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.
Sunday, August 5 2007
Pharoahe Monch's new album, Desire, is a complete surround-sense experience, but it's also a reminder that as much as our technologies have improved, what we are communicating is not necessarily the most righteous of information.
Monday, July 30 2007
HotHouse, a non-profit arts center in Chicago, embodied how beneficial a commitment to the arts could be, and surely this would override any business issues, I thought. I thought wrong.
Sunday, July 22 2007
The co-founder of the maverick reissue label the Numero Group talks about seeking out the eccentric, saving the unknown, and releasing only what you love.
Thursday, July 19 2007
Brian Coleman's new book on classic hip-hop albums and Saigon's public rant offer rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of hip-hop's creative process.
The music in Bergman's Saraband sets up numerous tensions that it never reconciles: listener and performer, individual and group, passive aestheticism and practical enactment. Music in Bergman's world offers hope, but it does not offer answers.
Wednesday, July 11 2007
A well-rounded musical background is crucial -- otherwise, you could end up like a friend of mine, who had never heard Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life", and so felt lost during some hand-clapping good times at the bar last weekend.
Sunday, July 8 2007
Gypsy Caravan, a new documentary about a six-week tour featuring some of modernity's top Gypsy musicians, is an exceptional peek at life on the road, entwined with the history, and current state, of Gypsy culture.
Thursday, June 21 2007
In the '90s, X-Clan took us "to the east". This year, the group returns from Mecca in "vanglorious" fashion.