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Thursday, May 31 2007

Mixed Messages

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

The Evolution of Vintage

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

Little Punk Babies

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

Playing Pop in the Jazz/Soul Shadow

Layman shares Thai food with the band, and discusses the wonderfully uncategorizable music of The Jen Chapin Trio.


Sunday, May 20 2007

Dreams, Nightmares, and Sonata Arctica

'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

P.M. Mixtape, Vol. Two: Love and Trouble

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

Collective Impulses

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

Celebrity Deathmatch

Every decision already consists of two wrong choices -- it's only a matter of which is the path of least regret.


Sunday, April 29 2007

Emerging Ideas in Global Distribution: An Interview With Six Degrees’ Bob Duskis

"If you don't embrace your buying base, you're going to go out of business." Beres talks with the electronica label's co-founder about digital distribution and independent music.


Thursday, April 26 2007

Classical Radio Communities: Thoughts on Mediation

Classical music radio gives rise to a prophylactic form of community: we are somehow participating with other listeners without having to engage directly with those others. The music becomes a pretense for communal participation.


Wednesday, April 25 2007

Out of Shadows, Shining Ever-Bright

After catching the reunited '80s-era, Ronnie James Dio-helmed Black Sabbath on tour in Canada, Begrand looks back on an oft-neglected period in the metal titans' career.


Thursday, April 19 2007

Getting Sick in a Foreign Language

There is something familiar to me in that idea of an abandoned past; in a place like Beijing, you too can become anybody, literally. Because of the disconnect between here and Back Home, you can create for yourself the identity you've always wanted.


Thursday, April 12 2007

The Little Label That Could: An Interview With Cryptogramophone’s Jeff Gauthier

"I want every album I produce to take the listener on a journey, perhaps to places they've never been before." Cryptogramophone Records founder Gauthier talks L.A. jazz, musical community, and embracing change.


Wednesday, April 4 2007

The Marleys and Mind Control

The efforts of major corporations to disarm their consumers is a reminder that music used to be judged by how it made the listener feel, not how many times it was downloaded.


Monday, March 26 2007

Behind the Music

It's impossible to listen to music in a vacuum, to take the sound of a band on its own merits. There are so many outside factors at play – reviews, friends opinions, larger cultural influences . . .


Sunday, March 25 2007

Fight or Flight: The Dichotomy of Manowar

True metal believers or a mousse-abusing joke? Begrand explores how Manowar, one of the most polarizing and contradictory metal bands of all time, can simultaneously flaunt Spinal Tap-isms and ignite a crowd of 30,000 screaming fans.


Thursday, March 22 2007

Why Don’t the Planets Speak?: An Inquiry Into Music and Language

Speech involves saying something individual in a rigid system of conformity. Music seems to attempt something similar -- or, more appropriately, people attempt something similar through music.


Monday, March 19 2007

P.M. Mixtape, Vol. One

Maybe the sun has set on the days of the cassette tape, a format that made you work for your music. Huff, feeling nostalgic for the "fast forward" and "rewind" buttons, makes his own theoretical cassette mix of oddball hip-hop tunes.


Wednesday, March 14 2007

The Rudest, Crudest, Lewdest, Drunkest Band in Christendom

Extreme was the nature of the Macc Lads' music, as was the nature of reactions to it. Within their deftly created insular world, traits of civility, sensitivity, and compromise were anathemas. Therein lay the foundation of their punk-inspired wit.


Monday, March 12 2007

Bling, Bling, Bia, Bia!: How Hip-Hop Can Survive Beyond Black History Month

If hip-hop is an art, or a larger entity such as a culture, then we must be able to assess it. No body survives unchecked, so what sets hip-hop apart? As its producers and participants, fans and Stans, we must be able to navigate conversations about our actions.


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