Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

The Amazing Pudding

Sunday, January 1 1995

The Libertines

A libertine is someone 'who acts without moral restraint'. In order to live up to the name, the group have tried their best to emulate the definition by basically doing whatever the fuck they want.


Climbing Out of the Trench: An Interview with Liars

I recently got a chance to talk with Angus about hanging with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, how September 11th inspired him, and how he hooked up with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for their upcoming fall tour.


Don Letts

The term 'Renaissance man' could well have been invented for .


You’re Not So Silent, Jens

Jens Lekman, the young romantic, tells PopMatters how he became a musician.


Don’t You Stop: An Interview with Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna

Things are looking up for Le Tigre. The planet, on the other hand, needs some help.


So This is an Email Interview with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy

Equal parts blunt, funny, and bored -- sounds like Murphy to us.


Jon Langford’s Deal

At once the most committed and least didactic of agit-rockers, the burly Welshman has responded to the gloom of 2002 with customary brio. He doesn't mind cursing the darkness, but he's also lit enough candles for a midnight Mass.


Down and Out, Up and Coming: An Interview With Laguardia

How does a band trying to make it keep going when it seems like they might not make it? PopMatters gets Josh Ostrander, Laguardia's frontman, to open up about the rough spots before success came their way.


Massively Jazzed: Interview with Kyoto Jazz Massive

The two jazzers talk about which brother is the boss? What are their favorite records? When can we expect the next album.


No Emo: Ben Kweller Up Close

How does a 'singer/songwriter' write 'sensitive' tunes without because dubbed the 'E' word? PopMatters talks with Ben Kweller about the meaning(lessness?) behind labels.


A conversation with Ben Kweller

Singer/songwriter Ben Kweller speaks up about his influences, the music biz, and what it takes to impress a live crowd..


Kwelity Is Back

Talib Kweli is straight hip-hop, without the elaborate externalities.


Boy Genius: An Interview with Kwamé

The one-time boy genius is still going strong.


Insinuating Voices: An Interview with Mark Kozelek

The songwriter who led Red House Painters explains the curious contours of his solo career and his recent decision to record an album of Modest Mouse covers with his new band, Sun Kil Moon.


The Gospel According to K-Os

The rapper takes on critics, genre distinctions, and vapid MCs.


The Third Voice: An Interview with Mark Knopfler

Emmylou Harris has sung with some of the most legendary country music figures. So what was she doing making an album of duets with guitarist Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits? We asked Knopfler to explain.


Danceable Darkness: The World of the Knife

The Swedish brother-sister electro-duo speaks with PopMatters about concepts, characters, and adapting to the challenges of the music industry.


Bewitched by a Dark Muse

The gravel-voiced, lovelorn songwriter emerges from the alt-country shadows with The Hustler, co-produced by Greg Dulli.


Out of the Silent Planet…Tabor Speaks

Ice Age has created an album that pushes the envelope of progressive rock and could possibly be hailed as one of the most significant releases the genre has seen in the past decade.


The Band That Will Be King

New York-based The King of France bank on their ability to confuse and charm their listeners. Is this the path to widespread power? Devon Powers checks in to see.


From the B Line to NPR: Guitar Virtuoso Kaki King

Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Decades later, guitarist Kaki King engaged in a similarly devilish act, brutally murdering an 81-year-old homeless man, stealing his riffs, and leaving him steeped in a pool of his own blood.


“Get Back to the Chaos” with the Kills

They talk Warhol through the smoke, and make decisions you won't believe.


Back to Happy Times Again: An Interview with Tommy Keene

The dangerous use of power pop, the big label mistake, and the joys of being and not being a sideman.


The Angry, Violent Piano: An Interview with Keane

Drummer Richard Hughes explains how the band became strangers to themselves before making their second album, which was influenced by war, Yeats, and Jimi Hendrix.


Juvenile

works hard. And he sounds tired: his voice is low and slow, his manner wary. He's talking to me on the phone from Louisiana's Cash Money Records office, where he's been at it all day, being polite with interviewers and promoting his third Cash Money solo album, Tha G-Code.


Enter the Junior Boys

You might not recognize their faces, but their sound will stick with you.


Ready to be Believed: An Interview with The Juliana Theory

Singer and lead guitarist/pianist Brett Detar recently sat down with PopMatters for a lengthy chat about the band's evolution and their impending success.


John Paul Jones

Throughout my conversation with , one word kept popping up again and again: 'freedom'.


Glimpse of a Gemini’s Journey: An Interview with Donell Jones

The R&B singer battles alcoholism and climbs from singing on the streets to the Billboard charts.


Interview with Syleena Johnson

The young R&B star talks about trying to make her mark


Wonderlands: An Interview with Jewel

'The things that thrill me are that I can afford medication, go to the movies whenever I want, get on a plane whenever I want. It just thrills me, you know?' Jewel talks to PopMatters about the joys of writing, the perils of ultimate perfection, and how Plato shaped her vision of love.


Jellyeye: Beat in Chicago

Spooky and throbbing as a newborn toadstool - the jellyeye.


The Struggles of a New Artist, Who Doesn’t See Himself As One: An Interview with Javier

The R&B vocalist turned a summer of radio station grunt work into the start of a varied career.


This Is Life: An Interview with Jarboe

The singer opens up on love, abuse and art.


A Man Named J’Aime: An interview with Islands’ Jaime Thompson

The ex-Unicorn explains his new project, remixing for Beck, and African guitar.


Signal Fills the Void: An Interview with Mike Gallagher of Isis

With two and sometimes three detuned guitars roaring through massive distortion, Isis shows are floor-shakingly, teeth-rattlingly loud. Many bands play loudly, but few bathe the listener in waves of sound like Isis.


Experience and Accident: A Conversation with Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam

Sam Beam talks about the songwriting process, even the unintentional side of it.


You’ve Gotta Have Faith—And Know Your History

'To my mind, in the songs that I have loved growing up, it tends to always be about a hook and a melody and a hook and a melody, and somebody is constantly taking your attention. I really think great recorded singles are like that. You are never given a chance to get distracted by anything. You're constantly pulled in a direction by something going on in the song.'


The Forgotten NYC Band: An Interview with Interpol

It figures that in their recent profile of New York's 'coolest' bands, Rolling Stone missed the city's best. Interpol has been playing the live circuit for a couple of years and yet somehow they've managed to stay relatively under the radar the entire time.


Rapping is Good Therapy: Interview with Ice Cube

The music legends talks to PopMatters about hip-hop in culture, sports brawls and his successful acting career.


Redefining a Genre: A Conversation with Ice Age

Ice Age has created an album that pushes the envelope of progressive rock and could possibly be hailed as one of the most significant releases the genre has seen in the past decade.


B-Boys Will Be Boys: An Interview With Byron Hurt

The documentary filmmaker takes on some of hip-hop's untouchable subjects, but he knows it might be a small part of a large struggle.


Cursed with a Tinge of Honesty

Ian Hunter touches the early Hoople days through the current days of string.


Hot Hot Heat Heating Up

Seamlessly blending the cool and the terminally unhip, Hot Hot Heat juggles The Cars, Prince, and the jittery post-punk of Gang of Four and Wire.


Intersections of Musical Directions: An Interview with Keyboard Great Bruce Hornsby

Hornsby looks back on 20 years performing, considering Russian spies, great flukes, and remarkable collaborations.


Lapsed Catholics and Lost Hoodrats

Craig Finn and the Hold Steady confirm the power of classic rock as they celebrate teens, guitar solos, and Christ.


A Nerdy Rash: An Interview with the Hives

Pelle Almqvist of the Hives pretends to be calm for a few minutes.


The New Rock N’ Roll Swindle: The Hiss Attempt to Survive the British Press Blitzkrieg

Drooling praise in the British press -- once the lifeblood of any American rock band hoping to make it big in the States -- has recently morphed into something more akin to a kiss of death. Can Atlanta's The Hiss come out unscathed? PopMatters music critic Jon Garrett examines.


Kristin Hersh

Hersh started exploring her compulsive musical talents in 1982, when she formed the critically-hailed Throwing Muses, a band featuring her step-sister Tanya Donelly, who went on to do a stint with The Breeders before forming the Grammy-nominated Belly.


A Thousand Different Keys: A Lunchtime Conversation with Matthew Herbert

The electronic artists speaks about his politics, the state of sampling, and Radiohead. And he's having the duck.


A Thousand Different Keys: A Lunchtime Conversation with Matthew Herbert

The electronic artists speaks about his politics, the state of sampling, and Radiohead. And he's having the duck.


Inner Visions: An Interview with Felix of the Heiruspecs

'Hiero?' 'Heru?' Neither a crew from the Yay, or an MC based in LA, the Heiruspecs offer visions from the Midwest. Group co-founder and MC Felix lays 'em all out on the table and explains.


Tuesdays with Matt: An Interview with Heavy Trash’s Matt Verta-Ray

He likes the simple things in life: Gene Vincent, reel to reels, Chevy Novas, and Marcel Duchamp. Matt Verta-Ray puts 'em all together on his strut down memory lane, talkin' 'bout that new collaboration with Jon Spencer, Heavy Trash.


Rodney Hayden: The Real Thing


Process and Substance: An Interview with Richie Hawtin

From mixing with three turntables, to granulating and recombining tracks into new shapes, to making techno mashups in 5.1 surround sound, to scoring the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Richie Hawtin has consistently pioneered how music is made.


The Most Basic of Statements: An Interview with Richard Hawley

How many musicians does it take to put in a light bulb? Englishman Richard Hawley doesn't know, but he's willing to pull the switch and illuminate the room.


Twelve Tenets By Ed Harcourt

For Harcourt, embracing the totality of life experience seems as natural as breathing.


Blue-Eyed Hanson Man

Let's just sit down and talk this through like the adults we both are.


Interview with Neil Halstead

Neil Halstead is something of a British songwriting hero, having had helmed revolutionary shoegaze outfit Slowdive before founding Mojave 3, a dusky folk-rock band.


Kicking Against The Pricks!: An Interview with Half Man Half Biscuit

PopMatters talks to the most complete and authentic British group since the Clash -- Half Man Half Biscuit.


On the Couch for Your Audition

HAL's Dave Allen explains how the band got to this unexpected place.


Pat Green: Texas Songwriter

Although he's been a big hit with fans, at least regionally, Green's relationship with critics has been rather different -- indeed, 'Pat Bashing' seems to have evolved into a minor Olympic sport. [...] Most critics have also pointed to what they see as Green's limited subject matter when songwriting, confined primarily to Texas, tacos, beer, and road trips.


“I Don’t Want to Be Folklore!”: Grandmaster Flash Is Back!

Grandmaster Flash invented hip-hop and DJ culture in America.


Excerpts from the Misery of Grandaddy

Jason Lytle is a bitter man. Good thing he's got this pop record to finish.


The Grandeur of Grandaddy

Astute musical chameleons or tragically faddish trend-hoppers? PopMatters music critic Jon Garrett deconstructs the Grandaddy mystique.


All Aboard the Mule Train: An Interview with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

Are you an entertainer or are you a musician? Warren Haynes discusses the expanding rift between art and entertainment in a climate that champions celebrity over integrity.


Fat with an ‘F’: Talking to Beth Ditto of the Gossip

It's a long way from squirrel-eaters to punk activism, but Ditto's taken it all in.


The Go! Team is On!

Ian Parton takes his rowdyism from basement tapes to main stage.


Talking Oceans Apart: An Interview with Robert Forster of the Go-Betweens

From the other side of the world, one of pop's best songwriting duos slowly gets their music heard.


The Boogie Monster Meets His Match: An Interview with Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley

'It's good clean fun, nothing more complicated than that,' says Cee-Lo. Who'd have thought that approach could make music history?


Githead: Not Your Father’s Supergroup

Githead is preened and primped at the finest hairdressers and stylists. (Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner).


Ironman Vs. the Devil: An Interview with Ghostface Killah

One of hip-hop's top MCs won't run from anything, and while he might not want to punch you in the face anymore, he still wants to be the best.


Full Circle, Not Four Square: An Interview with Dave Allen of Gang of Four

'It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you...' So, Gang of Four decided to come back with the original gang of four, rerecord some old tunes, do a tour, and change your world.


The Reluctant Chanteuse

Charlotte Gainsbourg talks about the perils of having famous parents and the films that inspired her new album.


DIY for Life: An Interview with Eric Gaffney

The Sebadoh founder talks about life after that band, home recording, self-promotion, and the worst roommate he ever had.


Just the Four of Us: An Interview with the Futureheads

Bassist Jaff explains that things have calmed down, but between a new label and old tributes, he must be talking only about the music.


Back to the Future: An Interview with the Futureheads

Fall in love at a gig? Maybe the Futureheads know something you don't.


Bringing Back the Funk: An Interview with Joe Hunter of the Funk Brothers

A legendary musician who played on some of Motown's biggest hits of the '60s talks with PopMatters music critic Jordan Kessler about his early days and being on the road again.


From Nashville to Tokyo the Hard Way

After a long stretch of good songs and little reward, Fluid Ounces appear to be headed for some success. Maybe even some income.


Hitting the Beachhead and Coming on Strong: An Interview With the Fleshtones’ Peter Zaremba

Zaremba looks back on three decades of 'super rock' and finds the landscape littered with obscure Humphrey Bogart movies, Fleetwood Mac parties, early Tom Hanks comedies, and the evolution of the 'power stance'.


Between Wars: An Interview with The Flaming Lips

Preparing to tour in support of At War With the Mystics, The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne discusses politics, drugs and divine intervention.


Looking for Clarity

Fischerspooner's Casey Spooner loves his trashy pop singles ... and his avant-garde theater, too.


An Orgy of Entertainment: Fischerspooner Up Close

Obtuse, over the top, flashy, trashy and electroclashy: Patrick Sisson digs beneath the arty exterior to figure out what makes Fischerspooner glitter.


Feeling The Fever

New York City rockers the Fever play restless, heated music. PopMatters music critic Deirdre Day-MacLeod sets out to discover how they keep the temperature up.


Dancing Through Song: An Interview with Feist

Feist explains how she became the Kevin Bacon of Canada's music scene.


Feathers Flock Together

Eight members, multiple songwriters and dozens of instruments coalesce in one indefinable, all-natural sound for Vermont's folk collective Feathers. 'Each of us has our own philosophy of how we make music and we all get to practice it in parallel,' said Feathers' Meara O'Reilly. 'It happens to all coincide in some way.'


Far Too Jones

Sometime around midnight on March 9th, a dream of rock stardom imagined by a wide-eyed group of Raleigh musicians eight years ago will finally die.


Classy, Fiddly, and Percussive

Ethel's Mary Rowell explains how an experimental string quartet ended up in a rock show.


Mirror Man: An Interview with Alejandro Escovedo

PopMatters documents the rebirth of Alejandro Escovedo, once named Artist of the Decade by No Depression in the '90s.


Elefantilize

No elephantine egos for this crew - the much-talked about Elefant are truly down to earth. PopMatters' Peter Joseph checks in.


Time to Practice Your Latin

Electrelane sticks to one language in breaking down life and music outside Brighton.


Leaders of a Powder Blue World: An Interview with Elbow

Elbow takes some time to show us a high-class hangout, but end up proving they've stayed grounded.


You Smell Me?: An Interview with E-40

Bay area hip-hop legend and slang encyclopedia E-40 is in the mix like Bisquick and never late like FEMA... do you smell him?


We’re All Moody Bastards: An Interview with Duran Duran’s John Taylor

Duran Duran bassist covers everything from the early singles to the current tour.


Playing Tight and Thinking Freely: Interpreting Dungen

Dungen's Gustav Ejstes on improvisation, the language barrier, power trios, and the importance of taking it easy.


A Prolific Greg Dulli Gets Down on Cover Songs and PopMatters

PopMatters talks with the irreverent and inimitable Greg Dulli. And this time, there's no holds barred.


Chance Meeting with Aaron Dugan

The Matisyahu guitarist talks about working in the studio with Bill Laswell and finding his style in New York's jazz scene.


Putting Your Foot in a Hole in the Snow

'A lot of tension in Faulkner's novels emerges from a conflict between trying to make time do what you want it to, trying to force time to do what you want it to because allowing it to pass on its own feels really disastrous and scary. I can relate to that on an emotional level. I think that's almost infantile -- not in a derisive way. That's how people grow up, in a way, is to realize that you don't have to have control over things and you have to just let them be.'


Just Like Me: An Interview with DMC

DMC is, like any good writer, aware of the power of words and names. Which explains his considerable shock when he discovered that Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels had, in fact, been adopted.


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