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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.


Tuesday, March 10 2009

Kids Listen to the Darndest Things

Like these kids, my enjoyment level has never been as high as it was for the crap I loved when I was 13.


Sunday, March 1 2009

“Gone Country” and Hoping to Make It Back Alive

Going to Nashville to become country at this point is a little like going to New York City to become the Velvet Underground.


Monday, February 23 2009

I’ve Got the Music in Me

Today, LGBT musicians can flourish as themselves, not hiding behind euphemisms and fictional record label biographies.


Sunday, February 22 2009

Les Claypool: Where Fish Congregate

Quite simply, like the sturgeon itself, Claypool is the Maestro of the Bottom.


Wednesday, February 18 2009

Ravi Coltrane: The Son Also Rises

Tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane manages to look backward without seeming stale, and manages to deflect his sound off of his father's without either outright rejection or pale imitation.


Monday, February 16 2009

Jero: Oh Yes, He Can

How a young 'half-breed' is reviving a very old, traditional, insular, often ridiculed form of Japanese music.


Sunday, February 15 2009

Biggie Gives Us One More Chance

Biggie Smalls' mythology hasn't afforded him a dreamy endgame à la Tupac or Elvis. Nobody imagines Biggie pulling the ultimate Machiavellian coup by making the world believe he's dead while he's secretly chillin' in Jamaica.


Wednesday, February 11 2009

Laughing Through the Tears: The Enduring Journey of Etta James

As much as Etta James used her songwriting and vocal skills as primary sources for empowerment and critique, her performances and image were equally significant in reflecting a public persona bursting with wit, wildness, and sassy radicalism.


Beyond the Bubble of the Grammys

The Grammys suffer from the same problem as the rest of the recording industry: thinking America defines culture.


Tuesday, February 10 2009

Compelled to Slay

"It's definitely going to get a lot weirder." Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz talks about playing to a click track, the changing tastes of musicians, and staying relevant after 20 years.


Sunday, February 8 2009

Working in the Coal Mine and Singing About It, Too

The majority of us aren't coal miners, we don't know coal miners, and we wouldn't last a week in a coal mine. Are coal mining songs, then, still relevant?


Tuesday, February 3 2009

Across the Universe, for the Sixth Time

This year's globalFEST was punctuated by performances from Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, La Troba Kung-Fu, Kailash Kher, Watcha Clan, and others -- a brave journey through the world of sounds, guided by open minds and big hearts.


Monday, February 2 2009

Concert Overload

Free-for-all shows are like a "cool" parent trying to be your friend, instead of your authority figure. While it seems like a good situation at first -- no curfew, no rules -- you realize, eventually, that what it really needs is some structure.


Sunday, February 1 2009

Hank’s Other Side: Religion, Radio, and the Roots of Country Music

Hank Williams' recordings for WSM's Mother's Best Flour radio show challenge the modern listener's idea that country music reserves Jesus for Sunday morning.


Thursday, January 29 2009

Art Imitates Death

One of the misconceptions that Graeme Thomson deals with in his book I Shot a Man in Reno is that music about death is somehow out of the norm. In fact, death finds its way into pretty much every type of music.


Thursday, January 22 2009

Middleman: Joshua Redman and Jazz’s Vanishing Division

"The position of not taking a side has endured." Joshua Redman talks about the hoary division between tradition and innovation, the spatial approach to doubled rhythm sections, and jazz's academic antidote.


Monday, January 19 2009

Visions of the World

Three world-music documentaries deserving of your attention detail the unity of Islam through music, the convergence of South Asian folk with modern technologies, and the plight of Saharan desert dwellers.


Sunday, January 18 2009

Seven Ways to Detox

It's 2009, and that means it has now been a full decade since Dr. Dre's last official release. Here are some suggestions for survival while you continue to await his long-gestating follow-up, Detox.


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