Michelle A. On #MusicologistMonday

I‘ve chased music around nearly every day of my life. One of my earliest memories is running all the way home from elementary school to choreograph disco moves in our basement. At that same age my piano teacher generously made simplified arrangements of my favorite pop songs so that I could play them.

I have a favorite sound: wind. Maybe that’s why I’m partial to classical minimalism — waves of continual sound washing over you….
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Remembering Freeform Radio

In reference to our new genre station Classic Rock Album Tracks

“Classic” doesn’t have to mean listening to the same exact songs for the rest of your life. Hearing Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” for the trillionth time inspired me to build Pandora’s Classic Rock Album Tracks station. Don’t get me wrong; I really like Steve Miller Band. But when my local classic rock radio station plays that song seven times a day…well, its sonic patina gets moldy.

Vinyl

I’m a dude who was born in the early ‘70s – classic rock was the soundtrack of my youth. I remember Jimmy Page’s fierce guitar riff from “Bring It On Home” cranking from my dad’s Camaro speakers; the magical accompaniment of turning over the engine of my very first car. Today, sadly, my local station thinks that playing the reggae infused “D’yer Maker” constitutes “Getting the Led out.”
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Picks of the Week

1335_Picks_Blog

Duran Duran is hitting all the right notes.
1. Duran DuranNew Wave legends Duran Duran are killing it with this new album. I mean, guests including Janelle Monae, Nile Rodgers and John Frusciante?! The title? Paper Gods?! And that cover art! Perfect. And the songs back it up too. “Pressure Off” is a particularly tasty slice of old school Duran Duran vibes. –Diego Gonzalez

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

This is the sound of a band hitting their stride.

2. Stone Foxes

Stone Foxes frontman Shannon Koehler may not listen to George Jones, but with Twelve Spells, the raspy singer seems to have taken Jones’ “write about what you know” credo to heart. These roots-rockers muse on Koehler’s multiple heart surgeries, income inequality and biblical references – spun into timeless garage rock gold. –Eric Shea

 

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Eric on #MusicologistMonday

When my mom told me she had hired a babysitter for the weekend, it stung my conflated 11-year-old ego. Thankfully she picked a cool one. “Hey man, I like your KISS shirt!” was the first thing Pam said to me. She wore black denim bellbottoms and parted her long brown hair down the middle. “I can bring over some records this weekend when we hang out.” Of course I instantly trusted Pam and her taste in music. The following Friday she arrived with a grip of vinyl including AC/DC, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Heart and Alice Cooper. Every song blew my impressionable young mind. As each track faded out, I couldn’t wait to hear what she would play next.
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Picks of the Week

Doom pioneers bestow exceptional eighth album.

1. Pentagram

Curious Volume sounds noticeably stronger than 2011’s Last Rites. Like a feral cat on its ninth life, Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling channels his demons and victories into these riff-rife rockers with historic authority. His adoration for Blue Cheer’s songwriting surfaces throughout. Young longhairs with big amps take note – your riffs won’t endure without memorable songs. –Eric Shea

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Koffi Olomide honors the Voice of Lightness.

2. Koffi Olomide

Koffi Olomide is one of Africa’s most revered active artists. As the title implies, Koffi Chante Tabu Ley documents his tribute to one of Africa’s most revered singers of yesteryear, Tabu Ley Rochereau. Recorded live in Kinshasa, Koffi’s band is crackin’, his voice butter. Sparkling tunes to lift your spirit with beauty. –Diego Gonzalez


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Marcos on #MusicologistMonday

I think it’s important to mention here that Latin music is not actually a genre. Synthesizing the cultures of almost one billion people across two continents and an entire hemisphere into one category is not possible.

Musical expression stands on its own and defies genre; that’s what draws me to the music of Latin America and its far-reaching diaspora. Traditions endlessly reinvent themselves through creativity and drive. Today’s artists and musicians are standing on the shoulders of centuries of innovation and experimentation.
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