Charlatans of Pop

Hesiod James knows two things: pop music and Ancient Greek philosophy. Here, the two blend like chocolate and vanilla.

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…

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…

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…

All Cows {Dressed Ginsu-sharp} Drink Cuervo

The following is a playlist opera entitled “AC{DG#}DC.” The narrative is strictly harmonic (a large scale chord progression), and the main purpose of this opera is to highlight some of the best tracks from the best…

Why I Believe in God (Or Craig Krampf, at Least)

In eighth grade there was an after-school program called MathCounts in which all the future engineers and programmers got together to learn number theory concepts that went beyond algebra and geometry. Not only did it prepare…

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,…

Longinus: On Neil Diamond Versus Bob Dylan

Who writes a better song, The Basher or The Bard? Each septuagenarian has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, each has built his respective iconic…

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…

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…

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…

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,…