Sunday, December 16 2007
At the beginning of 2007 as the metal albums started pouring in, it quickly became abundantly clear that two record labels were going to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
Monday, December 10 2007
Wild Style confirms what we now know for a fact: hip-hop wanted to and succeeded in blowing up. No one in the cast/ crew/ generation could conceive what it meant to go pop.
Sunday, December 9 2007
If you thought Satan couldn't invent a few new rides for you, you obviously forgot that he's got all the time in the world and plenty of cheap labor -- and other thoughts on the 2007 roots music scene.
Wednesday, December 5 2007
The Christmas carol is neither high art nor popular claptrap; it is neither austerely sacred nor tritely popular; it is both timeless and timely, traditional and modern.
Monday, December 3 2007
Karaoke: Those who can't, do anyway; those who wish they could, only watch in mute rapture.
Tuesday, November 27 2007
With 11 studio albums behind them, including the very good United Abominations this past summer, Megadeth's sound has become so ubiquitous that it's easy to forget just how unique they sounded when they started making waves in the metal scene more than two decades ago.
Tuesday, November 20 2007
Shantel has accomplished the most daunting task imaginable in this genre: making an accessible pop record with tubas, trumpets and dumbeks, and our response remains among the greatest of human pleasures: we dance.
Wednesday, November 14 2007
Jazz and its fans have grown all too serious. The genre could use a clown prince or two.
Thursday, November 8 2007
Hip-hop's TV exposure has been strong, giving us a mixture of critique, celebrity, and celebration. Who, in the '80s, would've guessed that hip-hop would have such cultural presence?
Monday, November 5 2007
As Lupe Fiasco learned in a recent faux pas, what you don't know won't scare you – until somebody calls you out.
Thursday, October 25 2007
Songs, more songs -- the prolific singer-songwriter and musician Ani Difranco keeps coming up with them. Here's some help for finding the best of Difranco, especially if you also like De La Soul.
Tuesday, October 23 2007
The Second City has some first-rate music scenes. So listen up, New York.
Tuesday, October 16 2007
Recently, two most idiosyncratic jazz bass players, Miroslav Vitous and Eberhard Weber, released riveting, odd, ambitious recordings, suggesting the importance of the bass tradition to the larger history of the music.
Sunday, October 14 2007
Bachata grew up in the barrio. Servants would turn trashcans and fences into instruments in their nighttime escapades, and the words would tune hearts to a frequency unheard during daytime hours.
Thursday, October 11 2007
By working directly on the body, music as a whole has access to a form of violence that far outstrips the petty accusations foisted upon certain of its constituent parts, such as hard rock and rap.
Wednesday, October 10 2007
Van Giersbergen and Rygg's core audiences remain on the metal side, proof that no matter how diverse your music becomes, your old metal fans will still stubbornly cling to you like barnacles to a creaky hull.
Monday, October 1 2007
A Tribe Called Quest's standout recognition among the glitterati at the VH1 Awards could be viewed as a subtle reminder that hip-hop does not adhere to a static definition, nor is it beholden to a single (commercial) goal.
Sunday, September 30 2007
Shock-humor abounds across Ween’s work, and dumb infantilism is worn as a badge of honor.
Sunday, September 23 2007
Once you get past the initial groove that Manu Chao lays, and become accustomed to his fast-paced nature, you recognize a passionate soul as devoted to music as he is to political and social justice.
Thursday, September 20 2007
While my wife sings sea chantys to our baby, I'm finding plenty of dark, tranquil passages from Bruce Springsteen to help her sleep. Beats tales of the Black Death, miscarriages, and executions found in traditional nursery rhymes.