Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Matthew Ryan
From A Late Night High Rise


“And Never Look Back”
“Babybird”


 


“From the first wave of symphonic keyboards to the last utterance of good advice FROM some accidental RF, From a Late Night High-Rise is a masterful rumination on mortality and morality. It’s an epic to behold.

 


Matthew Ryan has wandered around the edges for years now. Originally perceived as an alt-country troubadour, Ryan has slowly made his case for a more adventurous and cinematic American Singer/Songwriter. You get the feeling he doesn’t care much for anything that resembles a hollow victory. He’s clearly chosen the hard way. From major labels to small labels to indie labels to DIY and back again; he continues to follow some stubborn compass that keeps him quietly searching for his version of perfect weather in a song. All the while amassing a loyal following, a growing resume of film and television placements and a mountain of critical acclaim.

 


From a Late Night High-Rise is a movie without film, it’s a novel without a book. It’s absolutely beautiful, precise and unflinching. It’s music that glows like a city from high up in an airplane—first appearing alien, then blooming completely human. Shaken by the sentencing of his brother to 30 years in prison and the death of a dear friend, Ryan took to recording and writing songs on his Korg D16 Porta Studio to cope with his grief. “Follow the Leader”,“Gone for Good”, “Love Is the Silencer”,“Victory Waltz” and “The Complete Family” were all recorded at home. Those recordings were the seeds that would become From a Late Night High-Rise.”—00:02:59 LLC



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Monday, Dec 11, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Will.i.am and Common perform Common’s new single “A Dream”. The song was produced by Will.i.am and will be featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming film Freedom Writers, in theaters January 5th. Get more at Youtube.com/beheard.


Common and Will.i.am - “A Dream” Live Performance


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Sunday, Dec 10, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Various Artists
Kill Rock Stars Winter Holiday Album


Imaad Wasif: “The New Year”
The Robot Ate Me: “Wonderland”
Mary Timony Band “Hapi Holidaze”


 


“Joy to the World, The Kill Rock Stars Winter Holiday Album is here! Thirteen tracks from Kill Rock Stars friends both old and new playing playing holiday standards and original songs inspired by the season.”—Kill Rock Stars



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Saturday, Dec 9, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

The Klezmatics
Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah


“Hanukah Tree”
“Spin Dreydl Spin”


 


“The Klezmatics play soul-stirring Jewish roots music for our time, recreating klezmer in arrangements and compositions that combine Jewish identity and mysticism with a contemporary zeitgeist and a postmodern aesthetic.  Since their founding in New York City’s East Village in 1986, the Klezmatics have celebrated the ecstatic nature of Yiddish music with works which are by turns wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective and danceable.”—Jewish Music Group



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Thursday, Dec 7, 2006

Nas (feat. Jay-Z)—"Black Republican" (Windows Media)
Nas (feat. will.i.am)—"Hip-Hop Is Dead" (Windows Media)
From Hip-Hop Is Dead on Def Jam


When we last left Nas with Street Prophets, Pierre Hamilton concluded, “As an MC, many predicted he’d be rap’s next ruler. He’s been attacked as a heretic, he’s carried the cross on wax, and now he’s old. Nas is no longer the 18-year-old kid scribbling in his book of rhymes from his parent’s apartment…. Only tomorrow knows if future generations will fully interpret his prophecies and until then, Nas will always be a disciple for the streets, the Afro-centric Asian, half-man/half-amazing.”  With the December 19 release of Hip-Hop Is Dead, Nas is back to drop the ultimate challenge: burn it all down and rebuild it into something new.

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