Category Archives: Music

Leonard Cohen

What a goddamn week. Leonard Cohen, one of the greatest singer-songwriters in living memory, has died at age 82. His music meant a lot to me personally, as it did to countless others. Usually sad, sometimes melodramatic, always thoughtful and … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 30 Comments

Entropic Time

A temporary break from book-related blogging to bring you this delightful video from A Capella Science, in which Tim Blais sings about entropy while apparently violating one of my favorite laws of physics. I don’t even want to think about … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Music, Time | 6 Comments

Paco de Lucía

Sad news for guitar fans: the brilliant Spanish musician Paco de Lucía just passed away yesterday. While I’m not a major flamenco fan myself, I am a jazz fan — and like many others, I fell in love with Friday … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 5 Comments

Vi Hart on Twelve-Tone Music

Chances are good that you’ve already seen, or at least seen a link to, Vi Hart’s astonishing video about twelve-tone music. It has almost a million views, which represents a pretty tiny fraction of the total number of people on … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 10 Comments

The Universe on a Stratocaster

There are those who believe that music brings meaning to an uncaring universe. It’s only natural, then, to try to capture the essence of reality on a musical instrument. Sadly, the true essence of reality remains unknown. But we are … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 8 Comments

Higgs Boson Blues

Almost enough to make me believe in a benevolent force guiding the universe: Nick Cave, on his new album Push the Sky Away, has a song called “Higgs Boson Blues.” (Hat tip to Ian Sample.) Okay, don’t expect to hear … Continue reading

Posted in Higgs, Music, Science and Society | 5 Comments


Welcome to the latest incarnation of my blog-related programming activities. As our friend Lucretius says, “All that we see about us consists of transient arrangements of atoms. Some awaken to life. None holds forever.” I’ve bid an extremely fond farewell … Continue reading

Posted in Blog, Music | 42 Comments

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck, an innovative and influential jazz pianist over many years, has died at the age of 91. Based in California, he was a leader of so-called West Coast Jazz, bringing a spirit of experimentation to a part of the … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 3 Comments

Von Freeman

Von Freeman, legendary jazz saxophonist, passed away Sunday. He was 88 years old. Here he is at the 2002 Berlin jazzfest, when Von was a spry 78: Mike Allemana on guitar, Michael Raynor on drums, and Jack Zara on bass. … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Personal | 8 Comments

Music Was Better in the Sixties, Man

Actually, popular music is arguably “better” today. But in the Sixties it was more creative — or at least more experimental. So says science. (Via Kevin Drum.) The science under consideration was carried out by a group of Spanish scientists … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Science | 44 Comments