Music

Post image for World Music Doesn’t Exist: Aki Kumar, Lakuta, Metin Batur/Mamed Dzafarov, Choose Amore

There are critics out there made so uncomfortable by how foreign music is marketed to Western listeners, especially Europeans, that they’ve sworn off any sort of foreign style.

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Post image for Gender Menders: Anohni, RuPaul, Gwen Stefani, Now That’s What I Call Country

Like the idiot I am, I got Grimes’s Art Angels very wrong when it surfaced last year.

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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

Post image for Chance the Rapper’s Musical Playground

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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