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by PopMatters Staff

9 Mar 2017


Andrew Paschal: In the grand scheme of things, there may yet be a place for sentimental music. Who hasn’t wallowed in songs like this just to indulge in the sheer emotionality of it all? Listening to “Hypnotised”, I often couldn’t decide whether I was genuinely moved, agitated, or distracted by its unabashed commercial sweetness. Commercial in the sense that it sounds like it’s trying to sell you something, like an ad promising a beautiful, fulfilling life if you just book a particular vacation or buy a certain piece of jewelry. Coldplay cast the spell effectively in places, but the song’s greatest error is its six-minute length, more than enough time to catch onto the band’s ruse. The effect wears off before the song is even over. [5/10]

by PopMatters Staff

9 Mar 2017


Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s a fairly standard Americana twang to John Moreland’s latest track and a fairly standard catchy chorus, but oh, that voice. Whiskey-tinged and tear-stained, John Moreland’s voice turns a standard into a standout. He has an earthiness beyond his years on “It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before)”, a reflective song that proves you can be a seasoned pro even at the age of 31. There’s a depth here that belies the happily bouncing melody, a melancholy, a shadow. A good tune with some good, good grit to it. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

7 Mar 2017


Mike Schiller: This is ponderous, man. Our first taste of Kevin Martin and Earth’s collaborative album-length follow-up to the Boa/Cold EP from a few years ago carries little of the pure menace of their previous work, but all of the tremendous, sludgy, doomy, dubby instrumental power one could hope for. It sets a mood and then sticks with it for five minutes, never bothering to change, because why should it have to? Picture an abandoned island town slowly being leveled by lava, and you’re most of the way to imagining what this sounds like. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

6 Mar 2017


Mike Schiller: Somehow, some way, Blondie is topical, political, energetic, and danceable. To be one of these is not a surprise; to be all of them is a bit of a shock, particularly when you realize that Chris Stein is 67 years old and Debbie Harry is 71(!). It’s a video that stars an initially-sullen androgynous space traveler who finds a glamorous space drag queen who presumably guides our protagonist to that great discotheque in the sky. It’s a story of not just acceptance, but a celebration of self and others. It’s a story where gender and sexuality is a fluid concept. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a story with a happy ending, something that’s awfully hard to find or even imagine given a political climate that seems hellbent on punishing and taking away the rights of the most vulnerable. The song underneath it all is a lightweight disco tune, nothing new but very much classic Blondie, and as a vehicle for the video, it’s perfect. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

6 Mar 2017


Chris Ingalls: Denmark’s Mew are a band that’s known to fuse their indie pop music with a slight accent of prog, this fits the bill nicely. From the soaring choruses and sophisticated musical arrangements to the nagging earworm catchiness, it’s as if Muse or Coldplay made an album after spending the weekend listening to Genesis’ Duke. Which, to me, is not a bad thing. [7/10]

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Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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