Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

George de Stefano

George de Stefano is a New York-based writer specializing in culture, politics and sexuality. He is the author of “An Offer We Can’t Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America” (Farrar, Straus, Giroux) and a contributor to many other books, websites and print publications.


Features

Tuesday, April 8 2014

Bagels and Bongos: The Klezmatics Present Havana Nagila

With their new project, the boundary-breaching klezmer band revives and extends the Jewish-Latin musical connection.


Wednesday, August 31 2011

Dances with Spiders: Italian Roots Music, With Bite, Comes to North America

The story of the pizzica revival is one of how a music associated with a healing ritual of poor, oppressed peasants was transformed into a proud assertion of cultural heritage and identity.


Tuesday, October 12 2010

Mambo Siciliano: 'Latinista' Roy Paci and His Band Bring Their Global Sound to America

If your idea of Italian music is “O Sole Mio”, opera, and the operatic pop schlock of Andrea Bocelli, you’ve never heard Roy Paci and Aretuska.You're in for a treat.


Reviews

Monday, September 15 2014

Dr. John: Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch

Not all the guest artists fit, and sometimes the connection to Satchmo seems tenuous indeed. But when it works, as it mostly does, the album delivers much pleasure and pleasant surprises.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Bob Marley and the Wailers: Legend (30th Anniversary Edition)

Legend presents Bob Marley at his most unthreatening, and most anodyne. And that was intentional.


Sunday, March 16 2014

David Krakauer: The Big Picture

With his new release, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer has crafted his most successful and boundary-smashing work to date.


Tuesday, January 21 2014

James Booker: Classified: Remixed and Expanded

James Booker's stature in New Orleans musical history can be gauged by the nicknames bestowed on the gifted, troubled, openly gay musician: the Bayou Maharajah, the Piano Pope, the Ivory Emperor, and the Piano Prince of New Orleans.


Tuesday, November 12 2013

Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos: Live

Ry Cooder rarely plays in public these days, so this live set of 11 songs he’s recorded over his multi-decade career, plus one wild card, is a rare treat.


Blogs

Thursday, June 5 2014

12 Essential Performances from the Piano "Professors" of New Orleans

A dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and something extra.


Tuesday, February 25 2014

John Grant's "Glacier": Moving Past the Pain (video)

The video for “Glacier” telescopes nearly a century of gay history into its 7:57 running time.


Wednesday, January 29 2014

Ipercussonici - "Quannu Moru (When I Die)" (video)

Ipercussonici, a band from Sicily, takes to the streets to honor anti-Mafia heroes


Monday, May 23 2011

Rocking Chair Blues: Howlin’ Wolf - “Tell Me”

In this final installment of the Between the Grooves series dedicated to Howlin’ Wolf’s Rocking Chair album, George de Stefano states that Wolf's music is so compelling because it seems such a direct, unmediated expression of his singular personality.


Monday, May 16 2011

Rocking Chair Blues: Howlin' Wolf - “Howlin’ for My Baby"

“Howlin’ for My Baby” is the most joyful number on Rocking Chair: Its exuberance and humor are irresistible.


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