Music

#ObscureObject by Taylor Murnane Music

Cecil Frena | Pit Boss

Cecil Frena, formerly known as Born Gold, has never really stuck to one genre, but has always been known for his tender, poignant lyrics and experimental, pop-leaning sounds. It was only since abandoning that previous moniker in favor of using his god-given name that…

September 16, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Serge Gainsbourg | Histoire de Melody Nelson

One of the horniest albums ever recorded, Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson is a 28-minute exhalation of libidinous longing. The album tells a Lolita-like tale, partially autobiographical, of the middle-aged musician’s fantasies about, and consequent seduction of, a 15-year-old girl named Melody Nelson, whose bike the man…

September 7, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Frozen Light

Cui Jian’s music paints pictures: “A Piece of Red Cloth,” an anthemic song that Cui performed during the Tiananmen protests, instantly summons images of the young rocker covering his eyes with the titular cloth, a gesture representative of what had become a ‘blinding’ socialist…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Show You Colour

If there’s any one quality that defines Cui Jian, it’s that he has never been content to be any one thing. Rock ‘n’ roll didn’t start with Cui — so he had to be a Chinese rock ‘n’ roller, fusing his own national identity…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Balls Under the Red Flag

By the mid-1990s, the political ambitions of what is known as the liumang generation — literally, “hooligans” — had devolved from a battle cry into feelings of wounded dejection, crushed under the weight of an intensified Chinese censorship, and the restricted freedoms enforced by…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Solution

Cui Jian’s status as a cultural icon was largely staked on the reputation of his first breakout song, “Nothing to My Name”: its progression from televised debut at a 1986 stadium show to anthem of the 1989 student protesters in Tiananmen Square. The song’s…

September 2, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Waylon Jennings | Honky Tonk Heroes

Waylon Jennings may not have invented outlaw country, but with Honky Tonk Heroes he gave the movement its clearest distillation of purpose; its manifesto, its aesthetic framework, even its narrative vocabulary. Naturally, for a movement so rooted in myth-making, there’s an important backstory. Jennings, along with his pal…

August 21, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism