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.
Tuesday, January 14 2003
He was an over-saturated, pungent, weed-choked swamp of words.
Wednesday, November 6 2002
This was a band that thrived despite being jeered and pissed on by critics, hipsters, jazzbos, even its own ex-members.
Wednesday, September 18 2002
. . . (S)houldn't we be celebrating our collective vain, ironical stupidity just to bug that humorless sobersides Osama bin Laden and his fellow fanatics?
Wednesday, August 7 2002
Indeed, American book pirates of yesteryear are pretty much the same as Asian tape pirates today. The captains of industry hate 'em, but why else do you think damn near every citizen of Jakarta knows the lyrics to Don McLean's 'American Pie'?
Wednesday, May 22 2002
When a mosh pit is right-on, you experience one of the most energetic, crazed, communal forms of dancing ever invented.
Wednesday, May 1 2002
Now the worm has turned, and I suspect that the success of 'The Osbournes', Andrew WK, and those gargling perennials Aerosmith will out us all as the closet metalheads we truly are.
Wednesday, March 6 2002
Good lo-fi bands know that they have an ace tune on their hands when they can stumble drunkenly over it and it still rocks the box.