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Jacob Adams
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Jacob Adams teaches literature, composition, and communication studies at a public high school in the Chicago area.  He holds degrees in English, music, and education from Indiana University.  In addition to writing for PopMatters, he maintains his own personal blog called A Sea of Amusements ( and writes about music and books for Spectrum Culture (  When he is not busy teaching and writing about all aspects of popular culture, he enjoys playing the saxophone.  He is currently working on a series of scary jazz compositions with San Francisco Bay area bassist Rod Taylor.


Sunday, November 14 2010

"I Don't Believe in Beatles": John Lennon's Minimalist Journey to Independence

How an audacious, daring record from a disgruntled ex-Beatle became a major musical landmark.


Wednesday, August 1 2012

Top 10 Performances of American Standards from Miles Davis Records

While Miles will always be known for his original compositions and for genre-busting, innovative records like Kind of Blue, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew, it’s worthwhile to give another listen to the great performances of standards the trumpeter recorded during the earlier part of his career.

Wednesday, August 1 2012

Top 10 Performances of American Standards from Miles Davis Records (Spotify Playlist)

Today we posted this new list and have created a handy Spotify playlist so you can enjoy all the tunes, or mix them up as you please.

Wednesday, April 11 2012

Top 10 Culturally Significant Banjo Moments

In the shadow of Earl Scruggs’ death, it’s worth taking a look at the role the banjo has played in American popular culture.

Monday, March 26 2012

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”

“B-Boy Bouillabaisse” is one of the great denouements in the history of pop music, a 12-minute suite that gives us a definitive, multifarious view of urban life in the late 1980s.

Monday, March 19 2012

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Shadrach”

The boys employ religious allusions on “Shadrach” in a similar manner as they have used the references to movies, kids’ cartoons, and cereal boxes. They’re simply trying to come at their subject from multifarious angles and provide variety and interest for the listener.

The 10 Best John Coltrane Solos (Sound Affects) [1.Feb.12]
The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs (Sound Affects) [26.Oct.11]
The 10 Best Wilco Songs of All Time (Sound Affects) [7.Sep.11]
The 15 Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs (Sound Affects) [17.Aug.11]
'Ghost World' Revisited (Short Ends and Leader) [3.Aug.11]
Top Ten Tracks for Your Holiday Playlist (Sound Affects) [30.Nov.10]
The Top Ten Pop Culture Podcasts (Mixed Media) [11.Nov.10]
Why Godard Leaves Me Breathless (In a Good Way) (Short Ends and Leader) [30.Aug.10]
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