Tag Archives: Music

Ghosts in the Machine, Part IV: Jazz in the Trenches

This is the fourth in a series of articles on jazz musicians in popular music and jazz and popular music as fields of study in higher education. In my previous articles, I detailed the enormous influence that jazz musicians have had on popular music since the 1960s. This may, early on, have been a matter […]

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Bureaucracy ad NAuSeuM: Is The Unaccredited Life Worth Living?

  The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) is an organization that assesses and accredits music schools and music departments across the United States. Towards that end, NASM develops and articulates general curriculum guidelines for music programs in higher education. Music departments must then adhere to these guidelines if they wish to be accredited, […]

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The Contraction Continues: The Looming Arts Crisis in Higher Education

Paul Resnikoff posted this sobering graph at Digital Music News that shows US Department of Labor/Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) statistics from 1999-2011 on music sales and music employment. Needless to say, the picture is not pretty. It seems that despite the RIAA’s extraordinary attempts to curb piracy and file sharing (including suing single moms and storming college […]

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JEN and JAI: The Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Audiences Initiative (or, “They’re just not that into you.”)

In January, I attended the 2012 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Louisville, Kentucky. It was my first time attending this (relatively) new organization’s conference. I had avoided going previously because I was still smarting from the self-inflicted spontaneous combustion of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in 2008. The JEN conference was similar to […]

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Kickstarter and Kickbacks: Pomplamoose goes begging

When I wrote about Kickstarter in a recent post entitled Beggars’ Banquet: New Music Schemes for New Music Dreams, I mentioned Pomplamoose as a group that seems to be doing very well using their own creative marketing ideas (primarily on Youtube). They’ve received several (hopefully) lucrative advertising contracts with Hyundai and Toyota, they are touring […]

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Brokeback Motown

Part I: The Music I’ve played hundreds, if not thousands, of weddings, holiday get-togethers, corporate parties and other similar events. And I’ve done these types of “gigs” all over North America–Toronto, London, Windsor, New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Boulder, Vail, Aspen, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Calgary, Edmonton, and probably another […]

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Metal and All That Jazz

A friend of mine sent me a New York Times article by Ben Ratliff from 2009 entitled Jazz and Metal, Riffs in Arms. I read it, and told my friend that I found it “strange” to which he responded “what’s strange about this?” Ratliff is a noted jazz writer, critic, and historian, so I was […]

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Can You Tell Me What a Wang Chung is?

Recently, I ran across a British jazz group online called The Quartet and was surprised to find that the guitar player in the ensemble was Jack Hues, lead singer/guitarist from the iconic ’80s band, Wang Chung. Their big hits, Dance Hall Days and Everybody Have Fun Tonight (Everybody Wang Chung Tonight), were great dance tunes, a bit fluffy […]

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Prey for Play?: From ‘Pay for Play’ to ‘Play for Pay’ and now this?

For a few years in the mid-1980s, I played in a pop music cover band in the Windsor/Detroit area. It was a lot of fun, and we actually made a reasonable amount of money. We generally played anywhere from four to seven nights a week, and our weekly take-home per member was about $300. In […]

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Duran Duran, Do Rand Do Rand: All You Need is Ayn?

I’m a big fan of Duran Duran and have been for a long time, but I was shocked when I played a gig at Billy’s Lounge–a popular blues club in Grand Rapids’ delightful EastTown district–with The Hip Pocket a few weeks ago, and the lonely old jukebox against the back wall was plastered with ads […]

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