Wednesday, January 31 2007
Vieux Farka Touré continues his late father's musical legacy with a weathered voice, poetic passion, and a new debut album.
Thursday, January 25 2007
The year 2006 was notable for when so many highly visible artists stepped up to sharply criticize, yet still support, the culture; when's the last time so many of your top five dead or alive had so much to say?
Monday, January 22 2007
Jenkins's latest installment in a series of contemporary composer profiles discusses Anthony Braxton, who seems to have looked to music as a means not to erase or ignore cultural dissonance but rather to confront it directly.
Tuesday, January 16 2007
The Wire's season-ending musical montage was a culmination, in many ways, of a season filled with musical meaning.
Thursday, January 11 2007
Beres inspects the 'major guitar and string theme' at this year's globalFEST event in New York, which will host music from Brazil, Cape Verde, Paris, and beyond.
Wednesday, January 10 2007
Ian Dury's subversive humor gently ribbed the eccentrics within his own class-culture. His caricatures were vicarious self-parodies, pre-emptive strikes fending off a dominant middle-class inclined to more demeaning and patronizing portraits of its "inferiors".
Tuesday, January 9 2007
Popular songs like Da Muzicianz' 'Hush' suggests that it's not only okay, but romantic and positive to assume to know what a woman wants, and to act in her best interests, while she may not say otherwise.
Thursday, January 4 2007
What if you and your friend were arrested and you were offered leniency in exchange for information about your friend or "the streets"? The hip-hop community believes the very existence of the deal begs us to reconsider our concepts of loyalty and law enforcement.
Tuesday, January 2 2007
What Vogler hears in Bach is both the acknowledgement of the eternal sameness of our lives and the spiritual longing for untainted pure being -- Bach attains transcendence only through the transmutation of human despair and eternal sameness.
Thursday, December 21 2006
Begrand and Blood and Thunder look back on a metal-icious 2006: its creative resurgences, its tinges of sludge, its Japanese doom-ridden drones, and its ever-reliable Scandinavians.
Wednesday, December 20 2006
How can it be, in fact, that Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas is perhaps the only universally adored record in jazz history -- the Sgt. Pepper's of improvised music?
Tuesday, December 19 2006
It's the same old complaint every year, isn't it? You do what you can, you hear what you can, and you wait to see what takes root in your brain as a keeper.
Wednesday, December 13 2006
The subliminal suggestion is that Sly Stone was this schizo black musician who needed chemical stimulants to transform his simple R&B tunes into bonafide rock anthems. In other words, black people can't rock without getting high.
Thursday, December 7 2006
These are the sort of flowers that bloom in the Sahara Desert: thumb pianos, distorted amps, muddy blues, and traditional chants.
Wednesday, December 6 2006
I believe to my soul that a blue man can sing the whites; that when the Big Music is rocked epically by a musician who feels/claims it as birthright, he or she will render ethno-cultural-lingual-racial barriers moot every damn time.
Tuesday, December 5 2006
How do the "artist" and "critic" reconcile each other's presence? How literally must one walk this way in order to talk that way?
Tuesday, November 28 2006
I'm getting giddy imagining Chuck Klosterman and Cam'ron having a two-minute bull session on the Who's return to relevance, or, better yet, figuring out a logical way to deal with Lil' Kim.
Wednesday, November 15 2006
In the second installment of an ongoing discussion of Bach and Bergman, Jenkins examines the communicative power of Bach's sarabande in Through a Glass Darkly.
Wednesday, November 8 2006
The enigmatic Danes in Mercyful Fate took such a straight-faced, deadly serious approach to its satanic themes that we were unsure whether it was all a big piss-take, or if they really meant it.
Monday, November 6 2006
Bringing the heat and creating refrains that still haunt brokenhearted romancers to this day, the Gap Band's potent mixture of party and pain was stunning.