Alexander Smith

Class of 2008

Articles

  • Paperhouse

    Some people think that the mixtape died with the advent of the MP3. Now, apparently, all we do is shuffle our libraries, and a coherent musical narrative is not important. The amazing choice of being able to download almost anything, and then being able to listen to whatever you have in whatever way you want, has killed the importance of a track listing, or so conventional wisdom goes.

    Pillbox | November 17, 2008
  • Paperhouse

    Often, shows are emotional experiences. People say that the shows have “changed their lives forever” or talk about the euphoria they felt at the climax of a set, feeling “washed” or “cleaned” by the band channeling energy into sound and somehow through that affecting the audience’s hearts and minds. But how often are shows emotional experiences for the band?

    Pillbox | September 8, 2008
  • Paperhouse

    Last week Paperhouse offered one take on rainy day songs, a take that based on fighting the downtrodden mood of the city in the rain. Today, I’m going to flip that around: These are rainy night songs — songs that embrace the loneliness of a black wet night and intensify it. Songs that sound better with rain and cars going by on top of them. Songs for crime.

    Pillbox | March 31, 2008
  • Paperhouse

    One of the things that has always fascinated me about music is examining the properties that endear an artist to a specific listener. I know I prefer bands that put emphasis on drums and bass, while a friend of mine has distilled her “perfect formula” for listening down to something like: syncopated beat, handclaps, British male singing.

    Pillbox | February 25, 2008
  • Paperhouse

    The process of writing about music is harder than most people realize. Many of my friends and I make fun of the fact that reviewers have said that bands possess an “angular” guitar sound so many times that it’s now a completely meaningless term, but what we often forget is this problem: How the hell do you actually say what it is a guitar sounds like? When a writer sits down to describe an album, ...

    Pillbox | January 28, 2008