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by Will Rivitz

25 Jul 2016

Hourglass Switchboard  2 is about halfway between Sam Smith and the 1975’s energetic pop-rock, part downtempo electronic pop and part crisp guitars.

Sean McVerry makes sultry blue-eyed soul, a more emphatic and instrumental take on Sam Smith’s chart-topping material. Hourglass Switchboard 2 is about halfway between Smith and The 1975’s energetic pop-rock, part downtempo electronic pop and part crisp guitars. It’s a surprisingly underexplored combination, given the popularity and quality of the two styles, but given McVerry’s adept take it’s nearly inevitable more musicians will follow in the future. If you’re looking for suave, serene pop-rock to carry you through the rest of your Monday, Hourglass Switchboard 2 is your best bet.

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016

Atmosphere captures the  humor and pathos of just trying to succeed when the deck is always stacked against you.

Steve Horowitz: “Twin Cities, bitch!” Rhymesayers do it again. Atmosphere captures the humor and pathos of just trying to succeed when the deck is always stacked against you. The rap is grounded in the reality that failure really is funny, and as a fellow Minnesotan once said, “There’s no success like failure.” You don’t have to be as famous as Kanye to realize this. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016

The title track  from DJ Shadow's first album in five years is the sound of an old pro showing the kids how it's done.

Chris Ingalls: The title track from DJ Shadow’s first album in five years is the sound of an old pro showing the kids how it’s done. He does an admirable job of sounding current in a genre that is constantly evolving. The bed of synths that lies under the entire track provides a soothing atmosphere and blends nicely with the loud, jittery beats that swoop in. Spacey keyboard noodling gives the track a lovely, warm sci-fi vibe. Not the best thing DJ Shadow’s ever done, but a comforting reminder that he’s still with us. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016

To celebrate the  50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.

Deadline for Features pitches: 12 August 2016

Deadline for final, polished articles: 9 September 2016

When Star Trek debuted on NBC on September 8, 1966, there was little indication that its longevity across multiple platforms (films, series, books) would rival that of series such as Doctor Who, or that the series (and its fans) would become fixtures of popular culture, objects of academic study, and an outsized influence on science fiction.

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016

Jeff Beck is  still kicking ass at the age of 72.

Pryor Stroud: Fearless, corrosive, and smoking with Jeff Beck’s singularly expressive flamethrower-riffs, “Live In The Dark” is taken from the guitar icon’s LP Loud Hailer, his first in six years. The track conscripts vocalist Rosie Bones for its lyric, but, throughout, she seems to be grappling head-to-head with the wild electricity of Beck’s guitar. The tension this creates is a spectacle to behold: here, there is not one singer but two, a singer of flesh and blood and a singer of crackling feedback-figures. It may not be sonically inventive or lyrically deft, but its unadulterated, pyrokinetic take on rock is refreshing in a time when genre-bending has become something of a prerequisite for new artists. [7/10]

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Call For Papers: Celebrating Star Trek's 50th Anniversary

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"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.

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