Elephant and the Death of the Sweetheart

November 14, 2014
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The White Stripes’ fourth studio album, Elephant, was one of the band’s most successful and was a defining album in the garage rock revival of the early 2000s among releases from bands such as The Strokes, The Vines, and Arctic Monkeys.  The album pushed the band’s limits as well as the boundaries of the music […]

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The Velvet Underground and Nico

November 14, 2014
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The whole scene can be described by a painting of a banana: the amp feedback, screaming guitars, the un-regretful lyrics about drugs and sex, the soothing voice of a German chanteuse and a shy Polish guy with a bad nose and a knack for making the everyday beautiful and new. The Velvet Underground are cited […]

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The Unifying Force of Music

November 14, 2014
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Modern Western civilizations such as the United States have gone through a time where mathematic based music was the focus of its culture, with genres such as classical and symphonic music. However, as times grew harder and people needed something to turn to for hope or release, an explosion of new genres burst in order […]

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Electric Lady / Janelle Monáe

November 14, 2014
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Since Sun Ra’s intergalactic Arkestra first landed in Chicago circa 1956, black musicians have toyed with the notion of outer space and its implications for their people. As J Griffith Rollefson explains in his essay, “The Robot Voodoo Thesis,” space is often viewed as an alternative to W.E.B Dubois’s notion of the black double consciousness. […]

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Funk Evolution Project

November 14, 2014
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From James Brown and George Clinton to Lettuce and Prince, funk has rocked the dance floors in smoky clubs, festivals, and basements throughout the world for roughly half a century.  Since emerging from the soul and “Motown” sounds of the early ‘60s, funk has undergone exponential evolution.  Throughout the generations, funk has always been a […]

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Behind the Music: Kazuto Byars

November 14, 2014

Who is Kazuto Byars? Not a name you’re familiar with I’m sure, and a name you may not even know how to pronounce. He isn’t some famous musician or musical experimentalist. Kazuto Byars is a brilliant composer, an extraordinary musician, and my brother. In the sixth grade, he composed a piece for his class’s band […]

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A Tribe Called Red: Reappropriating American Music

November 14, 2014
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The hyped-up Electronic Dance Music performed by A Tribe Called Red at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Lipinsky music hall on November 5 did not sulk on the horrors of the Native American community’s past. The auditorium was utterly in the moment – the DJs called for the dance crowd in the front […]

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Brian Eno: Artist of “Music for Airports”

November 14, 2014
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How do you feel about sitting in a metal tube moving 500 miles per hour 27,000 ft in the air? Would you be a little anxious about it? Imagine the feelings that passengers have going around different terminals throughout the airport right before they travel at such exceeding speeds high up in the sky. It’s […]

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Earworms: The Science of and the Statistics Behind Getting a Song Stuck in Your Head

November 14, 2014
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Have you heard of an Ohrwurm? You’ve probably encountered one in the past few days, or even have one right now. While reading this, you may actually be listening to something that will cause you to have one later. Ohrwurm is the original German word for “earworm”; no, I am not referring to that disgusting […]

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Brian Eno and The Aphex Twin: Texturizing the Unheard World

November 14, 2014
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The names Eno and Aphex Twin are easily recognized by those of us who are fans of classic electronic music. All though we may have become familiar with their names and individual crafts, it is quite easy to ignore the make up of what an artist does and how it affected or compared with the […]

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Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland

November 14, 2014
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From the award-winning composer Aaron Copland comes a piece by the name of Appalachian Spring. When written, it was considered marvelous and beautiful. He was commissioned to write the piece for Martha Graham for a ballet. Copland wrote this piece in 1944 as a piece that was originally intended for thirteen instruments due to size […]

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The French Horn: History and Development

November 27, 2012
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Throughout history, humans have always tried to imitate nature’s beauty and many techniques and instruments have come from this fascination. Horns began as simple tubes with a bell at the end to imitate the sounds of the animals so as to create fear in their enemies. For centuries, the French horn has symbolized the beauty […]

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Places to Go, Things to Hear

November 26, 2012
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From the run-down inner city of Detroit to the gang infested streets of Compton, “place” can be heard everywhere in music. How does this work?  One might think of music as creating meaningful senses of “place” out of empty, abstract “spaces.”  It is here that “Techno” and “Gangsta Rap” exhibit distinct differences. The common link […]

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Tsuru or Shakuhachi

November 26, 2012
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There is a saying that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery. This could never be truer than in the case of the tsuru, or Japanese red-crowned crane, and the people of Japan. In Japan the tsuru is a national treasure that is revered as a symbol of good fortune, longevity, and fidelity. In mythology […]

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Michael Jackson: King and Environmentalist

November 26, 2012
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“This is Earth’s song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate of man’s mismanagement of the Earth.”-Michael Jackson What do you think of when you hear the name “Michael Jackson”? Jackson Five, sequined gloves, moonwalk, crotch grab……Earth Song?  Many people thought of Jackson as different, unusual, and even crazy, but he made […]

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“Listen” to the Environment

November 26, 2012
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There are certain qualities that we attribute to wonderful singers—among them: beautiful voices, stage presence, lyricism. But what about the speaking voice? Would you consider a person who stands on stage and talks and yells along with his music a singer? There is a man that goes by the name of Dan Smith who does […]

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Dark Side of The Moon: Pink Floyd’s Creative Musical Experimentation

November 26, 2012
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It has been said that the Dark Side of The Moon album by Pink Floyd syncs perfectly with The Wizard of Oz, that it was the product of a rather lengthy acid trip, and even that it was even based off of The Sound of Music. None of the conspiracies regarding the album can properly […]

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A Desolate Sound

November 22, 2012
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“When you’ve travelled the world, you see more and more how much space we have,” says Jonsi of the Icelandic band Sigur Ros.  They are a group known for the expression of space in their music through both unconventional recording techniques and unusual songwriting elements.  How has the landscape around them affected their music?  Iceland […]

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Dodging a Bullet: How Nas and Jay-Z survived the Deadly Game of Rap Feuds

November 22, 2012
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When one thinks of rivalries in Rap music, images of Tupac “2pac” Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace’s gruesome murders spring immediately to mind. Their deadly rivalry, started by an alleged hit B.I.G. put out on 2pac, was brought to the public eye through threat-filled lyrics and personal attacks. The feud resulted in three horrific […]

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Joni Mitchell and the Big Yellow Environment

November 9, 2012
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What comes to mind when you hear, “save the environment”? Recycling, turning off the light whenever you leave a room, turning off the water from the sink while brushing your teeth? The sad truth is, most people in the United States and other first world countries take simple luxuries we have at our fingertips for […]

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