Thursday, April 26 2007
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
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
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
"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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, March 8 2007
Spurred on by a couple of anniversaries, a new podcast "Traneumentary", and plenty of memory, Layman reflects on the music and meaning of John Coltrane.
Thursday, March 1 2007
If the Chinese revolution has a soundtrack, it won't be the Rolling Stones' songs; especially given that their ticket prices are more than most Chinese can afford.
Monday, February 26 2007
The Sufi poet formerly known as Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is celebrating 800 years, and the entire spectrum of Persian culture is throwing a party.
Thursday, February 22 2007
The Crusaders' jazzy soul conjured images of a cool neon wilderness populated with hop-heads, pool-hall hustlers, and midnight cornerboys straight out of Nelson Algren.
Monday, February 12 2007
Whether it comes through teenage rebellion, alienation, or heavy drug use, chronic music appreciation is not typically a choice made due to a desire for group participation; it's more often about wanting or needing to separate oneself.
Wednesday, February 7 2007
The Blood Brothers fight dreams with nightmares: unicorns with tar teeth, witches with obscene riches, and carnival graveyards.
Monday, February 5 2007
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
So many Prince albums, but where do you start? Here's a funky little list designed to aid your quest.
Wednesday, January 31 2007
Vieux Farka Touré continues his late father's musical legacy with a weathered voice, poetic passion, and a new debut album.