Sound Affects

April 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.


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.


A Savvy Soundtrack to Modern Decay

The Artcore fanzine produces another compilation LP that showcases the brutal beauty of punk in the present tense.


20 Questions: Martin Sexton

He sold 15,000 copies of his cassette-only debut, got signed to a major label, made his own independent, and then got his songs featured on the likes of Scrubs and Parenthood. He's never done anything the easy way, and when he sits down for PopMatters' 20 Questions, he winds up revealing so much more . . .


Prog’s Only Stupid Dream: Porcupine Tree - “Even Less”

PopMatters' newest Between the Grooves series explores the often overlooked 1999 masterpiece by progressive rock legends Porcupine Tree. The album's opening track, "Even Less", still stands as one of the band's finest epics, and signifies a shift away from the eccentric psychedelia and moody Krautrock of its early work.


March 2012

Counterbalance No. 75: Derek & the Dominos’ ‘Layla’

What’ll you do when you get lonely, with nobody waiting by your side? You could read the latest Counterbalance, discussing the 75th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time. This time around it’s Eric Clapton’s pseudonymous 1970 classic.


5 Reasons Why Pepe Deluxé‘s ‘Queen of the Wave’ Is a Masterpiece

Last month, PopMatters gave Pepe Deluxé's pop-opera-surf-rock concept album Queen of the Wave a perfect 10 score, just one of many plaudits the LP has amassed in a scant few weeks of releases. Sound Affects breaks down five reasons why this record is a stellar achievement destined to become a cult classic.


20 Questions: Ruthie Foster

The Grammy-nominated blues artist Ruthie Foster has just put out the most confident album of her career, and before taking it on the road, she speaks to PopMatters about Star Trek, Jerry the mouse, and speaking with Stephen Hawking.


February 2012

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October 2011

//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

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