Columns > Music

Tuesday, January 16 2007

Tapping the ‘Wire’

The Wire's season-ending musical montage was a culmination, in many ways, of a season filled with musical meaning.


Thursday, January 11 2007

A World Shares the Stage

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

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Shtick:  The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury

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

Honey Hush

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

Word Problems: The Snitch’s Dilemma

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

The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 3)

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

The Best Metal Albums of 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 an Unremarkably Wonderful Work Is the Most Successful Jazz Album, Ever

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

2006, Through Roots-Colored Glasses

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

Racism Killed Rock: Part II

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

Desert Trance

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

Racism Killed Rock: Part I

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

Who Owns What?: Engaging the Fog of Hip-Hop

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

Jock Jams

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

The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 2)

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

Open Wide, the Gates of Hell

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

Party Train: The Gap Band Story

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.


Sunday, November 5 2006

Please Call It a Comeback

That scene in Superman III, with the boy yelling words of encouragement to the struggling protagonist? That's how I feel when I think of Lauryn Hill.


Thursday, November 2 2006

From the Mop-Top to the Walrus: Some Funny Sides of the Beatles

Manifested in child-centered humor, the Beatles offered candy for the kids, tapped into the regressive escapist instincts of the arrested adolescents of the hippy subculture, and offered "seemingly" unthreatening fare for adults.


Wednesday, November 1 2006

A Reluctant ‘Jazz’ Hero: An Interview with Trumpeter, Composer, and Arranger Steven Bernstein

The prolific trumpeter talks shirking musical definitions, finding challenging middle ground between 'fake jazz' and 'real musicianship', touring with They Might Be Giants, and turning down Jay-Z.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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