Category Archives: Music

What’s New for the 21st of January: Mary Gauthier’s Rifles & Rosary Beads, Elizabeth Bear on chocolate truffles, some Roger Zelazny reviews, Music from Sufjan Stevens, Bruce Campbell’s Jack of All Trades series and other matters

Endings are rubbish. They’re only the place where you choose to stop talking. — The Narrator in Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home Come in, we’re almost ready for you to read this Edition, but first have … Continue reading

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Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas’s The World of Captain Beefheart

It’s pretty audacious to record an album of Captain Beefheart’s music, but apparently guitarist Gary Lucas is that kind of guy. He comes by it honestly, though. He played in a late incarnation of Beefheart’s Magic Band in the 1980s, … Continue reading

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Ralph Lee Smith’s Appalachian Dulcimer Traditions

The Appalachian dulcimer is an instrument whose origin is shrouded in the mists of the 19th century, when the descendants of German immigrants began modifying the scheitholt, a simple stringed instrument brought over from the old country. Not to be … Continue reading

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Mary Gauthier’s Rifles & Rosary Beads

Mary Gauthier has made a name for herself by writing and singing intense narrative songs that draw on her own life. And what a life it has been. Growing up an orphan in New Orleans, she has battled substance abuse … Continue reading

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Iona’s A Celebration of Twenty

The phrase “world music” has come to be associated in my mind with a certain sound, which can basically be summed up as too much soprano sax and too many cutesy penny whistles. (I admit, I can be something of … Continue reading

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Joep Bor’s The Raga Guide

As with most people of my generation, I was first exposed to “Indian” music by The Beatles. When George Harrison got interested in Eastern religion, philosophy and music, it started showing up in the group’s songs, starting with the sitar-guitar … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 31st of December: A Folkmanis Mouse with Cheese puppet, three chocolate candies from Chocolove, Big Country performs “Auld Lang Syne’, Glen Cook’s Annals of the Black Company, And Happy New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? — Robert Burns Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year’s celebration, is a time to look at what one has accomplished in the past, and to … Continue reading

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Colin Harper and Trevor Hodgett’s Irish Folk, Trad And Blues: A Secret History

Liz Milner penned this review. Irish Folk, Trad And Blues is a sprawling, overcrowded, rush-hour subway car of a book that piles on more eccentric musicians, frenetic booze-ups and unscrupulous music industry types than my brain could keep track of. … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Gamelan of Central Java XV: Returning Minimalism: In Nem

The subtitle of this disc, “Returning Minimalism,” denotes a key fact about twentieth-century American minimalism: it makes extensive use of the formal elements of gamelan. The circular structures, repetitive melodies, intricate rhythms, and incremental modulations of tone are all hallmarks … Continue reading

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Carl Fleischauer & Neil V. Rosenberg’s Bluegrass Odyssey / Tom Ewing’s The Bill Monroe Reader / Wayne Erbsen’s Log Cabin Pioneers

I hear a voice out in the darkness It mourns and whispers through the pines I know it’s my sweetheart a-calling I hear her through the walls of time. Bill Monroe (quoted in Bluegrass Odyssey) I’m writing this in the … Continue reading

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