Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

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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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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