Music

Music Reviews
11:22 am
Thu June 14, 2012

On 'Banga,' Patti Smith Pays Homage To Friends

Patti Smith.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 4:39 pm

Featuring Patti Smith's former New York punk-era colleague Tom Verlaine on solo guitar, "April Fool" is one of the prettiest songs on Smith's new album, Banga. Verlaine sends out long, thin, delicate tendrils of sound as Smith's voice suffuses the melody with full-throated urgency. Although Smith has said, with typical art-democratic directness, that "almost everybody in the world can sing," a few songs on Banga make you aware of what a good voice she has.

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Song Of The Day
6:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Trailer Trash Tracys: A Shoegazer's Dream

Trailer Trash Tracys.
Courtesy of the artist

"Candy Girl," from Trailer Trash Tracys' debut album Ester, sounds like a shoegazer's modern take on Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" — the song that soundtracked the makeout scene in Top Gun. Both tracks share a similar pace and constant beating snare, but Trailer Trash Tracys' members diverge from the '80s hit by throwing in a ton of fuzz, reverb and depression. "It's 7 o'clock and my heartbeat stops, my candy girl," Suzanne Aztoria sings, her voice detached to the point where she seems sedated.

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Music Interviews
4:04 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Ice-T Gives A Hip-Hop History Lesson In 'The Art Of Rap'

Ice-T (left) with Chuck D in a still from his documentary From Something to Nothing: The Art of Rap.
Courtesy of Indomina

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:18 pm

Ice-T, the rapper and actor, wants people to think about the craft of making rap music. He has directed and starred in a documentary called Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap that takes viewers from Harlem into the South Bronx, to Detroit and South Central Los Angeles. In the film, Ice-T talks to musicians like Doug E.

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The Record
11:03 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

My American Dream Sounds Like Prince

Prince performing at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, Calif., in 1985.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 2:00 pm

I was born in 1970, sprung from one of the most aspirational generations America has ever produced: The Hip-Hop Nation. With decades of rap music anthems dedicated to our fantastical transition from poverty to prosperity, we rarely celebrate our wealth without looking back on our meager beginnings. The American Dream, for us, always represents the possibility of success and affluence on our own terms — with a watchful eye toward our hardscrabble origins.

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The Record
5:37 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Tell Us What Your American Dream Sounds Like

Axl Rose onstage. In American flag bike shorts.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:22 pm

What is the American dream?

A white picket fence and a walk-in closet? Mobility? The promise that your kids will walk an easier road than you did? Bank deposit insurance? Equality under the law? Showing up to your 25th high school reunion with a full head of hair and a fancy title? A Murcielago and a boob job?

And what in the world does that sound like? John Cougar Mellencamp? Lynyrd Sknyryd? Bruce Springsteen? Duke Ellington? KRS-One? Elton John? Jay-Z?

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