music

Sleater-Kinney Teams Up With Planned Parenthood

Sleater-Kinney Teams Up With Planned Parenthood

When Riot Grrl band Sleater-Kinney dissolved in 2006, I was about to be a senior in high school, and I was devastated. All major (or minor) life events can seem traumatic when you’re 17, but Sleater-Kinney’s dissolution hit me hard. As a fairly rebellious teenager and wannabe punk, it sucked that so much of the rock ‘n roll music I loved was run by men, and Sleater-Kinney felt re... »

This is Your Voice on Hormones

This is Your Voice on Hormones

I recently got the privilege to see Laura Jane Grace perform live. Grace is the founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the band Against Me! who made headlines for being the one of the most high-profile musicians to come out as transgender. She was actually a last-minute addition to the show I came to see, and as a result had no backup band — it was just her, a couple of acoustic guitars, and... »

The Mad Art Lab Secular Christmas Playlist, 2014 Version

The Mad Art Lab Secular Christmas Playlist, 2014 Version

It can be awkward to be a nonbeliever during the Christmas season. That’s why last year, we gave you a Spotify playlist full of Christmas songs that were totally free of gods, baby gods, mothers of gods, donkeys of gods, stars that gods supposedly put up in the sky to show god-loving kings where the baby god was hanging out…100% god-free. The only problem was that we got the idea reall... »

Quiet Company is Releasing a New Album

Quiet Company is Releasing a New Album

Quiet Company, an Austin band most famous for their 2011 album We Are All Where We Belong — which has been described as lead singer Taylor Muse’s breakup letter to God — makes frequent appearances here on the Lab. We’ve featured a tune of theirs in a lab track, I did an extended interview with them, and we’ve repped their nationwide tour. Now, I’m excited to ann... »

Lab Track: Scientist

Lab Track: Scientist

I’ve been listening to The Dandy Warhols recently, since I’ll be seeing them at the Chicago iteration of Riot Fest in a few weeks. I happily stumbled upon this old gem, which features simple lyrics about a scientific approach to life over a driving groove. Enjoy! Scientist The Dandy Warhols In me the scientist always stuck on Always trying this I try to live on science alone Analysis a... »

Detail from title page of J.S. Bach's Well-tempered Clavier

SoD X-post: Wikipedia 1, U Chicago News Office 0

[This post originally appeared on School of Doubt. Read it there or catch the beginning below.] I was browsing my news feed today when I came across the following video, posted by the University of Chicago’s News Office.   Since I’m about to get very critical, let me first talk briefly about the things Cheng does well in this video: 1) She gives a mostly understandable layperson&#... »

If We Can’t Laugh at Jazz Satire, Jazz is More Fragile Than We Thought

If We Can’t Laugh at Jazz Satire, Jazz is More Fragile Than We Thought

Update: I appeared on WNYC’s Soundcheck to debate this topic with 30-year jazz critic Howard Mandel. It’s on the August 7th episode. Go listen! This past weekend, the internet exploded (as it is wont to do). The New Yorker published an article in its Shouts and Murmurs column, which is reserved for humor and satire, entitled “Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words.” From the ficti... »

Five Great Novelty Education Songs for When You’re Done With Word Crimes

Five Great Novelty Education Songs for When You’re Done With Word Crimes

As Ryan posted today, thanks to Weird Al, it’s been a great week for nerds lying at the intersection of music and education.  To commemorate, here are five of my favorite all time educational songs of a humorous bent:   5. Tom Lehrer: New Math.  Lehrer’s song mocking the difficulty of New Math’s approach towards subtraction in different base systems is itself actually a real... »

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