Columns > Music

Monday, February 5 2007

Welcome to Helluary

Begrand finds refuge from a taxing winter in some of the best metal releases of the still-young year, including a highly twisted album from his neck of the Canadian prairies.


Sunday, February 4 2007

The Purple Experience: Your PopMatters Primer on Prince’s Pop Life

So many Prince albums, but where do you start? Here's a funky little list designed to aid your quest.


Wednesday, January 31 2007

Ali in the Family

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

Where Are They Now?: Hip-Hop Learns How to Look Back in Anger (Management)

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

The Sounds of Now, Part Three: Anthony Braxton and the Ethics of Improvisation

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

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.


//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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