Photo of neon brain by dierk schaefer. Used under Creative Commons license.

From the Editors

My, What a Big Brain You Have!

For as long as I can remember, music has moved me. Whether it was thrilling to The Sound of Music on the huge Cinerama screen, listening to The Tijuana Brass on my parents’ console, spinning my first singles on my own record player — from the earliest years of my life, I just felt the music.

Most people I know, including the contributors and readers of this site, also have that inherent connection. In fact, it seems just unimaginable that anyone would not be moved by music. And yet just as some people don’t care for chocolate (what?!?), apparently for some people music doesn’t connect. And now we know why.

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recordcollection Let’s Stay Physical: The Case for CDs and LPs

I recently spent several months packing up most of my house for a move that fell through at the last minute. I’ve had more enjoyable experiences in my life. Back when I used to move much more frequently — during the college years and shortly thereafter — I followed a simple rule of packing. The
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3163821489_5f3513335f_o (Not) Giving Us What We (Don’t) Want

I will always remember the day in the late 1980s when I walked into my local record shop to pick up a new release. I easily located it on CD, but the LP — my preferred format — was nowhere to be found. I found a clerk and asked him if I had somehow missed it,
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Dirty Mind End of the Purple Reign: Remembering Prince

I was introduced to Prince by Rolling Stone‘s gushing lead review of Dirty Mind in February 1981. I immediately bought the album and could not stop playing it.  As Ken Tucker observed, “At its best, Dirty Mind is positively filthy.” Perhaps more important, though, “Dirty Mind jolts with the unsettling tension that arises from rubbing complex erotic wordplay against clean, simple
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New_Gold_Dream.jpg Somewhere (Now and Again) in Summertime

To be alive is to know something about ebbs and flows. Sometimes everything feels stale and blocked, and the challenges come one after the other. But then a switch flips and doors open, and the challenges give way to opportunities. Half a lifetime ago, I heard the switch flip. Early in my career as a
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melanie-de-biasio-blackened-cities Melanie De Biasio Sees the Light in Blackened Cities

I often laugh when I rip a new CD to my music server and see what genre the recording gets assigned to. A death metal album is Pop? A choral album is Male Vocal? There are more than 100 different genres across my collection, but to be honest I pay no attention to them beyond the
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Folder An Affectionate Look Back at The Associates

Not a day goes by that I don’t stop by to read the latest from Paul Sinclair at, which focuses primarily on expanded deluxe releases and reissues. I rarely buy anything I read about there, as I am not a completist who needs every rejected take and poorly recorded live track a band has committed
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Folder A Key Album from Masha Qrella

One of the joys of being a music lover is the serendipity of stumbling across those little-known artists who push all the right buttons for you. Or in the present case, of having a friend do it for you. About a decade ago, friend and SDLU Editor Mark Sullivan heard German musician Masha Qrella open for a
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Folder Quiet Time with Kings of Convenience

So much great music seems seems to be intimately tied to the times in which it is created, often as part of a new genre that just feels right for the moment. Such was the case with many of the artists featured on 2001’s A Quiet Riot compilation. Maybe it was that the world was ready to
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