christmas stars by Flickr user mararie (Creative Commons license)

Best new music of 2012 – Rock, jazz, country, world, etc.

My listening habits this past year have continued to shift in a decidedly classical direction. Other things—particularly rock—quickly feel like unwelcome distractions now, giving me a kind of ‘instant listening fatigue.’ It’s never just one thing, but often boils down … [read more]

Heritage Blues Orchestra - And Still I Rise

Listening to: Heritage Blues Orchestra, And Still I Rise

A surprising and delightful accomplishment: Heritage Blues Orchestra wields the full potential power of the modern blues arsenal but has the taste and restraint to deliver a varied album full of genuine dynamics, subtlety and intelligence. What often ails contemporary … [read more]

Best new music of 2011

Thought I’d get an early handle on my best-of-the-year list this time around. I’ve blogged surprisingly little about music in 2011. That doesn’t mean that I listened any less, or less attentively. In fact, audio-wise, it was just this past … [read more]

Coeur de pirate: Blonde

Listening to: Coeur de pirate

Béatrice Martin, who goes by the stage name Coeur de pirate, is a wildly, fantastically talented singer-songwriter from Montreal. She has just released her second solo album—the excellent Blonde—and she’s only 22. Like many listeners outside of France and Quebec, I … [read more]

Appreciating chamber music

An ear for music is very different from a taste for music. I have no ear whatever; I could not sing an air to save my life; but I have the intensest delight in music, and can detect good from … [read more]

Cee-Lo Green The Lady Killer

carsten

A review of Cee-Lo Green’s ‘The Lady Killer’ (2010) Cee-Lo Green is that maddeningly brilliant, completely left-of-centre genius that only rolls around every few years in a genre. R&B has of course had its fair share of auteur geniuses: off … [read more]