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Tuesday, December 18 2007

The Redistribution & Revival of Roots

Like the roots of old and those of new, music flows stream-like from the hearts of these artists into an ocean of humanity.


Sunday, December 16 2007

In Through the Outré Door

At the beginning of 2007 as the metal albums started pouring in, it quickly became abundantly clear that two record labels were going to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.


Monday, December 10 2007

Viva ‘Wild Style’

Wild Style confirms what we now know for a fact: hip-hop wanted to and succeeded in blowing up. No one in the cast/ crew/ generation could conceive what it meant to go pop.


Sunday, December 9 2007

Young Upstarts and Wily Veterans

If you thought Satan couldn't invent a few new rides for you, you obviously forgot that he's got all the time in the world and plenty of cheap labor -- and other thoughts on the 2007 roots music scene.


Wednesday, December 5 2007

Schroeder’s Dilemma: The Christmas Carol, as Lucy Likes It

The Christmas carol is neither high art nor popular claptrap; it is neither austerely sacred nor tritely popular; it is both timeless and timely, traditional and modern.


Monday, December 3 2007

Mic’d Up

Karaoke: Those who can't, do anyway; those who wish they could, only watch in mute rapture.


Tuesday, November 27 2007

Business is Still Good: Inside Megadeth’s Warchest

With 11 studio albums behind them, including the very good United Abominations this past summer, Megadeth's sound has become so ubiquitous that it's easy to forget just how unique they sounded when they started making waves in the metal scene more than two decades ago.


Tuesday, November 20 2007

Big Brass at the Disco

Shantel has accomplished the most daunting task imaginable in this genre: making an accessible pop record with tubas, trumpets and dumbeks, and our response remains among the greatest of human pleasures: we dance.


Wednesday, November 14 2007

A Laughing Dilemma, Revealed

Jazz and its fans have grown all too serious. The genre could use a clown prince or two.


Thursday, November 8 2007

Yo! Your TV Raps: Hip-Hop on US Television

Hip-hop's TV exposure has been strong, giving us a mixture of critique, celebrity, and celebration. Who, in the '80s, would've guessed that hip-hop would have such cultural presence?


Monday, November 5 2007

Don’t Know Much About History

As Lupe Fiasco learned in a recent faux pas, what you don't know won't scare you – until somebody calls you out.


Thursday, October 25 2007

A Righteous Boy’s Hip-Hop Journey Through Babeland

Songs, more songs -- the prolific singer-songwriter and musician Ani Difranco keeps coming up with them. Here's some help for finding the best of Difranco, especially if you also like De La Soul.


Tuesday, October 23 2007

Scene, Should Be Heard

The Second City has some first-rate music scenes. So listen up, New York.


Tuesday, October 16 2007

Bass Reflections

Recently, two most idiosyncratic jazz bass players, Miroslav Vitous and Eberhard Weber, released riveting, odd, ambitious recordings, suggesting the importance of the bass tradition to the larger history of the music.


Sunday, October 14 2007

Bachata: Generations Apart and Together

Bachata grew up in the barrio. Servants would turn trashcans and fences into instruments in their nighttime escapades, and the words would tune hearts to a frequency unheard during daytime hours.


Thursday, October 11 2007

The Bull of Phalaris, or the Ambiguity of Musical Violence

By working directly on the body, music as a whole has access to a form of violence that far outstrips the petty accusations foisted upon certain of its constituent parts, such as hard rock and rap.


Wednesday, October 10 2007

Sun and Air: An Interview with Anneke van Giersbergen and Krystoffer “Garm” Rygg

Van Giersbergen and Rygg's core audiences remain on the metal side, proof that no matter how diverse your music becomes, your old metal fans will still stubbornly cling to you like barnacles to a creaky hull.


Monday, October 1 2007

Season of the Tribe

A Tribe Called Quest's standout recognition among the glitterati at the VH1 Awards could be viewed as a subtle reminder that hip-hop does not adhere to a static definition, nor is it beholden to a single (commercial) goal.


Sunday, September 30 2007

The Affectionate Parodies and Ironic Diss-Positions of Ween

Shock-humor abounds across Ween’s work, and dumb infantilism is worn as a badge of honor.


Sunday, September 23 2007

Passport to the Future

Once you get past the initial groove that Manu Chao lays, and become accustomed to his fast-paced nature, you recognize a passionate soul as devoted to music as he is to political and social justice.


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