All Things Reconsidered

History of String Quartet Music within a String Quartet: Rochberg’s Third

Jan 31st, 2017 | By

I first encountered this when I was 12 or so, at the listening station in the public library. Wanting to hear something a little different (i.e. not the usual pop favored by 12-year olds or the “conventional” classical with which I was familiar), I selected this LP and one of traditional Chinese music.  I found
[continue reading…]



Quiet Time with Kings of Convenience

Apr 26th, 2016 | By

So much great music 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 settle
[continue reading…]



The Continuity Beneath Bowie’s Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Oct 2nd, 2015 | By

It’s easy to view “Changes” as David Bowie’s statement of purpose. Quite understandably, most writers tend to focus on his many changing images, each trying to determine which is the “real Bowie.” Bowie has adopted many personae throughout his career, leaving others to explore the various styles further when he inevitably moves on to the
[continue reading…]



Bowie Doesn’t Sing

Sep 28th, 2015 | By

In 2001 David Bowie released what is without doubt the oddest compilation of his career. Which is saying something, there having been over 40 collections of his music across five decades. This one was called All Saints, with the subtitle telling you exactly what you’re getting: Collected Instrumentals 1977-1999. The story goes that the original
[continue reading…]



Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Do the ‘Works’ Still Work?

Sep 23rd, 2015 | By

This was in my vinyl collection, and after digging it out of storage, I promptly ignored it for several months. Back in the early 1980s, I’d liked some of it. But now, all I could remember about it was huge, blown-up ostentation, grand sonic spectacle based on nothing. Not that the concept was bad, of
[continue reading…]



From Station to Station: Bowie’s Darkest Journey

Sep 16th, 2015 | By

With a career spanning 26 studio albums, David Bowie is a restless artist, always striving toward reinvention. If one were to listen to all of his albums in succession, one would easily be able to identify what I will call his “bridge” albums. These are the albums that have remnants of the previous release mixed in
[continue reading…]



The Rise of David Bowie and a Starman From The Sky

Sep 14th, 2015 | By

Changes. No musician has embraced that concept more than David Bowie. His career  has seen him release new material throughout the past six decades, a feat few musicians have equaled. Fewer still come close to the number of transformations he has gone through in both persona and music. Such a long and distinguished career filled with multiple
[continue reading…]



Tension and Fear: Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters’

Sep 10th, 2015 | By

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) was released on Sept. 12 1980. Preceded by the hugely successful single “Ashes to Ashes,” Scary Monsters hit No. 1 on the U.K. album charts on Sept. 27. It peaked just outside the Top 10 in the U.S. but also made No. 1 in Australia. This was Bowie’s 14th studio album, full
[continue reading…]



The (Near) Beginning of David Bowie’s Long Odyssey

Sep 2nd, 2015 | By

“Ground control to Major Tom …” How indelible those opening words of David Bowie’s first mature album have become over the nearly five decades since they were recorded. When I initially heard them, I knew I was listening to something — and someone — special, but I had no idea just how special. Man of Words/Man
[continue reading…]



A Side of Sia You Didn’t Know: Zero 7’s Beautiful Debut

Jul 27th, 2015 | By

Virtually anyone with an interest in music has heard — and likely enjoyed — the work of Sia Furler. Her 2014 hit “Chandelier” reached No. 8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and received four Grammy nominations. The previous year, “Elastic Heart” (featuring The Weeknd and Diplo) was featured on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And
[continue reading…]