Welcome to our Stop! Look! Listen! Music page! Here you'll find what our editors, contributors, and readers are currently listening to in short, snapy recommendations and raves. You'll also find the occasional playlist and other musical features. All contributions welcome — please get in touch to let us know what you're listening to!
The most engaging musicians for me lately, are ones who have perfected the art of music as Trojan horse. Unleashing their rage from within a perfect overlay of pop, R&B, or Indigenous drumming, Janelle Monáe, King Princess, Eastern Owl, and U.S. Girls, create sublime melodies and catchy hooks that tackle an array of topics not often captured in song.
Lately I have been listening to John Cage's strangely delightful and thoughtful sonatas as performed by Boris Berman. They are very short, running between two to four minutes. There are sixteen sonatas and four interludes, so even after some twenty-five listens I still don’t feel like I can encompass the scope of the music.
This past month I’ve been obsessing over video recordings of Van Morrison concerts, especially early performances from the 70s and 80s. This is partly because I’ve been thinking a lot about poetic pacing and what I guess I’ll call ‘rawness’ in poetry — moments of risk-taking and truth-telling, registers of feeling that create something almost textural in a poem.