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Soundcheck CD Picks of the Week

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dr. No's Ethiopium, “Oh No” (Stones Throw)

He might have been born with the name Michael Jackson, but this eclectic hip hop producer is better known as Oh No. His latest concept album is a dizzying studio creation called Dr. No’s Ethiopium. It’s inspired ...

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The Solo Frontman

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rock history is littered with forgotten records by singers who fronted successful rock bands and then struck out on their own.

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Rockin’ the Great White Way

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So Green Day’s American Idiot is coming to Broadway. And people are acting all surprised.

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Is it Culture? Let the Bureaucrats Decide…

Monday, January 11, 2010

Concert presenters of every stripe have been grousing for years about the difficulties of getting performance visas for foreign artists. In fact, John Schaefer has pretty much given up the fight.

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Flying the Unfriendly Skies

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Traveling with a double bass in pre-9/11 days was possible, but it wasn’t fun.  Usually you’d have to buy a seat for your instrument.

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Commercial Music vs. Music in Commercials

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

These days, getting a song placed on a commercial, or a TV series, has proven to be a career-making move for a wide variety of artists, from the long-dead (Nick Drake) to the rapidly emerging (the Ting Tings).

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Holiday Music and Noise – Which is Which?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The relentless parade of familiar holiday tunes pouring out of store speakers is an easy target for Grinchy types like me. I don’t like shopping to begin with, and I also find it hard to ignore background music, so a store that accompanies my feeble attempts at being an “educated consumer” with Santa and Rudolph and Frosty is not a store I’m gonna want to spend a lot of time in.

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The New Christmas Contenders

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Soundcheck's John Schaefer wants to know: What’s the must-have or the must-to-avoid of this year’s holiday releases?

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Pop Culture as Historical Artifact

Monday, December 21, 2009

Joshua Clover’s book, 1989 – Bob Dylan didn’t have this to sing about, is making my brain hurt. And I mean that in a good way.

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A Decade of Rock, Whatever That Is

Friday, December 18, 2009

The #1 rock song of the decade, according to Billboard, was “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback.  As Charlie Brown might say, “blech.”

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The Best Classical Music of the Decade

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For me, in classical music, this was the decade of Osvaldo Golijov.  The Argentine-born composer started the decade on a high note, with an extraordinarily colorful, multi-cultural setting of the St Mark Passion, and ended the decade wuth a world premiere based on the sounds of the radio.

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Features

Real Estate Invites New York Metropolitan Area to Mom's Office Party

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The buzzy beach band Real Estate continues to make proverbial waves across the indie rock scene. The New Jersey natives just released their self-titled debut on Woodsist and plan to go on a European tour next month.

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Soundcheck Critics' Week: Best Jazz of 2009 and the '00s

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Popmatters writer and frequent NPR guest Will Layman selected the three top jazz albums of 2009 and seven more greats from the rest of the decade.

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Soundcheck Critics' Week: World Music Picks for 2009 and the Decade

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Siddhartha Mitter joins Soundcheck on Tuesday to discuss the year's -- and decade's -- best records from around the globe.

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A Great Decade for Music

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We have another two weeks before this decade, the first of the 21st century, officially ends. I sort of liked Time magazine’s recent name for it: “The Decade From Hell.”  I suspect almost everyone associated with the music recording industry would agree with that wholeheartedly.

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Soundcheck Critics' Week: Best Pop of the '00s

Monday, December 14, 2009

During the week of December 14, WNYC's Soundcheck is speaking with music critics each day about their favorite material of 2009 and the last decade. For Monday's edition, John Schaefer spoke with freelance music writer Maura Johnston about pop in the aughts.

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Soundcheck's Picks of the Year

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a year it was... Our favorite albums include music from a car commercial, some old Americana, a Bernstein Mass and… well, you know we have someone from Brazil on our team…

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New Pop for a New Century?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soundcheck's John Schaefer wants to know what you thought was the biggest story in pop music during the '00s.

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Pop Culture as Historical Artifact

Friday, December 11, 2009

What was, for you, the signature song of the period of 1989 and the two years after?  Was it just a catchy pop tune or did it perhaps reflect the times?

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Tori Amos Gives New Twist To Christmas Carols

Friday, December 11, 2009

Like David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Judas Priest before her, Tori Amos now joins the ranks of unlikely musicians to take the leap into the holiday music market. These albums can walk a fine line between festive and cheesy. But her new release, Midwinter Graces, overhauls traditional carols in a way only Tori Amos knows how. [Note that we haven't come down on the festive v. cheesy debate. That's up to you!]

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