Columns > Music

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.


Thursday, October 12 2006

The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 1)

In Bergman's films, Bach's music functions to give access to a rarified atmosphere of revelation and emotional depth; it reveals something previously inaccessible within a character.


Wednesday, October 4 2006

Blind Guardian’s Twisted Myths

For Hansi Kürsch, lead singer of Germany's Blind Guardian, there's no Justin Hawkins flash, no DragonForce pub chants, no hipster-pandering irony. If he's going to sing about faeries and orcs, he's going to do so and mean every damned outlandish lyric.


Sunday, October 1 2006

Unsung Heroes: The Band of Extraordinary Women

Huff fantasizes about wielding Diddy-like power to create a supergroup of underrated, under-the-radar female musicians. Danity Kane, eat your heart out.


Tuesday, September 26 2006

It Shall Be Released

Rubenstein looks back at the release of a number of highly anticipated albums to contrast his opinions then and now. How much does personal expectation factor into our ultimate enjoyment of music?


Sunday, September 24 2006

Wild Abandon

It may seem quaint now, even after punk's scorched-earth campaign, to think of '50s rockabilly as a danger to Western Civilization, especially in light of pop culture's rampant envelope-pushing since then. But a closer inspection would make even the seen-it-all cynics take pause.


Sunday, September 10 2006

An Overheard Conversation Concerning Musical Taste

'But who determines the criteria by which one determines if something is well formed?' A debate of taste rages in a small field outside Maryland.


Wednesday, September 6 2006

Notes from Underground

Begrand hits the traveling metal show Sounds of the Underground for nine hours of mayhem, moshing, and merch. And though this town's put the kibosh on mosh, there's plenty of familiar sights and sounds, from Metallica wannabes to papier-mâché phalluses.


Thursday, August 24 2006

Bubblegum Pops the (Counter-)Culture

Fake and faceless, bubblegum pop in the late '60s and early '70s offended the prevailing rock myths of artistic creativity and rugged opposition to the powers-that-be.


Monday, August 14 2006

Postmortem

Hallelujah, it's raining blood! The Unholy Alliance Tour, a veritable distillation of the current state of contemporary metal on wheels, descends upon Western Canada and finally ends Begrand's 22-year wait to witness Slayer in the flesh.


Thursday, August 10 2006

The Sounds of Now, Part Two: Meredith Monk

For the second installment in an ongoing series profiling contemporary composers, Jenkins reports on Meredith Monk, whose compositions and performances integrate the personal aspects of the body in a manner wholly removed from the majority of current musical production.


Wednesday, July 12 2006

Complex Simplicity

Voivod vocalist Denis 'Snake' Belanger speaks candidly about the new Canadian Prime Minister, today's subordinate youth, and the 'emotional dimension' involved in creating a new album built around the guitar tracks of his deceased friend and bandmate, Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour.


Thursday, June 29 2006

Melodic Patriotism: A Look at Some Lesser-Known Pieces for the Fourth of July

In observance of Independence Day, Jenkins examines some overlooked classical manifestations of American patriotism that may be more appropriate than Tchaikovsky's US-adopted 1812 Overture.


Tuesday, June 20 2006

Talk of the Town

Cober-Lake speaks with Chris Pugmire of the Seattle band Shoplifting about politics' place in punk rock, the role of men in feminism, and the dangerous power of language.


Thursday, June 8 2006

The Devil’s Music: Franz Liszt’s Musical Representation of Mephistopheles

Liszt's Faust symphony offers a solution to the conundrum that faced so many Romantic and post-Romantic composers: how does one create a musical form that continually and progressively unfolds and yet manages to hold together, to be all 'of a piece'?


Thursday, May 18 2006

Judging a Bach By Its Cover

If people are no longer as interested in classical music as a cerebral escape from the banalities of the everyday, then certain producers of classical recordings are willing to embrace this cultural condition by selling Bach not as an alternative to popular image culture, but as a part of it.


//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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