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Sound Affects

April 2012

It Needed Doing: Levon Helm’s Life in Music

The Band's Levon Helm represented a kind of musician increasingly rare in today's world -- unpretentious, dedicated, and motivated only by love.


Counterbalance No. 78: Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’

The 78th most acclaimed album of all time came and hit the streets, looking for soul food and a place to eat. It’s such a perfect day to discuss this 1972 glam rock spectacular.


20 Questions: Emperor X + “Raytracer” MP3 (PopMatters Premiere)

Remember back in high school when your science teacher was also an acclaimed avant-indie-folk artist who promoted his latest album by burying purple audio cassettes all across North America and leaving cryptic GPS coordinates online so that people could try and find them? Me too.


He’s Still the Boss: The 10 Best Springsteen Songs of the Last 10 Years

In the last 10 years, with and without the now-dwindling E Street Band, Springsteen has created some of his best music. No album as a whole approaches Born to Run’s cultural status, but select songs are equally memorable and musically vital.


Prog’s Only Stupid Dream: Porcupine Tree - “Stupid Dream/Pure Narcotic”

This installment of Between the Grooves looks at the beginning of Stupid Dream's "Unrequited Love Trilogy", the whimsical "Pure Narcotic". The unnamed narrator's first glimpse of unreturned love is the calm before the storm that inevitably follows.


Counterbalance No. 77: De La Soul’s ‘3 Feet High and Rising’

The 77th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time is the buddy to my daisy tree and the Luden to my do-re-mi. A tricameral system is now set with a 1989 hip-hop classic.


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.


The Great Big Pop Whatever: An Interview with Unicycle Loves You

When not visiting the Church of Bob Pollard, Unicycle Loves You's Jim Carroll takes pleasure in rewriting the garage-pop rulebook, conquering SXSW, and releasing his band's best album to date. Now, he tells PopMatters all about it.


Prog’s Only Stupid Dream: Porcupine Tree - “Piano Lessons”

"Piano Lessons" is a masterful satire of pop music, taking on a music industry obsessed with catchy, four-minute singles with the power of a catchy, four-minute single. It encapsulates an argument by the band that has since spanned over a decade, simultaneously demonstrating Porcupine Tree's original take on pop music while also remaining entirely progressive.


Counterbalance No. 76: Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’

It’s a turnaround jump shot, it’s everybody jump start, it’s every generation throws a hero up the pop chart. In 1986 it was Paul Simon. Counterbalance has a listen.


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