#KickingtheCanon

#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Tom Waits | Mule Variations

There are a couple of ways to apprehend Mule Variations, the twelfth studio album from Tom Waits and the second to be co-written almost entirely by Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan. Skeptics might say it’s Waits-by-the-numbers, the closest he’s ever come to formula or…

May 13, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

Nas | Illmatic

In 1982, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released what’s largely considered the first ‘conscious’ mainstream rap single, “The Message,” a harrowing seven-minute journey into the hellish existence of project housing and the means one must utilize to escape it. Freedom from this infernal…

April 26, 2019
#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
In Review | Online film and music criticism