Columns > Music

Tuesday, March 16 2010

The Nonchalant Brilliance of John Pizzarelli, Jr.

John Pizzarelli is cool enough to be modern but hot enough to be 'old' -- and he knows what he's doing with that voice, even if he's no Sinatra.


Sunday, March 14 2010

In a New York State of Mind

With a slight nod from the hung-over record store clerk, the girl stepped over to one of the racks and began carefully fingering through the records on display.


Thursday, March 11 2010

Tupac Shakur: An Icon in Context

How do you tell the story of Tupac Shakur? One book tries connecting his life, and sometimes his music, to the social and historical climate of the times.


Wednesday, March 10 2010

‘Girls’ Gone Wild

While following a storyline about the trials of a mother and daughter may not be demographically the most masculine thing in the world, neither is my unabashed enjoyment of ABC Family original movies.


Sunday, March 7 2010

Soundscape Mix #3: Benbecula Records 1999-2009

Despite featuring a roster of the UK's most exciting and dynamic glitch, ambient, avant-garde, and indie artists, Benbecula Records closed its doors precisely ten years after opening them. Download the MP3 mix.


Thursday, March 4 2010

Please Don’t Call ‘This’ Country

You can say that this is just mindless garbage, no different than a Black Eyed Peas hit, but I disagree.


Sunday, February 28 2010

The Arrogance of Toby Keith

Arrogance is central to Toby Keith's music. Yet it's an arrogance tied to the notion that human beings are essentially deluded. Everyone thinks they're absolutely right, and everyone is usually wrong.


Wednesday, February 17 2010

Celluloid Dreams: How to Film a Melody

How do you paint a picture of a melody? How do you tell a story about a D-major-7 chord or a C-minor-melodic scale? How do you make a film about harmonic innovation or the division of a measure into overlapping polyrhythms?


Pop Gluttony

I am choosy about what I eat, but continue to chow down on an unfettered pop culture diet as the last great excess that won’t kill me.


Tuesday, February 16 2010

There’s a Message in the Music

Hip-hop can, and should, promote the historical and cultural ideals that underscore the value of historical awareness.


Sunday, February 14 2010

Alice Cooper: Portrait of the Artist as a Burnt-Out Old Man

There was a time when Alice Cooper was critically savaged, virtually ignored by mainstream audiences, and declared passé by us kids. Fortunately, that time quickly passed.


Thursday, February 11 2010

Soundscape Mix #2: Valentine’s Day

Love is a dish best served in a buffet. Let everyone have some. Our latest free mixtape features tunes from Echaskech, Fol Chen, Magnetic Fields and many more.


The Velvet Underground’s Lost Chapter

Putting aside the music, the history of the Velvet Underground is marked not by innovation or inspiration, but by frustration and disappointment.


Monday, February 8 2010

Electronic Music: The Invader and Infiltrator

Electronic sounds have come to occupy and permeate spaces focused on alterity, from the fringes of academia to the disposal heap of exotica.


Sunday, February 7 2010

Willie Nelson in the Twilight Glow

At 77, Willie's hair is now down to his tailbone, and you can see his trademark red locks fade to gray about midway up his back -- it's like examining the rings of a tree.


Tuesday, February 2 2010

Plenty of Bang for the Buck

An economic survey of a decade of concert-going yields an average of positive returns for my dollar. Yeah, Bob Dylan was worth every penny and more.


Sunday, January 31 2010

Soundscape Mix #1: Vancouver

Welcome to the new Soundscape Mixtape Series where we step beyond criticism. In the great tradition of the mixtape, we are going to present these explorations with their actual sound.


Thursday, January 28 2010

Chameleon Comedian: David Bowie 1967-1970

As innovative and eclectic as his music has been, Bowie’s means and methods of articulation also reveal an artist finely attuned to the subversive potential of humor.


Indie Ambition: Hold Steady

Can Craig Finn pull his bandmates with him and lift them up to his arena tour in the sky? The Rockist ponders the future of the Hold Steady.


Sunday, January 24 2010

Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary

Without this guide "jack stropper" (someone who's trying to steal your woman), "dead cat on the line" (a problem from the past), or "my stomach thinks my throat's been cut" (powerful hunger) can leave you scratching your head.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article