trainor

Ranking the 2015 Grammy Nominees

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards come to you Sunday, February 8th.  Rather than complain about the rigged system or make fun of the losers, this year I thought I’d consider the nominees in the “big four” categories on their own merits and decide how I’d order them and dish out the awards. Record, Album, and…

blauwgeel

Stories Told

Dear Readers, In 2012 we brought your attention to a unique musical project.  Dutch instrumental indie band All Shall Be Well (And All Shall Be Well And All Manner Of Things Shall Be Well) sourced a short story from a fan of theirs and set out to write a piece of music based on the…

JordanHall_300px

Enlightenment through Sound Collage

Last week I encountered something brand new in music and I want you to share the experience with me. After our recent conversation, knowing I’d be in Boston on business, Beth McDonald tipped me off to a concert series being run by the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP).  The schedule of performances, now…

Left to right: me, Dave, Marilyn, and my wife

The Time Dave Elkins Played in My Living Room

Prelude to a Dream This is the story of my best birthday present ever.  One of the hallmarks of adulthood is realizing that paychecks allow you to buy yourself gifts; and who knows you better than you?  Armed with a modest but steady income, on the eve of my quarter-century day, I made an investment…

Sam Behymer - Bluebirds In

Edge of Success: Sam Behymer on The Voice

Tonight, at 8/7c, I will be watching The Voice. NBC probably expects to net a fair number of 25-to-35-year-old males every week with their elaborate talent show, even if their ideal viewer is younger with longer hair.  But how can any self-respecting independent music blogger be caught tuning into such a commercialized, pop-centric circus of…

SB

The Strange Beauty of ‘Spring Breakers’

Rating: 3.25 stars (out of 4) I’m not sure another movie has produced a bigger disconnect between its teased images and final product than Spring Breakers.  The advance buzz promised…well, let’s not sugarcoat this—a T&A film with a bunch of attractive, heretofore-innocent girls going sexy, plus James Franco as a BAMF gangster.  And it’s not…

The Bling Ring: AKA The Boring Ring

The next time somebody complains that a supposedly ‘real’ movie takes liberties with the truth (like, say, The Social Network), I want to show them The Bling Ring.  This is what happens when you don’t dramatize your movie.  For all I know, the events portrayed here may well be accurate representations of the actions of…

Man of Steel: Back to the drawing board

A painfully inept film, full of dialogue and plot points that any professional writer should have rejected without hesitation Seven years ago, I felt like the only person in the world who liked Superman Returns.  Over time, my feelings have softened considerably, but my childlike affection for the idea of Superman was enough to blind me…