Produced by
This kid is studying up on his music theory.

This kid is studying up on his music theory. (Shutterstock)

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In our new series, "How To Be Smarter About…" Soundcheck aims to help you become a more impressive conversation partner at cocktail parties and around the water cooler.

Recently in How To Be Smarter About...

How To Be Smarter About... Aphex Twin

Monday, October 06, 2014

Michelle Lhooq of Vice’s online dance channel Thump and Simon Vozick-Levinson of Rolling Stone offer a course in Aphex Twin 101 as part of Soundcheck's "How To Be Smarter" series.

Comment

Clark Terry: A Trumpeter Who's So Much More Than 'Mumbles'

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A poignant documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, focuses on the life of the now-93 year old jazz trumpeter and one of his young students.

Comments [1]

How To Be Smarter About... Willie Nelson

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Songwriter Laura Cantrell talks about Willie Nelson's rise to fame, provides some essential tracks, and tells us whether Nelson, at 81 years old, has still got it.

Comment

How To Be Smarter About... Kate Bush

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The English art-rocker has returned to the stage after 35 years and set a new U.K. charts record. Soundcheck's John Schaefer rounds up ten of Bush's must-hear songs.

Comments [5]

How To Be Smarter About... Counterpoint

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Rob Kapilow offers a basic primer on counterpoint, the compositional technique with a slippery definition, and beautiful and harmonious results when properly executed.

Comments [2]

How To Be Smarter About... New Age Music

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Soundcheck offers a basic primer to the beginnings and surprising resurgence of the long-derided music genre.

Comments [4]

How To Be Smarter About... Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks'

Friday, August 15, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In our new series, "How To Be Smarter About…" Billboard's Joe Levy delves into the beautiful, and weird world of Van Morrison's classic 1968 album Astral Weeks.

Comments [1]

How To Be Smarter About... Brian Lehrer's Home Audio

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In this special edition of our new series, How To Be Smarter About…, Soundcheck helps WNYC morning host Brian Lehrer learn more about speakers and headphones. 

Comments [6]

How To Be Smarter About... Jay Z

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In this edition of our new series, How To Be Smarter About…, Soundcheck helps you feel more knowledgeable about rapper and cultural phenomenon Jay Z.

Comments [2]

How To Be Smarter About... Tour Riders

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We’ve all heard the story about Van Halen’s famous anti-brown M&M tour rider. But, what is a tour rider, anyway? Why do bands have them? And what happens if their demands aren’t met? As part of Soundcheck's How To Be Smarter About... series, Jack “Skippy” McFadden, talent buyer for Austin City Limits Live, fills us in about what he does to keep artists happy backstage.

Comment

Know Your Riot Grrrls

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In this edition of our new series, How To Be Smarter About…, Soundcheck helps you feel more knowledgeable about the punk feminist movement known as riot grrrl.

Comment

How To Be Smarter About...

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. Luckily, Soundcheck is hoping to help you become a more impressive conversation partner at cocktail parties and around the water cooler with a new series, How To Be Smarter About

Read More

Comments [7]