Columns > Music

Thursday, November 13 2014

What Does Heavy Metal Say About Canadian Identity?

This rollicking look at the intersection of heavy metal music and Canadian identity reveals some interesting connections, and raises some important questions, too.

Tuesday, November 4 2014

Sequels, Monsters, Robots, Heroes and Apes (Oh My!): Year Two of ‘The Next Reel’

What does Tom Petty think of Cylons? What does the Polar Bear from LOST know about CPR? Why does everyone think this author is a produce clerk?

Thursday, October 23 2014

Jazz May Be Reeling in Terms of Record Sales, But It’s Thriving As an Art Form

What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?

Tuesday, October 21 2014

What He Has Sown: A Conversation With Bruce Soord of the Pineapple Thief

The Pineapple Thief mastermind delves into the making of Magnolia, the [un]fair criticisms of fans, and the joys of modern Opeth, among many other topics.

Thursday, October 16 2014

A Dark Rapture: The Rise of Punk in Spain

Spanish punkers came swinging harder than ever, screaming not for the sake of inducing change, but screaming for the sake of screaming – because now they could.

Tuesday, October 7 2014

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.

Monday, October 6 2014

‘Longing for the Past’: When the Voices of the Dead Finally Reach Us

While listening to "The Dance and Song of Laos" (1906) a haunting voice, both enticing and archaic, mingles with the crepitating noise of the antique shellac.

Friday, September 26 2014

Singing Across Continents: An Interview with Somi

Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.

Monday, September 22 2014

The Rainmakers Find Heaven and Hell in the Heartland

Since the early '80s, The Rainmakers have been among the best bands to emerge from the Heartland Rock boom of that decade. They may be the best that's still at it.

Friday, September 19 2014

How About Some Unironic Love for Emerson, Lake & Palmer?

Love them or loathe them, Emerson, Lake & Palmer wore immoderation like a badge of courage.

Wednesday, September 17 2014

Possessed by ‘Wild Palms’: How Far Will You Go to Feel Connected?

Have listeners of the Danish ambient electronic outfit, Croatian Amor, given more of themselves than the musician ever would?

Monday, September 15 2014

Stream of (Music) Consciousness

The 'Marshall McLuhan' message borne by the MP3 revolution is clear: music is endlessly plentiful and entirely disposable. So what's the message of streaming?

Monday, August 25 2014

Is the Sadness Gone from Country Music?

Has country music lost its capacity for brutal, unshakeable loneliness? Or are we just experiencing some calm before the next, inevitable heartache?

Thursday, August 21 2014

From the Soul to the Hills: The Music of the Caucasus

The music of the Caucasus is powered by national ardour and ritual. All that's needed is an open and willing audience to accept the undisclosed gifts it brings.

Monday, August 18 2014

The Sonny Rollins / ‘New Yorker’ Controversy and Jazz’s Image Problem

Why do jazz folks always sound so defensive about the music they love? Why can’t they take a pie in the face from Django Gold?

Friday, August 8 2014

Wond’ring Aloud: A Conversation with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson

As the creative mastermind behind Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson is often considered one of the most distinct musicians of the past 50 years.

Thursday, July 31 2014

When the Man in Black Went to Bat for Native America

A recasting of Johnny Cash's most controversial album, Bitter Tears, raises questions about the inclusiveness of American music.

Thursday, July 24 2014

Ripe with Rich Attainments: Jethro Tull’s ‘A Passion Play’, Reassessed

A Passion Play tends to draw the most resistance from even prog-rock aficionados; it obliges time and attention to let it work its charms.

Wednesday, July 23 2014

The Music That Sprouts Between Empires: Ukrainian Culture Amidst Conflict

Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.

Tuesday, July 15 2014

Smokin’ Modernism Is Alive and Well in the Upper West Side

Smoke Sessions Records is doing it old-school: recording the best musicians in New York playing mainstream jazz that cooks.

//Mixed media

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.

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