Category Archives: Music

How David Bowie’s “Blackstar” Taught Us How to Die

Four years ago on January 8, David Bowie gave us a majestic gift on his own birthday: Blackstar, his 25th and final studio album. I believe Blackstar is the most significant work of popular music in the 21st Century. For with Blackstar, David Bowie … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Kanye West Became the Reincarnation of Al Green

Kanye West has made a career of throwing people off balance, just as he is doing now with his embrace of Christianity. And when Kanye embraces something, he goes all the way. In October, he released a set of Christian … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Buy Vinyl

My name is David. And I’m a vinyl addict.  At a time when I should be de-cluttering my life, I’m accumulating vinyl records. I own four copies of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s not enough for me to … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Lessons for Brands from Ellie Goulding’s Thanksgiving Day Stand Against the Salvation Army

The Ellie Goulding/Salvation Army controversy is the latest high-profile example of a brand/artist collaboration taking a left turn into the realm of political/social consciousness. Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the Intersect Music Festival Demonstrates the Risks of the Band/Brand Relationship

Many brands try to create enduring emotional ties with people by being culturally relevant. Cultural relevance is about connecting with an audience through their beliefs, interests, and behaviors. Forming marketing relatinships with musicians is a way for businesses to achieve … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Myth of Fat Elvis

History has been cruel to Elvis Presley. Last impressions are usually the enduring ones, and our last impression of Elvis is the “Fat Elvis” of the 1970s: a sweaty, blubbery shell of his former self, spaced out on drugs in … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How the University of Kansas Made Snoop Dogg Dangerous

God bless Snoop Dogg for proving that music still has the power to provoke. On October 4, the famous hip-hop artist lit up the University of Kansas Allen Fieldhouse basketball court by performing some of his profanity-laden hits, while dancers … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Absolutely Live”: A Portrait of Jim Morrison’s Creative Rebirth

Absolutely Live is the only official live album the Doors released in Jim Morrison’s lifetime. It’s also a misunderstood album. Rock historians remember Absolutely Live, released in 1970, as a document of an artist in decline. In fact, Absolutely Live captures a time when Jim … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vinyl Vibe: Willie Nelson’s “Family Bible”

Don’t let an algorithm define your tastes. Get out there and discover art with reckless abandon. Last weekend, I visited a vinyl record store, Plaza Records, in Carbondale, Illinois. I had not been there in three years. All record stores are … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Al Green: The Spirit Is Willing . . .

When I told my sister Karen I was going to see Al Green perform at the Chicago Theater May 7, she replied, “You mean Reverend Green.” Yes. Reverend Al Green. The Al Green who sold millions of records singing about love and … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment