Category Archives: Music

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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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Unsigned and on Fire: Alexis Saski of Tennessee Muscle Candy Writes Her Future

What would you do if you were a young musician with a record label interested in you — but you realized that your future with the label meant singing songs you didn’t believe in? Would you somehow make it work? Now let’s … Continue reading

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What Comes Next After K-Pop’s Big Week?

K-pop is having a moment in America, and for once, BTS is not the only reason. But is K-pop truly achieving mainstream popularity Stateside beyond its fan base?  The genre of pop music born in South Korea is a global phenomenon, … Continue reading

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The Problem with Mick Jagger

America doesn’t know what to do with Mick Jagger. Jagger famously captured the essence of rebellion and raw sexuality decades ago. At the height of his creative powers and cultural relevance in the 1960s, he was a threat to the … Continue reading

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Why Ariana Grande Doesn’t Need the Grammys

The old music institutions are losing their grip. The Super Bowl LIII halftime show February 3 was a bust because of a musicians’ boycott. And now musicians who matter are blowing off the Grammy Awards. Childish Gambino, Drake, Ariana Grande, and … Continue reading

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The Super Bowl LIII Halftime Debacle: What Will Be the Fallout?

Will all Super Bowl drama hurt Big Boi, Maroon 5, and Travis Scott? Continue reading

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