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Sound Affects

January 2014

Scanning the Skies for Solace: Anathema’s ‘Weather Systems’

The latest Between the Grooves series kicks off with the first of eight thorough tributes to the most beautiful, tragic, and honest album this author has ever heard.


Counterbalance No. 160: Nick Drake’s ‘Five Leaves Left’

Betty came by on her way, said she had a word to say about things today and fallen leaves, not to mention the 160th most acclaimed album of all time. A pastoral touchstone is this week's Counterbalance.


Noises Sound Like the End: 13 Essential Mogwai Songs

With the very fine new album Rave Tapes out this month, PopMatters looks back on Mogwai's rich career by picking 13 of the finest songs from the full span of the post-rock band's work.


Makes You Want to Feel: The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On”

Though not from the Mary Chain's most acclaimed album, 1989's "Head On" is one of the band's better offerings, a classic example of how the proper amount of attitude can elevate a song.


Counterbalance No. 159: Joni Mitchell’s ‘Court and Spark’

The 159th most acclaimed album of all time is flirting around. Flirting and flirting, hurting too. This week's Counterbalance loves its lovin', but not like it loves its freedom.


The Top 10 Beyoncé Singles of All Time

After the surprise release of quite possibly her best album to date, it's time to have a look at the tracks that propelled this R&B darling into super-stardom.


Dark Days, Luminous Nights: An Interview with Vanessa Daou

An exploration of love in the time of political unrest, Light Sweet Crude is Vanessa Daou’s musical thesis on regained emotional ground, a desire line carved from the departure point of doubt to the destination of self-made reality.


Counterbalance No. 158 Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’

Lashing out the action, returning the reaction. Weak are ripped and torn away. Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower. The 158th most acclaimed album of all time is here to stay. A 1986 metal landmark is this week's Counterbalance.


Lou Reed Owned the ‘70s

Perhaps because it represented his formation as a solo artist, his manifestation of “Lou Reed”, as opposed to “Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground”, Reed owned the '70s more than any other decade.


Disco Rock City: Kiss’ “I Was Made for Loving You”

Kiss has authored numerous crowd-pleasing rockers, but don't overlook how good their late-'70s disco detour is.


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