Best New Music Albums 2014

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Best Of

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Best Of Best Down­town Music 2014 Best New Music Albums 2014 This is the sec­ond half of the clas­si­cal list, music that has com­mon ori­gins in the West­ern tra­di­tion, in the expan­sive sense of music that began with a social pur­pose and then devel­oped an abstract(…)

2014 Year In Lists

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Best Of

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Best OfLists. I know, I know, many music fans find this lazy, unfair, and no sub­sti­tute for crit­i­cism. That point of view is gen­er­ally true, although lists can be use­ful and infor­ma­tive. And speak­ing inside the world of crit­i­cism, where it is essen­tially impos­si­ble to(…)

Ashley in the House

Think­ing and writ­ing about Robert Ash­ley has been an involved, major project for me the past many weeks, and I am close to tying it off. There’s no feel­ing of relief, because his work is extra­or­di­nary, and his loss—which was inevitable—is immense. There is such a dearth of new think­ing in opera, exac­er­bated by the(…)


The cliché of the vision­ary artist is of some­one like William Blake, so involved in the worlds in his head that his wife said of him, “I have very lit­tle of Mr. Blake’s com­pany, he is always in Par­adise.” This is the idea of vision as hal­lu­ci­na­tion, a mys­ti­cal third eye see­ing into dimen­sions and(…)

The Radical Simplicity Of The Avant-Garde

Land­marks tell us where we are, they help us get to where we’re going. They appear dif­fer­ently to us depend­ing on our dis­tance and angle, and it is that rela­tion which ori­ents us. No mat­ter how con­crete and specif­i­cally defined they are as objects, their mean­ing and func­tion are mainly sub­jec­tive and rel­a­tive. In Brooklyn,(…)

Event Posting

I’ll be at Roulette tonight for some old-time exper­i­men­tal electro-acoustic music.

Revolutionary Chic

David Byrne and Brian Eno have a new record, avail­able today. Per­haps it will be good. “My Life In The Bush of Ghosts” is decent enough — more on that later — but the free down­load song off the new record is decid­edly ordi­nary. That prob­a­bly would sur­prise a lot of peo­ple, but it shouldn’t,(…)