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Notes from Mr. Sandman: Cody Chesnutt’s ‘Headphone Masterpiece’

Introducing ‘Notes from Mr. Sandman‘ – a column slapping a spotlight on lyricists overlooked, under appreciated, or just plain criminally slept on. Or like a man named Nas once said, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” […]

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Why Mariah’s Lyric Slip-Up Says a Lot About Her New Album

The trainwreck that is Mariah Carey recently made her way to the Today Show in promotion of her newest album, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse. It’s been roughly four years since her last full […]

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RIFF’d: The Black Keys’ ‘Turn Blue’

It’s hard to avoid the narrative trap of filtering an artist’s new music through the lens of their personal life. Here, it’s a non-issue because it’s completely unavoidable. The Black Keys‘ frontman Dan Auerbach went through […]

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RIFF’d: Mac DeMarco’s ‘Salad Days’

Compared to past albums Salad Days is a much more focused effort – not so much in sound, which still hovers between Gilberto Gil and The Beatles – but in content. Mac DeMarco’s matured a great […]

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RIFF’d: Aloe Blacc’s ‘Lift Your Spirit’

The past few years have been big for Aloe Blacc. He’s gone from a relatively obscure player in R&B to being a star on the rise with his music being heard by millions. It’s been […]

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Streetside: Nicole Wray Flies Lady Solo at Chicago’s Double Door; November 15

One of the biggest questions recently surrounding Nicole Wray and Lady is whether or not she could recover from the departure of Terri Walker who took a sabbatical in order to focus on her solo […]

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Listing: Blood Orange’s ‘Cupid Deluxe’ in 5 Strokes of Urban Love

The chameleon muscle that is Devonté Hynes’ trajectory from freewheelin’ punkist (Test Icicles) to anti-folk humorist (Lightspeed Champion) to en vogue producer (Solange, Sky Ferreira), can make project Blood Orange seem like just another phase in the […]

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RIFF’d: Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’

If the earlier R&B balladry brought to us by platinum-selling fruit of Alan Thicke’s looms was the result of his trying to be like John Lennon, imagine what schlock he’ll produce when just ‘trying to […]

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RIFF’d: Mayer Hawthorne’s ‘Where Does This Door Go’

Mayer Hawthorne has made no qualms about how his new record sounds nothing like his previous two, which is odd because it does. Sure the sonic angle has changed – thanks to the ubiquitous production of […]

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Blues Personified: The Late Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland in 5 Storied Lyrics

Blues legend Robert Calvin Bland, better known by his stage name Bobby “Blue” Bland, passed away at 83-years-young on June 23, leaving behind a legacy that has spanned over five decades. He was credited with 28 […]

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