Columns > Music

Friday, October 9 2015

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

Guitarist Piotr GrudziƄski 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.

Tuesday, July 21 2015

When Do Misogynistic Lyrics Become Hate Speech?

Hip-hop, free speech and misogyny at North by Northeast.

Monday, July 20 2015

Why Country Music Really Needs Kacey Musgraves

At a time when mainstream country music is perceived as too pop, Musgraves has the potential to bring it back to the basics -- and in a progressive fashion, too.

Friday, July 17 2015

The Resurgent Power of Miles Davis’ Late Music

A new box set of Miles Davis' appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival remind us of his restless need to evolve -- and several new records remind us of how his later styles live on.

Wednesday, July 8 2015

Afropunk Is Officially a Brand and That’s a Good Thing

There is a large community of alt-black folks out there, and Afropunk has given them a big tent to party under.

Tuesday, June 23 2015

Meditations in Sound: The Jazz Africana of Pharoah Sanders

Exploring the realms of African mysticism, Pharoah Sanders walks an extraordinary path through the hinterland of jazz music's otherworld.

Thursday, June 18 2015

Steve Coleman’s Analogies in Various Places

The music constantly shifts and moves in Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance's Synovial Joints, flexing one set of instruments against another in a creative tension.

//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.

READ the article