Monday, January 12 2009
Miriam Makeba, Odetta and Eartha Kitt both fully represented and completely transcended their moments in time
Sunday, January 11 2009
Steve Martin, Sufjan Stevens, and Kermit the Frog all know it and you should, too: the banjo is hands-down the coolest instrument out there.
Sunday, January 4 2009
Having more than one rapper on the scene enhances and galvanizes a song, as the central theme is strengthened with each successive verse. As the saying goes, there's strength in numbers.
Wednesday, December 17 2008
Two new albums by piano-less quartets offer big doses of fun -- urgent rhythms, slabs of blues feeling, melody and invention with hardly any limit -- but also provide thrill-rides of surprise.
Tuesday, December 16 2008
The guys selling their hip-hop CD-Rs on the street know exactly where to find their prey: outside the independent record store, in and around shows of like-minded artists. What makes them so hard to resist?
Thursday, December 11 2008
Will black pop artists still see themselves as outsiders now that a black person is President? Will they use their cultural platform to criticize him if need be, just as they did to help elect him?
Tuesday, December 9 2008
It was a stellar year for metal, and an eclectic year, too: Norwegian prog-metal, goth-infused death metal, Swedish thrash, black metal, and stoner rock all make the list.
Monday, December 8 2008
This year's CMA winners point to a future where the only thing necessary to be classified as country is a desire to join in and sing.
Thursday, December 4 2008
Welcome to the age of post-irony, where guilty pains and pleasures are played out as collective nostalgia through the warped blur of rose-tinted glasses.
Monday, December 1 2008
Enslaved's Ivar Bjørnson talks about the influence of Voivod and Pink Floyd, creative deconstruction and reinvention, and achieving that "futuristic yet retro sound".
Sunday, November 30 2008
There is no clear-cut definition of what Ubiquity Records produces, unless we go for universal terms like "good" and "dope".
Tuesday, November 25 2008
Poverty, crime, disenfranchisement, sinning, saving, and no-account women: Stereotypical subjects of the average country song, or the average hip-hop song?
Monday, November 24 2008
I'm thankful for my wonderful girlfriend, the Boston Celtics taking home the NBA championship, and Wu-Tang, Nas, People Under the Stairs...
Monday, November 17 2008
Although "hip-hop" means different things to different people, everyone seems to be confident that they know what "it" is. Through this subjective lens, there is also a unique brand of investment and ownership in the meaning of "hip-hop".
Sunday, November 16 2008
In a world where you can have a Christian version of pretty much any genre, Woven Hand's David Eugene Edwards is a real outlier because you wouldn't know where to put him if he were a secular artist.
Sunday, November 9 2008
Today's global music is an extension of the culture that has been emerging over the last century, when airplanes and vinyl recordings made social exchanges possible to an extent previously undreamed.
Wednesday, November 5 2008
Smooth Jazz truly is the music of the gesture. It is music of the pose. It is music -- maybe particularly when it is made by a skillful musician -- that hints at real music without being real music.
Tuesday, November 4 2008
Wetnurse's Curran Reynolds talks about growing up in the isolated Maine woods, recording with NYC mainstay Martin Bisi, and how his band expresses "love as well as angst".
Sunday, November 2 2008
Either Obama's "hip-hop candidacy" makes him appeal to a heretofore disaffected and/or untapped voting bloc, thereby legitimizing his claim as a candidate of hope and change; or this unwelcome connection to a controversial art is a liability.
Monday, October 27 2008
They might kick me out of the feminist club for this, but I love murder ballads, even the ones in which women get killed—though, to be fair, I am an equal opportunity advocate when it comes to a good killing narrative.