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Sound Affects

August 2013

Colin All Arms: An Interview with Colin Stetson

Whether you understand his music or not, Stetson's work is undeniably powerful -- a walled-in chamber of voluptuous white noise in which the artist holds the addressees of his wayward signals captive. He speaks to PopMatters about his new album, his 100-year-old sax, and more.


Hopes on Juana Molina’s Comeback

With the announcement of Juana Molina’s upcoming album, Wed 21, an unexplainable excitement grew inside of me.


Counterbalance No. 137: Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Super Fly’

Darkest of night with the moon shining bright, there's a set goin' strong, lotta things goin' on. The 137th most acclaimed album of all time has an air of great power. The dudes have envied it for so long. Curtis Mayfield's masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.


Lady Gaga’s Round of “Applause” (single review)

As Gaga and Perry go toe-to-leopard-print-toe, it's obvious which diva comes out on top. Shame then that neither track are indicative of either artist's actual strengths ...


Katy Perry’s “Roar” Is Surprisingly Tame

After breaking records and becoming one of the biggest millennial pop stars in the world, Katy Perry's big comeback single is surprisingly safe, timid, and -- worst of all -- just plain boring.


Strange Loops: Liz Phair - “Stratford-on-Guy”

Guyville’s penultimate track reinforces the acting, knowing contradiction that makes Liz Phair’s vision as a storyteller so unique, its memorable chorus succinctly encapsulating the album’s stresses, disappointments and grit without redundancy.


Counterbalance No. 136: Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’

Son, she said, have I got a little story for you. What you thought was your daddy was nothin' but the 136th most acclaimed album of all time. Pearl Jam's 1991 debut is this week's Counterbalance.


The Sound of Silence: On Rolling Stone’s ‘Bomber’ Cover

Joseph Fisher examines the controversy over Rolling Stone's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cover issue, as well as the lack of response from the indie music publishing world.


20 Questions: Gauntlet Hair

We called this avant-rock duo ones to watch in 2011, and boy were we right: the pair's new disc is a fascinating mixture of classic songwriting and textural ambiance. Answering PopMatters' 20 Questions, the band reveals a personal affinity with Charlie Brown and how the two biggest constants in their lives are "cigarettes and turkey sandwiches" ...


Strange Loops: Liz Phair – “Johnny Sunshine” and “Gunshy”

Exile in Guyville wraps up its "domestic nightmare" trope with “Johnny Sunshine” and “Gunshy”, back-to-back cautionary tales that recall and extend the album’s by now familiar themes of neglect, oppression, and destruction—both physical and emotional—within a coupling


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