This entry is part 1 of 20 in the series Consumer Reports

This entry is part 1 of 20 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(…)

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(…)

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(…)

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.

iPhone Raison d'être