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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.


Monday, May 26 2008

I’m With the Band

When I started writing about music, I didn't realize that it would mean I'd become "the enemy". So though writing brought me closer to music and the people who make it, it also took me further away.


Wednesday, May 21 2008

New Testament Versus Old

It's a hard road, as a fella named John Osbourne once sang, but the respect that Testament has gained over more than two decades of personal and creative ups and downs is well earned.


Thursday, May 15 2008

Mama Said Knock You Out: Hip-Hop & the Family Unit

There are four hip-hop rules for families. One: Fathers, take care of your children and their mothers. Two: Don't talk about other people's mamas. Three: Be good to your own mother. Four: Repeat as necessary.


Sunday, May 11 2008

Three Nights in France

Beres hits Paris and Bourges to take in the eclectic sounds of Transglobal Underground, Les Primitifs du Futur, Watcha Clan, and Fat Freddy's Drop, and gets pulled into the "sacred space" that solders the connection between sound and human.


Sunday, May 4 2008

When They’re 65…

What will some of today's most well-known hip-hop artists be doing in 2035? Maybe they won't be running the music world, but they'll probably be doing something beyond applying Fixodent to their grills.


Thursday, May 1 2008

The Practicality of the Impossible: John Cage and the Freeman Etudes

John Cage replaces the comforting order of the cosmos with the recalcitrant, indecipherable organization of a part of the universe. Each sound, radically set off from the others, demands that we hear it in isolation.


Monday, April 21 2008

We Dream We’re the People in Songs

Is he strumming your face with his fingers? And singing your life with his words?


Thursday, April 17 2008

Into the Void: John Darnielle on Sabbath, Extreme Metal, and Indie Rock

Begrand dives into metal fandom with the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, who discusses the Mighty Riff, the uneasy relationship between indie and metal camps, and the life experiences behind his new book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality.


Wednesday, April 16 2008

R.I.P. Smooth Jazz, 1985-2008?

With two of the US' major "smooth jazz" radio stations defunct to the fickleness of format change, the time to mourn the cheesy sub-genre is now. But what made Smooth Jazz not really jazz at all?


Sunday, April 13 2008

Women of the (Music) World

There is little in this world as beautiful as the female voice. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop and remind ourselves of this.


Thursday, April 10 2008

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Hip-Hop’s Fight Against Time

Hip-hop fights haters, record labels, rival emcees, and even the law. Time, however, has proven to be a formidable opponent.


Tuesday, April 8 2008

1977: The Year Decency Died - Part I

"I loathe and detest everything they stand for and look like. They are obnoxious, obscene and disgusting."


Monday, March 31 2008

It Ain’t No Joke

Hip-hop, like most other arts, intentionally pays humor less mind because, hey, it's not supposed to be taken seriously! But seriously.


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