Our Spilt Milk: Andy Shauf's Wintry "Skyline," the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's "Tempest," and New BadBadNotGood

The semi-wintry temperatures must be taking effect because all I’ve been wanting to do lately is cocoon myself into a ball of blankets on the couch and sip a warm cup of tea. Thankfully, I’ve found the perfect music to preface a long nap: Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf’s new concept album, The Neon Skyline, which came out last Friday. Shauf is a crafty storyteller.

IDKHOW, Drew Holcomb, Peter Holsapple, Museumgoer and More Release Christmas Music After Black Friday

[Updated] The Christmas music season starts in October. That’s when major labels and artists who hope for a seasonal hit get their music to market, and history bears out that logic. People may complain about Christmas coming too soon, but there have in the past been enough fans of Christmas music to help Pentatonix, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli and more go gold in two and a half months in the 2000s.

Lost Bayou Ramblers Explore Cajun's Outer Limits at Jazz Fest

A lot was good on Friday at Jazz Fest, but nothing was as mind-blowing as the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ set. The Cajun band has shown a healthy sense of adventure since 2012’s Mammoth Waltz, but you could almost always trace musical ideas back to Cajun musical traditions. Friday, they went further out, and it sounded better for the moments of musical exploration.

Mars Willams Maps the Way to an Ayler Xmas

Christmas music often comes with a strong undercurrent of nostalgia as the songs evoke times that seem simpler in retrospect. That isn’t an issue for Mars Williams’ Ayler Xmas project, which steers into the heart of the tensions and uncertainties of improvised music based on pieces of adventurous Black art from the early 1960s.

Wynton Writes Off Hip-Hop to Washington Post

[Updated] Tuesday, Wynton Marsalis made news when he asserted that hip-hop is more harmful to African Americans than Confederate statues. “I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have a music talking about niggers and bitches and hoes,” he told The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart on his podcast, “Cape Up.” 

Jazz Fest: Shorty Honors the Nevilles

Trombone Shorty’s fest-closing set deserves to be the ritual that the Neville Brothers’ set used to be. The shows have been impressive, funky, and a lot of fun as he worked to justify occupying the slot, and each one has shown meaningful growth. He concluded this year’s Jazz Fest by using his songs as starting points for more expansive musical experiences.

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