Tagged: music

The Benefit of Benefits

“Guinnessport,” is not a British drinking game. It’s a new sport/lifestyle choice that fetishizes (and glorifies) obsessive-compulsive behavior. Guinnessport contestants compete to hold the most certified records in the Guinness Book of World Records, including the record for holding the most records (367, at present). Activities like cycling underwater. Carrying a brick in one hand...

(K)Jazz is Dead

Since the 1970s, for as long as I’ve been aware of the music commonly known as “jazz,” various authorities, mavens, and aficionados have been declaring it dead or soon-to-be-deceased. “Jazz is dead.” “Jazz is dying.” “Jazz is going extinct.” If this is so, the suffering patient has been enduring a kind of decades-long hospice care...

The End is Near!…for Selling Recorded Music

Before 1909, when technology changed everything, performing artists earned a living by performing. The only way to sell talent was to traipse it around the countryside and throughout the theatrical circuit. Packaging a voice on phonograph recordings, distributing the disc through retail channels, and marketing the product as a valuable commodity was a radical and...

An Opinion You Can Trust

The most irksome problem with the Blogosphere is that everybody is a critic, which is cool for everybody but troubling for everybody else. Without institutional authority — a newspaper, a university, a trade group — to certify who should be listened to and respected and who should be dismissed and neglected, discerning the wheat from...

Poem: Let’s Take a Trip

Let’s take a trip to the promised land. You’re not alone, I’lll hold your hand. We’re on a journey, side by side. You be the tourist, I’ll be your guide. We won’t stop til we get where we’re meant to be goin’. So long as the love and the music is flowin’. Free.  See! Epiphanies...

Jazz is Dead

If, like me, you listen frequently to jazz radio, often you hear DJs and other concerned constituents urging folks to “keep jazz alive,” as though it were an invalid on life support. Falling sales, vanishing broadcast formats, venue closures — they all suggest that America’s greatest contribution to the planetary arts is indeed on the...

Baddest of the Badd

This space has previously catalogued a pantheon of Badasses, the bad-to-the-bone boys and girls whose badness makes them (and what they do) impossible to ignore and glorious to witness.  The past two weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing two of the world’s very baddest musicians at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar & Grilll Jazz Club, one...

The Fable of the Fable

There once lived a Regular Person with regular talents and regular desires, including the one that most regular people have: to be less regular and more extraordinary, to be more like an exalted Them and less like an unheralded Us.  So, despite her regular looks — some would unkindly say that she was not even...

The Artist as Saint

His nickname among musicians was “Prince of Darkness.” According to many who claim to have known him well, and according to an accrued reputation bordering on myth, Miles Davis was a jerk.  Based on evidence available for review on YouTube, as well as eyewitness accounts shared anecdotally and personally, Keith Jarrett can be insufferably obnoxious....

Magnificent Obsessions

People who are obsessed with Star Wars, comic book heroes, vampires, defunct boy bands, and long-canceled television series of the 1970s are effortlessly (and frequently) mocked by the self-satisfied masses who have managed to not care deeply about strange and specific phenomena. Blatant nerdiness makes an easy target.  But what of the tens-of-thousands — millions?...