Columns > Music

Wednesday, May 17 2017

Adolescent Awakening: KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight”

In 1975, an aimless teenager goes to an obscure discothèque in Boston and discovers “Get Down Tonight” -- just the kind of funk he's looking for.


Tuesday, May 16 2017

Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi Delta

Historians Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff debunk myths about the origins of blues music, locating them not in the Mississippi Delta but in southern black vaudeville.


Monday, May 15 2017

Power Play: Brian Williams, Leonard Cohen, and “First We Take Manhattan”

In "First We Take Manhattan", Leonard Cohen recognized the shared appeal of extremism in politics and art as the allure of power.


Friday, May 12 2017

Passing Masters of Jazz: Arthur Blythe and Larry Coryell

Jazz long ago lost its early geniuses of swing and bebop. Now masters from the '70s and onward are starting to pass, too. Remembering Arthur Blythe and Larry Coryell.


Wednesday, May 3 2017

On Wanting Sly Stone to Take Us Higher Yet Again

Sly Stone was one of the first audacious badasses of modern black pop music, a hero and then an anti-hero to millions.


Wednesday, April 26 2017

Massive Illusions: A Look Back at Gazpacho’s ‘Night’ With Keyboardist Thomas Andersen

Ten years later, Gazpacho's fourth LP, Night, remains the group's best representation of isolation, reflection, and yearning.


Wednesday, April 5 2017

The Personal Find: Bill Doggett’s “Honky Tonk Parts 1 & 2”

A jump blues song that sold over a million copies was nowhere on my sonic horizon until I discovered it in a dusty box at the back of a thrift store.


Monday, April 3 2017

Lana Del Rey’s “Love” in the Era of Trump

"Love" makes me wonder if we've misheard Del Rey's use of nostalgia, mistaking it for the rose-colored (and heart-shaped) variety when instead it produces a fog.


Friday, March 24 2017

The Microscopic Septet: Pioneers Across Jazz Boundaries

In the '80s, "The Micros" mixed tradition and avant-garde jazz with impunity and almost got famous doing it. Today they're just playing the blues.


Friday, March 10 2017

These ‘70s Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians Blew Freely, Fiercely, and Reverently

These cats blew all night and day a new, astonishing page into the jazz lexicon. What they couldn't do was get gigs in jazz clubs.


Thursday, March 2 2017

Slice of Life: Sinkane Lives it Up With His Latest Work, ‘Life & Livin It’

Sinkane’s counterintuitive approach to making (and performing) his music forces his roots to show unabashedly in ways that are almost punkishly defiant.


Tuesday, January 31 2017

Overlooked Jazz Gems of 2016

No matter how much music I listen to every year, I miss some great records, somehow. Here are a half-dozen albums from 2016 that deserve our attention.


Monday, January 16 2017

The Similitude of Dreams: A Conversation With Neal Morse

American prog rock icon Neal Morse delves into the creation of his newest opus, The Similitude of a Dream.


Friday, January 6 2017

Culture and History for the Age of Trump

History doesn’t always tell us how to get it right. It sometimes warns us of the cost of getting it wrong. Art steeped in that history can remind us, if we’re paying attention.


Monday, December 5 2016

George Harrison’s “Savoy Truffle”: Holiday Reflections on Sweets and the Beatles

George Harrison knew that in the time and space that get between us and our food, there's a sense of longing.


Thursday, December 1 2016

An Italian in New York: Mondo Marcio Gets Fresh

Italy's favourite rapper mines the crates of American '90s hip-hop on his latest work.


Tuesday, November 22 2016

Finding the Sublime in Jazz, an Argument for Abstraction

Jazz columnist Will Layman presents seven pieces of music as evidence of the beauty and urgency of pure sound in instrumental jazz.


Thursday, November 10 2016

Old Ideas and New Generations: What Leonard Cohen Means to Us

Leonard Cohen endures and conquers. But does he mean something different to Millenial audiences than he did to their parents? Can the legend of Cohen escape its own clichés?


Wednesday, October 19 2016

No Piano, Please!

Four recent releases demonstrate the stylistic range and power of jazz that isn't hemmed in by chords.


Tuesday, October 11 2016

Hymns and Confessions: A Conversation With Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter

Crescenzo is proud yet humble, blunt, and occasionally enigmatic in discussing Act V, as well as the past and future of The Dear Hunter in general.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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