Music

Memorable Album Covers: “Exile on Main St.”

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Whenever I see the cover of Exile on Main St., I think of my courtship with Janice Deal in the late 1980s. We learned about each other through our vinyl collections during that time. Jan's Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel albums gave me a glimpse into her poetic artistry that ...

Memorable Album Covers: Elton John’s “Greatest Hits”

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Have you ever come across someone who captures a style that you can admire but never hope to emulate? Elton John made me awestruck when I found a copy of Greatest Hits in my sister Karen's room when I was a kid. The album came out at a time when ...

Awakening the Ghost of Jim Morrison

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

My life changed 35 years ago today. During the summer of 1981, I was living in Neumarkt, Germany, a little town nestled in the Bavarian hills. I was the guest of a couple of families kind enough to host a high school graduate whose idea of preparing for college was growing ...

The “Stairway to Heaven” Lawsuit: How Permanent a Victory?

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Led Zeppelin's successful defense of "Stairway to Heaven" against an accusation of copyright infringement over the song "Taurus" is a victory for creativity -- but how permanent a victory? The opening notes of "Stairway to Heaven" share, at best, a passing similarity to a brief chord progression in "Taurus," written by ...

Paul Wrote “Hey Jude” for Me

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

You don't listen to great songs. You experience them personally. They feel like they were written just for you. They take on different meaning each time you experience them because as your life changes and the context of the song changes. Sometimes even a song you've heard a million times can ...

You Don’t Have to Hug Your Fans

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

  Building fan love doesn't mean pandering to your audience. Radiohead, which dropped its new album A Moon Shaped Pool digitally May 8, builds fan devotion by challenging and even confounding its audience, which is the right approach for a group whose music has always been one step ahead of everyone. Radiohead's actions in ...

Beyoncé Finds a New Muse

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Was anyone ready for the new-look Beyoncé? After creating a body of work that celebrated self-empowerment through sexuality, Queen Bey has released searing music that tackles themes such as black femininity, social inequality, spirituality, and marital politics. In other words, she has become culturally relevant. Striving to be culturally relevant does ...

The Coachella 360-Degree Live Stream Disappoints

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Hey, Coachella: I want my glorious live stream back. For years, the Coachella music festival has set the gold standard with event live streams largely because its camera crews make you feel like you're right on stage with the artists. Last week, for instance, the live streams of Ice Cube, Grimes, ...

The Future of Concert Live Streaming: Social Virtual Reality

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Music is the star of the annual Coachella festival, which kicked off April 15 for the weekend and resumes April 22, but virtual reality is starting to grab its own headlines. Coachella and Vantaget.tv recently announced the launch of its own virtual reality app, which allows owners of VR headsets (either the ...

“How We Listen Now” Confronts the Music Industry

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Cortney Harding is on a mission to wake up the music industry. The writer and music industry consultant has recently published How We Listen Now: Essays and Conversations about Music and Technology, a provocative examination of two different worlds: on the one hand, consumers are experiencing music on their own time, in ...