Author Archives: Chuck

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

Visionist – A Call to Arms

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Album cover for "A Call to Arms"

The first 180 seconds of A Call to Arms is an intense journey. You are wrapped in a blanket of noise. Perhaps it’s an echo of long-abandoned factories, perhaps traffic roars amongst construction beneath your window, perhaps a raging river is tearing away your bedroom walls. Westminster Quarters begins to chime and the sound devolves into a fever dream of… Read more »

Arthur Fiedler – Evening at Pops

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My first musical memory is watching Arthur Fiedler’s Evening at Pops with my dad when I was 2 or 3 years old. I don’t remember anything other than the closing credits, where sad music played over images of the theater emptying. Somewhere, there is a recording of me crying hysterically because that closing sequence devastated me. Yet I was hooked…. Read more »

John Tejada – Year of the Living Dead

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John Tejada - Year of the Living Dead album cover

Released: February 26, 2021 Years ago, my friend Kelly and I would listen to music and dance for hours on the roof of his Greenwich Village apartment building. It was a celebration of music and movement and friendship on starry Saturdays when we had no money or cloudy Mondays when the city that never sleeps was sleeping. Looking back, dancing… Read more »

Brian Eno – Thursday Afternoon

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Album cover for Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno

Released: 1985 The Paul Stolper Gallery is showing the video for Thursday Afternoon in their front window and on their website (with a helpful write-up) from February 24 through March 15, 2021. Reverb Machine has an interesting analysis of the music. Thursday Afternoon is a single piece of music (60 minutes on album or 82 minutes in the video) that… Read more »

Amelie Lens – Fabric Presents Amelie Lens

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Album cover for Fabric Presents Amelie Lens

Released: November 22, 2019 Amelie Lens’ first mix for Fabric opens with the kind of ebb and flow that makes me love electronic dance music. The ambient soundscape in “Theory of Relativity” drops into a beat that makes your heart rush a little faster, and the retro techno melody of “Limits of Real” builds and evolves and builds and evolves… Read more »

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

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Released: December 1978 When I think of Kenny Rogers, I think of a storyteller. He wasn’t known for being a songwriter, and a 2020 Billboard article quotes him as saying, “Most (of the story songs that writers sent me) were stupid and not well-written, but boy, when you found a good one, it made it all worthwhile.” There are some… Read more »

Various Artists – Trance Party 2021

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Album cover for Trance Party 2021

Released: February 19, 2021 I’ve always steered clear of compilations like this. The reasons became painfully clear as I listened to Trance Party 2021. First, it’s not a mixed set. Part of the joy of this kind of music is the seamless movement from one song to the next, one mood to the next. Second, there’s no flow. Anyone who… Read more »

Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes

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Released: October 2, 2012 Every time I listen to this record, I hear something different. One day I hear Bill Laswell, the next Parliament, the next Bowie or Prince or Zappa. I heard the Grateful Dead once, but even though I’ve tried, I just can’t find that vibe again. I hear dodgy wanker music on Monday and then on Tuesday… Read more »

Ellen Allien – LISm

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Released: March 19, 2013 As a DJ, producer, and label owner, Ellen Allien has pushed the boundaries of techno and electronic music for decades. Her music recreates the energy of Berlin much in the same way Coltrane’s music recreates the energy of New York City. One thing I like about Ellen Allien is her willingness to experiment, to risk failure… Read more »

Actress – Ghettoville

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Released January 27, 2014 The opening track, “Forgiven,” creates a grey mood from its first notes. Its factory-like drone stretches for over seven minutes, the two chords changing in small and interesting ways yet staying the same. It’s the kind of song that could be annoying but makes me excited to hear more. Unfortunately, Ghettoville doesn’t deliver on the promise… Read more »