Monday, January 7 2013
The end of the year is a time for festivities, joy... and naysayers to lament the end of cultural artifacts. The naysayers needn't fear. The world hasn't ended, again. It's just different, now.
Thursday, January 3 2013
Back when Martha (Reeves) and the Vandellas and the Marvelettes would have one big hit and then nothing much for months, and the Supremes didn’t have a hit among their first nine releases, Mary Wells was Motown’s reigning pop star, queen and cash cow.
Tuesday, December 18 2012
Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed off end of year lists. Ragnarök's inaugural Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.
Sunday, December 16 2012
Not everyone can be Al Walser. Despite their abilities and efforts, some producers didn't click with their audiences, ending up in some kind of digital purgatory. Alan Ranta looks at a few artists that, for various reasons, slipped through the cracks.
Wednesday, December 12 2012
This year saw a number of interesting developments in the indie rock world, all reflective of the genre's ever-expanding palate.
Tuesday, December 11 2012
John Pizzarelli is a blazing swing guitarist whose music is among the most consistent pleasures and most reliably smart expressions of the “The Great American Songbook” of the last 25 years.
Monday, December 10 2012
With 2012 all but over, the usual treasure trove of year-end countdowns have begun. Oh, happy day!
Tuesday, December 4 2012
The recent news of the reconciliation between pop stars Chris Brown and Rihanna highlights how upsetting it is that no lessons were learned from that fateful night in 2009.
Monday, December 3 2012
When laptops are used as instruments on the stage, questions of performance authenticity are raised, and for good reason.
Sunday, December 2 2012
If Rap Genius is really going to take on the world, it's worth seeing how successfully the community of annotators has handled its first topic: rap lyrics.
Thursday, November 29 2012
On negotiations between the pop/rock singer, a media-savvy audience, corporations, and meaning itself. Entranced by media, we turn everything into media; beholden to commerce, we turn life into a commodity.
Monday, November 26 2012
Since it launched in 2007, Bazillion Points has released seven of the best books about metal and punk, including the very best book about metal, yet.
Monday, November 19 2012
Dave Douglas is a big tent figure: someone with room on his label and in his bands for all kinds of players and all kinds of sounds; his many bands, his side players, his record label -- each blossoms with beautiful strength and diversity.
Monday, November 12 2012
The vibrant subcultures of deaf and punk communities have a long, storied, and interwoven under-the-radar past that sheds light on both allies.
Tuesday, November 6 2012
Figures may be slightly up for the concert business, but how long does it have until the Brave New World of YouTube clips and streaming festivals overtake the incredible experience of a live concert?
Monday, November 5 2012
If your band already has the most ridiculous name in rock, you might as well have an absurdly oversized sense of ambition to go along with it, and Bobby Joe Ebola definitely has ambition.
Wednesday, October 31 2012
One of today’s biggest musical trends owes a debt to one of music’s oldest traditions – buddies gathered on a front porch jamming with guitars, banjos, and mandolins. Some of today’s most popular groups sound like they belong in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1920s, not on alternative radio of the 2010s.
Tuesday, October 30 2012
One wonders if Elvis, the Beatles, the Who, et. al. would have gained such importance had TV not been available. Those hips wouldn't have been so polarizing, those haircuts wouldn't have been so cutting edge...
Wednesday, October 24 2012
Is black minstrelsy a celebration of noxious stereotypes or an important part of American culture? Or both?
Tuesday, October 23 2012
With the recent DVD collection Live at Montreux, we are reminded of how mesmerizing the "At Last" singer could be when taking to the stage, and how clear it should be that she was truly one of a kind.