Hesiod James

Hesiod James is a Nashville sideman. He plays bass.
Pop Culture

It’s a Rip-Off!

The Don Henley/Frank Ocean/Okkervil River beef (re)raises questions about our specious understanding of intellectual property, specifically with regards to music. I’ve always thought there’s something morally smelly about being able to make a bucket of money off of…

Charlatans of Pop

Apples vs. Bananas

Losing Lou Reed hurts, but it has reminded me how difficult it is to defend his music to people who “just don’t get it.” What’s not to get about a classic like Transformer? Or all of…

Charlatans of Pop

Nothing More Than Feelings

I’m the worst kind of sports fan. Lebron moved to South Beach and I bought a Heat hat. College football looks like Pop Warner, and who cares about baseball teams? I follow pitchers. People often ask…

Charlatans of Pop

When We Could Be Diving for Pearls

A Twitter spat between country music artist John Rich and Nashville music writer/Rolling Stone contributor Adam Gold broke out recently regarding that publication’s cover choice of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev back in July. Rich took offense to what…

Charlatans of Pop

Horace Hates Your Band

Horace is good hero material. He carved a career out of a sturdy block of charisma, befriending powerful people while rich Romans snuffed out the Republic and politely enslaved the world. Except for loving the ladies,…

Charlatans of Pop

Guitars, Yapstacks, Etc.

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” —Dolly Parton I don’t enjoy playing the CMAs. The last time I did it was the one before last, and my three minutes of so-called work…

Charlatans of Pop

Aristotillmatic

Aristotle is the first important thinker to defend hardcore rap music. Along with Plato, he established an aesthetic criticism that held as its central point of discussion art as imitation (mimesis). To the Classicists, all works…

Charlatans of Pop

On Plato

Pop music criticism begins with Plato; he criticized everything that was popular. To him, all art—music, poetry, sculpture—should idealize human conduct, and in his dialogues he uses the historical Socrates as a mouthpiece to take a…

Charlatans of Pop

The Task of the Arbiter

I am not a music-lover. A music-lover likes to sing along to the latest radio jamz; she’s moved to tears when the local college choir performs Faure’s Requiem; he likes every kind of music except country,…