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Music, All Shook Down Bury the Muse: Let's Stop Denying Women Full Credit For Their Music

Bury the Muse: Let's Stop Denying Women Full Credit For Their Music

If I had to pick one story in all the history of music to illustrate everything I love and hate about pop, I would choose the one about Veronica Bennett and her one-time partner, Phil Spector. What's great about Bennett…
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Music, All Shook Down How Pop Upholds America's Last Taboo

How Pop Upholds America's Last Taboo

There is the fact of money. And there is the fantasy. In America, we're so steeped in our wish for wealth at all costs that we've made it a virtue to live want-by-want. We've coined a shorthand for it, too.…
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Music, All Shook Down When Pop Music Makes Us Feel Less, Not More

When Pop Music Makes Us Feel Less, Not More

Long before it was even possible, people dreamed of listening to records. My favorite figure in this side history of the imagination is Cyrano de Bergerac, who, in 1657, wrote a story where he described a spring-loaded device that faithfully…
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Music, All Shook Down What Is Pop Music's Value Today?

What Is Pop Music's Value Today?

We are conditioned to think the music business sells music. But this is not true. Or, at least, it's less true than it once was, as recently as 15 years ago, when the industry enjoyed its last year of worldwide…
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Music, All Shook Down How a J-Pop Sex Scandal Reflects Our Own Music Culture

How a J-Pop Sex Scandal Reflects Our Own Music Culture

Late last month, Minami Minegishi, a 20-year-old singer with the Tokyo-based supergroup AKB48, uploaded a video to YouTube. On its surface, Minegishi's video was strikingly different from the hundreds of other videos already published to AKB48's official channel. Rather…
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Music, All Shook Down The Knife Raise Big Questions About Gender, Sexuality, and the Power of Pop Music

The Knife Raise Big Questions About Gender, Sexuality, and the Power of Pop Music

In high school, I had a friend, another "Andy," who came out to me and, soon afterwards, came out to our classmates. It was a big deal. And Andy quickly resigned himself to the predictable abuse familiar to gays and…
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Music, All Shook Down The New Gangsta Rap's Real Problem

The New Gangsta Rap's Real Problem

Last week, a 17-year-old Chicagoan named Keith Cozart was sentenced to 60 days in juvenile detention after violating parole. Both his offenses were gun crimes: the first came in 2011, when Cozart pointed a firearm at a police officer; the…
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Music, All Shook Down What Will Music Be Like in 100 Years? Much the Same As It Is Now

What Will Music Be Like in 100 Years? Much the Same As It Is Now

Who's your tip for the top in 2013? You know what? Nevermind. Let's you and me help each other out. This is an uncertain time of year for many of us -- the new year. A new start, a new…
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Music, #Hashtag: The Ghost of Music Future Previews 2013

#Hashtag: The Ghost of Music Future Previews 2013

How will you remember 2013? What was the year's top music story? Was it the stunning revelation that Morrissey and Johnny Marr had, in fact, secretly reunited in 2007 to quietly issue records under the name "Taylor Swift"? Or did…
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Music, All Shook Down My Three Favorite Sounds of 2012

My Three Favorite Sounds of 2012

'Tis the season for year-end lists -- best and worst albums, movies, and political gaffes. You name it, there's a curated list for it. Somewhere online you'll even find a list of the year's most annoying memes, which is a…
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Music, All Shook Down What Jack White Could Learn About Lady Gaga and "Authenticity"

What Jack White Could Learn About Lady Gaga and "Authenticity"

Like a euphemism for cunnilingus, the authenticity debate has returned to pop music. Which is to say, it never really left, but was badly in need of a new spin. And Jack White has obliged us. Sort of. Last week…
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Music, Hear This How to Dress Well: Show Preview

How to Dress Well: Show Preview

Tom Krell has put up a smokescreen with the two albums he's released as How to Dress Well: 2010's Love Remains and this autumn's Total Loss. There are the silky hat-tips to '80s R&B, the quasi-crypto album covers, and the…
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Music, Hear This Bear in Heaven: Show Preview

Bear in Heaven: Show Preview

It's a familiar tale: A rock group with electronic leanings trades its murky doodles for dayglow pixels — and plays a beer festival. Well, all but that last bit is common terrain for your identikit synth-rocking indie band. What sets…
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Music, All Shook Down Why Love Songs Often Let Us Down

Why Love Songs Often Let Us Down

I heard a love song today. Of course I did: you and I heard lots of love songs today. They stalked us every place we went. The difference between this love song and the dozen others that chased me around…
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Music, Small Talk: How to Read the Latest Batch of Rock Tell-Alls

Small Talk: How to Read the Latest Batch of Rock Tell-Alls

Read enough rock memoirs and, after a while, their salacious revelations of sex, drugs, and regret begin to sound like small talk. "Nice weather we're having, huh?" you ask. "Yes, yes," Rod Stewart says. "Reminds me of the time me…
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Music, All Shook Down The Place Where Music Takes Us

The Place Where Music Takes Us

Each of us knows what we're escaping from. That's the easy part. But when we listen to music, where do we escape to? This question came to mind recently when I was trying to recommend music to a friend. "I…
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Music, All Shook Down How Feedback Became the Coolest Sound in Rock

How Feedback Became the Coolest Sound in Rock

Kerrraaang! came the sound from behind my wall, in my older brother's bedroom. It was his first weekend home from college and he'd returned to our small Indiana town with new toys: a CD player and a copy of Nirvana's…
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Music, All Shook Down Is This the Golden Age of the Amateur?

Is This the Golden Age of the Amateur?

It's nearly impossible for me now to pinpoint the exact moment my own dream of pop stardom died. That phase seemed to fade interminably, the way adult contemporary songs do. But I'm sure I've been a better music fan because…
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Music, All Shook Down Why Do We Share Music?

Why Do We Share Music?

Today, I opened Spotify for the first time since spring. Waiting in my inbox was a playlist thoughtfully compiled by one of my closest friends. She sent it to me in August. Now, almost 70 days have passed. In that…
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Music, All Shook Down How Music Draws Us Out of Ourselves

How Music Draws Us Out of Ourselves

This week, I'm your far-flung correspondent, reporting from the island of 3:58 am. I'm indulging in a favorite bad habit, one I've stumbled in and out of most my adult life. A little before midnight, I crawled into bed and…
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