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

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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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Monday, Oct 2, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

PopMatters Exclusive


Midlake: The Videos of Van Occupanther Pt. 2


Midlake—“We Gathered in Spring”


Artist Commentary:
The great guys at Make And Do Creative and Nora Sound delivered a very cool video to us for “We Gathered In Spring.” The animation style of Monte Python’s Flying Circus somehow works perfectly with the somber tone of the song. The contrast between the day time and night time shots through the city, overlooking the lone tree on the hill, looks incredible. This song was one of the first songs to be recorded for the album, and really helped set the tone for the rest of the record. The feelings of isolation, timelessness, and sadness are all evident in this video. We have never performed this song with an accompanying video, so I am looking forward to the next tour, where others will get to see what these guys have come up with.—McKenzie Smith


Credits:
Creative Directors: David Motter and Jeremy Eartell
Animation: Gary Hornstein


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Monday, Oct 2, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

“Sugar Hill’s early recordings possessed an aural purity that met people’s hunger for authenticity and also seemed fresh and new. There was something honest about the sounds of the banjo, dobro, fiddle, and mandolin, and the way they mixed together.”—Steve Horowitz—PopMatters feature, “Sugar Hill Records: 25 Years and Going Strong”.


Tony Rice (guitar), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Sam Bush (mandolin), Mark O’Connor (fiddle)—“Wonder Where You Are Tonight”


Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs & Friends—“Tennessee Stud”


Guy Clark—“L.A. Freeway”


Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas & Friends—“Wheel Hoss”


Sonny Landreth—“All About You”


Sam Bush and Friends—“Molly and Tenbrooks”


Tim O’Brien, Ronnie McCoury & Chris Thile—“Bluegrass Stomp”


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Friday, Sep 29, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

“Though the Byrds only reached the popular heights of the Beatles, the Who, and the Stones for a short period in the mid-’60s, their influence is arguably greater than any of their peers.  Their folk jangle still resonates in bands like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, R.E.M., and the Jayhawks.  And, if you wanted to take a wider view, you could say that everyone labeled red dirt, space rock, cosmic rock, alt-country, or just plain folk owes some debt to the Byrds.”—Michael Franco, PopMatters review: The Byrds, There Is a Season


The Byrds—Turn, Turn, Turn [The Ed Sullivan Show, 1965]


The Byrds—Mr. Tambourine Man [The Ed Sullivan Show, 1965]


The Byrds—I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better [Hullabaloo, 1965]


The Byrds—All I Really Want to Do [Top of the Pops, 1965]


The Byrds—The Bells of Rhymney


The Byrds—Eight Miles High


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