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.
Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the "Eroica," premiered the night of April 7, 1805. And thus began Romanticism, with what sounds, still, like cannon fire. If the Classic style of Vienna presents the composers thoughts on music in the form of a Haydn Sonata or a Mozart Serenade, the Romantic style presents the composers thoughts … Continue reading The Artist, Hero
This: I have to start out with Schoenberg, and for me, to start with Schoenberg already puts everything on the wrong track. (If this offends you, read further at your own risk, because it’s only downhill from here.) The assumption of Schoenberg’s importance, given the continuing unpopularity of his music, is founded on the further … Continue reading Academic Speaks Truth
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Because, stupid fucking assholes, the day the first unlucky slave landed on these shores was a lucky day for America, indeed (h/t Duke Ellington).
Basinski's piece is an accidental one, the sound produced from the process of old magnetic tapes literally falling apart on each pass by the play head on a tape recorder. The composer says the project ended on the morning of 9/11. It's a piece about physical decay, dissipation, the loss of records and memories. Ten years later, that's what we have left.
Good jazz musicians make jazz that sounds good in the moment, great jazz musicians do that and also place that music within the historical firmament of the music, not only showing you how their playing fits into the tradition but that the tradition is never dead, never past, never irrelevant. All the ideas, styles and … Continue reading Six Pianos, Part Two
Hardy Jackson, American Citizen There is political art, and there is art that is political. The former is art whose raison d’être is to make an argument about how society should be ordered or governed, the latter is art that has ideas and concerns beyond the political, but that has a content or context that … Continue reading Un-American