What do musicians do when their stars have settled down a bit closer to the horizon? Do they keep producing albums, playing gigs, chasing the brass ring and the gold record?
If you’re Matthew Sweet, he of 90′s hits “Girlfriend” and “Sick of Myself,” you do all that. And you make pottery that looks like Read More
Two bands will be playing the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert in Prospect Park on the afternoon of July 11, two bands that have the same name and the same members. Kids will be hoping to hear this band play “Who Put the Alphabet in Alphabetical Order?” or “Rolling O” while parents will be crossing Read More
The death of Michael Jackson has prompted a flood of articles declaring him the apotheosis of pop stardom, musical success, and universal appeal. This past century of recorded music, writers say, culminated in Michael Jackson, and there will never be another.
They’re not wrong: Jackson’s deep well of talent and charisma, his sense of the Read More
Common started his rap career as a Midwestern representative of all that made mid-’90s indie hip-hop so great. Soul- and funk-driven beats were matched by confessional, verbose rhymes that eschewed rims and strippers for more pressing, mature, and human concerns. He has spent the last decade slowly augmenting that image, adding a dash of hippie Read More
German electropop innovators Kraftwerk claimed proudly in their heyday some decades ago that the robotic sound of their music was not enough: they wanted to become robots. On Akon’s latest album, “Freedom,” out today, the Senegalese-raised, Atlanta-based singer has brought that dream to R&B, though in his case, automatism isn’t the end in itself, just Read More
Something happened around 2001 that split off a large portion of Scottish band Belle and Sebastian’s estimable fan base, which is a shame, because they’ve done great work since. A lot of fans had latched on to the band’s infectious, bookish pop soon after its 1996 debut, Tigermilk, and five years on had simply grown Read More
What is the point of the CMJ music festival?
Ostensibly, the dizzying roster of live shows in venues all over New York City, and the magazine behind it (College Media Journal, once College Music Journal) exist to provide new music to college radio programmers and, increasingly, to online outlets. There was a time when college Read More
Observed this weekend at a Brooklyn wine bar: a crew of boomy-voiced 30-somethings harassing their waitress.
“This is horrible!” said a long-haired portly guy, thrusting his iPhone at her. “These songs you’re playing are so tired, man! Listen, we’re in the industry. Trust us. Please put on my playlist. I cannot listen to this crap!” Read More
If we’re lucky, R&B is in a state of flux; if we’re not, it’s dying slowly. Since the 90′s, the genre (especially its male component) has rewarded banality, whether in the form of sexist histrionics dressed up as seduction, the sort of stuff that gets Chris Brown and Akon hits, or the too-often bloodless smoothness Read More