Columns > Music

Thursday, June 12 2014

Benighted by Beauty: The Legacy of Opeth’s ‘Still Life’

Still Life's narrative borders on Shakespearean levels of romantic tragedy and social commentary, making it the most poetic and philosophical in Opeth’s catalogue.

Tuesday, June 10 2014

Pronounced Dead: The Art of Cultural Assassination

Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?

Wednesday, June 4 2014

David Dondero: A Poet of Vehicles

Living out of step fits right in with Dondero's songs of tough and kindhearted outcasts, eccentrics and survivors who live out of sight, but in plain sight.

Thursday, May 29 2014

What Embers Still Burn in the Beautiful Ruins of Riot Grrrls Past?

Riot grrrls wrote, recorded and produced a wealth of cultural objects. They left trails of scribbles, screams and lipstick traces in MP3 blogs and online archives, awaiting release.

Wednesday, May 21 2014

Bollywood and the Ballot: India’s Shimmery Election

Bollywood stars are essential to the cultural identity of India, but their involvement in the 2014 election have some questioning the wisdom of the "Bollywood-ification" of politics.

Monday, May 19 2014

Drive Me Crazy: The Day the iPhone Took Over My Car

You just want to drive fast and listen to your favorite song. Your "smart" car may have other ideas. Welcome to the future.

Friday, May 16 2014

In Defense of Live Performances That Make the Audience Feel Alive

Artists feed off their fans. Fans feed off the artists. A good live performance leaves the spirit relieved of its hunger. Hear that, Chvrches?

Wednesday, May 14 2014

A Gay ‘Idol’, and We Don’t Mean Judy Garland

It's no secret that American Idol has had LGB contestants before, but the show seemed to adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy up until this season, until M. K. Nobilette.

Friday, May 9 2014

That Which Crawls Out of Speakers and Inches Along Your Nerves: Notable Film Scores of Early 2014

From Biblical epics to run-of-the-mill rom-coms, Notes on Celluloid takes a look at (and listen to) some of the strongest film music of 2014 thus far.

Thursday, May 8 2014

Never One for Striped Trousers: Talking Shop with Steve Howe

Steve Howe and his Yes bandmates are obviously driven by a desire, perhaps an obsession, to measure up favorably, and to improve upon what they’ve already achieved.

Wednesday, May 7 2014

On the Upswing: Craig Handy and Second Line Smith

Saxophonist Craig Handy has a killer new band that combines the jazz-funk of Jimmy Smith with a New Orleans second line groove.

Tuesday, April 29 2014

Our Jason Isbell, Ourselves

Jason Isbell delivered one of the strongest records in 2013, and in doing so, he helped redefine the parameters of Americana.

Thursday, April 24 2014

Omniscient Visions: The Genius of Devin Townsend

There's no modern prog musician whose approaches, innovations, and reinventions are as multifaceted, brave, intricate, and original as those of Devin Townsend.

Tuesday, April 22 2014

Cassette Fever in the Age of Bandcamp

The cassette tape is a miniature monument to a lost age of music; a small casket in which to hide memories and last hopes.

Tuesday, April 15 2014

In Defense of Jesse Winchester

With the news that the singer-songwriter has passed, it's time to look back on someone Bob Dylan once dubbed 'The Greatest Living Songwriter'.

Monday, April 7 2014

I Was Young When I Left Home: How Kurt Cobain’s Voice Resonates

There are times when you hear Kurt Cobain sing that you believe no other voice has ever told the truth about suffering. But it's more complicated than that, isn't it?

Thursday, April 3 2014

A Controlled Lunacy: Brigitte Fontaine’s Manic French Pop

French pop's most peculiar figure has been baffling and delighting audiences for decades with her challenging blend of global music styles.

Thursday, March 27 2014

The Sound of Venezuela’s Restlessness

As protests continue to rage in Venezuela, a traditional Venezuelan spirit is on display. It is thoughtful and reflective, yet opaque. It might be best understood through the music.

Thursday, March 20 2014

Forgotify Rises to the Challenge of Spotify

Forgotify serves as an entry into an internet wormhole, into the many songs that streaming listeners forgot, and it shows us a lot about our habits in the process.

Wednesday, March 19 2014

Is Blue Note Records on the Rise, Again?

One of the great treasures of jazz's past, the Blue Note record label, seems to be enjoying a new golden age. Here are two reasons why.

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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