want to drive fast and listen to your favorite song. Your "smart" car may have other ideas. Welcome to the future.
Thursday, March 20 2014
Forgotify serves as an entry into an internet wormhole, into the many songs that streaming listeners forgot, and it shows us a lot about our habits in the process.
Thursday, January 9 2014
Obsessive collection, mainstream mocking, and a never-ending list of styles. It’s no surprise that so many music nerds turn into beer geeks, as well.
Thursday, November 21 2013
There’s a lot of noise at the average sporting event. Study this list to learn when to break out the earplugs.
Friday, September 27 2013
The great Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of novels. Some, like Get Shorty, were adapted for film. So why do I associate him with smooth jazz? Well, John Lurie had a hand in that.
Tuesday, July 30 2013
Will crowdsourced talent discovery kill traditional A&R? Or is it just the boost the industry needs?
Sunday, May 19 2013
In a Kickstarter world where consumers can basically will anything they want into existence, and everything is interactive, it makes sense that we should want to control our concerts, too
Tuesday, March 19 2013
Many forward-thinking companies are bringing musicians onto their staffs to help guide their brands. For those that aren't there yet, here's a little help with who they should hire.
Thursday, January 17 2013
Part party starter, part music discovery engine, Songza employs a cadre of “music experts” rather than an algorithm. This is strangely comforting.
Sunday, December 2 2012
If Rap Genius is really going to take on the world, it's worth seeing how successfully the community of annotators has handled its first topic: rap lyrics.
Wednesday, September 26 2012
How can today's top TV actors get into character? By listening to these themed playlists, of course.
Monday, July 23 2012
How much do you really love your favorite local radio station? You'll find out when it goes off the air.
Sunday, June 3 2012
Make a musical mistake? You could soon be whistling a new tune, thanks to two startups that shake up the secondary market and bring ownership back in style.
Monday, March 12 2012
Our obsession with brackets and rankings -- in everything from NCAA March Madness to soup -- reflects a desire to give some order to the world, to quantify things that are not generally thought of as quantifiable.
Monday, January 23 2012
The most frustrating thing about the controversial new copyright legislation making its way through Congress? It lacks creativity.
Tuesday, December 6 2011
Walking around a new city is a good way to get to know its nuances -- the sights, the smells, and especially, the sounds. Boston taught me its rhythm, and I kept in step.
Sunday, October 2 2011
Music writers and IT guys have a lot in common – at least when it comes to their cultivated, insular jargon.
Wednesday, July 13 2011
For some fans, legendary artists of the past offer a fun diversion from the present. But what happens when that turns into an obsession?
Wednesday, May 25 2011
My fiancée and I will soon move across the country with whatever will fit in our Honda Civic. This has brought up some discussions about which possessions are truly worth keeping.
Monday, April 4 2011
In the past month, two friends of mine have undertaken major print projects. How are they covering the costs of what some might call a foolish endeavor? By going online for funding, of course.
Monday, January 24 2011
The Bird’s the Word: What Does Celebrity Reporting on Twitter Say About Those of Us Who Follow Them?
Apparently, American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert was the most influential tweeter on Haiti, and Conan O’Brien and Ricky Martin reigned atop the list of those commenting on the Chilean miner saga. Sorry CNN, NPR, et. al.
Tuesday, December 7 2010
As long as internet jukeboxes abound, we open ourselves up to all kinds of sonic disasters.
Tuesday, September 28 2010
The F-word has been used in pretty much any way possible. I would’ve thought that by now we’d all be inured to the 'F-Bomb'. Then along came Cee Lo...
Sunday, August 1 2010
It’s comforting to think that no matter how addled my mind gets, I’ll always be able to temporarily return to a clearer past with the help of a song or two, playing in my brain.
Thursday, June 3 2010
We’re being led to believe that nearly everything would be better with the cloud in control of all our data. What could go wrong with a world in which we don’t own anything, anymore?
Wednesday, March 10 2010
While following a storyline about the trials of a mother and daughter may not be demographically the most masculine thing in the world, neither is my unabashed enjoyment of ABC Family original movies.
Tuesday, February 2 2010
An economic survey of a decade of concert-going yields an average of positive returns for my dollar. Yeah, Bob Dylan was worth every penny and more.
Tuesday, December 8 2009
Like college, or Play-Doh, a social media tool is what we make of it, and J-Zone's got the skills to make things interesting.
Tuesday, November 10 2009
Rubenstein views dance much like his girlfriend watches a baseball game; the subtleties are lost on him.
Wednesday, September 30 2009
When it comes to controlling the behavior of revelers at a wedding fest -- or rather, rolling with the behavior of revelers at a wedding fest -- a live band can adapt far better than the average DJ.
Wednesday, September 2 2009
I'll take the wasabi potato croquettes that came with the lamb racks in the "Sheep in Wolf's Clothing" dish (inspired by TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me") over Hard Rock's seasoned fries any day.
Tuesday, August 18 2009
Each time I sheepishly purchase another CD, I’m digging myself further into the technological hole, and falling farther behind the cool vinyl-playing crowd.
Monday, July 13 2009
Koko Taylor imitator Ladykat drives the city bus that I occasionally ride – at least that, I hope, gives her health insurance.
Tuesday, June 9 2009
Ben bursts open the bubble mailers and announces this round of … winners (honoring the best and brightest of the many unsolicited CDs sent to him).
Tuesday, April 28 2009
It began as a simple message board for bedroom DJs. Partnerships were formed, skills were developed, and in some cases, careers were launched.
Monday, April 6 2009
As any experienced concert-goer knows, a lively audience can mean the difference between a lackluster event and a memorable night. Sometimes, it’s more important than the band's actual performance.
Tuesday, March 10 2009
Like these kids, my enjoyment level has never been as high as it was for the crap I loved when I was 13.
Monday, February 2 2009
Free-for-all shows are like a "cool" parent trying to be your friend, instead of your authority figure. While it seems like a good situation at first -- no curfew, no rules -- you realize, eventually, that what it really needs is some structure.
Tuesday, December 16 2008
The guys selling their hip-hop CD-Rs on the street know exactly where to find their prey: outside the independent record store, in and around shows of like-minded artists. What makes them so hard to resist?
Monday, November 24 2008
I'm thankful for my wonderful girlfriend, the Boston Celtics taking home the NBA championship, and Wu-Tang, Nas, People Under the Stairs...
Monday, October 20 2008
For every tween who raids his parents' record collection, there are 30 more who can't get in the family car without headphones plugged in to their own tunes.
Monday, September 1 2008
Enthusiasm at sporting events and concerts is great. But when your spirited dancing turns into a one-man mosh pit, it's a damned annoying distraction.
Sunday, July 27 2008
Yes, communing with thousands of music fans at summer festivals is fun...for a while. But then it becomes a group of people whom you really didn't plan on spending your weekend with, unless you typically hang out with stoned 16-year olds.
Monday, June 30 2008
More than the usual ABCs, this school clearly believes in arts education, regularly spotlighting student performers at its assemblies -- and these kids are acquiring real musical skills.
Monday, May 26 2008
When I started writing about music, I didn't realize that it would mean I'd become "the enemy". So though writing brought me closer to music and the people who make it, it also took me further away.
Sunday, May 4 2008
What will some of today's most well-known hip-hop artists be doing in 2035? Maybe they won't be running the music world, but they'll probably be doing something beyond applying Fixodent to their grills.
Monday, March 24 2008
TV commercials have become a legitimate source for discovering new music -- from Wilco on the Volkswagen ads, to Cat Power hawking DeBeers diamonds, to any number of artists pimping Apple.
Monday, February 25 2008
Deep down, in spite of all the bad music I have to plow through, I'm still that 17-year-old kid that can't believe he's getting sent free CDs. I know, I know; it's a rough gig.
Sunday, January 27 2008
Rob Sheffield's Love is a Mix Tape interprets a recent decade in the ever-shifting sound of the universal language.
Monday, January 7 2008
What is the sound of flowers blooming? How does one match an oncoming storm with sonic accuracy?
Monday, December 3 2007
Karaoke: Those who can't, do anyway; those who wish they could, only watch in mute rapture.
Monday, November 5 2007
As Lupe Fiasco learned in a recent faux pas, what you don't know won't scare you – until somebody calls you out.
Tuesday, October 23 2007
The Second City has some first-rate music scenes. So listen up, New York.
Wednesday, August 29 2007
Eager to re-enter the 9-5 work world, before you could even say 401(k), I was halfway to J.Crew and Banana Republic to stock up on office-friendly wear. But adapting to my colleagues' taste in music? Ah, now that's much more difficult.
Monday, July 30 2007
HotHouse, a non-profit arts center in Chicago, embodied how beneficial a commitment to the arts could be, and surely this would override any business issues, I thought. I thought wrong.
Wednesday, July 11 2007
A well-rounded musical background is crucial -- otherwise, you could end up like a friend of mine, who had never heard Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life", and so felt lost during some hand-clapping good times at the bar last weekend.
Thursday, May 31 2007
I want the music I love to speak for me, but I can't control what it's going to say.
Tuesday, May 1 2007
Every decision already consists of two wrong choices -- it's only a matter of which is the path of least regret.
Monday, March 26 2007
It's impossible to listen to music in a vacuum, to take the sound of a band on its own merits. There are so many outside factors at play – reviews, friends opinions, larger cultural influences . . .
Monday, February 12 2007
Whether it comes through teenage rebellion, alienation, or heavy drug use, chronic music appreciation is not typically a choice made due to a desire for group participation; it's more often about wanting or needing to separate oneself.
Tuesday, January 16 2007
The Wire's season-ending musical montage was a culmination, in many ways, of a season filled with musical meaning.
Tuesday, November 28 2006
I'm getting giddy imagining Chuck Klosterman and Cam'ron having a two-minute bull session on the Who's return to relevance, or, better yet, figuring out a logical way to deal with Lil' Kim.
Wednesday, September 27 2006
Rubenstein looks back at the release of a number of highly anticipated albums to contrast his opinions then and now. How much does personal expectation factor into our ultimate enjoyment of music?