March 06, 2006
A SHAMELESSLY GOOFY BAND of street musicians performs in and around the subway station at Union Square in Manhattan--a banjoist, a washtub bassist, a percussionist who plays cookware, and someone doing something else, as I recall. Not long ago, I took the group's business card, which says "No Music, No Party," and then gives a phone number. I wondered if the phrase was the name of the ensemble or a terse statement of philosophy. If it is the latter, the fellows have a point that is borne out through cultural history.
Where Has "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" Gone
June 28, 2004
What if they had an anti-war movement and nobody came? For three nights at the end of April, a few politically conscious punk-rock bands from around the country passed through New York on a tour called Plea for Peace. Punk has included an element of political consciousness since the Clash strummed about the Troubles in the late 1970s, although in peacetime the good service of punks was to plead for anarchy.
Jazz Lips: On Louis Armstrong
November 22, 1999
There came a time when Louis Armstrong decided that his importance as a musician and his status as a worldwide American entertainer were of such magnitude that he should produce his own documentation of his career.
One Nation Under a Groove
July 15, 1991
I. My dream was to become Frank Sinatra. I loved his phrasing, especially when he was very young and pure….