Christmas


  • “No, I have the best system in the world!”: The Musical Match Between Totem and McIntosh

    “Don’t lose sight of what’s most important,” he said. “The music.”

    Read More


  • The Premiere of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”

    In the winter of 1892, on December 18, the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, was the stage for a historic moment in the world of performing arts. It was here that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” made its debut, a ballet that would go on to become a beloved holiday tradition across the globe,…

    Read More


  • Norah Jones’s “I Dream of Christmas”—A new Christmas classic?

    At this time of year, I have always been fascinated by the question of what draws musicians from nearly every musical genre to Christmas music. Google “Christmas music” and you’ll see literally thousands of listings, everyone from Cheech & Chong and XTC to Charles Brown and The Flaming Lips. Even The Rolling Stones have a…

    Read More


  • Rock Chronicles, Part 6 — On the Road With Eric Clapton

    The band, according to member Bobby Whitlock’s autobiography, had already gotten kicked off the Elektra label when it was touring, due to Delaney’s drunken antics with label owner Jac Holzman. Delaney & Bonnie manager Alan Pariser, who was close friends with Harrison, arranged for the group to be the opening act for Blind Faith, aka…

    Read More


  • Is the CD making a comeback?

    Vinyl LP pressing plants are churning out records at such a clip they’re routinely backed up for six months or more. The once discredited LP has now become one of the few revenue centers for the record business outside of streaming. And now the thunderclap! The format predicted by a tenacious few since the invention…

    Read More


  • Clint Eastwood to Booker T. & the M.G.’s: “Hang ‘Em High”

    In an earlier piece, I spoke about sharing with you, dear reader, a three-part homage to one of the biggest musical influences in my young life in Chicago—Booker T. & the M.G.’s. In Part 1, I touched on the first pair of tunes from the band that grabbed my attention and affected me for the…

    Read More


  • Bob Dylan dead and done? The Bootleg Series Vol. 16, 1980–1985

    The apocalypse was clearly at hand. Bob Dylan was dead and done. He had snapped and self-destructed. As the ‘80s dawned, even those who worshipped the man were having their doubts. The rebel, the doubter, the immensely skeptical, infinitely gifted oracle from Minnesota who predicted that the times they were a changin’ was suddenly, unexpectedly,…

    Read More


  • The Jay Jay French Connection, Episodes 1-5

    Episode 1 In the premier episode of The French Connection, Jay Jay brings on his close friend and renowned drummer Mike Portnoy. Tune in to listen to Jay Jay and Mike discuss their musical histories, playing together in Twisted Sister, the importance of drummers, Beatles fandom & much more. Episode 2 In the second episode…

    Read More