Sunday, August 10 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Hip-hop's top dog touches down in soap opera territory for two days of music and melodrama.
Monday, June 23 2008
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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.