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Thursday, May 30 2013

The Groove Is Everything

Digital music makes sense to me. But dragging a needle through the grooves of a slab of vinyl and Led Zeppelin IV coming out? Now that's witchcraft befitting the Devil's music.


Wednesday, May 29 2013

In Defense Of… Kanye West

On the heels of his sixth solo studio album, it's time to take a look at why Yeezy remains relevant, and why his antics, obnoxious as they can be, never grow old.


Wednesday, May 22 2013

In Defense Of ... New Orleans Gospel Music

Despite its rich tradition, the future of gospel music in various parts of the world has been an issue of contention and heartbreak in recent years, but the Electrifying Crown Seekers make a case that the genre is still going strong.


Sunday, May 19 2013

Got a Song Request? There’s an App for That

In a Kickstarter world where consumers can basically will anything they want into existence, and everything is interactive, it makes sense that we should want to control our concerts, too


Thursday, May 16 2013

Latitudes and Longitudes of Darkness: Four Remarkable 2013 Black Metal Albums

Black metal's compass may be spinning in many different directions in 2013, but at its best, the genre remains neither safe nor accommodating.


Tuesday, May 14 2013

David Sanborn May Not Be Cool—But He’s Sure Copied a Lot

David Sanborn may be the most imitated man in instrumental music. His ripe rasp on alto saxophone has been aped a thousand times over. Yet he's gotten little respect in true jazz circles.


Tuesday, May 7 2013

Pink Floyd: The Prog Rock Archetype

Although they became hugely successful, Pink Floyd championed a type of integrity that seems uniquely associated with progressive rock: they never imitated anyone else or copied their own previous efforts.


Sunday, May 5 2013

Same Old Song: Tributes to Kris Kristofferson

There are at least four various artists tribute albums to Kris Kristofferson, all released in the last 11 years. Why him? Is it about the songwriter or the songs? The musicians or the listeners? The present or the past? The albums themselves might provide the answers.


Tuesday, April 30 2013

In Defense Of ... The Music Collector

With the rise of streaming services and viral videos, many argue that the art of collecting may be facing its imminent demise sooner than later. For true believers, however, the digital age may be the single most convenient time in the history of music consumerism.


Wednesday, April 24 2013

The Death Knell Sounds Again: The History of Music Industry Whining

A business which makes billions a year can’t stop whining about how illegal downloading, streaming, and Internet radio is sending it to the poor house.


Monday, April 22 2013

In Defense Of ... The Rock Drummer

Bobby Gillespie once said it best: You can't have a good band if you don't have a good drummer. As rock music has proved over the years, that adage is far more true than one might think.


Thursday, April 18 2013

How to (Be a French Pop Band and) Make It in America

Through an analysis of Daft Punk and Phoenix’s recent careers, a recipe for success may be unearthed for those French bands aspiring to win a Grammy or two.


Wednesday, April 17 2013

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning: Gospel Music in a Secular World

Critically, commercially and historically, gospel is the great overlooked American music, maybe because few genres of music force you to confront your beliefs so immediately.


Tuesday, April 16 2013

Ode to the Return of the Clarinet

Why did you leave jazz, O Clarinet? Did you ask too much of us, or did we ask to much of you? Either way, you've returned with a sleek, expressive vengeance!


Tuesday, April 9 2013

What Comes After the Jason Molina Is Gone Blues?

The late Jason Molina was never anything but honest about his trials and errors, his long dark blues, and his farewell transmissions.


Monday, April 8 2013

Time Stand Still: Why Rush Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rush, as much as any rock band, represents the eternal present tense: they adapted and evolved in real time, reflecting the issues, sounds and styles of their day.


Thursday, April 4 2013

In Defense Of ... Hip-Hop Receiving the Respect It Deserves

In Ice-T's 2012 documentary, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, he asks why rap music doesn't garner the same amount of respect afforded to jazz and blues music.


Tuesday, April 2 2013

Always It’s You: Why the Everly Brothers Still Matter

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy pay tribute to the Everlys with What the Brothers Sang, and the Chapin Sisters with A Date With the Everly Brothers, in their new tribute albums.


Sunday, March 31 2013

Kafka on Kickstarter: Crowdsourcing, Capitalism and Art

From the Kickstarter-fuelled resurrection of Veronica Mars to Amanda Palmer's 'art of asking', the influence of crowdsourcing is impossible to ignore. Can it provide a new perspective on the relationship between art and money?


Wednesday, March 27 2013

Wynton Marsalis’ ‘Blood on the Fields’, Still Genius

Is anything ever as wonderful as it seemed when you first fell in love with it? Some things are. Some things become even sweeter over time.


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