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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?


Monday, August 25 2014

Is the Sadness Gone from Country Music?

Has country music lost its capacity for brutal, unshakeable loneliness? Or are we just experiencing some calm before the next, inevitable heartache?


Thursday, August 21 2014

From the Soul to the Hills: The Music of the Caucasus

The music of the Caucasus is powered by national ardour and ritual. All that's needed is an open and willing audience to accept the undisclosed gifts it brings.


Monday, August 18 2014

The Sonny Rollins / ‘New Yorker’ Controversy and Jazz’s Image Problem

Why do jazz folks always sound so defensive about the music they love? Why can’t they take a pie in the face from Django Gold?


Friday, August 8 2014

Wond’ring Aloud: A Conversation with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson

As the creative mastermind behind Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson is often considered one of the most distinct musicians of the past 50 years.


Thursday, July 31 2014

When the Man in Black Went to Bat for Native America

A recasting of Johnny Cash's most controversial album, Bitter Tears, raises questions about the inclusiveness of American music.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Ripe with Rich Attainments: Jethro Tull’s ‘A Passion Play’, Reassessed

A Passion Play tends to draw the most resistance from even prog-rock aficionados; it obliges time and attention to let it work its charms.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

The Music That Sprouts Between Empires: Ukrainian Culture Amidst Conflict

Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

Smokin’ Modernism Is Alive and Well in the Upper West Side

Smoke Sessions Records is doing it old-school: recording the best musicians in New York playing mainstream jazz that cooks.


Friday, July 11 2014

Singing the Low-Down, Down-Low Blues

Women in jazz can sing about their same-sex experiences, while men tend to stay deeply in the closet. Odd, considering the genre once embraced such dalliances.


Thursday, July 10 2014

Should Film Music Stand Alone?

In evaluating what makes a great film score, writers, composers, and listeners must ask themselves if the function of cinematic music limits the form it has to take.


Wednesday, July 9 2014

Dirty Diapers Don’t Scare Me Nearly as Much as the Wiggles Do

Parenthood comes with a lot of change, and a lot of decisions to be made, including this one: What’s your musical strategy?


Wednesday, July 2 2014

Shocking the Casbah: The Maghrebi-Noir of Rachid Taha

A furious mix of hip-hop beats, Arabic primal screams and punk-rock guitars, Taha brilliantly battles against the ideologies of both Western and Arab traditions.


Tuesday, June 24 2014

(The Limits of) Football, Samba, and Commonality

The 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song highlights one of the worst trends in a global society: culture boiled down to a sort of triumphant universal human-ness.


Monday, June 23 2014

Bring Back the Beat! What’s Up with Hip-Hop Reissues?

The record industry makes huge efforts to reissue rock CDs, but nowhere near as much effort for hip-hop CDs.


Friday, June 20 2014

The Fascination with Fundamentalism in Hardcore Punk

Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.


Thursday, June 19 2014

A Wheel Inside a Wheel: Gillian Welch’s ‘Time (The Revelator)’

Time (The Revelator) conjures a hazy post-millennial American dream of disappointment and ambition that's disturbed by what it sees and hears.


Wednesday, June 18 2014

Talent Will Out: Singer-Songwriter Nicky Schrire on Making It in New York

South African jazz singer Nicky Schrire has made three tremendous records, but she isn't well known. That ought to change.


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