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
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Agnes Obel and Jenny Hval Will Give You the Chills

Jan 17th, 2017 | By

As winter grips the Northern Hemisphere, it would probably be most comforting to grab a nice glass of red wine and relax to music that brings the heat from the southern regions. But instead, I’ve been leaning into the cold by re-listening to two of my favorite albums of 2016. Interestingly, like two of my
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My Favorite Music To Reclaim 2016

Jan 2nd, 2017 | By

2016 wasn’t kind to music lovers. So many great musicians slipped off this mortal coil causing many of us to wonder how many more terrible losses we may continue to suffer in the coming years as illness and age takes its toll on the innovators and superstars that have provided so much music that has
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Somewhere (Now and Again) in Summertime

Sep 13th, 2016 | By

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 Sees the Light in Blackened Cities

Jun 6th, 2016 | By

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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An Affectionate Look Back at The Associates

May 23rd, 2016 | By

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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A Key Album from Masha Qrella

May 9th, 2016 | By

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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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
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It’s About Time You Heard The Luck Of Eden Hall

Apr 19th, 2016 | By

As a genre of rock, psychedelic music has provided a treasure trove of resources since its beginnings in the 1960s. The word is derived from the hallucinogenic drugs, advocated by a number of writers in the 1950s and ’60s, most notably Timothy Leary, for their ability to expand one’s mind and raise one’s consciousness. The proliferation
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Remembering Gato Barbieri and His Great Tango

Apr 5th, 2016 | By

It wasn’t necessarily the most obvious musical idea ever: For the soundtrack of a film about a middle-aged widower embarking on an intense sexual relationship with a young beauty in Paris, director Bernardo Bertolucci decided that the best choice would be … an Argentinian jazz musician. Granted, the tango has its roots in Argentinia, and the movie was titled Last
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