Columns > Music

Tuesday, November 17 2015

The 25 Best Classic Progressive Rock Albums

The purpose of this column has been to revisit, reassess and, above all, celebrate classic prog rock, so it’s inevitable we name names and select the best of the best.

Tuesday, November 10 2015

‘A Town Called Malice’: What’s Happened to Working-Class Music?

Is it possible that the very idea of the working class doesn't exist in popular music today -- as if it's been erased?

Friday, October 30 2015

Black Mass Murder: Extreme Metal and the PMRC

A mainstream metal band like The Black Dahlia Murder is more explicit than anything the Parents Music Resource Center sought to regulate in 1985.

Wednesday, October 21 2015

Darius Jones, Jazz Bohemian

With his new collaboration with French singer Emilie Lesbros, Darius Jones cements his position as a brilliant, model jazz musician in the new century.

Friday, October 16 2015

The Young Turk: Kamufle’s Basement-Deep Hip-Hop

In his full proper debut album, Turkish rapper Kamufle creates brilliant soundscapes that evoke the vibrant and animated colours of graffiti art, where daisy-age hip-hop meets an Eastern sensibility.

Tuesday, October 13 2015

Ryan Adams by Taylor Swift: Authoring ‘1989’

Even if you've never heard Swift's original performances, you're hearing them when you listen to Ryan Adams perform 1989.

Friday, October 9 2015

Turning Dreams Into Reality: A Conversation with Piotr Grudziński of Riverside

Guitarist Piotr Grudziński reflects on the inspirations, processes, and intentions that make Riverside's latest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine, another fearless trip into its distinctive and beloved style.

Thursday, October 8 2015

The Los Lonely Wolves, Los Lobos, Is Still Brilliantly Defying Classification

It's hard to imagine an American band that's more inventive, death-defying and affable as Los Lobos. A new book and record reveal why.

Monday, October 5 2015

The Day Sarah Records Died

I first loved and admired Sarah Records not because it had begun, but because it had ended. It seemed to me ending things took much more courage, strength and self-discipline than beginning them.

Wednesday, September 30 2015

Music Fest Feminists Strike Back

This may be the year that sexist music festival organizers have finally met their match.

Monday, September 14 2015

“Sound Is Our Weapon”: Protest Music and Black Lives Matter

"Hell You Talmbout" and "Cry No More" are a new kind of protest song that reintroduces traditional minimalism and congregational singing into this contemporary moment.

Thursday, September 3 2015

Cacophonies and Heavenly Choruses: A Cure for the Classical Blues

Is there any term in any field that is more slippery or meaningless or that carries such impossible, historically artificial burdens of meaning as "Classical Music"?

Monday, August 31 2015

For Jazz and Gospel Artists and Audiences, Music Is Their Faith, and Faith Is Their Rock

Black music's spiritual aspect may be a given, but two new books, A City Called Heaven and Spirits Rejoice! go deep into explaining how that actually happens.

Friday, August 28 2015

Shrines of Supremacy: The Five Best Riverside Songs (So Far)

With Love, Fear and the Time Machine, arriving next month, it's worth discussing why these five tracks make Polish quartet Riverside one of the best modern prog rock bands.

Wednesday, August 26 2015

John Moreland Restores Hope in a Hopeless World

John Moreland sings tales that crawl through the soil, hiss in the night, and burrow themselves into the heartpocket of listeners.

Thursday, August 13 2015

What’s So Smooth About the New Smooth Jazz?

Recent work from a group of young musicians, beautifully represented by the new Supreme Sonacy from Revive Music, makes it cool again to put out jazz that wants to be popular.

Monday, August 10 2015

No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.

Friday, August 7 2015

Lush Life: The Music of Brazil’s Doris Monteiro

Doris Monteiro, Brazil's "Queen of Radio", offered in 1976 what was perhaps her finest musical declaration with Agora, a now obscure and luxurious treasure of Brazilian pop-delights.

Wednesday, August 5 2015

Reappraising Ian Anderson’s ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’

Minstrel in the Gallery seems as autobiographical as any Jethro Tull album, before or after, and there is a vulnerability and sensitivity that the songwriter was simply growing into.

Tuesday, August 4 2015

Let Us Now Praise Dale Watson, American Treasure

Dale Watson wants to secede from country music and all we can do is hope that this is one rebellion that comes to a happy end.

//Mixed media

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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