Thursday, August 9 2007
The most rewarding work as a critic is not in evaluating the flow of big menu items from established artists, but in sampling the little dishes that come along -- like this quartet of obscure, interesting stuff from 2007's first half.
Tuesday, August 7 2007
As human beings, interpretive animals that attempt to navigate the world by coming to some sort of "understanding" of it, we are addicted to purpose.
Sunday, August 5 2007
Pharoahe Monch's new album, Desire, is a complete surround-sense experience, but it's also a reminder that as much as our technologies have improved, what we are communicating is not necessarily the most righteous of information.
Monday, July 30 2007
HotHouse, a non-profit arts center in Chicago, embodied how beneficial a commitment to the arts could be, and surely this would override any business issues, I thought. I thought wrong.
Sunday, July 22 2007
The co-founder of the maverick reissue label the Numero Group talks about seeking out the eccentric, saving the unknown, and releasing only what you love.
Thursday, July 19 2007
Brian Coleman's new book on classic hip-hop albums and Saigon's public rant offer rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of hip-hop's creative process.
The music in Bergman's Saraband sets up numerous tensions that it never reconciles: listener and performer, individual and group, passive aestheticism and practical enactment. Music in Bergman's world offers hope, but it does not offer answers.
Wednesday, July 11 2007
A well-rounded musical background is crucial -- otherwise, you could end up like a friend of mine, who had never heard Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life", and so felt lost during some hand-clapping good times at the bar last weekend.
Sunday, July 8 2007
Gypsy Caravan, a new documentary about a six-week tour featuring some of modernity's top Gypsy musicians, is an exceptional peek at life on the road, entwined with the history, and current state, of Gypsy culture.
Thursday, June 21 2007
In the '90s, X-Clan took us "to the east". This year, the group returns from Mecca in "vanglorious" fashion.
Monday, June 18 2007
"People have sent me college term papers that they've written about my stuff, which I think is funny because I didn't graduate from college. I guess I must be doing something right if people are connecting to it." Begrand talks with Pig Destroyer's JR Hayes about writing and recording the band's new album, Phantom Limb.
Thursday, June 7 2007
By making Beethoven's Ninth an image of our humanity, we have conditioned ourselves to filter out all of those elements in the music that make it a worthwhile (if troubling) listening experience.
Thursday, May 31 2007
I want the music I love to speak for me, but I can't control what it's going to say.
Wednesday, May 30 2007
One of the glaring paradoxes of technological evolution is its ability to reconnect us to history. And if we know anything about human nature, it's that as we step into the future, we always look back.
Thursday, May 24 2007
As Evelyn McDonnell's new book illustrates, motherhood should be neither something done on the side, nor something that pushes everything else away, and it's that balance that our culture and government can be striving for.
Monday, May 21 2007
Layman shares Thai food with the band, and discusses the wonderfully uncategorizable music of The Jen Chapin Trio.
Sunday, May 20 2007
'We are not too old yet to renew ourselves; we can use our imaginations.' Begrand talks with Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko about eclecticism, dreams, Queen, wolves, and his band's ambitious new album, Unia.
Tuesday, May 8 2007
Since relationships are tough, we need all the help we can get. Sometimes the best advice comes from listening to the right song.
Thursday, May 3 2007
The wife disposing of her ex-husband's collection. The estate sale. The stash of records sold for pennies on the dollar because the water bill was overdue. Collecting music often depends on someone else's misfortune.
Tuesday, May 1 2007
Every decision already consists of two wrong choices -- it's only a matter of which is the path of least regret.