Sealed Envelopes and Revelations: A Review of Muse’s ‘Simulation Theory’ Tour

By J.E. Anckorn and Michael Grasso

Muse enjoyed a brief moment of cool back when “Knights of Cydonia” rode the lands, but they’ve never been cool since. Liked by The Wrong Type of Nerd, Italian guys with great hair, and people who have very serious conversations about guitars in magazines called things like Fretful Gentleman Monthly, they seem to be trying a little too hard to be good at playing rock music for Serious Music Types…

Drifting Like Smoke: Hiroshi Yoshimura’s ‘Soundscape 1: Surround,’ 1986

Japanese ambient music grew out of the 1980s “economic miracle” that saw the country undergo massive urban development and industrial expansion, with Tokyo emerging as a global financial and cultural mecca. Hiroshi Yoshimura, a sound designer by trade and a musician since age five, was the defining figure of a close-kept movement he and fellow pioneer Satoshi Ashikawa called “environmental music”…

Deep Sea Soundings: Walt Rockman’s ‘Underwater: Vol. 1’

By K.E. Roberts

A lush selection of library and ambient music—the two often overlap—attempts to evoke the ocean in its many guises, an artistic practice that goes back in the West to the tone poems and symphonic sketches of classical composers from Beethoven to Debussy. After World War II, the orchestrations of what came to be known as exotica, a subset of lounge music, attempted to capture the enchanted South Seas…

All Graphite and Glitter: ‘Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story’

By Michael Grasso

Earlier this year, while on a YouTube nostalgia tear through NBA highlights from the late ’70s and early ’80s, I made the following observation on Twitter after watching a live performance of Grover Washington, Jr.’s “Let It Flow (For ‘Dr J.’)” set to vintage hoops footage: “The sound of my early childhood is ineluctably a Fender Rhodes electric piano”…