When They Were Young
The Killers thrive on drama. Each of their songs carries an overwhelming sense of immediacy and doom, a fate from which their glitzy rock seems the only deliverance.
Fly On, Little Wing
There is a moment in “Mystery Train” when the author, Greil Marcus — the preeminent writer on the connections between music and American culture — pauses, looks around in bewilderment, and wonders why critics have never written about Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” with the same intensity and passion as they have fawned over Dylan or the Beatles.
Folk-Rock and the Yarragh
I don’t really understand folk rock. It’s one of those quixotically modern flourishings, like the reappearance of full well-groomed beards and the curious renaissance of the veldskoen shoe, now known colloquially as the “desert boot.”
Getting Tangled Up in Blue
Despite the song’s sublime sound, its greatest strengths lie in its lyrics. Dylan is the modern Bard, and this is his masterpiece. His lyrics ramble from a tumultuous Brooklyn Heights to a seedy Midwestern strip club, from the Great North Woods all the way down the Mississippi to Delacroix, from the past to the present and back again, switching at whim between the first person and the third.
Battle of the Bands
I must confess — I am absolutely clueless at football games. It’s a game made for television, and without the benefits of instant replay and ultra-zoomed-in shots of the defensive line, I can barely tell where the ball is. I presume that my fellow students at the Game tomorrow afternoon will face the same problem. »
A Wealth of Musical Knowledge: Jon Pareles
If I thought everything was going to sound like it does now, why would I go on? I want to be surprised. And I think we want to be surprised; I think we as a species want to be surprised by music.
Christmas come early?
“There stands Jackson like a stone wall!” Thus spoke the Confederate soldier Barnard Bee at the First Battle of Bull Run. And just as Colonel Thomas Jackson stood firm at Manassas Junction, so does the New Haven Green Christmas Tree during the long months of November and December, the cold beginning of Winter Proper, the »
In Defense of Oasis
I remember standing at one of the high tables in my high school’s café, writing an essay with my headphones on. One of my friends came over and asked me what I was listening to. “Oasis,” I said. She screwed up her face a bit, and then laughed. “Isn’t that a bit childish, Noah?” She »
Revisiting the Blues
The early blues rose from its long interment on Monday, as musical devotees gathered in Battell Chapel for the panel “The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records” and experienced the resurrection of old, old tunes from the Paramount archive.
Van Morrison’s Vocal Ventures
Nobody quite understands Van Morrison. If Bob Dylan’s long stretches of patent bizarreness in the 1980s seem incomprehensible to most, then Van Morrison’s entire career surely must remain an enigma.
“Funeral,” Ten Years After
The music industry has produced very few seminal albums in the last 20 years. I do not wish to join the ranks of those who decry the very foundations of modern music — I’m looking at you, Gene Simmons — and proclaim that because rock is dead we will never again see a Great Album. »
The British Isles in Black and White
The Yale Center for British Art’s new exhibition “Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro: Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland,” came as something of a revelation.