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Evan Sawdey
Image: Evan Sawdey
PopMatters Interviews Editor

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV’s “Revolt Live!” as well as WNYC’s Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone’s hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of ‘Til Tuesday’s 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


Features

Monday, July 14 2014

Do What You Want: OK Go and the New Landscape of Artistic Integrity

I wrote a piece wondering why OK Go's videos were so good but their songs seemed to be lacking. It generated a lot of great responses -- and then OK Go's Damian Kulash decided to give me a ring.


Sunday, June 22 2014

Optical Illusions: The Problem with OK Go's Accidental Legacy

They started out with great songs. Then they made amazing music videos. Now, their songs serve as soundtracks to viral meme-fodder and little else.


Wednesday, June 18 2014

20 Questions: Say Hi

Eric Elbogen is a music critic turned indie rock icon. His latest, Endless Wonder, just released. And he wants to name his kid after a cracker company.


Wednesday, June 4 2014

20 Questions: RAC + Matthew Koma (Video Premiere)

RAC has been remixing indie wunderkids (and video game themes) for years. Matthew Koma co-wrote songs for Zedd and Carly Rae Jepsen. Together, their song "Cheap Sunglasses" is unquestioned pop perfection.


Wednesday, April 30 2014

The Past Always Runs Faster: An Interview with Will Stratton

He started out as a too-young folk prodigy, and evolved into an immaculate songsmith, before a severe cancer diagnosis left him fighting for his life. Now, Will Stratton is back in good health, but also with a new album reflecting his experience, Gray Lodge Wisdom, which is already one of the year's absolute best.


Columns

Sunday, October 17 2010

The 24-hour News Cycle Rhetoric Yields to Something Far More Human in 'The Promise: President Obama'

This book works because it doesn't skimp on details: the reason behind every major Obama Year One decision is explained, and the result is fascinating. If only Alter toned down the declarative statements...


Reviews

Wednesday, July 23 2014

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Mandatory Fun

Yankovic's release-week overexposure lead him to having his first #1 album, but the parodies prove to be way better than the originals this go-round. #Accordions


Wednesday, July 23 2014

Shawn Lee: Golden Age Against the Machine

The man who never met a genre he couldn't master tackle old-school hip-hop, delivering a solid effort that is more hits than misses.


Wednesday, June 25 2014

Various Artists: C86 (Deluxe 3CD Edition)

It was the compilation that has a subgenre named after it, here given no less than 50 bonus tracks. Was that necessary? No. Is it still a blast to get through? Hell yeah.


Tuesday, June 17 2014

Horse Meat Disco: Horse Meat Disco IV

Who knows what kind of soul-searching the Horse Meat Disco guys did during their hiatus, but whatever they did, it worked: Horse Meat Disco IV is disco at its very finest.


Thursday, May 22 2014

Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Remastered Deluxe Edition)

Definitely Maybe is considered a classic, but with songs so straightforward and unadorned, what can really be gained from demos that sound almost exactly like the finished album tracks?


Lady Gaga: Artpop [10.Nov.13]
Katy Perry: Prism [20.Oct.13]
Kanye West: Yeezus [16.Jun.13]
Ke$ha: Warrior [3.Dec.12]
Dodos: No Color [7.Apr.11]
Robyn: Body Talk [22.Nov.10]
Star Trek (2009) [20.Jan.10]
Shakira: She Wolf [23.Nov.09]
Weezer: Raditude [1.Nov.09]
White Denim: Fits [19.Oct.09]
Kleerup: Kleerup [23.Jul.09]
Oneida: Rated O [13.Jul.09]
Revolutionary Road [31.May.09]
Kinky: Barracuda [24.Feb.09]
Pink: Funhouse [4.Nov.08]
Doomsday [17.Aug.08]
Spa: Spa [20.Apr.08]
Kylie Minogue: X [31.Mar.08]
Kelis: The Hits [19.Mar.08]
Joshua [29.Jan.08]
The Nines [27.Jan.08]
Gorillaz: D-Sides [27.Nov.07]
Josh Small: Tall [20.Sep.07]
Monument: Decades [30.Aug.07]
Justice: Cross [1.Jul.07]
Cosm: 6 Song EP [29.May.07]
The Bad Plus: Prog [28.May.07]
Gus Gus: Forever [21.Mar.07]
Kinky: Reina [17.Oct.06]
DJ Olive: Heaps As [20.Jul.06]

Blogs

Monday, July 28 2014

Dance This Mess Around: The B-52's - "Lava"

Nowhere else in their discography have the B-52's made such a blatant song about having sex (which is to say nothing of their use of the word "Herculaneum").


Monday, July 21 2014

Dance This Mess Around: The B-52's "Rock Lobster"

"There goes a narwhal!" is one of the B-52's most memorable lines. It's also what got John Lennon back into songwriting.


Thursday, July 17 2014

The Most Welcome (and Unexpected) Song of the Summer Contender

It's all about bass. And booty. And embracing your shape. It has all the makings of a yawn-provoking empowerment anthem ... but instead it's one of the funnest songs you'll hear this year.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

20 Questions: The Verve Pipe

"The Freshmen" defined them, but their pop songs since were mature and nuanced. With his band's first album in 13 years, Brian Vander Ark tells us what he thinks is the most tear-jerking scene from Frozen and just how long he can sustain a burp ...


Monday, July 14 2014

Dance This Mess Around: The B-52's - "Dance This Mess Around"

When you think of B-52's songs, you think fun, wacky, playful, bizarre. With "Dance This Mess Around", you get raw, emotionally charged, sultry, and ... the best song they ever wrote.


20 Questions: Unicycle Loves You (Sound Affects) [28.May.14]
20 Questions: Woo (Sound Affects) [30.Apr.14]
The Music Industry's "1-2%" Death Knell (Sound Affects) [22.Apr.14]
20 Questions: We Are Scientists (Sound Affects) [16.Apr.14]
20 Questions: Barzin (Sound Affects) [3.Apr.14]
20 Questions: New Bums (Sound Affects) [18.Mar.14]
20 Questions: André Cymone (Sound Affects) [11.Mar.14]
SINGLE REVIEW: Coldplay's "Midnight" (Sound Affects) [5.Mar.14]
20 Questions: Latyrx (Sound Affects) [5.Feb.14]
20 Questions: Anoraak (Sound Affects) [27.Nov.13]
20 Questions: Mansions (Sound Affects) [14.Nov.13]
20 Questions: Kwes (Sound Affects) [12.Nov.13]
20 Questions: Glasser (Sound Affects) [5.Nov.13]
20 Questions: Black Hearted Brother (Sound Affects) [14.Oct.13]
Katy Perry's "Roar" Is Surprisingly Tame (Sound Affects) [13.Aug.13]
20 Questions: Gauntlet Hair (Sound Affects) [6.Aug.13]
20 Questions: Bibio (Sound Affects) [26.Jun.13]
20 Questions: Meat Puppets (Sound Affects) [16.Apr.13]
20 Questions: Bad Rabbits (Sound Affects) [9.Apr.13]
20 Questions: On An On (Sound Affects) [19.Mar.13]
20 Questions: Popstrangers (Sound Affects) [11.Mar.13]
20 Questions: Hey Ocean! (Sound Affects) [4.Mar.13]
20 Questions: Missy Mazzoli (Sound Affects) [29.Jan.13]
20 Questions: Taken by Trees (Sound Affects) [16.Oct.12]
20 Questions: Youngblood Hawke (Sound Affects) [27.Sep.12]
20 Questions: Rah Rah (Sound Affects) [25.Sep.12]
20 Questions: Langhorne Slim (Sound Affects) [18.Sep.12]
20 Questions: múm (Sound Affects) [11.Sep.12]
20 Questions: River City Extension (Sound Affects) [14.Aug.12]
20 Questions: Tu Fawning (Sound Affects) [31.Jul.12]
Why the Blur 21 Box Set is Worth Your Time (Sound Affects) [24.Jul.12]
20 Questions: Dev (Sound Affects) [18.Jul.12]
20 Questions: We Are Serenades (Sound Affects) [19.Jun.12]
20 Questions: Kool Keith (Sound Affects) [6.Jun.12]
20 Questions: Hannibal Buress (Sound Affects) [30.May.12]
20 Questions: Martin Sexton (Sound Affects) [3.Apr.12]
20 Questions: Ruthie Foster (Sound Affects) [27.Mar.12]
20 Questions: Christopher Paul Stelling (Sound Affects) [20.Mar.12]
20 Questions: Phantogram (Sound Affects) [31.Jan.12]
20 Questions: Pyyramids (Sound Affects) [3.Jan.12]
My Top 5: Hurricane Bells (Sound Affects) [30.Nov.11]
20 Questions: Radiation City (Sound Affects) [15.Nov.11]
20 Questions: Mr. Gnome (Sound Affects) [1.Nov.11]
20 Questions: Casiokids' Omar E. Johnsen (Sound Affects) [11.Oct.11]
20 Questions: JD Souther (Sound Affects) [20.Sep.11]
20 Questions: Parachute (Sound Affects) [13.Sep.11]
20 Questions: Wax (Sound Affects) [8.Sep.11]
20 Questions: Planningtorock (Sound Affects) [2.Aug.11]
20 Questions: The Globes (Sound Affects) [14.Jun.11]
20 Questions: Fredrik (Sound Affects) [7.Jun.11]
"Sympathy For Delicious" Star Responds to PopMatters (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Apr.11]
20 Questions: LMFAO (Bamboozle Festival) (Sound Affects) [8.Apr.11]
20 Questions: Ben + Vesper (Sound Affects) [29.Mar.11]
20 Questions: Ima Robot (Sound Affects) [22.Feb.11]
20 Questions: Say Hi (Sound Affects) [17.Feb.11]
Track Review: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (Sound Affects) [15.Feb.11]
The Greatest Movie Trailer of All Time? (Short Ends and Leader) [28.Jan.11]
20 Questions: Common Grackle (Sound Affects) [18.Jan.11]
20 Questions: Tom Zé (Sound Affects) [14.Dec.10]
20 Questions: Lana Mir (Sound Affects) [14.Sep.10]
20 Questions: Mice Parade (Sound Affects) [7.Sep.10]
20 Questions: River City Extension (Sound Affects) [24.Aug.10]
20 Questions: Tokyo Police Club (Sound Affects) [10.Aug.10]
20 Questions: Microtia (Sound Affects) [26.Jul.10]
20 Questions: Justin Currie (Sound Affects) [20.Jun.10]
20 Questions: Christy & Emily (Sound Affects) [18.Jun.10]
20 Questions: Casiokids (Sound Affects) [15.Jun.10]
20 Questions: Angus and Julia Stone (Sound Affects) [3.Jun.10]
20 Questions: Kerretta (Sound Affects) [2.Jun.10]
20 Questions: 30db (Sound Affects) [27.May.10]
20 Questions: The Wave Pictures (Sound Affects) [21.May.10]
20 Questions: Matt Pond PA (Sound Affects) [13.May.10]
20 Questions: Patrick & Eugene (Sound Affects) [14.Mar.10]
20 Questions: Pinback's Zach Smith (Sound Affects) [10.Mar.10]
20 Questions: Ben Frost (Sound Affects) [23.Feb.10]
20 Questions: Nouvelle Vague (Sound Affects) [21.Jan.10]
20 Questions: Still Life Still (Sound Affects) [16.Jan.10]
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records (Consuming Consumables) [23.Nov.09]
Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" Video: WTF? (Mixed Media) [12.Nov.09]
Spaced: The Complete Series (Consuming Consumables) [11.Dec.08]
Top 5 Videos of 2008: Evan Sawdey (Mixed Media) [10.Dec.08]
The Big Lebowski: 10th Anniversary Edition (Consuming Consumables) [3.Dec.08]
Breakdancing Demons Make My Day (Sound Affects) [9.Oct.08]
Mindless violence or something deeper? (Sound Affects) [3.May.08]
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