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Thursday, February 20 2014

The Rap Pack: Italy’s Indie-Rappers

Italy’s independent hip-hop scene has so far produced some of the brightest, most interesting artists on European shores.


Thursday, February 13 2014

You Can Achieve Greatness! Harnessing Your Pop Culture Spirit Animal

Just as our bodies are made of recycled stars, our thoughts are spawned from bits of songs and books and movie dialogue. So what happens when your star gets old?


Thursday, February 6 2014

The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.


Friday, January 31 2014

How Can a Listener Ignore the Influence of the Market on the Beautiful Art of Jazz?

Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.


Thursday, January 30 2014

The Beautification of Country Stars

You can call 2013 the year that country-music album covers looked like advertisements torn from fashion and lifestyle magazines.


Tuesday, January 28 2014

Soul Train: The Hippest Nostalgia Trip in America

Soul Train was more than entertainment for black America. It was inspiration and validation. Questlove gives us another ride.


Friday, January 24 2014

What Will We Become? R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8”

In 2008 Michael Stipe introduced "Driver 8" as "a song that represents the dream of the United States of America and what it may become in the next three days." What did he mean, and has that dream come true?


Tuesday, January 21 2014

Cherished Concepts in Current Prog Rock

Many diehard prog rock enthusiasts dismiss modern bands as inferior imitators. These three releases prove there are still a few visionaries out there.


Thursday, January 16 2014

Arab Soul Rebels: Punk Among the Beurs of ‘80s Era France

French-Arab band Carte de Séjour made pop music history with their rousing blend of punk and raï in the early '80s. To date there are no successors in sight.


Friday, January 10 2014

In Defense of Both the Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel Eras of Genesis

With Collins' recent rumblings about returning to music, it's time to lay the "which era is better" question to rest.


Thursday, January 9 2014

Beer Is the New Music

Obsessive collection, mainstream mocking, and a never-ending list of styles. It’s no surprise that so many music nerds turn into beer geeks, as well.


Tuesday, December 17 2013

Ragnarök: 2013 Gloomy Awards: The Most Interesting Metal Albums of 2013

Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed, misplaced, or overlooked on those end of year lists. Ragnarök's Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.


Monday, December 16 2013

Can an Afghanistan Songbird Be Forever Outlawed?

Afghan musicians have always been adept at finding ways to preserve and advance their music regardless of the political or economic climate.


Wednesday, December 11 2013

The Best Film Scores of 2013

This year saw no shortage of innovative, exciting film scores. Notes on Celluloid counts down the ten soundtracks that lingered the longest in our minds.


Tuesday, December 10 2013

The Endless Well of Latin Jazz

This was another banner year for Latin Jazz, a genre that is so rich and established that it hardly a subset of jazz as much as a glorious thing unto itself.


Thursday, December 5 2013

The Great Scores: ‘The Fountain’ and a Sonic Road to Awe

Clint Mansell’s score for Darren Aronofsky’s metaphysical science fiction film, The Fountain, is a masterpiece of both film music and contemporary art music.


Tuesday, November 26 2013

‘How Do You Think It Feels?’: The Lasting Effects of Prolonged Lou Reed Exposure

Some argue that Lou Reed, the man who never ran out of ways to say "fuck you", might not be the best influence for a child. I say he was the best role model a ten-year-old could have.


Thursday, November 21 2013

Music Is Vital to the Sports Fan Experience, But Which Traditions Are Worth Keeping Around?

There’s a lot of noise at the average sporting event. Study this list to learn when to break out the earplugs.


Monday, November 18 2013

Big Is Beautiful: Large Bands, Worlds of Sound

The year 2013 has featured some of the most exceptional and inventive orchestral jazz in years.


Wednesday, November 13 2013

The Holy Trinity: Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull have always confounded critics, and despite albums sales, hit songs, influence and longevity, it is above all the brain of frontman Ian Anderson that ensures they will remain forever on the outside, looking in.


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