Music Appreciation

The Black Keys' New Album: A Track-by-Track Review

Everyone, or at least every critic with a serious emotional investment in statements like this, agrees: The Black Keys are the last true rock band left. Though derided by some as Sports Blues and by others as The Band From The TV Commercial For The Taco Bell Late-Night Menu, With The One Girl Who's Like 'Now THAT'S spicy,' the Keys continue to fill arenas and pump out hits with a consistency no other outfit can match. All of which means that the arrival of a new Black Keys record is big news for everyone who cares about the future—and present—of rock and roll music. Here's a track-by-track look at [...]


The Horrors And Pleasures Of The Columbia House Music Club In Six Albums

Nostalgia for the cultural touchstones of the 1990s, according to the Times, is a real-life, actual thing. Of course, they’re thinking in terms of Nickelodeon programs like "Doug" and "All That." I would hasten to add that any good reminiscence of the pre-Lewinsky Clinton years requires a recognition that Columbia House Music Club was both a blessing and a curse for many a nascent music fan. It was for me. My membership fell somewhere between 1993 and 1996, pre-high school, pre-love of record stores. It was through Columbia House’s mail-order catalogs that I received all the Nirvana, Soundgarden and Belly albums I could get my hands on.