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

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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Neil Young: Live At Massey Hall (release date: March 13), produced by Young and the late David Briggs, is the second Reprise Records release in the Neil Young Archives Performance Series, following last year’s Live at the Fillmore East album. Both are in anticipation of the Archives Volume I collection, due this fall. That eight-CD, two-DVD audiobiography will include Young’s music from 1963 to 1972, and feature a treasure trove of previously unreleased recordings, both studio and live, along with concert footage and rare memorabilia from the first decade of Neil Young’s long and unequaled career.


“This is the album that should have come out between After the Gold Rush and Harvest,” Young says now. “David Briggs, my producer, was adamant that this should be the record, but I was very excited about the takes we got on Harvest, and wanted Harvest out. David disagreed. As I listen to this today, I can see why.”


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Monday, Feb 19, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists—"The Sons of Cain"
From Living with the Living on Touch and Go


Listen to “The Sons of Cain”

For their fifth full-length release (and first with Touch and Go), Ted Leo and the Pharmacists met up with Brendan Canty (Fugazi) at Long View Farms to iron out a new set of anthems that arrive with a confident and outspoken immediacy. With Living with the Living, Ted & Co. wipe clean the slate that once held names like Weller, Strummer and Bragg and indulge some of their farthest-reaching musical ambitions.—Touch and Go


Liberacion—"Move Your Body"
From Liberacion: The Songs of the New Cuban Underground on Petrol


Listen to “Move Your Body”

After managing the rock band INXS to global superstardom, Petrol’s founder, Chris Murphy, launched the Australian-based record label in 2000 to share his global vision with music fans around the world. Murphy envisioned Petrol as a cultural beacon to shine on the world’s best music, delivered direct to fans to enjoy with no passport required. Since its inception, Petrol has been at the forefront of the digital music business around the world, with a record of consistent international iTunes chart successes and a focused ethos and mission that has evolved into a trusted Petrol brand signature. 2007 promises more cutting-edge, quality releases from Petrol/EMI, beginning with the February 6 release of Liberacion: The Songs of the New Cuban Underground, a DVD that captures the artists leading Cuba’s most cutting-edge music scene.—Petrol


Willard Grant Conspiracy—"Skeleton" and "Flying Low" From Let it Roll on Reincarnate Listen to “Skeleton” Listen to “Flying Low”

Willard Grant Conspiracy is the musical collective that surrounds songwriter Robert Fisher. With their last five records (Regard the End, Everything’s Fine, Mojave, Flying Low, and 3am Sunday at Fortune Otto’s) and their brand new album Let it Roll, the band has quietly gone about putting together one of the most impressive catalogs in the alt.country / post punk-folk rock genres. The records have been met with critical acclaim and have been included in many critical best-of lists.—Reincarnate


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Sunday, Feb 18, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Stiff Records—the original indie label that launched the careers of Elvis Costello, Madness and Shane MacGowan—re-releases six classic albums on April 3 2007.


Wreckless Eric—Big Smash

…features his classic single, “Whole Wide World” as featured in the latest Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction – “the gem of the collection” according to the New York Times.  Eric Goulden has just returned from an extensive US tour and this double CD compiles the best moments from his albums, Wreckless Eric and the Wonderful World of Wreckless Eric, both released in 1978.  Big Smash also includes rare tracks, B-sides, imports and a new, off-the-wall commentary from the man himself.

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Tracey Ullman—You Broke My Heart In Seventeen Places

This is the first ever CD release for Tracey’s debut album, which originally sold over 150,000 copies back in the early ‘80s.  With hits like “Breakaway” and “Move Over Darling”, Tracy built a major pop career in the UK before moving to the US and HBO to build an equally major TV career.  This album has always been sought after by Kirsty MacColl fans, for her contributions that are evident throughout, not least on Tracey’s cover of MacColl’s classic “They Don’t Know”.  Includes four bonus tracks and new sleeve notes.

Preview songs from this album 


Rachel Sweet—Fool Around

The one they call the original Joss Stone, Rachel was 16 when she recorded her debut album of belting R&B for Stiff in 1978.  Here it finally is on CD with bonus tracks and deluxe packaging.  Rachel had been discovered on a Stiff trade mission to the thriving alternative music scene of Akron, Ohio, that lead to her first release for the label—a contribution to an Akron compilation that also featured Jane Aire, the Waitresses and the Bizarros—that was packaged in a scratch ’n’ sniff sleeve!  Like Tracey Ullman, Rachel moved into US TV but as a writer/producer working on—amongst others—Dharma & Greg and Seinfeld.

Preview songs from this album 


Dirty Looks—The Complete Stiff Years

This double CD compilation centres around Stiff’s biggest ever album release in the US—the self-titled debut from the Staten Island-based power pop trio that sold over 100,000 copies in 1980.  This three-piece came across like a feisty version of XTC playing, as they often did, CBGBs in the US and alongside fellow Stiff proto-punks Any Trouble and Tenpole Tudor in the UK.  Disc One is largely produced by Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk) and Disc Two—centring around their second album, Turn It Up—is produced by the Motors’ Nick Garvey.  This deluxe package features 13 tracks available on CD for the first time, plus singles, B-sides and live tracks.

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Any Trouble—Where Are All the Nice Girls?

A regular fixture in Nancy Griffith’s touring band, Clive Gregson is also often found performing as part of a trio with Eddie Reader and the Bible’s Boo Hewerdine. But it’s his early work on Stiff with Any Trouble that’s the stuff of legend. Like a looser, more upbeat version of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, this is a long awaiting CD issue for Any Trouble’s debut album, which originally appeared in 1980.  At that time Melody Maker declared it “recommended by this paper with an enthusiasm that probably left the group red at the neck with flustered embarrassment.”  More recently they’ve been described by Mojo as “a fine body of men… what fine songs too… gems from Clive Gregson’s formative years. Wonderful on vinyl, wonderful on CD.”

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Sunday, Feb 18, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Metric - Empty
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Metric - Poster of a Girl
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Metric - Patriarch on Vespa
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Metric - Handshakes
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Metric - Police and the Private
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Metric - Monster Hospital
Check out the band in concert at Be The RIOTTT (click on screen)



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Thursday, Feb 15, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Two Minutes to Midnight  Black Belt—"Road Crew" from Two Minutes to Midnight on Novoton

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What if you kidnapped Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop and Otis Redding, put them in a small cabin, force fed them cheap beer and greasy food, and—under the supervision of Josh Homme—made them solve the great rock’n’roll riddle? You might come up with something similar to the diverse, yet straight-forward, soundscapes of Swedish power trio Black Belt—big fuzzy guitars, fat ass bass, rolling drums, dirty denim, sweet soul and tons of swagger. With one foot running the working class meanstreets of the ‘60s, the other foot placed firmly in the black soil of the south, Black Belt proove that it’s still possible to create a stir by rolling that old rock in yet another direction. With their largest production to date, the band both roars and crumbles, whispers and cuddles—although they never lose trace of the chorus-driven nerve that made them a name in the first place. From—"Fall on Me"—a PopMatters exclusive

Sure, From is a four-letter F-word. It suits the band just fine. No song is precious. Nothing aims for utter seriousness. And it’s not a bad thing to infuse some rawness into arty abstraction. In the fall of 2004, designer Roni Brunn launched From in Los Angeles, and the lineup has been fluid since. Brunn sings and writes all the music; production and performance duties are shared. From’s sound began with the unexpecedly fecund pairing of the Stone Roses and early Madonna. Ride, Oasis, Primal Scream, and, of course, the Beatles have also influenced both the feel and the song writing. The lyrics reflect Brunn’s multinational displacement, playful sobriety, and boy-crazy attachments: very specific yet simultaneously intutitive. Dustin O’Halloran—"Opus 63" from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack, and "Opus 23" from Piano Solos Vol. 2

Piano Solos Vol. 2 is the beautiful new instrumental work from Dustin O’ Halloran. Dustin recently attracted the attention of renowned music supervisor Brian Reitzell, who asked O’Halloran to assist in the score of Sofia Coppola’s epic historical drama, Marie Antoinette. Two of the compositions on this new release, as well as Opus 17 from Dustin’s first Piano Solos album, appear on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.


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