Milo Miles

Milo Miles is Fresh Air's world-music and American-roots music critic. He is a former music editor of The Boston Phoenix.

Miles is a contributing writer for Rolling Stone magazine, and he also writes about music for The Village Voice and The New York Times.

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9:48am

Thu May 30, 2013
Music Reviews

Festival Au Desert: Music Of Peace Not Silenced By War

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:20 am

Tartit performs at the Festival au Desert.
Chris Nolan Courtesy of the artist

Long ago, one of my college history professors hammered home a durable truth: "If you love art," she said, "you should hate war." Because some art is always among war's victims.

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11:02am

Mon February 4, 2013
Music Reviews

Yo La Tengo: Decades In And Far From Fading

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:19 pm

Yo La Tengo's new album is titled Fade.
Carlie Armstron Courtesy of the artist

Yo La Tengo wouldn't seem to be very rock 'n' roll, given that it's a very stable and long-lasting operation. Since 1991, the lineup has consisted of a married couple — drummer Georgia Hubley and guitarist Ira Kaplan, along with bassist James McNew — and all three play additional instruments as needed. Yo La Tengo has been with the same label, Matador, since 1993. But if the band lacks rock dramatics, I would argue that it knows as much about the modes and manners of rock 'n' roll as anyone who has ever played the music.

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12:57pm

Wed December 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Tunes To 'Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard' To

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:32 pm

Music by guitarist Fields Ward appears in the new collection Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard: Hard Time, Good Time & End Time Music, 1923-1936.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The first thing to note about the collection of old-timey music Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard is that it resulted from a record-discovery event that happens less and less often, and soon will likely never happen again. The music was recorded between 1923 and 1936. Most of the sides on the set are taken from 78s collected by the late Don Wahle of Louisville, Ky., and rescued from Dumpster destruction in 2010 by compiler Nathan Salsburg. Nineteen of the songs have never been reissued. Piles of moldy vinyl left behind by the deceased were once commonplace. No longer.

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11:34am

Thu November 8, 2012
Music Reviews

Samuel Yirga Ushers In A Golden Age Of Ethiopian Music

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:09 am

Samuel Yirga plays Ethiopian standards with a voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor.
Courtesy of the artist

12:06pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Music Reviews

Analog Players Society: A Party Cooked Up In A Studio

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:58 pm

The Analog Players Society was assembled by a producer and percussionist in his mid-30s who calls himself Amon.
Courtesy of the artist

Albums made by collections of professional studio players once had a bad reputation with the traditional rock audience. Such works were supposedly arid and chilly — more like the results of a board meeting than the recorded adventure of an organic group of fabulous friends. Some music fans may still feel that way, but they are few. Nowadays, a tight-knit gaggle of session musicians like the Analog Players Society gets points from traditionalists simply because the music is made by flesh and blood.

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