Category Archives: Music

Southern Blood

Farewell albums by great artists have turned into a sort of sad, strange genre over the last few years. Warren Zevon was literate and funny and unbearably poignant in The Wind in 2003 and he sort of established the form. His cover of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door struck me as deeply felt when I first heard it, […]

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Dedicated to a Brother

Two weeks ago I started writing a blog post about Col. Bruce Hampton and didn’t finish it before I went away on vacation. When I got home I put it aside to write a tribute to Chris Cornell, and before I hit publish I heard about Gregg Allman. This is what being a music fan […]

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June and July 2015 playlists

There’s so much to catch up on! We moved. We’ve spent month settling into our new place and it’s starting to look the way we want it to. The wedding is getting close and we’re very excited about how it’s going to go – although we still have planning to do. I’ll try to bring […]

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May 2015 playlist

I didn’t realize I’d been this busy or un-bloggy. But no matter what happens, I make time for my monthly mixes. This one is informed by a cool “Fresh Meat” comp I picked up in April. The Dan Deacon song is outside of my comfort zone and I found it really moving. And I’m very […]

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March 2015 playlist

2015 03March Mix Something funny happened in 2015: I’ve made three straight playlists that include a David Bowie track. The only other time he popped up in one of my mixes was July 2012. But I find Mick Ronson’s guitar on “Joe the Lion” very exciting and I picked a series of other songs with […]

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Stagger Lee

I’m going to take a minute to ramble about an old blues song here. This isn’t anything like a comprehensive take since there must be dozens of versions if not hundreds. But just from five versions in my iTunes, you can see the song evolve in fascinating ways. Here’s what stays the same: there’s a […]

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February 2015 playlist

2015 02February Mix This mix has a different feel from any other I’ve made. I think of it as a more sensual, modern R&B mix, although some other styles work their way in there. And I don’t think I’ve ever included so many women’s voices in one of these – the songs on my iTunes are […]

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Best of 2014

A quick rundown of some of my favorite albums of 2014: …and then you shoot your cousin, The Roots The deans of hip hop gave me a birthday present! Even compared to Roots albums like Rising Down, this is a serious record: short and diamond-hard, gnarled with experimental pieces. It’s a tough listen to the point that the […]

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January 2015 playlist

Number 36! Three whole years of making these playlists. Unconsciously I think I was trying to recreate the feeling of warming up in front of the fire with some comfortable music. Not literally, of course, because I don’t know anyone rich enough to have a fireplace in New York City. Figuratively, though, that’s what this […]

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One of my favorite things about music is when two pieces – songs, artists, whatever – snap together and I can see how one influenced the other. I read on Wikipedia recently that the instrumental jams on “Ill Communication,” my favorite Beastie Boys album, were influenced by Miles Davis’ live album “Agharta.” I’d only heard […]

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