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Thursday, May 14 2009

Some Sing with Swing

With spring comes a rush of jazz vocalists and some of them can actually sing. Others ... not so much.


Sunday, May 10 2009

Janet Jackson: Regain Control

With the musical world filled with young "divas", there's little room for Miss Janet, an innovator who popularized the Sexy Diva With Choreography paradigm in the first place.


Wednesday, May 6 2009

A Lament on the Deafening Silence of iPods

I miss your impulse to play your music LOUD, to draw me in, to irritate and offend me – and I miss my impulse to do the same to you.


Tuesday, May 5 2009

Metal Up Yours, Mine & Metallica’s

Metallica’s got identity and projection issues -- James Hetfield repeatedly directs a string of insights or even accusations at some mysterious "you", only to concede by song's end that he is talking to himself.


Tuesday, April 28 2009

Get Your Bootleg On: A Mashup Mystery Solved

It began as a simple message board for bedroom DJs. Partnerships were formed, skills were developed, and in some cases, careers were launched.


Sunday, April 26 2009

Killing Him Didn’t Make Her Love Go Away

Violence in music begets violence in music: female artists reclaim the murder ballad.


Tuesday, April 14 2009

Brick Anchors in Wet Sand: Redefining Sludge with Kylesa

There’ve been heady times for this band that’s accustomed to scraping by as an underground fave, but Kylesa remain well-grounded and looking ahead to what’s next.


Monday, April 13 2009

Novalima: Peru’s Hidden Treasure

Friends and band mates since high school, these Peruvian electronistas all moved to different countries; Novalima was made via emails and zip files.


Sunday, April 12 2009

T.I.‘s Winding Road to Redemption

The road to Grammy-winning rap star Clifford "T.I." Harris, Jr.'s positive outcome may be paved with good intentions, but self-interest fuels the journey.


Thursday, April 9 2009

Long Live Blossom Dearie

Blossom's music exuded a sparkling kind of elegance and quick wit. Hers was the kind of jazz you could imagine in the really good Woody Allen movies. She was the Dorothy Parker of jazz.


Monday, April 6 2009

Waltzing with Wilco

As any experienced concert-goer knows, a lively audience can mean the difference between a lackluster event and a memorable night. Sometimes, it’s more important than the band's actual performance.


Sunday, April 5 2009

Willie Sounds Better Naked

Editing the original RCA tapes makes the songs on Naked Willie so much better that I’m remembering the reasons why I fell in love with Willie Nelson so many years ago.


Thursday, April 2 2009

Art Brut(ally) Funny

Holden Caulfield -- with his sexual insecurities and confused immaturity -- provides the raw meat that Art Brut’s Eddie Argos cooks with.


Sunday, March 29 2009

Time for a Repress: ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’

For people lucky enough to stumble upon the Flying Burrito Brothers, they made country cool. The music's simplicity and emotive directness, often derided and mocked by hipsters, could now be valid, vital and mean something to a modern audience.


Tuesday, March 24 2009

Heaven Can Wait ‘Til I Finish This Remix

Should I die before I wake, I’d better make sure I’ve already got my iPod / mix-tapes / CDs/ vinyl in order.


Monday, March 23 2009

A Transcendental Evening at Alice Tully Hall

After the first piece, my friend leaned over and whispered that if you close your eyes, you are easily taken away.


Wednesday, March 18 2009

Songlines: Small Is Beautiful

Songlines has its finger on the pulse of the most important improvised music being made in North America these days.


Tuesday, March 17 2009

Rise of the Jötunn: In Flames in the 1990s

Four early and crucial albums by Swedish metal greats In Flames get reissued as part of Nuclear Blast's "Reloaded" series. There's no better time than the present to see what all the fuss is about.


Sunday, March 15 2009

America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band

The Maddox Brothers and Rose recorded songs that would be considered controversial even today. But 60 years ago, they were incredibly groundbreaking, and paved the way for outspoken female singers like Loretta Lynn.


Thursday, March 12 2009

Hip-Hop Hooray: Tributes in Rhyme

Forget the beef, let's talk about honoring our hip-hop icons. Perhaps the best way to pay homage to hip-hoppers is to let them speak in their own words.


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