#KickingtheCanon

#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
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Music

Green Day | Dookie

Before the eye paint, the brain-dead political anthems, and their embrace of radio-friendly sensibilities, Green Day was a raggedy assembled trio of stoner misfits with rockstar ambitions, similar to Hüsker Dü, and a sound in line with the Replacements. (Though lead vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe…

January 27, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Pavement | Slanted and Enchanted

Pavement’s debut album, a sui generis cornucopia of fuzz-box riffs and unwonted lyrics, opens with the best song the band ever recorded, maybe the best debut single of the decade: a three-minute, lo-fi emission of buzzsaw guitar and Dadaist lyrics (“My eyes stick to…

January 20, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Lust for Life | Iggy Pop

The first of the two albums that Iggy Pop and David Bowie recorded during 1977, The Idiot is, in a sense, a David Bowie album, just one with Pop providing lyrics and vocals: Bowie dominated the production, sort of using the sessions as practice, honing the…

January 13, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Galaxie 500 | On Fire

Galaxie 500 is often labeled as a “shoegaze” band, which is understandable: their indolent, undeviating style (gently distorted guitars committing to one riff, one obsessive, rhythmic progression, and Dean Wareham’s sui generis singing, that indelible voice pervading each song like an unsound apparition) doesn’t…

January 5, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Marvin Gaye | Here, My Dear

Despite his sultry, salacious crooning and all that iconic baby-making music (“Let’s get it on / Ah, baby, let’s get it on / Let’s love, baby”), Marvin Gaye was, in real life, not such a romantic. In modern parlance, one might call him problematic.…

January 2, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism