Columns > Music

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.


Friday, September 30 2016

A Melancholic Way of Knowing

Melancholy, in its deepest truth, is not bereft of hope but rather relies upon it.


Thursday, September 8 2016

Taking the Bitter With the Swede: Adam Tensta’s Moody Hip-Hop Soul

One of Sweden's most outspoken and celebrated rappers returns with an album of eerie hip-hop noir, where the heavy grooves luxuriate in the nebulous fog of despair.


Monday, August 29 2016

Entering the Void: A Reflection on Beardfish

Beardfish may've broken up, but they left us with one of the most humorous, colorful, intricate, and distinctive discographies in all of progressive rock.


Thursday, August 25 2016

The New Oral History: Chris Shiflett and Steve Dawson’s Smart, Listenable Podcasts

There are more podcasts than you can shake a flash drive at these days. Though the number of 'casts that embrace Americana music is growing, these two stand out.


Wednesday, August 10 2016

Becca Stevens on Popping Jazz Boundaries

Becca Stevens, a perfect exemplar musician of boundary-less "jazz" in 2016, makes the case for the power and difficulty of art-pop in our age.


Monday, August 8 2016

Privilege Corrupts: Donald Trump and “The Devil in His Youth”

How a song by Protomartyr keeps taking on new meaning in the age of Donald Trump.


Tuesday, July 19 2016

Delving Into the Marrow of a Song With Singular Jazz Singer and Songwriter René Marie

René Marie, like Gregory Porter, writes songs and creates records that have the soul and story-telling impulse to reach beyond jazz audiences.


Wednesday, July 13 2016

Fantastic Negrito’s “Working Poor” Is the Soundtrack to the Summer of ‘16

America's working poor exist in a shadow cast by the harsh light of prosperity. "Working Poor" speaks from those shadows, creates light within that space, and insists on being heard.


//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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