Thursday, January 12 2006
Hail! Hail! One of rock 'n' roll's most innovative mavericks whose dissenting rebellion was fueled by subversive humor.
Tuesday, January 10 2006
Exactly how should the title of a wordless piece of music influence our experience of the music itself? Jenkins muses on how titles interact with the instrumental pieces they represent and, furthermore, on musical selections with no titles at all.
Tuesday, December 20 2005
A tale of two songs, both with complicated manifestations of male sexuality that explicitly broach gratification and possession in the shadow of the Ying Yang Twins' 'Wait (The Whisper Song)'.
Sunday, December 18 2005
From metalcore to hardcore, guttural growls to soaring falsettos, and unabashedly sludgetastic to downright operatic, the cream of this year's metal crop is as eclectic as it is provocative.
Thursday, December 15 2005
There is a parallel heard in the complex, seemingly conflicted harmony of 13th century music to today's dissonant world. As we struggle to fold our differences into an orchestrated 'global' accord, we might do well to challenge ourselves to stop, and truly listen.
Thursday, December 1 2005
What makes a hip-hop song dope? It's not just about the hook, it's not just about the drops, it's not just about the scratch chorus, and it sure as hell ain't about a salary; it's about a totality.
Sunday, November 27 2005
Metal's major players are getting more powerful as they get older. Their refusal to soften in accordance with their maturity proves but one thing: when it comes to metal, age ain't nothing but a number.
Tuesday, November 22 2005
Classical music, as a culturally archaic archetype of stodginess, has long been disassociated from a contemporary relevance. Can we make it meaningful again now that we've told Beethoven to roll over?
Thursday, November 17 2005
Rhythmic emphases, rhyme infatuations, celebrations of decadence, slang, bling, and an overall manifestation of cool: Cab Calloway was hip-hop's preeminent godfather.
Wednesday, November 2 2005
Did Ronnie Spector and Tina Turner play subversive feminist roles under the banner of male-dominated pop music? Or did we simply mistake stilted sexual roles for the progressive politics we desired?
Thursday, October 13 2005
At long last, indie kids and mainstream critics no longer have to listen to their metal music in clandestine shame. Metal's in the midst of an artistic renaissance, and, as Begrand explains, it's a headbanger's ball out there.
Wednesday, October 12 2005
Satchmo's subversive humor struck multiple targets simultaneously: it commented on the very music he was transforming; and, as a survival tool, it presented a league of oppressors with unexpected resistance.
Thursday, August 25 2005
'To Elvis', Jet concluded, 'people are people regardless of race, color or creed.'
Wednesday, March 30 2005
As the final day unfolded, things grew more hazy as the rush to consume all one could in the final hours was not limited to the music.
Wednesday, March 9 2005
Noticeably absent from Streets stories are the guns, bling, fast cars and ho's that so many American rappers invoke to establish their credentials. Where U.S. rappers emulate the fast-paced content of American action films, The Streets is more in tune with the Mike Leigh sensibility in his scenes of working class desperation and blank nothingness.
Wednesday, December 29 2004
In John Peel I know that I (and many others) found a voice that championed the cultural margins and artistic mavericks; this voice, in turn, fostered a receptive sensibility with which to open-mindedly and open-heartedly appreciate marginal artists.
Wednesday, November 10 2004
From Chuck Berry to Eminem, I hope these 10 disparate acts suggest that the need for subversive humor has never been greater, and that rock needs to react with its own insurgence: re-arming, re-loading, and then sending in the clowns.
Wednesday, October 13 2004
Like a latter-day Alan Ladd as Shane, Chicago-based independent label, Bloodshot Records, has taken upon itself the role of savior of the sagebrush, mixing it up in the robber-baron world of corporate Country.
Wednesday, September 15 2004
Our newest music columnist pays tribute to dearly departed Guided By Voices and remembers their 20-year career as indie legends.
Wednesday, March 19 2003
We rock critics should have leathery skins and sore throbbing eardrums and calloused typing fingers, and we should accept little in return but the possibility of more great new tunes coming our way.