Thursday, July 15 2010
Langston Hughes’ proverbial California raisin in the sun exploded to a funky beat. I stared blankly past the familiar storefronts, into a world I could barely grasp. How civil a society was it that my daughter was about to join?
Monday, July 12 2010
Classic hits radio is a manifestation of the ancient oral cultural practices which never go away but rather interpenetrate modern literate culture in all kinds of ways: children's superstitions and playground rhymes; urban legends; chain letters and emails.
Sunday, July 11 2010
To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?
Tuesday, June 29 2010
Tobin's goal as a composer was to create music that truly reflected the time in which it was made, and to see how far he could remove his samples from their sources before arranging them in new contexts. He achieved such an artifact with each album.
Monday, June 28 2010
If Charlie Parker rose from the dead I have no doubt that he'd cheer on the hip hop orchestras and Bugge Wesseltoft's piano thumping electronica. He would definitely be a fan of Esperanza Spalding.
Tuesday, June 15 2010
Take Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You", a steamy tale of a mistress longing for romantic bliss with a married man, and imagine how it might play out with a multi-perspective delivery.
Sunday, June 13 2010
Easton Corbin's debut reads like a 'Farewell to Arms' for the truck-pull set and lays out a hero's code for existentialist country boys everywhere; that is, the practical application of action over thought.
Thursday, June 3 2010
Amon Tobin has sought -- and succeeded -- to unite the two dichotomous sides of electronic music: to satisfy both the dancing feet and the theoretical minds of audiences worldwide.
Tuesday, June 1 2010
The 16-year-old Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky is taking the jazz world by storm. She wants to be more than just a phenom or a jazz singer. Has she got what it takes?
Thursday, May 27 2010
It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.
Tuesday, May 25 2010
Somewhat awkward, clunky and charming on his TV show, Pete Seeger seemed to trust the viewers in the same way he recognised that TV's priorities don't represent the priorities of the people he meets in his travels.
Monday, May 24 2010
The leader of Nachtmystium and Twilight finds himself at a creative peak with the release of two major new albums that give the finger to genre purists.
Sunday, May 23 2010
The time feels right for not just another live album, but for a long overdue John Prine tribute record. This summer, we get both.
Monday, May 17 2010
Underrated in the annals of hip-hop cinema, Rusty Cundieff's Fear of a Black Hat is biting and unflinching, and forces hip-hop fans to stare soberly at the culture's flaws and to revisit their own reasons for loving the music.
Friday, May 14 2010
The Happy Mondays were the court jesters of Madchester, infusing the unfettered carnival spirit of rave culture into their own craftily disheveled music, lyrics, and sleeve designs, while simultaneously leading the sweating masses into a new and vibrant artistic renaissance.
Wednesday, May 12 2010
Wherein our curmudgeonly record shop owner realizes that his store with its bins full of vinyl was his own personal iPod long before the iPod was ever invented.
Monday, May 10 2010
One could almost make the case that the four Faith No More albums produced during the Mike Patton era were written for the Joker.
Sunday, May 9 2010
Taylor Swift’s Fearless tour in Kansas City saw her go so far as to perform a mid-song hug-a-thon with her audience -- rather like a presidential candidate working the crowd -- except, as my brother said, “I went to a John Kerry rally, and he didn’t hug anybody.”
Friday, April 30 2010
When a music such as minimal wave “comes back”, it forces us to think about its lifeline, particularly its death. Yet what does it mean to relive a memory that we never even had?
Sunday, April 25 2010
The music and spoken word of Alternative Tentacles proved that revolutionary activity could be more than another of life's grinds. You can change the world, and have a fun time doing it. Download our latest free mixtape.