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Constance Demby’s “Novus Magnificat” and the Limits of 80s New Age Music

Like a divine, unearthly presence descended from the heavens, bearing pastel-drenched album covers and titles like Angelic Music and The Sky of Mind, the New Age section had appeared out of nowhere at my local record store. It was the late 80s—that most shallow and greedy of ages—and some enlightened consciousness had seen humanity’s painContinue reading “Constance Demby’s “Novus Magnificat” and the Limits of 80s New Age Music”

Future Schlock: The Quiet Comeback of ELO’s Once-villified Album “Time”

I’m unsure whether to pity or envy the Baby Boomer. Their mid-20th century childhoods were filled with visions of a grand future filled with stainless-steel cityscapes traversed by robots and flying cars. After spending three years riding the subway in Philadelphia, which both looked and smelled more like a public restroom than a place toContinue reading “Future Schlock: The Quiet Comeback of ELO’s Once-villified Album “Time””

Does “Soothing Sounds for Baby” Actually Work?

Name: Niko Age: Three months Sex: Male Materials and Methods Materials: Baby “Lullaby” and “Nursery Rhyme” by Raymond Scott, from the Soothing Sounds for Baby album intended for infants aged 1-6 months Control songs: “Silent Night” by Jingle Cats; “Wind on Small Paws” by cEvin Key, industrial musician/founding member of Skinny Puppy; “Sonata in EContinue reading “Does “Soothing Sounds for Baby” Actually Work?”

Let’s Start with My Childhood

It’s junior high and I’m on a bus. 1994. Around me are baggy t-shirts with the words “Nirvana,” “Smashing Pumpkins,” and “Primus.” Inside the shirts are 14-year-old boys with long hair parted in the middle. The radio is playing. I understand this station plays “alternative” music—a term the radio station repeats aggressively. The most popularContinue reading “Let’s Start with My Childhood”


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