"Ms. Arnold’s book functions as an elegy for a bygone age, one she labels as the space “between the eras of punk rock and Napster,” when both she and Ms. Phair were in their 20s, and rock critics were indie culture demigods. They seemed to be, at any rate, before the author grew up and consumed what appears to be a double shot of Walter Benjamin and Marx" says Allesandra Montalto, somewhat redundantly, about Gina Arnold's new 33 1/3 entry on Liz Phair's remarkable and still fondly recalled debut Exile In Guyville, in the New York Times.
"In person, Lamar is so serene and warm, and on his record, so erudite and philosophical, that it’s tempting to read him as a mellow, cerebral guy, a monk reincarnated as a young rap star. But that would be a mistake. Lamar has made his name in part by trying to reawaken what George calls rap’s “combative” energy, which has always been central to the genre’s identity but has fallen off in the past decade.“If my edge is dull, my sword is dull, and I don’t want to fight another guy whose sword is dull,” Lamar later told me. “If you’ve got two steel swords going back and forth hitting each other, what’s gonna happen? Both of them are going to get sharper.” Lizzy Goodman profiles hip-hop upstart Kendrick Lamar for the New York Times.
"Ella Mae Morse — like Lambert, a "Texas girl with sinful bosom and voice aflame," Nick Tosches wrote once — might stand as a progenitor of the vaudeville burlesque, show-blues hootchie-kootchie in Platinum's "Gravity Is a B**ch," too. And she also counts as one of the few female singers to emerge out of western swing, a style Lambert pulls off handily in her new "All That's Left" — which, written by Tom T. Hall and previously recorded by the Virginia sextet Big Country Bluegrass (both represented here), also seems to be Platinum's only actual cover song, per sé. Lambert has said she heard it on the radio on her way home from a Beyoncé concert." Chuck Eddy expertly illuminates Miranda Lambert's swirl of influences for Rhapsody.
"Michael McDonald, the winner of five Grammys and the seller of tens of millions of records, has had a significant career that continues to this day, through which he has honestly moved millions of listeners without a trace of irony. His popular reputation over the past three decades, however, primarily involves joke fodder. Darryl Hall is a white guy with a Motown-derived soul voice as well, but you don't see a Conan O'Brien desk bit devoted to how intrinsically hilarious it is to see Daryl Hall sing "Maneater" to a bunch of kids at summer camp." Eric Harvey fondly explores the steep yacht-rock drop of Michael McDonald for Deadspin's The Concourse.
"I mostly come to Willie for the heartfelt emotion he brings to a love song. A romantic at heart — and what a heart! — he delves into the parabolas of relationship with an eye toward the universal longing we have to be within each other." Lenny Kaye writes up the new Willie Nelson album for Wondering Sound.
" "Bless you,” Jarrett said after a woman sneezed when he settled on the piano bench for his first piece. Then he swivelled to face her. “But you only get one.” Nervous laughter. “Once you’ve been blessed, how can you be blessed again?” he said to the room in general, or to himself, or to posterity. It took him some time to regain his composure enough to play." Paul Wells catches the ever-prickly Keith Jarrett on a (pretty much) good night for Maclean's.
"Nardis" has been used as a vehicle for some great piano trio renditions including not just Bill Evans' version, but also a hip-hop-centric version from Jacky Terrasson, a messy/exploratory version from the Pilc-Moutin-Hoenig trio, and a swinging version from Hank Jones." Ben Gray explores competing versions of a single jazz sorta-standard ("Nardis") for NextBop.
"I loved Kraftwerk so much as a teenager, I tried to get my 8-year-old sister into it, but I think I just scared her when I made her listen to "Showroom Dummies."" Seattle electronic musicians of various importance consider What Does Kraftwerk Mean To You for The Stranger.
"Crying And Surfing" and "In Defense Of Beach Culture" -- Clickhole (The Onion) wonders how many Beach Boys songs you've heard.