Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Has the place of composers, songwriters, and singers changed?

Monday, January 12, 2009

In Mozart’s day, his place at the banquet table was between the valet and the cook – because while Mozart may have been a composer of singular genius, he was also essentially a servant, part of the household staff of the Archbishop of Salzburg. Author Tim Blanning, in his book ...

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The Birth of Afropop

Friday, January 09, 2009

This weekend, we have dueling world music festivals happening here in NYC. The Mondo Mundo event at the Hiro Ballroom on Saturday and SOBs on Monday; and the GlobalFest, which takes place on three different stages at Webster Hall on Sunday. (And which we’re webcasting ...

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New Year, New Music

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Today we ask a couple of our critic-friends what they’re looking forward to in 2009 in the worlds of pop, rock, and classical music. This might just be the best time of the year, because looking forward to something is often better than actually getting it. This can be true ...
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D.R.M: R.I.P

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about the state of the music industry – much of it, I should say, coming from inside the music industry. But even casual observers have to worry – if only to wonder whether their favorite musicians will have to ...

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Kids Music and the "100th Listen" Test

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


If you have kids, you know why the idea of kids music makes otherwise reasonable people start screaming like lunatics. Whether your kid listens to Barney, Raffi, or Mozart, you will end up listening to it too - over ...

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Bailout for the Arts

Monday, January 05, 2009

The new year opens with some pretty dour economic news, and as often happens, the arts become something of a canary in the coal mine. When times are tough, it seems to affect arts organizations early, and disproportionately. Especially smaller organizations. Here in NY, I think immediately of the New ...

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Smackdown: Christmas Music

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I think we were all surprised yesterday at the strong reactions provoked by our segment on Auto-Tune, the little software program that corrects pitch but which, when used as a “special effect,” produces that weird, warbling, almost robotic sound ...

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The Auto-Tune Question

Monday, December 22, 2008

During our annual Critics Week last week, at least two or three of our guests alluded to Auto-Tune, with one, Jody Rosen of Slate.com, referring to 2008 as The Year of Auto-Tune. You may not know what Auto-Tune is, but you have heard it. A lot. Auto-Tune is essentially a ...

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Critics Week: The Worst of It

Friday, December 19, 2008


Wow, talk about shooting fish in a barrel. The WORST music of the year? Where does one start? At least Jim DeRogatis, our favorite critical crank, is restricting his list to things that have had some public exposure ...

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Critics Week: A List for Listmakers

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Debashish Bhattacharya

Debashish Bhattacharya

So remember on Tuesday when we were asking whether critics were irrelevant or irreplaceable? And I said that there were a few old-fashioned print critics, like Jon Pareles of the Times, that I still found important and useful? ...

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Critics Week: Classical and Jazz

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today Anne Midgette gives us her take on the best Classical music releases of 2008. Now, I’m not a particular fan of year-end lists – wait, that’s not right; I enjoy seeing other people’s, but I hate doing my own. And here’s why – say I compile the list ...

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Critics Week: Smackdown!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our annual critics week on Soundcheck is always a popular series of shows. Critics weigh in on the best pop, hip hop, classical, jazz, and world music of the year, as well as the worst music of the year, and these always provoke a lot of comments from our listeners, ...

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Critics Week Begins!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It’s that time of year again, Critics Week here at Soundcheck. We’ve got expert analysis of the year’s best music in various genres, and today, we have Jody Rosen talking about pop and Jake Paine talking about hip-hop. Later this week we’ll look at classical, jazz, world, and ...

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The Gift of Music

Friday, December 12, 2008

Even though I grew up with records, and then CDs, I have to say I love the convenience, the portability, and the space-saving quality of digital music. As a gift, though, it leaves something to be desired. My daughters are ...

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Jewish Revival of Vinyl

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Irving Fields Trio, "Bagels and Bongos" (click for larger)

Irving Fields Trio, 'Bagels and Bongos' (click for larger)

I have lived in New York City for my whole life – except for 9 months spent working for a commercial classical music radio ...

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When pop stars turn their back on "pop"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As I might have mentioned earlier this week (when my jetlag was much, much worse than it is today), I just got back from Australia, where I was hosting a bunch of events at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. For the second year in a row, I had a chance ...

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iPod vs. Zune

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


You people think you’re so funny. So yesterday, English editor/critic Norman Lebrecht came on the show, in his guise as The Record Doctor (treating your classical music ailments, like “which Mahler 3rd should I buy?” or “what’s the best ...

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Record Doctor Makes a House Call

Monday, December 08, 2008

John Schaefer and a cuddly friend in near Adelaide, Australia

John Schaefer and a cuddly friend in near Adelaide, Australia


I’ve been thinking about insomnia a lot today – mainly because I just got back from Australia, and have got that ...
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Mondegreens

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mondegreens, or misheard lyrics, happen to us all. It just seems to be a natural byproduct of taking language and setting it to music. No matter how good a singer’s diction is, someone somewhere is going to misunderstand a word or phrase. The first ...

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At long last, "Chinese Democracy" arrives

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How you respond to the long, long-awaited Guns N Roses album, “Chinese Democracy,” will probably depend on whether you were already a GNR fan. The band has always had a fairly wide fan base, including the hard-rock fans and enough punks, power poppers, and metalheads to fill the country’s ...
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