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New Musical Instruments

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More musical instruments?  That's fine, as long as we have more people playing them. 

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Broadway punk: an oxymoron

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

John Schaefer on American Idiot:  "if it's on Broadway, how punk can it be?"

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Well, It's Better Than 'Idol'

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Glee is just not my thing.

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Ethical listening

Monday, May 10, 2010

Are the new ethical dilemmas of listening to music in the digital age really "new"?

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Critiquing the Critics

Friday, May 07, 2010

John Schaefer: Blogging isn't necessarily the same thing as music criticism.

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The Real "Soul" Music

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Forget recordings, says John Schaefer. The soul of Gospel music comes out in live performance.

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Searching for the Real Van

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What do you think of Van Morrison? Tell Soundcheck here.

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CD Picks of the Week

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

This week’s picks include a look into obscure corners of the violin repertoire and yet another fine indie rock band from Montreal. 

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The Twist through the Ages

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fifty year ago, Chubby Checker topped the pop charts with "The Twist" and in doing so, gave rise to one of rock 'n' roll’s most iconic dance crazes. It inspired countless other dances, such as the Jerk and the Mashed Potato, and songs, including "Twistin' the Night Away," and "Twist and Shout." It also came to be emblematic of pop culture from the early 1960s. Here are several versions and spin-offs, from Checker's original cover to the employees of Sterling Cooper on "Mad Men."

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Abbey Road: A Timeline

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Abbey Road studios, touted as the world's first custom-built recording studios, opened at number 3 Abbey Road on November 12 1931. The studios were made famous by the Beatles and granted landmarked status by the British government on February 23, 2010. Below are some highlights.

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Super Bowl Halftime Show Poll

Monday, February 01, 2010

Continuing its trend of selecting old-school rock legends to play the Super Bowl halftime show, the NFL has tapped The Who to perform a greatest hits medley in the Super Bowl Halftime Show this Sunday in Miami. As Soundcheck debates the Halftime Show in our weekly Soundcheck Smackdown, tell us what you think.

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Smackdown: Music in the 2000s

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Listen to today's Smackdown with New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles and Newsday pop music critic Glenn Gamboa. And: leave a comment and cast your vote in our Best Albums of the Decade listener poll.

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The Best Albums of the Decade

Friday, December 11, 2009

As Soundcheck looks back at the first decade of the 2000's in our annual "Critics' Week," we ask you, the listener, to weigh in on the best albums in rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, classical and world music.

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Vive le Iggster!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Iggy Pop, who defined the role of the crazed rock frontman as far back as 1969, has now recorded an album that features French and Brazilian standards, some ballads, a tune lovingly ripped off from Louis Armstrong's early years, and only one real rocker. People are surprised

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Music and emotion

Monday, June 22, 2009

The idea that musicians might be somehow more attuned to the emotions of others really isn't all that surprising. Ever have that feeling where a piece of music strikes you in a way you can't articulate but can certainly feel? So you know that a musician can, at times at least, reach you on an emotional level.

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Song of the Summer Poll

Friday, June 19, 2009

Think a different song will be the song of the summer? Leave a comment.

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Summer songs 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

I've been listening to the songs at the top of the charts, trying to see if I can figure out which one will be the song we can't escape this summer - assuming the rain stops and summer does in fact come at some point. Unlike prior years, where I thought there were standout tracks (Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl"), this summer's entries seem to be a middling bunch.

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Hail to the chiefs

Thursday, June 18, 2009

President Obama's Arts & Humanities team is now complete, as Iowa Republican Jim Leach joins the previously announced Rocco Landesman; Leach will run the NEH and Landesman the NEA. Of the two, the NEA is the one that's had the bigger bullseye on its back, a lingering aftershock of the culture wars of the early 90s, when the NEA funded a series of controversial art projects (the Robert Mapplethorpe photos, for example) that had conservatives in Congress threatening to kill the agency entirely.

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Picks of the Week

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This week’s picks include the roots of reggae, a concerto fit for Hollywood and a sonic journey around the world ...

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[insert provocative title here]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Elijah Wald is a good writer. And like most good writers, he knows a good title when he sees one; a good title will grab you and make you eager to open the book and start finding out where that title came from. So when he titled his new book How The Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll, he knew just what he was doing

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