#KickingtheCanon

#KickingtheCanon by Sam C. Mac Music

Cui Jian | Rock ’n’ Roll on the New Long March

April 16, 2019

Was it when Elvis first suggestively gyrated his hips on national television? The first time a fan let-out a piercing, adulatory scream as the Beatles sauntered by? Or was it further back than all that — the moment Sister Rosetta Thorpe picked up a guitar? There’s no true consensus as to when rock ’n’ roll really started — in the west, anyway. In the People’s Republic of China, however, there’s a much smaller window during which one could pinpoint rock’s…

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#KickingtheCanon by Jonathan Keefe Music

Emmylou Harris | Roses in the Snow

Emmylou Harris’ first four studio albums all stuck to an eclectic formula that allowed her to establish her bona fides as the premier interpretive vocalist of her generation. What those early albums lacked, though, was a sense of focus. Harris’s eclecticism cut against her…

April 8, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Aphex Twin | Selected Ambient Works 85–92

Richard D. James’s debut altered the electronic music landscape, and remains a singular experience within the enigmatic musician’s oeuvre. Whereas the album’s follow-up, Selected Ambient Works II, is an oneiric, dreamy soundscape — harking back to Brian Eno with its euphoric swells and melancholic tones…

April 1, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Taylor Murnane Music

Cocteau Twins | Treasure

From their first release (1982’s Garlands), Cocteau Twins enjoyed critical acclaim. But it was only after the departure of founding member and bassist Will Heggie — and the induction of his replacement, Simon Raymonde — in 1983, that the band would settle into the sound, and the line-up, that would define…

March 25, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Joe Biglin Music

Run-DMC | Run-D.M.C.

To distinguish between “old-school” hip-hop of the late 1970s and the “new school,” founded primarily by Run-DMC and LL Cool J, listen to Kurtis Blow’s 1980 cut “Hard Times.” Socially-conscious lyricism is underscored by smooth-groove funk; it’s party music, replete with a minute-long bongo…

March 9, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

The Beach Boys | All Summer Long

All Summer Long signals the beginning of the end of an era for the Beach Boys: the soon-to-be pioneers hadn’t yet ditched their upbeat, California surf-rock, but their ambitions — or more accurately, Brian Wilson’s — swelled beyond the sometimes superficial teenybopper hits of previous years. Their songwriting here…

March 2, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

PJ Harvey | To Bring You My Love

PJ Harvey had already infiltrated the mainstream by 1995, thanks to two of her early singles (“Sheela Na Gig” and “50ft Queenie”) earning medium rotation on radio stations. Her clanging punk-rock trio were just accessible enough to appease fans of Pearl Jam, but just weird enough…

February 10, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

Madonna | Madonna

A few months after the release of her self-titled debut, a then fresh-faced Madonna went on American Bandstand to perform one of her album’s biggest hits: the six-minute-long, infectiously breezy, post-disco odyssey “Holiday.” Dressed in all black and surrounded by an adoring audience, the “Detroit”…

February 4, 2019