Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

The changing role of women in country music

Friday, September 19, 2008

As I mentioned on Wednesday’s blog, country music wasn’t really my thing, at least while growing up here in the city. But I was aware that some of the better known singers were women – Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and much later on people like Shania Twain. Since I didn’t ...

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We're Getting the Band Back Together

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Squeeze marquee

In general, I’m not a big fan of reunion tours. I’m trying to figure out why I feel this way, even when it’s bands I like. Part of it is watching the aging process at work. When Devo takes the stage ...

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What I Missed: Hank Williams

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am a city boy – always have been. And so country music has long been my musical blind spot. Now, I have to say, in my own defense, that country music itself is at least partially responsible for my longtime ignorance: all that slick, overproduced Nashville stuff tends to ...

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The New Metallica Album

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When it comes to Metallica, there seem to be two kinds of people: those who believe the band broke new ground in thrash metal in the 1980s and then lost the thread in the 90s; and those who maybe had sort of heard of the band, but then fell in ...

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The Art of the Cover Song

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cover songs can be tricky – on one hand, a cover of a song you like will often simply remind you of why you liked the original in the first place, and will often suffer by comparison. (There are exceptions – I liked “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, but let’s ...

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The Great Debate: Albums vs. Singles

Friday, September 12, 2008

So the story goes like this: Estelle releases her song “American Boy” on Atlantic Records. It does well on iTunes and becomes a top 10 single, and the folks at Atlantic Records, struggling to find their place in a changing music marketplace, decide this is great and heave a huge ...

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Exploring the Roots of American Music

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Led Zeppelin, 1969Why Music Is So Cool, Reason #325: if you’re the least bit curious, it will lead you to other things you didn’t even know existed. One of those things is the huge sloppy musical mess we call ...

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Rappers Without Borders

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ChiwonisoYesterday on the show, the Zimbabwean pop singer Chiwoniso (pictured) played a song in our studio without her band, without all the production and amplification that she uses on her album. It was just Chiwoniso’s voice and the mbira, or thumb ...

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Would you pursue a career in the music business?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

So 20% of the people polled in the UK would give up their jobs for a chance to work in the music business… I wonder what they think “working in the music business” means? Sure, the bricklayer probably dreams of becoming a rich and famous pop singer, with a starlet ...

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Do You Write the Songs That Make the Whole World Sing?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ever find yourself listening to a song on the radio and thinking, “who decided those would be good words to sing?” It is, naturally, a matter of taste, but sometimes it seems like the songwriters aren’t even trying anymore. (Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons,” anyone?) So maybe it’s time for you to ...

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On the Art of the Comeback

Friday, September 05, 2008

David Bowie’s “Fame” is a pretty good take on the elusive nature of stardom (“Could it be the best, could it be? Really? Really?”), but music is full of cautionary tales – and occasionally heartwarming ones – of fame. If you listened to rock music in the 1990s, you knew ...

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Learning Guitar, Off the Grid

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Guitar Neck When I was 10, my parents bought me a guitar for my birthday. Or maybe it was Christmas – the two are really close together and I wasn’t always clear on which event was being celebrated. Anyway, it ...

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Where have all the dissidents gone?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

By a fluke of scheduling, we have Lila Downs, the Mexican-American singer, on today’s show, and Joan Baez, an earlier generation’s Mexican-American singer, on tomorrow’s program. Both have made their reputations as singers who refuse to shy away from hot-button topics. Forty years ago, Baez’s songs were a highly visible ...

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Minnesota's Musical Muscle

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Like many Americans who didn’t actually live there, I always thought of Minneapolis and St. Paul as the land of Mary Tyler Moore, snow, and the Vikings (whose games always seemed to be played in the snow – which was football the way God intended it to be. Moving that ...

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McCarren Pool's Swan Song

Thursday, August 28, 2008

mccarren-pool.jpg

McCarren Park Pool is closing. Well, not closing forever, but when it reopens, it will be as a pool. For the past 3 summers, McCarren has been one of the hottest music venues in New York – a place to watch the most ...

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Notes on Liner Notes

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well before I ever started writing liner notes, I was a big fan of them. And by liner notes I mean all of the printed matter that came with an LP or a CD – production credits, lyrics, and occasionally some sort of explanatory or laudatory prose. I always felt ...

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What will be on your iPod this fall?

Friday, August 22, 2008

At the end of next week, all the major league baseball teams will call up their promising minor leaguers for September games. This annual roster expansion gives everyone a chance to see who has the next potential MVP.

Also at the end of next week, the horse racing season ...

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The Vibrato Debate

Thursday, August 21, 2008

When I started listening to classical music, after spending the first 18 years of my life basically immersed in rock, I found that I was really drawn to early music – the earlier the better. And of course to modern music, especially the so-called Minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve ...

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Jimi Hendrix's Death: A Classic Whodunnit

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The world’s most famous guitarist. The girlfriend who wanted to be his wife. The famous rock singer. The rock singer’s wife who wanted to be the guitarist’s girlfriend. The guitarist’s manager, who mysteriously “misplaced” a fair amount of money. The manager’s associates, both of them angling to take over as ...

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Six Ways To Use Music

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Daniel Levitin’s best-seller, This Is Your Brain On Music, contained some provocative stuff. The musician-turned-neuroscientist also displayed a philosophical streak, with answers to questions like “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” His answer – an ...

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