2 items from 2017
It's hard to believe that we were bopping our heads 20 years ago to songs like "I'll Be Missing You," "The Freshmen," and "Coco Jamboo," to name a few (shout out if you remember the last one well, like I do). It was a magical year for the music industry, in that 1997 was still a time where every single genre was invited to the table and brought back for seconds and thirds. Make sure you're hungry, because we're about to serve you some delicious throwback jams that will leave you full - and jonesing for that old CD player you left at your parents' house years ago. In the mid-'90s, we saw a huge decline in what is considered "pop" music as the grunge and hip-hop scene made its way to the top of the charts and left the pop princes and princesses in the dust. A year before, in »
- Ryan Shea
“The American Epic Sessions,” a two-hour music documentary that premiered Tuesday night on PBS, is all about stunt casting. And that’s not even a reference to the artists who come through Jack White’s and T Bone Burnett’s studio to cut a track or two for the doc, a list that includes Elton John, Beck, Alabama Shakes, Nas, Rhiannon Giddens, the Avett Brothers, and one last teaming of Willie Nelson and the late Merle Haggard.
No, the ultimate star of this show is a meticulously reconstructed recording machine from the 1920s that seems to have talismanic qualities on those who enter its orbit even 80 years after it was last in use. This antiquated, cleaned up piece of studio equipment is so fetishistically photographed, it relegates the 19 musical acts that drop by for an old-school session to supporting players. Fortunately, it’s a stunt that pays off, in pristine contemporary recordings of (mostly) old blues and »
- Chris Willman
2 items from 2017
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