2018 was another year full of outrageous distractions, the misconfigurations and abuses of the public sphere relentlessly encroaching on whatever space one tried to carve out for thinking, experiencing beauty or getting some rest. A year to test our commitments, … [read more]
This year’s best music list comes in the middle of the Great Deep Freeze of 2017, where it’s apparently colder in Canada than at the North Pole. Winter has come. This time, I have no summary words of political, cultural … [read more]
As 2016 plowed on, it revealed itself as an annus horribilis. Many of the world’s temporarily dormant or subdued evils really came alive this year, and there’s no need to enumerate them here. Music lost more than a few important … [read more]
It has become an annual tradition on this blog, a chore, and — increasingly — an unwelcome reminder of how infrequently I blog these days. Life is busy, and my writing energies are differently channeled, for example into academic assignments. But music remains important, and I continue to actively combat the overwhelming taste for nostalgia most middle-aged people apparently develop at some point, by regularly seeking out new recorded music.
I took the picture above in our front yard this morning. Overnight, we got the ‘great ice storm of 2013,’ 12 hours of freezing rain. It downed tree limbs and whole trees, took down power lines, destroyed cars and eavestroughs … [read more]
Sometimes, it takes me a while to really start to like an artist. Beck is one of those. I have no excuse, really. This — and quite a few of his other records — is a masterpiece of a kind of modern, … [read more]
A review of Stephen Marley’s Revelation (Pt. 1 The Root of Life)’ (2011) Voice-wise, Stephen Marley is definitely his father’s son, more so than his brothers Ziggy or Damian. He cut his musical teeth in Ziggy’s Melody Makers, then chose … [read more]
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]