Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

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Thursday, Oct 12, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


“The Waylon Jennings boxset Nashville Rebel gives reason to consider Jennings as not just a country-music outlaw, but a Wurlitzer Prize winner, whose voice from a jukebox can erase all the pain in the world just by giving voice to it.”
—Dave Heaton, PopMatters review of Nashville Rebel


Waylon Jennings - “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”


Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson—“Good Hearted Woman”


Waylon Jennings—“Me & Bobby Mcgee”


Waylon Jennings—“Lonesome On’ry and Mean”


Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash—“There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang”


Waylon Jennings—“Amanda”


Waylon Jennings on Austin City Limits


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Wednesday, Oct 11, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Eric Bachmann —"Carrboro Woman"
From To The Races on Saddle Creek.
Returning home from tour to no commonly-defined home, Eric Bachmann largely wrote his new album, To The Races, in June and July of 2005 while voluntarily living in the back of his van. Bachmann made the best of the hospitable Northwestern summer by setting up home and shop in his vehicle, and found that living like a makeshift Siddhartha worked well for him: he used the time to craft the unadorned and unapologetically forthright collection of songs that compose his first Saddle Creek release.



The Awkward Stage —"The Morons Are Winning"
From Heaven Is For Easy Girls on Mint.
In a musical climate that has never been more artificial, commercialized, and commoditized, what with television commercials replacing record stores, radios, and live venues as the new medium by which new artists get discovered along with the whole American Idol phenomenon wherein we are shown the card trick, taught how it is done, shown how empty and vacuous the industry has become, and yet we still line up for more. For those of us feeling the cultural atrophy, and yet who enjoy good pop culture, The Awkward Stage is at the forefront of that return to quality and, quite simply, pop artistry.



Chin Up Chin Up —"This Harness Can’t Ride Anything"
From This Harness Can’t Ride Anything on Suicide Squeeze.
As anyone who’s lived there can tell you, the Midwest can be an unforgiving place. The winters are freezing, the summers are humid and it’s easy to feel landlocked by the vastness of earth in every direction. Chicago’s Chin Up Chin Up have successfully embodied that feeling with their second full-length, This Harness Can’t Ride Anything;  yet as bleak as things may appear, there’s a pervasive feeling of hope inherent in the band’s brand of avant pop which stretches further than the Windy City’s skyline.



Rafter —"Bicycle"
From 10 Songs on Asthmatic Kitty.
All the day-in-day-out experience of working with every conceivable genre/instrument/taste has created a Frankenstein richness that Rafter employs to grand effect. Electro-keyboard chug and gurgle is matched with wind/string flourish, raw drum melded with toy piano plink and banjo plunk. The wire that runs through and connects these disparate structures is a wide-openmindedness when it comes to style and sound, and a lyrical essence that more often than not trades the circuitous metaphor for the straightforward communique.



Jeremy Enigk—"Been Here Before"
From World Waits on Lewis Hollow.
The last time Jeremy Enigk, the singer and songwriter for emo-core pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft, released a solo album, Hilary was testifying about Whitewater, Dolly was being cloned, and the Ramones were about to play their last gig. It’s been awhile. If World Waits has more rock and less chamber texture than its predecessor, they both share a timelessness in sound that has roots in Enigk’s lifelong love for The Beatles, The Who and vintage U2.


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Friday, Oct 6, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

“The only speed that you, the reader, need is whatever it takes for you to go out and get Last Man Standing—pronto! No question about it, this is one of the most surprising and inspiring—and best—releases of 2006.”—Lou Friedman—PopMatters review, Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing.


Jerry Lee Lewis—Great Balls of Fire [1957]


Jerry Lee Lewis—Great Balls of Fire


Jerry Lee Lewis—You Win Again [1956]


Jerry Lee Lewis—Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On [Steve Allen Show, Late ‘50s]


Jerry Lee Lewis and Bruce Springsteen—Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On [Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1995]


Jerry Lee Lewis—Me and Bobby McGee


Jerry Lee Lewis—Mona Lisa


Jerry Lee Lewis—Last Man Standing EPK


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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Richard Buckner —"Town" From Meadow on Merge Records. Meadow is the 8th full-length recording from Richard Buckner, and the latest chapter in a story that began in San Francisco, back in the early 90’s and has seen Buckner travel across the U.S. and Canada many times. Buckner’s body of work has always seemed to be about motion vs. stillness, whether it be running away or toward something, or watching something or someone leave or approach: the restless energy of the heart, full speed ahead, the consequences taken and embraced, the good and the bad. The false starts, roadblocks and pitfalls along the way only add to the richness of the journey.


Xiu Xiu—"Boy Soprano" From The Air Force on Kill Rock Stars. It comes in waves of nausea and unease. The Air Force is a wraith, and wraithlike it moves according to genuine, human rhythms; we see frontman Jamie Stewart staring into the void, or into the past, or dipping his hands into the sick pink hues of human grease, into bad love, suicide, rape, sex, stormy friendship, domination, dependency, with husky voiced lyrics that come rising up like steam from some deep and dark and cold dungeon miles below Earth’s surface.


Portastatic—"Sour Shores" From Be Still Please on Merge Records. If I were clever, I’d tell you to think of Be Still Please as the introverted sister to Bright Ideas. But I’m not. So I’ll just tell you that Mac McCaughan is better than he’s ever been – the guy is on a hot streak right now that I’d chart somewhere between Mascis ‘87, Coppola ‘74 and Dwyane Wade ‘06.



Novillero—"The Hypothesist" From Aim Right For the Holes in Their Lives on Mint Records. Pop-rock music rarely weaves its namesake styles effectively. Pop music overrides rock music most often and turns it into a wimpy mush. Or bands are too concerned with rocking out and they forget the importance of hooks and wit. Novillero don’t have that problem. The hooks are plentiful, the arrangements are varied, the melodies are memorable and immediate, and the horns are tastefully implemented.



The Fix —"Rat Patrol" From At the Speed of Twisted Thought on Touch and Go Records. Within a period of 22 odd months or so, The Fix came blazing—pillaging your town, exploding and burning fast before you knew what hit you. And it’s only now that you remember how awesome 1981 was—or at least blessed now with the hearsay and memories because you couldn’t have been there to witness The Fix.


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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Diddy
Press Play
Bad Boy
Download “The Future” (Windows Media)
His moniker may have finally shrunk to Diddy, but Sean Combs has no shortage of things to say on his new single, “The Future”.  Taken from his forthcoming October 17 release, Press Play, “The Future” finds Diddy as bombastic as ever as he “proclaims on the track that he has ‘The potential to be the first Black President / iTunes download me in every residence… This is the man who provided more jobs for Black Men than armed services’. This is Diddy’s statement to the world about his future, our future, and the future of the music biz.” - Bad Boy/Atlantic Records


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