Produced by

Fell In Love With A Girl, And A Guy

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

John Schaefer says the White Stripes don't owe us anything else.

Read More

Remembering Milton Babbitt

Monday, January 31, 2011

I encountered Milton Babbitt’s music before I ever met the man.  Given the uncompromising intellectual rigor of his music (a nice way of saying that it made my brain hurt), I expected Mr. Babbitt to be some kind of monster.  Instead, the first time I met him, he looked at me and determined, correctly, that I had a cold, and said, “hello, would you like some Vitamin C?”  Now, I didn’t particularly believe that a Vitamin C pill would do much for me,  but I took one, mostly out of relief that Babbitt hadn’t yelled at me (I’d already published some things which championed the emerging “downtown” composers who were pushing back at the academic nature of Babbitt’s music).

Read More

My Tinnitus Scare

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

John Schaefer finds that tinnitus isn't just ringing in the ears...

Read More

Looking At Hearing

Monday, January 24, 2011

The start of the Ear Wars...

Read More

Jazz Looks East

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pop pushed world music to the fore - but jazzers like Charles Lloyd got there first.

Read More

The 10 Greatest Composers

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

John Schaefer finds that making a Classical Top 10 is HARD!

Read More

Memories (well, one at least) of the Palladium

Friday, January 07, 2011

One memory of the Palladium that cuts through the fog...

Read More

A Song For Xmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

John Schaefer dislikes all its recordings, but still thinks Silent Night is a great song.

Read More

Gary Burton: Top of the (Christmas) Pops

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Music writer and British radio personality Gary Burton joins us today joins us today for a Soundcheck Smackdown on a British holiday tradition: the race for a "Christmas No. 1" on the country's pop charts. Here's a list of his top-five UK Christmas songs:

5. Kate Bush, "December Will Be Magic Again"

4. Paul McCartney, "Wonderful Christmastime"

3. Jona Lewie, "Stop The Cavalry"

2. Slade, "Merry Xmas Everybody"

1. Greg Lake, "I Believe in Father Christmas"

Read More

Comments [1]

Sophie Harris: Top of the (Christmas) Pops

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Music critic Sophie Harris of Time Out New York joins us today for a Soundcheck Smackdown on a British holiday tradition: the race for a "Christmas No. 1" on the country's pop charts. Here's her list of her top-five UK Christmas songs:

5. Shakin' Stevens, "Merry Christmas Everyone"  / Frankie Goes to Hollywood "The Power of Love" (not strictly a Christmas song, but a memorable Christmas No. 1)

4. Jona Lewie, "Stop the Cavalry"

3. Band Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

2. Wham!, "Last Christmas"

1. John and Yoko, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)"

Read More


Anne Midgette's Top 10 Classical and Opera Releases of 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Click through for Anne Midgette's top classical and opera releases...

Read More


An interesting year in soundtracks

Monday, December 13, 2010

John Schaefer likes these film scores, even though he hasn't seen the films.

Read More

Remembering John Lennon

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ray Davies of the Kinks has an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, right under the piece by Yoko Ono.  Yoko’s article is nice, but Ray’s article is a brave and honest reaction to John Lennon’s music.  “He had become a hit-and-miss solo performer,” he writes; and he recalls his reaction to Double Fantasy, the last album Lennon would live to release: “I had heard some of the album on the radio and had not been particularly struck by anything so far…”

Read More

Noel and Cole

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

John Schaefer asks, are these guys just too sophisticated for a Smackdown?

Read More

Taking Back Holiday Music

Monday, December 06, 2010

John Schaefer says the best Christmas music isn't necessarily "Christmas music." 

Read More

Fred Schneider’s List of ‘Out of the Box’ Holiday Songs

Monday, December 06, 2010

Click through to see the playlist!

Read More

Comments [7]

Fred Plotkin’s Playlist for a Musical Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fred Plotkin's Playlist

•Perfect music for stirring, especially turkey gravy:

Mozart Rondo alla Turca, the 3rd movement of piano sonata #11 K. 331 [Amazon]

•Music that evokes gratitude (even if you don’t understand German):

Zueignung (Dedication): music by Richard Strauss; poem by Hermann von Gilm zu Rosenegg [Amazon]

•Music to Play During the Meal (at least for one course):

Native American flute music such as performances by Timothy Archambault and Joseph Firecrow [Youtube]

•Music that evokes the true spirit of this holiday (to play as the main course comes to the table):

Simple Gifts: words by Elder Joseph, Music by Joseph Brackett (1848) [I like the version sung by Marilyn Horne] [Amazon]

•To Play as Dessert is Being Served (mindful that times are very hard for millions of Americans, but that at the root of our national character is optimism and resiliency):

Let's Have Aanother Cup of Coffee: Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians - 1932 [Amazon]

•Post-Meal Viewing Instead of the Usual Football Game:

I Puritani (by Vincenzo Bellini). DVD of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera performances conducted by Patrick Summers and starring Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo, and John Relyea. [DG 073 4421].  --Unlike every other bel canto opera with a mad scene, this one ends HAPPILY as the heroine regains her senses. [Amazon]

Read More


The Beatles Are Coming! Again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beatles come to iTunes and it's - a bit of a snore.

Read More

Comments [6]

Henryk Gorecki, RIP

Friday, November 12, 2010

John Schaefer remembers classical music's one-hit wonder.

Read More

Stairway to Heaven: Length Matters

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Stairway to Heaven was an overnight deejay's best friend. 

Read More