Stories about music and the musicians who make it

Dub: Engineer as Artist

May 14, 2009

Some interviews are better than others. The members of Thievery Corporation were hard-pressed to describe exactly how and why their trippy electronic dance music is so heavily influenced by dub reggae (it clearly is). But punchy stories from Don Letts (pictured above), a DJ who is credited with introducing reggae beats to London’s punk scene, […]

Geek Out on Electronica

May 13, 2009

Organizers of the Short Circuit festival originally targeted well-known electronic musicians/composers like Vangelis, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, but its organizers opted instead for a more diverse, exhaustive, obscure lineup that may be household names to the devoted but will provide an impressive history lesson in electronic arts for the less electronically-inclined. A slew of multimedia […]

Beatboxing Icelandic Music

May 12, 2009

If you’re like me, and grew up listening to – and mimicking – cassette recordings of rap artists like Biz Markie and the Fat Boys beat boxing, Shlomo is now on the radar. And not in a throwback, nostalgic kind of way; the Leeds-based, Israeli-Iraqi-German beatbox artist rips it. Since the musicians are only getting […]

London’s Music Festival Season Begins

May 5, 2009

I have a sort of love-hate relationship with large music festivals. On the one hand, they provide a chance to spend an entire day (or two or three) seeing a slew of disparate music acts, usually outdoors, and there’s great people-watching. But the thought of weaving through crowds upwards of 60,000 just to get a […]

Dancing with Flying Lotus

April 21, 2009

When Flying Lotus came on, a few minutes after the dubstep artist Kode9 finished a heavy, tight DJ set, there was a noticeable shift. Suddenly the crowd didn’t know what to do with itself. No one seemed to know how to dance. Most dance music has a clear beat, and gives cues as to when […]

Baltimore Punk: Q&A with Ponytail

April 3, 2009

At a recent show at London’s 100 Club, a crowd of about 60 people huddled right in front of the stage and danced almost in unison as Ponytail drove aggressively through each song. Molly Siegel, the lead singer, bounced her way through the set, more fitness instructor than punk star. (Before the show a friend […]

Afghanistan’s “Pop Idol”

March 26, 2009

Intelligent Life: It’s pretty incredible that the reality-TV, “Pop Idol” culture of the West has reached Afghanistan, of all places. Do you see this as a positive thing? Havana Marking: The idea of the talent contest is nothing new. And it works well in a television format. India has its own pop idol show. And […]

A Night Out With Playdoe

March 24, 2009

Playdoe is difficult to describe in standard hip hop terms. The group lacks the gangsta bravado of NWA, and has none of the political urgency of Public Enemy. There’s no Wu-Tang Clan brashness and little of the slick, polished production of Jay-Z or Kanye West. Don’t expect smooth lyrical flow like Common, or DJ mastery […]

Abe Vigoda’s Done With Tropical Punk

March 7, 2009

After moving to Los Angeles, the band’s sound continued to ferment at The Smell, downtown L.A.’s much-hyped noise and experimental music venue. “We just played the shit out of it,” Velazquez says. “It’s where we met our friends, how we learned to book a tour, and how to be in a band.” Rolling snare hits, […]

“Organized busking is an oxymoron”

February 16, 2009

Busking’s unique social dynamic suits Matthew “Harmonica Matt” Griffiths, a harmonica-playing blues man. Wearing a black leather jacket with missing buttons and a crumpled black fedora, Griffiths perches on a low stool and holds an old, round microphone. A few self-recorded CDs are sprawled on the ground next to his amp. At his waist, Griffiths […]

Review: Dum Dum Girls

Review: Reeps One and DJ Qbert

Opening Bands vs Headliners

African Artists: Searching for a New Sound

about Blogowitz

I write about music and culture. I teach journalism. BLOGOWITZ is a file cabinet for my stories, podcasts, photos, and teaching.