Best albums of 2015: No 5 – Vulnicura by Björk

The sighting was a timely reminder of the actual Björk Guðmundsdóttir – mother and mere mortal. The Icelandic musician’s ninth studio LP broke a three-album run of conceptual, esoteric records centred around nature, politics and technology. Instead, it chronicled the gruelling aftermath of her marriage breakdown, “the most painful thing” she had ever experienced. Confronting […]

How Björk broke the sound barrier

Vulnicura, just released, may be the most emotionally direct work of Björk’s career, recording, with blistering candor, the breakup of her relationship with the artist Matthew Barney. At the same time, it marks another stage in her musical evolution, with the 10-minute expanse of Black Lake presenting one of her most intricately layered compositional conceptions […]

Popular NYC music venue Elsewhere is hosting a Minecraft festival for coronavirus relief

As someone who lives in Bushwick and has attended shows at Elsewhere, this is an incredibly cool thing to see. Elsewhere is a refurbished venue in the heart of the “coolest” neighborhood in Brooklyn, well-known as a haven for off-beat yet well-established indie artists from across the musical spectrum and a safe-space for all members […]

Orlando Puerta, Dance Music Exec Who Championed Madonna, Dies of Upper Respiratory Infection at 55

“One of a kind. I have only the most joyful memories of Orlando,” says Liz Rosenberg, Cher’s longtime publicist who worked with Puerta during her long tenure at Warner Brothers and also served as Madonna’s publicist for decades. “No one I’d rather hang out with on or off the dance floor. A genius at what he did […]

Dylan Goes Electric! by Elijah Wald review – when Bob took a Stratocaster to the Newport folk festival

It seems that Seeger probably did not try to cut through cables with an axe, but he did recount what had happened with the crestfallen conclusion: “I thought he had so much promise.” Others, by contrast, knew what time it was. In the folk magazine Sing Out!, the critic Paul Nelson compared the two musicians […]

Onipa Channel Ghanaian Highlife to Great Effect on ‘Yenimno’

Sackey and Excell find the small-group format refreshing. “There’s only 4 of us, so we can compose very quickly,” they explained. “Also having restrictions of fewer instruments can bring about interesting results… Sometimes it’s pretty hard, as we’re all multi-tasking playing multiple instruments each in one tune, but it keeps us on our toes.”

The Only Toy Gift Guide for a 1-Year-Old You’ll Ever Need

Every little child needs a stuffed friend he or she can grab in the crib at night (once the child is older than a year, of course — safety first!) and bring along tucked under an arm all day. Personal note from the writer: The first time my daughter saw her new Cuddle + Kind […]

Soundfreaq Sound Spot review

The touch capacitive buttons along the top panel covesr play/pause, song search, volume functions and pairing functions for easy and elegant control of the device with the touch of a finger. The power key is a regular button, however, demanding the irksome use of actual muscle power (in all seriousness it’s a clever exception that […]

Disco Infernal: On Baz Luhrmann’s Grotesque ‘The Get Down’

The South Bronx is still poor, but it now looks a lot more like Levittown in 1960 than Dresden in 1945. Once the victim of white flight, the South Bronx has become attractive to immigrants and people who can’t afford Manhattan because they are not the progenies of a Siberian nickel-mining fortune, hedge fund impresarios […]