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Dave Heaton
Image: Dave Heaton
PopMatters Associate Music Editor

Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


Sunday, February 9 2014

Now Hear This!: The Caribbean - 'Moon Sickness' (album premiere)

PopMatters is pleased to premiere the latest album by the Caribbean, Moon Sickness releasing next week via Hometapes.

Wednesday, December 4 2013

The Best Indie-Pop of 2013

In 2013, the best indie-pop felt like "secret music" meant for our ears only and, at the same time, like we're being pulled into a community.

Wednesday, December 5 2012

The Best Indie-Pop of 2012

Writing about the best indie-pop seems inherently an individualized, personal experience -- but that is fitting for a type of music that on one level seems more person-oriented than mass-movement-oriented.

Monday, December 5 2011

The Best Indie-Pop of 2011

Perhaps some of the bands on this list aren’t indie-pop in a literal way, but they most definitely are in heredity, influence, or spirit. They prove that our most interesting musicians can express themselves within the essential form of a pop song, while also changing how we think about songs and what they do to us.

Wednesday, October 5 2011

High Flying: Pop Goes Country

1991 was a significant, even historic year, for country music, giving a strong indication of the direction it would take from then on to now.


Tuesday, March 11 2014

On Country Music Outsiders... and Fakers

Let's compare Eric Church's macho, white-power Outsiders to some newly reissued country outsiders from the '70s, the out-gay-country group Lavender Country.

Wednesday, January 29 2014

The Beautification of Country Stars

You can call 2013 the year that country-music album covers looked like advertisements torn from fashion and lifestyle magazines.

Sunday, October 13 2013

Getting Gone: David Cantwell's Take on the Iconic Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard's restlessness breaks him out of one prison and sends him towards another.

Sunday, June 30 2013

Country Music Ain't Black & White: 'Hidden in the Mix'

These explorations of the African-American presence in country music are welcome at a time when country music is treated, by insiders and outsiders, as a purely white genre, and exceptions to that are treated as aberrations, gimmicks or novelty songs.

Sunday, May 5 2013

Same Old Song: Tributes to Kris Kristofferson

There are at least four various artists tribute albums to Kris Kristofferson, all released in the last 11 years. Why him? Is it about the songwriter or the songs? The musicians or the listeners? The present or the past? The albums themselves might provide the answers.


Tuesday, April 8 2014

David Nail: I'm a Fire

Happiness lurks in his purposely sad songs, while pain and confusion live within his meaning-to-be-happy songs.

Monday, March 3 2014

The Caribbean: Moon Sickness

As much as critics privilege perceived innovation, how many bands working in the rock/pop idiom truly have developed their own musical language? The Caribbean has.

Thursday, February 6 2014

The Lucksmiths: Cartography for Beginners

The Lucksmiths often seem engaged in an extended word game. That this doesn’t cut against the emotions in their songs, but accentuates them, is part of the wonder of their music.

Thursday, February 6 2014

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys: What a Dream It's Been

To mark their 25th anniversary, they’ve decided revisit and try to revitalize songs from their whole career.

Wednesday, January 29 2014

Lonnie Holley: Keeping a Record of It

If overplaying his life story might overshadow the music’s power, underplaying it does a disservice to where Lonnie Holley is coming from.

Keith Urban: Fuse [24.Oct.13]
Lambchop: Mr. M [22.Feb.12]
YACHT: Shangri-La [30.Jun.11]
Masta Killa: Live [20.Apr.10]
Phish: At the Roxy [24.Feb.09]
Trace Adkins: X [23.Nov.08]
Jean Grae: Jeanius [31.Jul.08]
Mahjongg: Kontpab [17.Mar.08]
Hey Willpower: PDA [21.Jan.08]
Voxtrot: Voxtrot [22.May.07]
Eluvium: Copia [27.Mar.07]
Pipas: Sorry Love [18.Dec.06]
M. Ward: Post-War [15.Aug.06]
Filastine: Burn It [11.May.06]
Beck: Guero [28.Mar.05]
Pole: self-titled [28.Aug.03]
Akrobatik: Balance [19.May.03]
Cali Comm Tour [12.Nov.01]
Fugu: Fugu 1 [3.Sep.01]
R.E.M.: Reveal [14.May.01]
Tipsy: Uh-Oh! [5.Mar.01]
Luna: Live [12.Feb.01]
Versus: Hurrah [2.Oct.00]
The Allies: D-Day [19.Jun.00]
Gauge: I [17.Apr.00]
Snailhouse: Fine [31.Dec.94]
Sarge: Distant [31.Dec.94]


Monday, January 6 2014

Gangster Glam and Voyeurism: Prince & the New Power Generation - "Live 4 Love"

It’s an anti-war song, with the answer being “love”, period.

Monday, December 16 2013

Gangster Glam and Voyeurism: Prince & the New Power Generation - "Insatiable"

On this track, Prince seems slightly more interested in the video-recording than in the act itself. “Doesn’t my body look good in the shadows?”, he asks her.

Monday, December 9 2013

Gangster Glam and Voyeurism: Prince & the New Power Generation - "Push"

One major theme of this album seems to be "Meet my new band", yet to a decent extent that’s a ruse.

Monday, December 2 2013

Gangster Glam and Voyeurism: Prince & the New Power Generation - "Money Don't Matter 2 Night"

It’s the way Diamonds and Pearls works; a couple lightweight space-fillers sit in between two stone-cold classics, one of which is an example of Prince's quasi-message songs.

Tuesday, November 19 2013

Gangster Glam and Voyeurism: Prince & the New Power Generation - "Jughead”

It’s a party, it’s a party song, its purpose is to maintain the impression that Prince’s new band can put on one hell of a show.

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