Music Review

The Art Song, Part 1: Lieder

A major glossy magazine that used to be devoted largely to music -- but long ago fell under the spell of Hollywood celebrity -- still continues to cover music, specializing in listicles that seem designed mainly to provoke ire in those who care more about music than does said magazine (named after a classic blues song, in case you can't guess without a hint). This summer it unleashed a list of songs that, with that aging publication's ironically weak sense of history, managed to overlook the vast majority of the history of song. To put it bluntly, if you're claiming to discuss the best songs ever written and you don't even mention Franz Schubert, you're an ignoramus. My ire over this blinkered attitude towards music history festered for months, so I finally decided to do something about it by writing about some of the timeless songs omitted in the aforementioned myopic listicle. There are so many great songs in the history of classical music that no one article could contain it, so first I focus on one particularly rich tradition, the German lieder. I plan to write a sequel covering classical songs from other traditions, though I admit that my track record of completing these big projects has been a bit spotty!

ANNIVERSARIES: George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra finished recording their Schumann cycle 55 years ago

Hungarian-born conductor George Szell (1897-1970) never intended to settle in the United States, but when World War II started in 1939, that's where he was, and he stayed. After well-received guest appearances with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Philharmonic, in 1946 he became a U.S. citizen and became the Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, which he proceeded to raise it from mid-level regional status to one of the Big Five U.S. orchestras.

Metadata Panic in the Age of Surveillance: Killing Joke Unleashes Pylon

After about 32 years of being a slavishly devout fan of Killing Joke, the job of reviewing their new studio album with any semblance of balanced objectivity is a tougher task than you might imagine. Those who have embraced the music, mythos and accompanying sensibility of Killing Joke tend to do so with a bug-eyed fervor that borders liberally on myopic zealotry. In short order, no other band matters nearly as much.

Dusty Wright - "High Flyin' Bird"

Stoked to share the new single "High Flyin' Bird" featuring Queen Esther on co-vocals, Matt Goeke on plucked cello, and Jerry Krenach on drums. Produced by Dusty Wright and mixed by Mr. David Lee. Recorded at Strauss Park Studios, NYC. Cover art by the very talented French painter Claire Petit. This long-forgotten '60s folk classic has been covered by Judy Henske, Neil Young, Richie Havens, and Jefferson Airplane. Please click here to buy it today!

Song of the Week: Israel Nash - "Strangers"

The spirit of Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, and early solo David Crosby circa If Only I Could Remember My Name, thrive in this former Brooklyn-based "metaphysical" cowboy Israel Nash Giripka's musical universe. Having stumbled upon him quite by accident I was immediately drawn to his tone, stringed textures (Gretsch guitars, pedal steel), and musical chops. The most excellent single entitled "Strangers" is the debut track from his sixth album Israel Nash's Silver Season, available worldwide October 9th via Loose Music & Thirty Tigers.

Video of the Week: Stolar - "My Own Way"

Stolar, the artist formerly knows as Jay Stolar, has released another pwoerful pop song with an equally powerful video. "My Own Way" was created in support of the Jed Foundation's groundbreaking mental health awareness movement Love Is Louder. For more info visit their website at www.loveislouder.com. A portion of the proceeds from #MyOwnWay will help support the Love Is Louder movement. Be inspired and watch it now!

Song of the Week: The Bottle Rockets - "Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)"

Missouri-bred Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets has been waving his roots-rock flag since the '90s and has been delivering catchy-as-hell music all along. Now he's at it again, teasing ears with a brand new tune "Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)" from a forthcoming album entitled South Broadway Athletic Club set for release on Bloodshot Records on Oct. 2nd, 2015. In the interim, share this tasty slice of American rock music with your family and friends at all of your Labor Day celebrations on this Monday holiday.

Video of the Week: FKA twigs - M3LL155X

British singer, songwriter, producer and dancer FKA twigs has released a brand new EP entitled M3LL155X (Young Turks), that features five songs, four of which -- "Figure 8", "I'm Your Doll", "In Time", "Glass & Patron" -- are accompanied by a video directed by FKA twigs herself. The four film pieces form one continuous FKA twigs-directed work, cementing who she is as an artist with an aggressive statement conceptualizing the process of feeling pregnant with pain, birthing creativity and liberation. She breathes a quiet but potent energy into every frame. One of the freshest musicians on the scene today.