Sean Murphy loves music, books, and movies and can’t imagine a world without sub-titles. He was born in northern Virginia and has never found a compelling reason to leave. He studied English at George Mason University and has an MA in Literature. One of his thesis papers dealt with the utopian impulse in ‘70s rock (which, depending upon one’s perspective, at least partially explains why he opted not to purse that PhD in Cultural Studies). During his time at PopMatters he has written extensively about music, movies and books, and his column “The Amazing Pudding” appears every other month. His memoir Please Talk about Me When I’m Gone is now available via paperback and Kindle at Amazon. Visit him online at http://seanmurphy.net/.
Tuesday, May 21 2013
Ray Manzarek left his handiwork all over several of the more resilient and extraordinary songs from one of the enduring American bands.
Tuesday, May 14 2013
Kathryn Schulz’s failure to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork, as professed on Vulture.com, is a contemporary case study for how not to assess literature.
Sunday, March 31 2013
If Neil Young had once been inclined, or tempted to say either/or to the burn out/fade away options, he is now declaring neither/nor.
Thursday, November 1 2012
Since truth is invariably stranger -- and scarier -- than fiction, some of cinema's most unnerving scenes come from movies not found in the Horror section.
Sunday, August 26 2012
Almost half a century later, The SMiLE Sessions fully vindicate Brian Wilson's obsessive efforts: the material is complex but accessible, intense but assured, the fully realized vision of a unique talent.
Tuesday, November 12 2013
Jethro Tull have always confounded critics, and despite albums sales, hit songs, influence and longevity, it is above all the brain of frontman Ian Anderson that ensures they will remain forever on the outside, looking in.
Sunday, September 22 2013
In addition to being one of the pivotal bands of the early '70s, Yes perfected prog-rock as a kind of performance art in sound.
Tuesday, July 9 2013
King Crimson, as much as or more than any other prog rock band, consistently shaped and refined a unique vision, arguably creating whole new types of music in the process.
Tuesday, May 7 2013
Although they became hugely successful, Pink Floyd championed a type of integrity that seems uniquely associated with progressive rock: they never imitated anyone else or copied their own previous efforts.
Monday, April 8 2013
Rush, as much as any rock band, represents the eternal present tense: they adapted and evolved in real time, reflecting the issues, sounds and styles of their day.
Monday, October 28 2013
Today, musicians like Saft can bring colleagues together to record, without the agendas or idiocy of corporate middlemen. Celebrate accordingly.
Monday, October 28 2013
This is world music, envisioned and reimagined by musicians who instinctively stay a step (or two) removed from the safety and boredom of the mainstream.
Thursday, August 8 2013
Living life and making music on his own terms has made Will Calhoun an artist worthy of our consideration and gratitude.
Wednesday, July 17 2013
What we get with Jethro Tull Around the World Live, is visual and sonic documentation of a legend aging (mostly with grace) before our eyes.
Wednesday, July 10 2013
For anyone who can never get enough of Charles Mingus, much of this book is an exhilarating ride, an essential addition to our understanding of what made him such a unique and enduring iconoclast.
Thursday, September 19 2013
Music is first and foremost a very real and easily identifiable source of extreme pleasure. It’s also a vehicle, something I use to help me get around in life.
Wednesday, March 20 2013
If 1967 characterizes a high point in rock music, it also initiated an explicit realignment of what was possible in the genre -- for better or worse.
Monday, January 7 2013
Permanent Waves is, on multiple levels, an unblinking stride toward the future, while it effectively shuts the door on the ‘70s.
Tuesday, November 20 2012
If you have a chance to check Clark out live, do so. He sounds fine in a studio setting, and I encourage you to grab his new disc. But like most of the better acts, especially of the jazz and blues idioms, he needs to be seen to be appreciated, and believed.
Thursday, September 20 2012
Celebrating the great lost (and never found) Love single from the Summer of 1967.