By Marc Wells, 8 July 2020
Ennio Morricone will undoubtedly be mourned by millions of people around the world. He composed scores for 70 award-winning films, and more than 70 million recordings of his music had been sold by 2016.
By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2020
Canadian-born singer-songwriter Neil Young has released Homegrown, 45 years after it was recorded, an album of twelve songs that brings us back to his music of the early 1970s.
The Strokes’ The New Abnormal and Hamilton Leithauser’s The Loves Of Your Life: Two decades on from the rise of “indie rock”
By Matthew Brennan, 23 June 2020
Two of the more notable bands to emerge from the early 2000s “indie rock” music scene, which was centered in New York City, have recently produced new albums.
“It’s bigger than black and white, it’s a problem with the whole way of life”
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 22 June 2020
Atlanta rapper Lil Baby has released a new song about the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality.
By Fred Mazelis, 15 June 2020
The New York Philharmonic and other orchestras are canceling performances for the rest of this year.
By Matthew Brennan, 1 June 2020
Few musicians were involved in as many stages of development in jazz, or popular music generally, after World War II as Miles Davis (1926-1991).
“Lost our connection after the war”
By James Brewer, 25 May 2020
Robbie Robertson: “The story of the Band is beautiful. It was so beautiful it went up in flames.”
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 23 May 2020
The 18-year-old pop star’s debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was the most popular album on the planet in 2019.
By Paul Bond, 19 May 2020
The cultural background of a disoriented avant-garde in the aftermath of World War II and the division of Germany helped shape the music of Schneider and his peers.
By Erik Schreiber, 15 May 2020
The new album, which resonates during our time of quarantine, reflects the singer’s personal growth, as well as the regressive influences of her Hollywood-celebrity environment.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 14 May 2020
A new staging of Beethoven’s Fidelio is a highlight in these times of lockdown and quarantine.
By Paul Bond, 13 May 2020
His long-time collaborator Fela Kuti once declared “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”
By Hiram Lee, 12 May 2020
Little Richard played a significant role in shaping rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s and left an indelible influence on the world of music and pop culture in the decades that followed.
By Paul Bond, 30 April 2020
Huge global audience figures show a support for the keyworkers at the frontline that is not answered by any corresponding practical measures from the ruling class.
By John Andrews, 20 April 2020
COVID-19 has claimed the life of Lee Konitz, one of the foremost improvisers of post-war jazz.
By Erik Schreiber, 14 April 2020
The newest movie from acclaimed Portuguese director Pedro Costa offers visual beauty, pessimism and little insight or hope.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 13 April 2020
In his art and his very personality, Prine pursued an existence entirely opposed to the sort led by those whose criminal negligence made possible his death from COVID-19.
By David Walsh, 11 April 2020
Oboist Liang Wang and trumpeter Matthew Muckey disputed their 2018 firings. An arbitrator heard the case and found that the musicians had been terminated without just cause.
By Hiram Lee, 6 April 2020
Among the more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the nearly 70,000 lives lost, may be counted those of numerous well-known musicians and performers.
By Matthew Brennan, 31 March 2020
The songwriting and musicality on both, at its best, is unusually direct, serious and invigorating. The two performers attempt to grapple with changes in social life—and social moods—and manage to give them intriguing musical expression.
John Eliot Gardiner leads all nine Beethoven symphonies at Carnegie Hall, and speaks about their significance
The great composer’s music has “to do with social equality, revolution and counterrevolution”
By Fred Mazelis, 23 March 2020
An opportunity, just before the coronavirus forced the closing of concert halls, to hear the works of the master played on period instruments.
By Fred Mazelis, 21 March 2020
Hundreds of employees will be joining tens of millions of others as the coronavirus pandemic leads to skyrocketing unemployment.
By Matthew Brennan, 16 March 2020
Tyner was the last living member of the famed “classic” John Coltrane quartet, which included bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones.
By Joe Lorenz, 13 March 2020
The concert, “Spirituals: From Ship to Shore,” was organized and led by Dr. John Wesley Wright, an award-winning tenor and professor at Salisbury University in Maryland, as part of a week of study into the history of the musical genre.
By David Walsh, 29 February 2020
The latest stage of the manufactured sexual misconduct controversy surrounding the 79-year-old singer is no more edifying than the earlier ones.
“One must not forget”: A musical tribute in Berlin to Jewish members of the Deutsche Oper orchestra persecuted by the Nazis
By Verena Nees, 21 February 2020
A moving concert paid tribute to four Jewish members of the Deutsche Oper orchestra who were forced into exile or murdered after Hitler came to power in 1933.
“What we think changes how we act.”
By Erik Schreiber, 19 February 2020
Gill consciously broke with musical convention to develop his own style of guitar playing and to create a distinctive sound for his band. Similarly, he sought to understand the origins of social and political conditions, rather than accepting them as given.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 February 2020
The son of Rudolf Serkin, he was a musician of intelligence, passion and integrity, a solo recitalist and chamber musician, who also performed with orchestras worldwide.
By Matthew Brennan, 29 January 2020
The event, hosted by the Recording Academy, is the most prominent such ceremony in the music business in the US. Grammys are handed out to musicians, singers, producers, engineers and songwriters.
Wozzeck at New York’s Metropolitan Opera: Alban Berg’s opera on the tragic fate of an impoverished soldier
By Fred Mazelis, 16 January 2020
Wozzeck’s depiction of the impact of war and inequality on the lives of the poor is timelier than ever.
Including an interview from 1996
By David Walsh, 3 January 2020
Sleepy LaBeef, singer and musician, died the day after Christmas at his home in Arkansas. The musical world and all of us are poorer for the loss.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 31 December 2019
It was an especially difficult and challenging year for popular music, dominated by the contradiction between the self-absorption and disorientation of the official musical world and growing signs of global popular opposition.
By Clara Weiss, 6 December 2019
The music of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996), who spent much of his life in the Soviet Union, has been recently rediscovered. It counts among the most significant bodies of work produced in the 20th century.
By David Walsh, 5 December 2019
In an interview with the Spanish online publication El Confidencial, opera legend Domingo explained that these “have been the most difficult months of my life.”
By Fred Mazelis, 16 October 2019
Otello and Falstaff, from the last years of the 19th century, continue to amaze contemporary audiences.
By Kevin Reed, 11 October 2019
Filmed at a live performance in Amsterdam in June 2018, the concert features Waters’ reinterpretation of the catalog of Pink Floyd and his solo career in light of present social and political crises around the world.
By David Walsh, 26 September 2019
Domingo’s action came in response to two Associated Press articles, in August and September, in which 20 women, 18 of them anonymously, accused the opera star of inappropriate behavior.
“Go on strike ‘til you get it right!”
By Kathleen Martin, 21 September 2019
The former autoworker spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about life in the auto plants and why he supports the striking workers.
By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2019
Virtuoso jazz guitarist Bill Frisell discussed some of the conceptions underpinning his musical approach and his forthcoming album during the Australian leg of his recent Asian tour.
By David Walsh, 17 August 2019
On August 13, the Associated Press posted an article by Jocelyn Gecker alleging that Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo had sexually harassed a number of women over a period of several decades.
By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2019
This latest work stands out as an unusually open and humane collection of songs in a genre that has been lacking in those elements far too much in recent years.
The 2008 music vault fire
By Kevin Reed, 30 July 2019
The social and legal fallout from the June 2008 music vault fire in Hollywood, which destroyed an invaluable popular music archive at Universal Studios and which Universal Music Group (UMG) covered up for years, is ongoing.
By Hiram Lee, 13 July 2019
Together with the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto pioneered a “new wave” in Brazilian popular music during the mid-to-late 1950s that had a worldwide impact.
By Matthew Brennan, 3 June 2019
Amazing Grace, a concert film currently showing in select theaters around the US, captures the two-day recording of singer-pianist Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert album of the same title.
Michigan State University performs stirring rendition of Babi Yar, Dmitri Shostakovich’s anti-fascist symphony
By Nancy Hanover, 1 May 2019
Shostakovich’s masterpiece was performed by the Michigan State Symphony Orchestra, the University Chorale, the State Singers, noted baritone Mark Rucker and conductor Christopher James Lees at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall on April 27-28.
By Matthew Brennan, 22 April 2019
Best known as a member of the 1960s pop trio the Walker Brothers, Scott Walker became an elusive and yet influential figure in the rock and electronic music genres in later years.
By Hiram Lee, 19 March 2019
Drummer Hal Blaine died March 11, one month past his 90th birthday. Blaine was an incredibly prolific studio musician who appeared on countless recordings during the 1960s and 1970s.
“This is not just about Tchaikovsky, it’s about culture as a whole”
By Kristina Betinis, 12 March 2019
CSO players and supporters demand funding for the arts, not wars.
By Andy Thompson, 20 February 2019
Facebook suspended four pages run by Maffick Media, including In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed, which posted content critical of US foreign and social policy.
By Matthew Brennan, 14 February 2019
The now ubiquitous and mandatory theme of every awards show—identity politics—was on heavy display Sunday.
By Matthew Brennan, 2 February 2019
Trained as a classical cellist, McCalla’s eventual decision to pursue folk-based music and song-writing led her to the rich New Orleans music environment where she has been a fixture for much of the past decade.
By Matthew Brennan and Hiram Lee, 31 December 2018
Many of the year’s best musicians refused to limit themselves to one “lane,” “border,” genre or supposedly separate culture.
By Paul Bond, 6 October 2018
Aznavour grew up with a love of music and theatre and leaves a legacy of some 1,200 songs, innumerable recordings, and some notable film appearances.
By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2018
New Yorker music critic Alex Ross claims that Bernstein’s legacy is being exaggerated.
By Verena Nees, 3 September 2018
The 20 nearly sold-out concerts by international youth orchestras struck a clear musical counterpoint to the xenophobic and nationalist policies of the global political elites.
One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century
By Fred Mazelis, 25 August 2018
There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.
One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century
By Fred Mazelis, 24 August 2018
There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.
By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2018
Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76. She was a major figure, one of the great performers of the second half of the twentieth century.
By Hiram Lee, 15 August 2018
On his new album Acoustic Classics, country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell revisits a selection of his songs in new stripped-down all acoustic recordings.
By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2018
Vanished Gardens, a new collaboration between jazz musician Charles Lloyd and country singer Lucinda Williams, is a seamless and enjoyable blend of multiple genres of music.
By Matthew MacEgan, 27 July 2018
The album is intended to be the musical component of a larger multimedia project entitled Reasons to Be Cheerful, which is an attempt at spreading “positivity” in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.
By Matthew Brennan, 25 July 2018
The film is a dark comedy written and directed by Boots Riley, artist, political activist and rapper from Oakland, California. He is best-known as a longtime member of the music group The Coup.
By Josh Varlin, 10 July 2018
Soto was best known for his work with the seminal hardcore punk band Adolescents.
By Zac Corrigan, 1 June 2018
Within 24 hours, “This is America” had been viewed 12.9 million times and the song debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart. It has now been viewed more than 200 million times.
By Hiram Lee, 28 May 2018
Pulitzer’s choice to recognize the rapper cannot be viewed as anything but a nod to identity politics and the Democratic Party.
By Zac Corrigan, 19 May 2018
Spotify inaugurated its “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy by censoring the two singers based on allegations of “sexual violence.” Competitors Apple Music and Pandora Radio followed suit.
By Fred Mazelis, 14 May 2018
US foreign policy officials concluded that “jazz could give America an edge in the Cold War,” with mostly African-American musicians, “serv[ing] as Cold War cultural ambassadors.”
Interview with conductor William Barkhymer: “I think the world is just thankful we had Gershwin to compose Porgy and Bess”
By Barry Grey, 25 April 2018
“For me, Porgy and Bess is about a community, the people, how they interact with each other, how they hold together in good times and bad times.”
By Nick Barrickman, 13 April 2018
Brendon Whitney (“Alias”) was a founding member of the experimental hip hop/electronic music label Anticon.
By Matthew Brennan, 23 March 2018
The new album from 27-year-old country singer Courtney Marie Andrews is a sensitive look at the lives of ordinary people struggling to stay afloat.
By Ed Hightower, 23 March 2018
The latest album by Imagine Dragons is part of a self-pitying and overwrought trend in pop music.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 2 March 2018
The German jazz guitarist Coco Schumann remained active musically until near the end of his life. He ranks as a jazz musician with one of the longest musical biographies ever.
“This is a great loss for both the community of San Diego and Tijuana”
By Norisa Diaz, 1 March 2018
The popular station was eventually forced off the air yesterday after struggling financially for over a decade.
By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018
Emma Franz’s film is a fascinating overview of Frisell’s creative work and his constant search for new musical challenges.
By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018
Filmmaker and musician Emma Franz speaks about her latest documentary and the political and artistic conceptions that informed her approach.
By Jay James, 5 February 2018
The 11 albums Beck released prior to Colors blended a dizzying array of genres, resulting in a series of psychedelic funk, soul, folk, hip-hop and and rock-infused anthems that have consistently topped the charts.
By Fred Mazelis, 10 January 2018
Mann championed the collaborative musical form of the string quartet, and helped train generations of famed musicians.
By Hiram Lee, Matthew Brennan and Nick Barrickman, 30 December 2017
With a few exceptions, the top of the Billboard charts in 2017 was home to one conformist and forgettable album after another, or worse.
By Clara Weiss, 20 December 2017
Lipatti left a legacy of outstanding recordings of the major works of classical music, and is justly considered one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.
Dover Quartet recital offers unusual program, including works by “forgotten composers” Viktor Ullmann and Szymon Laks
By Fred Mazelis, 18 December 2017
The youthful quartet played chamber music in New York November 18, composed in the darkest days of the Holocaust, bearing witness against fascist barbarism.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 December 2017
The Siberian-born singer, who was known especially for his Verdi and Tchaikovsky roles, had performed in nearly every major opera house in the world.
By Ben Trent, 18 November 2017
With the new album, the band is attempting to navigate their way through an increasingly fraught political and social atmosphere and to encourage an alternative.
By Nick Barrickman, 18 November 2017
Lil Peep, who died November 15 of a drug overdose while on tour, had come to be seen as the foremost representative of the genre-bending musical style known as “emo rap.”
By Hiram Lee, 4 November 2017
Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino died October 24 at the age of 89. The gifted pianist was second only to Elvis Presley in popularity during the early days of the genre.
By Ed Hightower, 30 October 2017
The full-length debut of Electronic Dance Music duo The Chainsmokers, which features an appearance by Coldplay, is a mostly shallow party record.
By Hiram Lee, 9 October 2017
In truth, “Bodak Yellow” is a vulgar work that glorifies backward and genuinely anti-social impulses.
By Hiram Lee, 5 October 2017
Tom Petty died suddenly October 2 at the age of 66. He was a genuine and unpretentious songwriter and performer.
By James Brewer, 21 September 2017
Scott D. Rosenbaum’s film documents the lives of three blues musicians whose talents graced the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
By Hiram Lee, 24 August 2017
The latest album by songwriter Randy Newman satirizes Vladimir Putin, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the conflict between science and religion.
“The night our eyes changed”
By Paul Bond, 16 August 2017
Music mogul Simon Cowell brought together high-profile figures for a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, but a far more powerful and politically interesting response has come from local artists.
By Paul Bond, 2 August 2017
The revival of the fortunes of traditional Cajun music owes much to Menard’s love of country music, and his warmly nasal voice.
By Nick Barrickman, 24 July 2017
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s 4:44, released June 30 on his Roc Nation label and available through Carter’s streaming service Tidal, is the rapper and entrepreneur’s thirteenth studio album.
Roger Waters’ Is This the Life We Really Want?: An angry, depressed protest against war and nationalism
By Kevin Reed, 9 June 2017
In 12 tracks and 55 minutes, Waters paints a picture of a desperate world and he issues an angry protest—if also a disheartened outburst—against the things that make it so.
By Norisa Diaz, 5 June 2017
The New York-based band has been banished from the music industry following social media allegations of sexual assault, undermining the long-standing legal principle that the accused is presumed “innocent until proven guilty.”
By Adam Soroka, 22 May 2017
Cornell (born July 20, 1964 in Seattle, Washington) will be best remembered as the lead vocalist of the Seattle metal band Soundgarden. His vocals combined an R&B sensibility with a dynamic, multi-octave range.
By Matthew Brennan, 18 May 2017
The album is June’s first proper release since the 2013 album Pushing Against a Stone, which made her a nationally known artist in the US.
By Hiram Lee, 15 April 2017
Folk singer Rhiannon Giddens’ latest album will almost certainly be counted among the best of this year.
By Hiram Lee, 23 March 2017
It would be difficult to overstate Berry’s influence on American popular music in the second half of the 20th century. Perhaps more than any other artist in the genre, he defined the sound of rock ’n’ roll.
By Hiram Lee, 27 February 2017
Indie rock veterans The Flaming Lips have returned with a new album of mostly detached psychedelia.
By Fred Mazelis, 20 February 2017
A late 19th century composer who has some detractors gets his big moment at Carnegie Hall.