Music

MusicWeekend

Eleven Stories by Brandy Clark

by Lucas Fagen on July 23, 2016

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Country singer Brandy Clark’s new album, Big Day in a Small Town, out since June, is rocking loud and jangling pretty, but the temptation to treat her foremost as a lyricist remains.

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Post image for They Might Be Assholes: Jake Bugg, Panic! at the Disco, The 1975, Drake

The artists featured below have little in common beyond deeply questionable, occasionally revolting public personas and a stubborn willingness to produce compelling art from these personas. Why do some succeed and others fail drastically?

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MusicWeekend

Chance the Rapper’s Musical Playground

by Lucas Fagen on June 18, 2016

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Not since fellow Chicago icon Kanye West’s The College Dropout in 2004 has a rapper invented a totally new aesthetic so happy, so inspirational, so kind and funny and friendly and committed to making everybody feel welcome.

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Post image for Even in Love, James Blake Hovers Somewhere Just Out of Reach

I keep listening because I want to grasp it, and so the music generates the very frustrated desire it addresses.

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Post image for Fatima al Qadiri’s Poetry of Terror and Protest

Fatima Al Qadiri has just released her second full-length album, Brute. A concept album, it is, according to Al Qadiri, a protest album in the lineage of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

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Post image for Different Shades of Punk: White Lung, Parquet Courts, Scandal, Modern Baseball

Sometimes genres die quickly (electroclash), sometimes they remain with us forever (teenpop). Sometimes they stop developing and get kept alive indefinitely by loyal keepers of their flame and proud denizens of their subculture.

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MusicWeekend

Esperanza Spalding’s Flow

by Lucas Fagen on May 21, 2016

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During the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in 2011, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding was awarded Best New Artist, a trophy assumed earmarked for Justin Bieber (who else?), and the scandal that ensued changed the recording industry forever.

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MusicWeekend

Prince, Rock Hero

by Lucas Fagen on May 7, 2016

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What did Prince mean?

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Post image for Hip-Hop Report: Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Azealia Banks, 2 Chainz

The big question in hip-hop this season: which megaartiste made the superior album, Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar?

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Post image for Singing Along with Two Titans of Brazilian Music

My roommate once noted how I only sing in the apartment when we play Brazilian music.

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