This entry is part of 19 in the series Con­sumer Reports

This entry is part of 19 in the series Con­sumer Reports(The Big City Blog is ad-free and reader sup­ported. Your dona­tion or sub­scrip­tion helps defray host­ing costs and asso­ci­ated expenses. Mak­ing your own pur­chases through Ama­zon links in these pages also helps—at no addi­tional cost to you, a small amount of rev­enue is passed on(…)

The Man Machine

This entry is part of 10 in the series Great­est Hits

In the fall of 2009, Capitol/EMI issued a lav­ish and long-awaited box set, col­lect­ing the cat­a­logue of record­ings of one of the world’s most beloved, and most impor­tant, pop music groups. The music this group made was not only great in its own right but rev­o­lu­tion­ary and hugely influ­en­tial. Whole gen­res of pop­u­lar music of the last forty years are impos­si­ble to imag­ine, and would have been impos­si­ble to cre­ate, with­out the legacy of this band, arguably the great­est of all that came out of the rise of pop cul­ture and mass media. That band is, of course, Kraftwerk.

You’re Still Going to Get Dated”

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Great­est Hits

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Great­est Hits(For the sea­son, and my Win­ter Fundraiser, I’m repost­ing some old favorites.) This image proudly not used with per­mis­sion. What does it mean to be dig­i­tal? Only a com­puter can say for sure, and they’re not talk­ing. As for us human’s, we’re still ana­log in(…)

Brokeback Mountain Stream

One of the major opera events of the year is the pre­miere per­for­mances of Charles Wuorinen’s oper­atic ver­sion of Broke­back Moun­tain. The opera comes directly from the story by Annie Proulx, who her­self trans­formed her writ­ing into the libretto. There is an obsta­cle, how­ever: these are at the Teatro Real in Madrid, and the closest(…)

Things to Do While Going Out of Your Mind With the Heat

If you can’t enjoy the clas­sic bour­geois plea­sures of a coun­try house and/or for­eign travel when the sun rushes down at you and the ozone makes your throat ache, you can at least dream the dream in real­ity, so to speak. My friends at have cre­ated a new ver­sion of their mobile app, dedicated(…)

Live George Benjamin

Who among us would not want to be at the Aix-en-Provence Fes­ti­val? Since the press announce­ment landed in my in-box at the begin­ning of this year, I’ve thought about it every day. The plea­sure of atten­dance would be two-fold: to enjoy great music in a beau­ti­ful locale, and to know that I had achieved some(…)

Links of a Dirty Old Man

An intel­lec­tual is a man who says a sim­ple thing in a dif­fi­cult way; an artist is a man who says a dif­fi­cult thing in a sim­ple way.   Sum­mer has just begun, and that means it’s not too soon to think about where you’ll be sit­ting in come the fall. The brochures and book­lets are(…)

Great Gifts Come in No Packages

While I’m not inter­ested in pro­mot­ing con­sumerism, I do like to sug­gest music worth spend­ing your money on, and this time of year, that often means rec­om­mended record­ings (and the 2011 Best of Year lists will be appear­ing this week here at The Big City). But I want to offer an intrigu­ing idea for a(…)

Revenge of the Nerds: The Meek’s Inheritance

The story of how the dig­i­ti­za­tion of music revealed the music industry’s feet of clay has been told more than once, but it’s never been prop­erly explained. File shar­ing may be the pre­vail­ing symp­tom, but it’ s not the actual cause. Some­thing pre­ceded the cre­ation of Nap­ster, and that was the desire, even the need for many music fans, to have a Nap­ster. As far as I have seen, after the many books and arti­cles on the sub­ject, no one has touched on the par­ties respon­si­ble, the deci­sions they made, what they thought they were doing and how they were fool­ing them­selves. Per­haps it’s because it’s been told from the stand­point of busi­ness, when it’s really a story about music.

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