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Author Archives: Chad Parkhill


Do music critics need music theory?

Canadian musician Owen Pallett – the man who arranged the strings on Arcade Fire’s albums, co-wrote the soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s Her, and has a bunch of wonderful solo albums – can now add another feather to his cap: that of an engaging music writer. Read more »

Drips, leaks, and spurts

I’ve spent the last two weeks in a state of perpetual excitement – musically speaking, that is. First came tUnE-yArDs’ new song, ‘Water Fountain’, a joyous, riotous explosion of colour and movement. Then Swans released ‘A Little God in My Hands’, a seven-minute epic of a track … Read more »

Singing out

My maternal grandmother, Merilai Lilburn, recently died in a nursing home in Katikati, New Zealand, of complications arising from pneumonia. She was 82 years old. At the time of her death, I and the other members of our extended family based in Australia Read more »

Something rich and strange: Beck’s Morning Phase

Few artists are as burdened by their pasts as Beck Hansen. The man responsible for ‘Loser’ released three albums’ worth of material (Stereopathic Soulmanure, Mellow Gold and One Foot in the Grave) in the year after it first hit the airwaves, as if to prove Read more »

The future isn’t what it used to be: Daft Punk, nostalgia, and musical conservatism

  There’s no reason not to be very happy for Daft Punk right now. The French production duo, who have been making music since 1993, recently won five awards at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards – including both Album of the Year (for Random Access Memories) and … Read more »

That kind of racism just ain’t for us: Lorde’s ‘Royals’ and offence criticism

One of the most widely-read and influential pieces of music criticism in 2013 was not written by a music critic – its author possesses a master’s degree in sexuality and public health, works in the field of reproductive justice, and had written little about music before the … Read more »

The slaughter to come: reading and watching The Counselor

Early in Cormac McCarthy’s screenplay The Counselor, a diamond dealer reflects on an issue that directly relates to Ridley Scott’s film version of the same screenplay. ‘The crown and the pavilion may be well cut each in itself and yet stand alien to one another,’ he says … Read more »

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Banger: Part 5

Chad Parkhill takes us for a tour through the world of weird, wonderful and unexpectedly danceable tunes. iPods at the ready: this is the final instalment in this special five-part blog series. Talking Heads, ‘(Nothing But) Flowers’ As the title of this series suggests, the songs it … Read more »