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Friday, December 19 2014

‘American Interior’: A Multimedia Tale of a Welsh Vision Quest

Gruff Rhys' innovative, multi-platform narrative unfolds the beguiling and intriguing narrative of an enigmatic Welshman seeking out his kind... in America.


Wednesday, December 17 2014

When Kendrick Lamar Hits NPR, We All Win

When everyone feels they can be an expert, how do you reassert your ownership over a topic? By waiting for its crossover moment.


Tuesday, December 16 2014

A Healthy Dose of Darkness: The Best Film Scores of 2014

The year 2014 saw classic composer/director teams hit new highs, as well as a considerable dark streak take over the world of film scoring.


Wednesday, December 10 2014

Six Shots in Ferguson, One Night in New York

Trumpeter Igmar Thomas and his haunting tune, "The Hunted", sums up the most difficult lesson of 2014.


Wednesday, November 26 2014

The Noir Traveler Returns: The Evolving Sound of Alvarius B.

The Invisible Hands have given us a glimpse of Alvarius B.'s (Alan Bishop) view of the world from the center of Cairo. It's not a happy perspective, but there's a hint of hope.


Monday, November 24 2014

In Defense Of ... Not Wanting to Hear Your Band Perform a Favorite Album Live

When a band performs its best album at shows, over and over, it's like they're admitting that they'll never achieve that particular level of greatness again.


Friday, November 21 2014

The Moody Blues: Masters of the Mini Epic

While so many of their progressive rock contemporaries were writing novels in the form of side-long suites, the Moody Blues were masters of the short story.


Thursday, November 20 2014

New Riffs From Jazz Lips: From Eminem to Sun Ra

There's an unending flow of vocal jazz these days, which is a blessing and a curse. Beyond the glut of rehashed standards from 50 years ago, some original work shines.


Thursday, November 13 2014

What Does Heavy Metal Say About Canadian Identity?

This rollicking look at the intersection of heavy metal music and Canadian identity reveals some interesting connections, and raises some important questions, too.


Tuesday, November 4 2014

Sequels, Monsters, Robots, Heroes and Apes (Oh My!): Year Two of ‘The Next Reel’

What does Tom Petty think of Cylons? What does the Polar Bear from LOST know about CPR? Why does everyone think this author is a produce clerk?


Thursday, October 23 2014

Jazz May Be Reeling in Terms of Record Sales, But It’s Thriving As an Art Form

What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?


Tuesday, October 21 2014

What He Has Sown: A Conversation With Bruce Soord of the Pineapple Thief

The Pineapple Thief mastermind delves into the making of Magnolia, the [un]fair criticisms of fans, and the joys of modern Opeth, among many other topics.


Thursday, October 16 2014

A Dark Rapture: The Rise of Punk in Spain

Spanish punkers came swinging harder than ever, screaming not for the sake of inducing change, but screaming for the sake of screaming – because now they could.


Tuesday, October 7 2014

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.


Monday, October 6 2014

‘Longing for the Past’: When the Voices of the Dead Finally Reach Us

While listening to "The Dance and Song of Laos" (1906) a haunting voice, both enticing and archaic, mingles with the crepitating noise of the antique shellac.


Friday, September 26 2014

Singing Across Continents: An Interview with Somi

Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.


Monday, September 22 2014

The Rainmakers Find Heaven and Hell in the Heartland

Since the early '80s, The Rainmakers have been among the best bands to emerge from the Heartland Rock boom of that decade. They may be the best that's still at it.


Friday, September 19 2014

How About Some Unironic Love for Emerson, Lake & Palmer?

Love them or loathe them, Emerson, Lake & Palmer wore immoderation like a badge of courage.


Wednesday, September 17 2014

Possessed by ‘Wild Palms’: How Far Will You Go to Feel Connected?

Have listeners of the Danish ambient electronic outfit, Croatian Amor, given more of themselves than the musician ever would?


Monday, September 15 2014

Stream of (Music) Consciousness

The 'Marshall McLuhan' message borne by the MP3 revolution is clear: music is endlessly plentiful and entirely disposable. So what's the message of streaming?


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