Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music
October 26, 2015
by Stephen Akey
I think there are a few things we can all agree on: that however much it may be abused and misused, music can penetrate to states of consciousness beyond the reach of words; that music deepens, enriches, and nourishes our lives; and that The Remains were the greatest garage band of the mid ’60s.
September 28, 2015
It’s a tempting narrative, and one that fits with the Internet’s culture of simple solutions: If you’re having trouble with that short story, just put on some Brian Eno. Your latent genius will be unleashed.
July 2, 2015
by Bill Morris
The Grateful Dead’s final tour is another reminder that the band long ago became a large corporation with a bottom line to consider. That’s not a knock on their success. It’s just a fact.
June 18, 2015
by Tim Wirkus
As I’ve thought through the possible criteria for determining the literary equivalent of a pop song, I’ve thought of so many stories that fit the bill, stories that have gotten under my skin, stories that I have to share. Unable to resist that urge, I’ve put together a Thriller-sized playlist of nine pop-musical short stories.
March 17, 2015
Steely Dan was like nothing I’d ever heard, and not in an enticing way. It seemed to be the worst of jazz and the most boring of rock rolled into one mutant, bad-sex package. It sounded like what sad aliens might listen to when they got around to masturbating.
January 8, 2015
by Kevin Mandel
What is it about Leonard Cohen that not only commands my interest but can also set off no small burst of emotion? Something else, too: what exactly is my legitimate stake in someone else’s posterity? Even as a fan.
April 3, 2014
Poetry and music share a word of process — composition — and are linked by negotiations of melody, harmony, rhythm, proportion, and discord. Here is a poetry playlist: 10 poets offer their composition soundtracks.
March 6, 2014
by Matt Hanson
I submit that the kind of place Parker holds within jazz tradition is a little like what you would get if you mixed Beethoven with Jimi Hendrix. He was a game changer.
November 26, 2013
I want to look for my entry onto the page, into a line, an image, a something. The seven-plus-minute song “Reflektor” has become a ritual these days. Blast it louder and maybe the portal will appear. Will I dive in?
November 4, 2013
by Matt Hanson
Most of the personal tributes I’ve seen don’t just talk about how great a musician Lou Reed was but how his fine, fine music literally changed their lives.