Articles

Arising to This Moment: Bettye LaVette’s “Blackbirds”

When Bettye LaVette sings “to be free,” the recent Blues Hall of Fame inductee opens a door and steps into the light. LaVette’s new album Blackbirds is inspired by the African American women she sees as her musical forerunners. The concluding track, “Blackbird,” the Beatles song she has performed in concert for a decade, crowns the record. […]

Astrid Kirchherr: What She Taught the Beatles

You don’t become hyper-iconic, as biographer Mark Lewisohn dubbed the Beatles, without the right pictures. But you need someone to see what others haven’t yet. Or, perhaps, you need someone to believe in your worth from the start. Astrid Kirchherr saw magic in the pre-fame Beatles. Ram on …

Martha Wash’s “Love and Conflict” – The Album for 2020

For those seeking uplift in this new pandemic world with the old-familiarity of the Stones or the Beatles, Wash’s Love and Conflict is for you—for more reasons than one. Wash is the iconic voice you’ve known for all these years though you might not even realize it. As one-half of the Weather Girls, Wash sang “It’s Raining […]

“Photograph” – We Are All Ringo Now (CultureSonar)

“Photograph” can be read as a follow up to the sentiments of “The Long and Winding Road.” “Every time I see your face / It reminds me of the places we used to go,” Starr begins, concluding the first verse with acceptance of a harsh reality: we can’t get back. There will never be a […]

The Paul McCartney Song We Need Right Now (CultureSonar)

“We live in hope of deliverance from the darkness that surrounds us,” sings McCartney. As we shelter in place facing an uncertain future, “Hope of Deliverance” is perhaps the most applicable McCartney song for this coronavirus moment. Ram on …

“Old Town Road”’s Pop Outlaws (CultureSonar)

Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” taps into the myth of the American West with promises of overnight fame and fortune that align with our fascination with hits that seem to appear out of nowhere. “Old Town Road” is one of them, sitting in the Number One Billboard Hot 100 position for eight weeks and counting. The […]

Blac Rabbit: Turning on the Beatles Today (CultureSonar)

An all-black psychedelic rock band from Brooklyn on tour now, Blac Rabbit devotes the second half of their set to the Beatles. These energetic covers, especially later songs like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” are faithful in the best ways—and unfaithful in the best ways, too. Ram on … 


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