Tour de Force

03.10.2006 | Robert Latona | Music | 2 Comments

You have to be cautious, though, about attaching visual referents to music. Who can hear Ponchielli without flashing on a bunch of leering crocodiles trying to either eat or rape all those prancing ostriches and hippos in tutus?

Ghostly Echoes: Egypt and Mahmoud Fadl’s Drummers of the Nile Go South: Nubian Travels

02.10.2006 | David Marcus | Letters From Abroad, Music | 4 Comments

Back in my Jerusalem apartment, listening to Drummers of the Nile Go South: Nubian Travels, what I wanted most was to go back in time and have this incredible album accompany me on my long bus journey to and from Egypt. It would have been a good companion for my trip and a good substitute for Busta Rhymes.

More than Samba

01.12.2006 | Raphael McGregor | International Affairs, Music | 3 Comments

Whenever I tell people I’m in a band that plays Brazilian music, the inevitable response is, “Oh, you play Samba?”

Should White Rappers Be Executed?

06.20.2005 | Tim Marchman | Cultural Affairs, Music | 4 Comments

Black and white culture are inextricably bound, rising as they do from the same common American experiences. In America, race is arbitrary: A white kid fascinated by hip-hop is fascinated by himself.

The Gentry of the Bowery

Famed punk club CBGB may be on its the way out, a victim of the unlikely new interest in gentrification of its landlord, a homeless group that's planning on doubling the venue’s rent. All of which made for an ironic backdrop to the CBGB 313 Gallery’s new photography exhibit, Back to the Bowery.

The Boxer, the Nostalgist and the Swinger

02.8.2005 | Tim Marchman | Music
Marsalis's Unforgivable Blackness has less to do with Jack Johnson, whose rise as a boxer happened to coincide with the rise of jazz, than it does with the musical tradition Marsalis believes to have been brutally, irretrievably corrupted in the 1960s.

Our Man on The Rose & the Briar

12.16.2004 | Russ Smith | Music
In an era in which cartoon characters like Al Sharpton and demagogues such as Julian Bond claim to represent the concerns of black citizens, Stanley Crouch's heartfelt emotions about "Come Sunday" are a welcome tonic.

Confessions of a Traveling Tzaddik

12.6.2004 | David Walley | Music
This isn't a perfect book by any means, and it could have used some judicious editing, especially to tighten the narrative flow, but who's going to edit Dylan?

Free Jazz & Free Love, or, Is Branford Marsalis a Neocon?

10.29.2004 | Eric Adler | Music
A number of European avant-garde jazz musicians of my acquaintance have carped about the damage that government funding can bring to the free-jazz community. The self-promoting sass displayed by those on our side of the Atlantic is largely unknown on the continent.

Life, Death & Lumberjacks -- Bob Dylan, Poet

10.15.2004 | David Walley | Literature, Music | 2 Comments
Dylan, without benefit of clergy or A.J. Weberman, on the move through twisted famedreams, acid visions populated with amphetamine figures -- Lonzo, Murph the Surf, The Senator, Jesus Christ, Suzy Q., The Good Samaritan, James Cagney.

Knight's Music: Tim Marchman on George Wallington

09.25.2004 | Tim Marchman | Music, Unfairly Forgotten | 2 Comments
Had the Onyx Club group recorded, Wallington might well have been widely remembered like Al Haig, as a formidable player on some of the most influential sides ever cut. But it wasn't to be.

How Do I Come Off?: Ten Neglected Hip Hop Classics

09.24.2004 | Alex Belth | Music, Unfairly Forgotten | 6 Comments
The Unseen was made as a personal mix tape and never intended to be released commercially. But when Peanut Butter Wolf heard it, he knew it would find an audience.

Viva Roxy Music!

09.21.2004 | J.E. D'Ulisse | Music, Unfairly Forgotten | 2 Comments
The women on the cassette cover didn't look like the plastic women I had seen on MTV but like women that you could actually meet. I needed this album. It was called Country Life by the band Roxy Music. It was better than porn.

"A Jazzy Rhythmic Lilt": Eric Adler on Hoagy Carmichael

Having purchased my first Hoagy Carmichael CD, I could ignore the irksome Hit Parade orchestral fluff that marred some of the tunes and delight in some of the greatest songs in the annals of American popular music.

Remembering Sandy Bull -- Fantasias and Inventions

09.19.2004 | David Walley | Music, Unfairly Forgotten | 10 Comments
Yes, I'm talking about the early acid phase of rock, just before the head culture was slipped into the media's mass-cult fold with the invention of the hippie, beginning the slippery slope from doper to yuppie culture

Boris Vian -- Should White Jazz Musicians Be Executed?

08.29.2004 | Trad Anon | Music, Partisan Reader | 14 Comments
I used to be all in favor of racial integration in principle. But I have been obliged to rethink my position. Sure, it's fun to play with black musicians. But who profits from it? Surely not the blacks.

Hip Hop Hermeneutics

08.20.2004 | Tim Marchman | Music | 6 Comments
The Wu Tang Clan is making art -- deliberately obscurantist and seriously intended. Marry it to the delirious self-mythologizing and outrageous crimes of its creators, and you have not just something outlandish, reprehensible, and wonderful, but fecund and unbroken ground for serious study of American culture.

Metallica Loves You

07.30.2004 | Richard O'Keeffe | Film, Music | 3 Comments
How could any thinking person endure such a barrage of feel-good do-goodery and psychobabble without killing? Luckily, Metallica's members lack inner lives.

Is Modern Music Dead?

06.7.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Music | 13 Comments
Much has also been happening in the last few years to suggest that traditional opera and concert classical music is flourishing below the attention level of the mainstream press and the largest opera houses.

Eric Adler on the Straight Man of New Dutch Swing

05.31.2004 | Eric Adler | Music
In some ways, Dijkstra is an uncharacteristic figure in the movement: he doesn't appear particularly interested in the vaudevillian antics of the Kollektief, or the neo-Dada tomfoolery of Mengelberg and Bennink. Rather, he comes across as an introspective, almost shy, presence on stage.

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