Articles by Jason P. Woodbury

The Uncanny Empathy of Open Mike Eagle

The rapper, comic, and podcaster on what he learned in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects.

The Magazine of Champions: On the Shabby Brilliance of “Grand Royal” Magazine

In conjunction with the label of the same name, the Beastie Boys launched “Grand Royal” magazine without much of a plan. But with the help of a ramshackle editorial team that included Spike Jonze and Bob Mack, they didn’t need one.

Gary Bartz Ntu Troop, “Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru”

Bartz was interested in broadcasting a particular worldview, one that was stridently African, anti-war, and cosmically enlightened. He wanted to make music that reflected his experience.

Randy Newman, “Dark Matter”

Now that he’s settled into his seventies and is releasing his eleventh studio album, it’s a remarkable comfort to see how unflinching Randy Newman remains.

Popol Vuh, “Agape-Agape Love-Love” and “Spirit of Peace” [reissues]

Popol Vuh Agape-Agape Love-Love (8/10) Spirit of Peace (9/10) ONE WAY STATIC Of all the disparate figures grouped incongruously under the “Krautrock” banner, none sought…

Don’t Miss: S U R V I V E

Abstract horror soundscapes: coming soon to a festival near you.

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, “Diaspora”

Scott makes synthesizing a century of jazz seem easy.

Vince Staples, “Big Fish Theory”

Staples remains unconvinced at his own soirée.

Vince Staples at the Margins

What does it all mean? The Long Beach native isn’t telling.

B Boys, “Dada”

Though they play clumsy rubes, there’s no hiding the Brooklyn trio’s combined smarts.

U2, “The Joshua Tree: 30th Anniversary Edition”

“The Joshua Tree” is a record so universal, so full of modern pop hymns, that people probably wouldn’t have minded it showing up automatically on their iPhones.

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, “Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars”

On their second LP, the Scottish/English/Indian trio of guitarist James Yorkston, double bassist Jon Thorne, and sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan demonstrate a subtle mastery of fusion.

In Conversation: Hari Kunzru Talks “White Tears,” Cultural Appropriation, and Record Collecting

Some questions are more complicated than they seem.

Chicano Batman, “Freedom Is Free”

The LA quartet has crafted one of the most pleasurable sounding records you’ll hear this year, the idea of personal liberty permeating the record’s warm grooves.

In Conversation: Thundercat Has a Thunderchat About “Drunk,” Yacht Rock

Plus: You’ve been calling Kenny Loggins by the wrong name all these years.

Dirty Projectors, “Dirty Projectors”

“Dirty Projectors” can at times be exhausting, and its density can feel crushing, but at their best, David Longstreth’s songs center on connection.

Mind Over Mirrors, “Undying Color”

While so often synthesizer music seeks to make the listener feel weightless, Jaime Fennelly finds beauty in binding, securing forces.

Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche, “Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much”

On their second album, the Montreal quartet drill deep into the concept of groove.

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