Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

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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What's Essential: The Great Debate

Monday, November 24, 2008

David Bowie

Back on November 13, we had the guys from Pitchfork Media in to talk about their list of the 500 greatest songs “from punk to the present.” Now critic and sax player Tom Moon shows up with his list of ...

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Dusty Springfield Again

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dusty in Memphis

Dusty Springfield may not have created the subgenre known as “blue-eyed soul,” but she might have been its biggest star in the 60s. Which sounds like a great thing, but it wasn’t necessarily the case. Since Elvis a decade ...

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Putting the "i" in Marching Band

Thursday, November 20, 2008

University of Minnesota Marching BandMy own experience with marching bands is pretty negligible – see my blog from Nov. 6 for the sad tale. Growing up in New York City, as the rest of the country likes ...

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A Happy Thought: What's your favorite song about death?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I don’t remember when I first heard Frank Sinatra’s 1965 song "It Was A Very Good Year," mainly because that was grown-up music -- something for old people like my parents, who must’ve been well into their thirties, to listen to. I do remember when I first really listened ...

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Why Hate on iTunes?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Poor iTunes. Well, not literally poor… iTunes has become the world’s largest music retailer, selling 50 gazillion songs and bringing in a pile of money a mile high. But everyone seems to hate iTunes. They hate the DRM, or Digital Rights Management, that restricts the devices you can play your ...

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The White Album

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Album cover by Richard HamiltonThe Beatles “White Album” is a mess. Whether it’s a glorious mess or a tedious scavenger hunt for good songs among two LPs worth of filler depends on your point of ...

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Quincy and Henry: What's Next?

Friday, November 14, 2008

quincy_grammys.jpg

The term 'Renaissance man' gets thrown around a little too easily these days. If you can sing and you can act, you’re proclaimed a Renaissance man (usually by writers who can do neither). Quincy Jones, though, comes close. One of music’s great arrangers ...

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Naming the 500 best songs of the past 30 years

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Compiling any sort of “best of” list is a provocative thing to do. Yes, on one level all you’re doing is saying, hey, I like these songs, or these athletes, or whatever the list is about. But on a deeper level, you’re putting the list out there so other people ...

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Gospel's Message and Medium

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Members of Mt. Zion Baptist, Thankful Baptist, and First Baptist Church

The Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic Justin Davidson wrote a review a few years back about the opera “St. Francis of Assisi,” by the ...

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The remarkable story of "Lili Marlene"

Monday, November 10, 2008

I think “Lili Marlene” is a great example of how a song can be appreciated by people for things that were never intended by its author. Liel Liebovitz and Matthew Miller have told the gripping story of how the song spanned two World Wars, and became a kind of unofficial ...

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For Those About to Chart...

Friday, November 07, 2008

AC/DC

Today’s another installment in our occasional series we call “Who’s On Top – And Who Should Be.” It’s the second part of the title, of course, that’s more interesting. Yeah, AC/DC’s second week at #1 is kind of interesting, if only because of ...

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Trumpets Are From Mars...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

trumpet.jpgWhen I was a kid, around 8 or 9 years old, someone in my neighborhood in Queens tried to form a marching band, recruiting kids from Richmond Hill and Woodhaven to play one of three sets of instruments: there would be, ...

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Leaders in the Arts

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

microphone.jpgAfter the euphoria of the night before, many Americans woke up this morning with a) a hangover and b) the sobering realization of the enormity of the problems facing our new president. Obama has seemed clear-eyed about the challenges ahead, but he ...

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Democracy in Musical Action

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Democracy seems such a basic part of our culture as Americans that it comes as a shock to find that it’s actually quite hard to define. Almost every communist or socialist dictatorship used the word as part of their country’s official name: the German Democratic Republic wasn’t democratic West Germany, ...

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What's a Folk Song? You Tell Me.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Moses Asch at the Folkways office in New York, date not known.

Folkways Records did many things, but chief among them was proving that Big Bill Broonzy was right: “They’re all ...

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