Category Archives: Ramble On

The Brilliance of the Blue Jean Committee

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Perhaps no comedian has a better grasp on the music world than Fred Armisen, who was a drummer for Chicago indie-punk band Trenchmouth before becoming a weird comedy star on Saturday Night Live. Since SNL, Armisen has now become the drummer and bandleader for The Late Show with Seth Meyers, as well as one-half of the brilliant Portland spoof Portlandia. Thus there might be no better person for  a music documentary spoof, and he and the amazing Bill Hader knock

Annual Music Podcast Power Rankings

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I last visited the world of music podcasts in 2013 when, admittedly, I had a much harder time coming up with five music-related podcasts worth listening to. Since Serial came out and seriously raised awareness of podcasts, there has been a tremendous increase in podcasts in general. So much like TV, there is now the problem that there are not enough hours in the day to listen to good, worthwhile podcasts. So here are the best five music podcasts that I

Apple Music: The Death Knell for Downloadable Music

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Once fat and healthy, the internet in the 21st century has thrown the music industry for a loop time and time again, putting musicians and the industry that produces them in a serious identity crisis as to where the money comes from. With the invention of the iPod and eventually the iPhone, downloadable music in MP3 format became the new form, and CDs went the way of the cassette tape. Vinyl strangely came back into vogue as a counter-cultural music fan move

Songs of Summer ’15 Walk-Off

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Every year, a song defines the summer: it’s at every wedding, every beach party, and every festival you attend. You simply can’t escape it, but usually its such a perfect song you don’t mind hearing it again and again. Pharrell owned the last two summers, with last year’s giddy-gospel “Happy”, and in 2013, singing the hook on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and producing Robin Thicke’s rapey yet infectious “Blurred Lines”. In 2012, it was the sneaky great “Call Me Maybe” by

U2 Vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

U2 vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

The last month has brought two high-profile surprise albums in U2’s Songs of Innocence and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. As we all know, there can only be one surprise album champion, so I thought I would go through five rounds of criteria (announcement, distribution, price, reach, and ultimately, the music) to decide who won the September Surprise Shakedown. Two men enter the ring, only one can leave. Round #1: Announcement U2: The Irish lads

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