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by PopMatters Staff

6 May 2016


Photo: Lisa Macintosh

Love the Alabama Shakes and Brittany Howard? Then get ready to adore Terra Lightfoot, a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a badass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease. Yep, she could be your new rock ‘n’ roll hero. Drawing from rock, soul and blues, Lightfoot is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time. “Never Will” is the latest single from her recent album Every Time My Mind Runs Wild that released in April via Sonic Unyon and we’ve got the video premiere for you today.

by PopMatters Staff

6 May 2016


Brice Ezell: For a band with such a reputable discography, Radiohead—rather perplexingly—continues to rely on gimmick-heavy album releases. The music cannot simply speak for itself. Sure, there can be an element of artistic ingenuity behind these rollouts, but they have increasingly begun to feel like hype mills, devices through which to generate the impression that an album is better or more important than it actually is. (This, of course, is not unique to Radiohead; no amount of cockamamie high-art justifications for Kanye’s constant alterations of The Life of Pablo can obscure its scattershot quality.) But because Radiohead is Radiohead—and music critics are music critics—the slightest hint of album release provocation will send online outlets and social media channels into a frenetic buzz of self-fulfilling hype. Never mind when Radiohead’s ostensibly innovative LP drops are hardly innovative (2007’s solid In Rainbows, whose pay-what-you-will model had been utilized previously before by a range of artists, including Bomb the Music Industry!) or when the hype deflates upon the arrival of a boring album (see the 2011 flop The King of Limbs): when Radiohead makes a sound, everyone listens with perked ears.

by PopMatters Staff

5 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: “California Love” is what you get when you mix one of the greatest West Coast rappers with West Coast’s greatest producer, and then bring in funk legend Roger Troutman for safe measure. On this single for his double album All Eyez on Me, 2Pac’s verse is an ode to the state that raised him, the same one that gave rise to NWA and the G-Funk hip-hop that Dr. Dre both created and mastered. Twenty years later, Kendrick Lamar, who actually was at the shooting for the “California Love” music video as an infant, continues to carry the West Coast torch that refuses to die out. On “m.A.A.d. City”, Kendrick raps about his life in Compton (particularly Rosecrans) and how he almost died when he smoked his first blunt that was laced with Angel Dust. It’s similar to much of 2Pac’s catalog, with a social message that’s carried through a gritty, G-Funk banger. Like 2Pac did in his heyday, Kendrick Lamar is revitalizing and evolving West Coast hip-hop, and one can only wish that 2Pac were still alive to see it all unfold as it has. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

5 May 2016


Emmanuel Elone: When “Only You” started, I didn’t think that I was going to like it. The rattling hi hats were bland, and it felt like this song would just be another boring trap beat. I couldn’t have been more wrong. An epic horn section (the same ones on Vic Mensa’s “U Mad”) comes in, and then a vocal sample begins to weave its way around the banging production. Neither are gaudy, but both are tasteful, with enough musical twists and turns to make such a large scale trap instrumental flavorful throughout the whole song. However, while it’s good to talk about a song’s elements, “Only You” needs to be listened to in order to understand it fully. It slaps in the best way possible, and is one of the few songs that showcases trap music’s true potential. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

5 May 2016


Photo: Ana Pinto Lorez

Multi-cultural Brooklyn band Butcher Knives cooks up an eclectic genre stew of punk energy with band members from places like Morocco, Israel, Colombia, New York, and New Orleans. Their sound will thrill fans of Gogol Bordello and the Clash as they blend Eastern European music with punk, rockabilly, and psychobilly into a sound they like to call “gypsybilly”. Butcher Knives’ latest video celebrates the immigrant experience. They tell PopMatters that “‘American Dream’ is not only the story of a day in the life of the everyday immigrant, but a story of the dissolving ‘American Dream’ ideals on which this country was once based on.” Butcher Knives’ sound is irresistible with the swirling accordions, the blend of cultures and the raw, passionate energy of the music.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Independent Film Festival Boston 2016: 'The Anthropologist'

// Short Ends and Leader

"Spry and crisp, The Anthropologist is a solid documentary that avoids bearing the weight of the austere pessimism surrounding climate change.

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