February 27, 2014 |
Musically speaking, one of the best parts of the breakout success of “True Detective” is the window it opens into the world of the Handsome Family. The husband-wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks composed “Far From Any Road,” used each week in the HBO mystery's opening credits, but that tells only a tiny part of their story. For the last two decades the pair has been using the blueprints of old-time country and western balladry to create dark but often lovely narratives set in the present.
July 23, 2012 |
The London Olympics won't get underway until this weekend, but numerous songs from these pop-heavy games have already been released. As part of its "Rock the Games" music program, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games commissioned five songs. The first to appear was Muse's "Survival," and the last will be Dizzee Rascal's "Scream," which will be released midway through the games on Aug. 6. Here, we pit the official Olympic songs against one another and rank them the only way the Olympics know how: gold, silver and bronze.
September 1, 2013 |
Once upon a time, I listened to the radio. I even bought LPs, cassette tapes and CDs. But gone are those days. Now, I listen to streaming music, which has made staying on top of all the latest tunes as easy as a couple of clicks, all for about $10 a month. Some music apps focus on the basics (oldies are the goodies), others make recommendations based on your preferences or musical discovery, while others emphasize features like lyrics, sound adjustment and user interface.
March 12, 2014 |
Female country singers are complaining that their music is being pushed off the airwaves by a new crew of young, male, “bro-country” musicians singing interchangeable songs about dirt roads, pickup trucks, girls in tiny cutoff jeans and beer, lots of beer. Carrie Underwood is leading the charge, telling Billboard magazine that the country music business seems to have very limited room for new female musicians, but that it's different for the guys. “There seem to be so many male singers out there who can be viewed as similar, and there seems to be plenty of room for all of them,” Underwood said.
June 29, 2013 |
In Saturday's Times, I published an account of my recent wedding, and the struggles and successes of choosing the perfect music for the occasion -- especially as a music critic. The essay mentioned any number of songs that my wife Jenny and I included, and others that were featured on a mix CD we gave to our guests. I've made a Spotify mix of the songs that landed on the mix, and included it below. Yes, the list of songs that we could have included is boundless, and on any given day the mix would have featured other selections.
July 29, 2010 |
Ben Jaffe, the tuba player and creative director for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, was sitting in his Faubourg Marigny house one spring morning, drinking fresh-brewed New Orleans chicory coffee and worrying about the oil spill. He and music producer Bill Lynn had just watched oil executives blame one another for the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster, and Jaffe, who comes from a long line of jazz musicians, was sick of it. He glanced over at a glum Lynn, and as if by instinct, they started riffing on a standard New Orleans tune, "It Ain't My Fault."