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.
Wednesday, September 19 2007
Current musicians like Brad Mehldau or Greg Osby are the equivalents of Albert Pujols or Mariano Rivera: future legends that walk among us today. Now you're on notice: James Carney may just be a master in the making.
Monday, September 10 2007
A little personal, not to mention disturbingly vivid, is par for the course for Today is the Day's music, but when Steve Austin's music is as strong and eclectic as this stack of five discs is, we’ll take anything he’s willing to toss our way.
Sunday, September 9 2007
Rappers in showbiz: Did hip-hop land on Hollywood or did Hollywood land on us? For those in 'the land', some of the 4,079 hip-hop laws of crossing-over.
Thursday, August 30 2007
Breathing Under Water, a collaboration between sitarist Anoushka Shankar and tablist Karsh Kale, is not only where music is going, it's where it's at.
Wednesday, August 29 2007
Eager to re-enter the 9-5 work world, before you could even say 401(k), I was halfway to J.Crew and Banana Republic to stock up on office-friendly wear. But adapting to my colleagues' taste in music? Ah, now that's much more difficult.
Sunday, August 12 2007
Do metalheads dream of Kanye West? Guy Kozowyk, vocalist for deathcore standout, the Red Chord, vividly regales PopMatters with lengthy tales about how the many ideas that dominate the band's latest album came to fruition.
Thursday, August 9 2007
The most rewarding work as a critic is not in evaluating the flow of big menu items from established artists, but in sampling the little dishes that come along -- like this quartet of obscure, interesting stuff from 2007's first half.
Tuesday, August 7 2007
As human beings, interpretive animals that attempt to navigate the world by coming to some sort of "understanding" of it, we are addicted to purpose.