Blog Profile / Slate: Music Box

Filed Under:Entertainment / Music
Posts on Regator:339
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

On Haim’s New Album Something to Tell You, the Band of Sisters Is Better Than Ever

In the video for “Want You Back,” the first single from the new second album by Haim, the smart set’s favorite white pop band, the three San Fernando Valley sisters saunter side by side up the Ventura Boulevard strip. Occasionally one Haim might lip-synch a part of a vocal line. Show More Summary

Family Business

It’s a little hard to compliment Jay-Z’s 4:44 without tipping the back of one’s hand. One can say it’s his best work in years, but he hasn’t made a great solo album since 2003, or even a pretty good one since 2009. One can say it’s a...Show More Summary

Ebbs and Flows

The opening seconds of Vince Staples’ Big Fish Theory come on like a trance. A sound that seems to slide between a gust of wind, a police siren, and ambient tape hiss wheezes in the background as a synthesizer plays an ominous progression of minor chords that sounds like something Angelo Badalamenti might drop into Twin Peaks. Show More Summary

Was This It?

It may be that there is no way to write a definitive history of a particular cultural scene of a particular time and place that doesn’t reveal itself to be simply the story of a loose group of acquaintances who all got drunk in the same five-block radius for a few years in their twenties. Show More Summary

The Infamous

In the pantheon of 1990s East Coast hip-hop, Mobb Deep never became quite the household name that Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas, or the Wu-Tang Clan did, but when it came to artistry and influence, the Queens duo stood shoulder-to-shoulder with all of them. Show More Summary

Praise Lorde

About two-thirds of the way into the three-minute “Homemade Dynamite” from New Zealand pop star Lorde’s second album, Melodrama, there’s a moment that captures both (a) what makes the 20-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor such a unique and...Show More Summary

Can She Get a Witness?

“Bon Appétit” is one of the worst songs on Katy Perry’s new album Witness, which is saying something, because Witness is not otherwise an album of good songs. It’s not just because “Bon Appétit” is a messy takeout sack of dubious food-as-sex...Show More Summary

Sgt. Pepper’s Timing Was As Good As Its Music

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band turns 50 years old this week, and to mark the occasion, Apple Records has trotted out a deluxe reissue set, the crown jewel of which is a new stereo remix of the album by Giles Martin, son of the late Sir George Martin. Show More Summary

The Mountain Goats’ Goths Is Great Even if You Don’t Care About the Mountain Goats or Goths

Leela Corman’s cover painting for Goths shows a crowd jostling about in a subway station, of varied ages and complexions. Only the title prompts the viewer to note they all could be members of that enduring, ethereal, alternative tribe—to think they walk among us. Show More Summary

Wrong Direction

Dearest Harry, My pop-critic friends and I have had a collective crush on you and your One Direction buddies for a few years now. We envied your swoopy hair, sure, but more we liked the way that a Simon Cowell–fabricated band of talent-show...Show More Summary

The Return of the King

Are you sure Hank done it this way? Frankly, I don’t think Chris Stapleton gives a damn. In the two years since the Nashville singer-songwriter’s breakthrough with his album Traveller (the best-selling country album of the past couple...Show More Summary

All Fire, No Brimstone

Rap sometimes struggles with a false dichotomy between “realness” and self-conscious artistry that dates back (at least) to the split between 1990s progressive rap groups (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, etc.) and the gangsta stylists who largely usurped them. Show More Summary

Bob Dylan Is a Great Singer

A couple of years ago, a 73-year-old Bob Dylan proved he could still put a twist in his own tale by putting out an album of American Songbook standards, Shadows in the Night. Taken as Dylan’s improbable tribute to Frank Sinatra, it was...Show More Summary

Drake’s More Life Is Drake’s Best Album Because It Has the Least Drake

I didn’t know what to expect from Drake’s More Life, a 22-track “playlist” that arrived on Saturday night with relatively little advance hype and only the vaguest sense of what the thing actually was. A few days later I’m still not sure...Show More Summary

Roll Over, Beethoven

Finding the right opener to write about Chuck Berry is a daunting task: After all, among so much else, Berry crafted the greatest “lede” in the history of rock and roll. The furious flurry of twanging, snapping eighth-notes that opens Berry’s 1956 hit “Roll Over Beethoven”—and which reappears even more iconically atop 1958’s “Johnny B. Show More Summary

Stephin Merritt Comes Out—as Human

What kind of sharer are you? Over-? Under-? Secret? When we meet new friends, acquaintances, or lovers, some people become instant confidantes. Others bide their time till they’re comfortable enough to spool out the sordid details of their pasts. Show More Summary

Cry Me a River (of White Male Tears)

“Love is giving what one does not have.” —Jacques Lacan, Seminar VIII (1960–61) Yuck, I thought. It was late September and I was listening to “Keep Your Name,” an advance single from the new album by Dirty Projectors. They’d been sweethearts...Show More Summary

Trumpeting Alternative Facts

One hundred years ago this week, on Feb. 26, 1917, jazz was committed to record for the first time. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s renditions for Victor records of “Dixieland Jass Band One-Step” and “Livery Stable Blues,” released nine days after they were recorded, were the first jazz performances most people ever heard. Show More Summary

Could Anti-Trump Americans Make “FDT (F--- Donald Trump)” the No. 1 Song in the Country?

In May of 1977, a punk quartet from London called the Sex Pistols released a single titled “God Save the Queen.” The song’s name was plagiarized from the British national anthem, and the record released to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee, an exercise in monarchic pageantry conducted against a backdrop of turmoil. Show More Summary

Grammys, Don’t Hurt Yourself

The morning after, here is my public entreaty to the voters of the Grammys: Please, please, please, stop doing this to Adele. That is: If you really won’t be motivated by a deeper awareness, fairness, and responsibility for, in particular,...Show More Summary

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