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Sunday, August 24 2008

He’s Lost Control

The kids who grew up in the '90s had the haunted Kurt Cobain; my generation had the tormented Ian Curtis.


Wednesday, August 20 2008

Looking Back at Brubeck

Dave Brubeck has been incredibly popular, neither simplistic nor crass, yet critics have never much liked his music. What if you listen to him -- to his long career -- with fresh ears?


Tuesday, August 19 2008

We Don’t Die, We Multiply: Hip-Hop Groups

Group identification creates interesting scenarios within hip-hop culture, from the formation and maintenance of group identity to the difficulties of promoting the lyrical skills of a group's various members.


Sunday, August 17 2008

Triumph Over Tragedy

Into Eternity's Tim Roth talks about the tragic year that informed his band's new album, life in the Candadian prairies, and what it means to be a "hybrid band".


Sunday, August 10 2008

Back in the Day

Heat and beats make for a good combination. No surprise then that most of my memorable experiences related to hip-hop happened during the summer.


Sunday, August 3 2008

A Walk Through the Medina

It's fascinating to think that a culture that produces such deep and soulful bass music could also contact its spirits via the shrieking, grating sounds of this flute, yet such is the nature of Moroccan music.


Sunday, July 27 2008

Gone Festin’

Yes, communing with thousands of music fans at summer festivals is fun...for a while. But then it becomes a group of people whom you really didn't plan on spending your weekend with, unless you typically hang out with stoned 16-year olds.


Wednesday, July 23 2008

Vinyl: Got to Get You Into My Life

Maybe it's because current methods of listening aren't cutting it that I've started buying more vinyl. Not because it sounds better or evokes nostalgia, but because listening to vinyl is a more structured and formal experience.


Wednesday, July 16 2008

Double Standards

What does it say about our time and place that our two boldest -- maybe best -- jazz singers, Patricia Barber and Cassandra Wilson, are returning to singing standards again?


Thursday, July 10 2008

Truth in Humor

The second season of The Boondocks tackles issues that are important to the hip-hop community with contributions from numerous hip-hop artists. Boondocks Response Syndrome explains why we react to this series the way we do.


Wednesday, July 2 2008

Retelling the History of Black Music: Everything You Know about the Blues Is Wrong

For the most part, blacks were not involved in the heroic work of rescuing the black acoustic blues legacy from the passage of time.


Tuesday, July 1 2008

The Sounds of Now: Tristan Murail and Sounding Stasis

What happens to the ear when it receives musical sound? Do we hear "our" music as music and the rest as noise?


Monday, June 30 2008

Getting Schooled

More than the usual ABCs, this school clearly believes in arts education, regularly spotlighting student performers at its assemblies -- and these kids are acquiring real musical skills.


Thursday, June 26 2008

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Even today there are distinctive characteristics to American and European jazz styles. Which strain of music is most forward-looking? Which suggests the most promising vanguard for a music that seems to lose listeners even as its creativity expands?


Wednesday, June 25 2008

Daytime TV Goes Gangsta with Snoop Dogg

Hip-hop's top dog touches down in soap opera territory for two days of music and melodrama.


Monday, June 23 2008

Julie Christmas: All Treadmill, No Fishnets

Julie Christmas, lead singer for Brooklyn's Made Out of Babies, talks about the "venemous" combination of screaming and restrained singing, ambiguous lyric-writing, and the making of the band's latest album, The Ruiner.


Sunday, June 15 2008

Ten Years Dancing on the Hudson

For the last decade, Turntables on the Hudson has held gatherings of positive music -- funk, hip-hop, soul, dance; African, Latin, and Balkan beats -- that thrive on human connection.


Sunday, June 8 2008

Righteous Paths

The Drive-By Truckers' live shows once played like a songwriters-in-the-round session with electric guitars and increasingly empty bottles of Jack Daniels. Then Jason Isbell came along -- and it only got better.


Wednesday, June 4 2008

Yes We Can Can

The recent "censure" of The Boondocks demonstrates the difficulty art faces in raising a critical converation in a corporate setting. Considering hip-hop's deep embedding into corporate culture, how can radical change happen?


Wednesday, May 28 2008

Tangled Up in Blue Note

"Blue Note" means there's a certain sound to a record, a style that is tight and sharp and funky but also adventurous. If jazz is music to shout about, Blue Note records may be the most shout-worthy of all time.


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