• "It's not that Bob Marley didn't have white fans when he was alive. Caucasian college students in the United States - particularly those around Midwestern schools, including the University of Michigan, Prevost says - constituted a large percentage of his fan base. But for the compilation to meet Robinson's lofty sales goals, those students' parents had to buy the album, too." Chris Kornelis misses the larger issue that parents didn't start buying Marley's Legend until the '90s, when parents who were teenagers in the late '70's finally started birthing the Millennials, at L.A. Weekly.
• "Poetry and metal share something: they are “arts of accusation and instruction.” They are also both persistent arts in which hundreds of mini-audiences — enacted, in metal, through worldwide substreams like black metal, death metal, melodeath, blackened death, doom, et cetera — do not, at this point, add up to a popular culture. And they are arts that have given us new ways to think about Satan." Michael Robbins talks to Bat Ratliff about metal on a podcast for the New York Times.
• "I asked [Nick Cave] why he thought his music, which can be as graphic as the most brutal death metal or gangsta rap, has always found, in marked contrast to, say, death metal, such a wide and passionate following among women. “I have a female audience in my mind when I write,” he said. “That being said” — he smiled wryly at Ellis — “I’m often flabbergasted by what some women find sexy in my music.” Nick Cave talks Graceland and Titus Andronicus (the play) to John Wray for the New York Times Magazine.
• "You might say that the dark humor of the Goons—which made fun of the stiff-upper-lip stoicism of the Men Who Fought the War—would find a newer, lighter incarnation in the Beatles.“We were the sons of The Goon Show,” John Lennon later remarked. From the age of 12 on, Lennon belonged heart and soul to the Goons: “We were the extension of that rebellion, in a way.” Richard Lester's film 'A Hard Days Night' turns 50, Sam Kashner explains at Vanity Fair.
• "In a perverse application of Gresham’s Law to the world of theater, [commodity musicals] crowd out the competition because they are safe, thus making it more difficult for songwriters to work on Broadway without conforming to their restrictive requirements. A case in point is the recent stage version of The Bridges of Madison County, an uneven but nonetheless interesting commodity musical whose score, by Jason Robert Brown, was considerably more sophisticated than the anodyne songs heard in most such shows. Too sophisticated, in fact, since Bridges closed after just three months, presumably in part because Brown’s ambitious score failed to fulfill the modest musical expectations of people who were attracted by the prospect of seeing a Broadway show based on a bestselling romance novel." Terry Teachout identifies 'commodity musicals' as both symptom and disease for Commentary.
• "Even in 2010, the upper echelons of instrumental jazz remain primarily a men’s club. It’s no easier than it ever was for jazzwomen to balance the demands of their profession—the travel, the need to carve out personal space to practice and reflect—with those of parenting. Allen’s responsibilities are nothing if not substantial—a single mother of three since her recent split from Roney, she continues to tour while also fulfilling a weekly three-day obligation in Michigan when school is in session." Ted Panken wishes Geri Allen happy birthday for Today Is The Question.
"Like the possibility of overcrowding, suspicion of gang activity is a practically irrefutable justification for police entry into a bar or a show. But promoters Chase Freeman and Bryce Trost all insist that there are not gang members in their music community, and that many of the people on the gang task force’s list are there wrongfully, perhaps just for being born in the wrong neighborhood. In a city as small as Portland, a gang tie might actually just be running through overlapping social circles." Arianna Rebolini traces anti-hip-hop forces within Portland, OR's progressive hub for BuzzFeed.
"It’s not surprising that Communist officials would want to control just what music was broadcast on government-sanctioned radio stations. The reasons why they wanted certain songs banned, however, are what’s most surprising." Before there was Pussy Riot, there was the 'religious obskurantism' of Black Sabbath, via Consequence Of Sound.