Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

4 Feb 2010


Massive Attack’s long awaited new release drops next week and the first video premiered this week.

by Jonas Jacobs

4 Feb 2010


It’s no doubt that my favorite album from 2009 was M. Ward’s sensitive and unassuming Hold Time. Every time I listen to it, I’m romantically transported to a perfect sunset circa 1960 and Ward seems to be a fan of that era as well. I’ve read various articles about his fascination with old-timey analog recording tools and instruments. Listening to his music always provides a soulful escape from what can be an all-too-modern collage of noise and images out in the world. 

As is often the case, I have one of M. Ward’s songs in my head. The song is a cover of Buddy Holly’s 1958 single, “Rave On”. The song was actually first recorded by Sonny West, but made popular by Holly. I’m not a Buddy Holly expert, but it’s always interesting to connect the dots with some internet research. So I’ve included Holly’s “Rave On” below, followed by a young Waylon Jennings riffing on the tune with mariachi horns, a rare John Lennon cover of the same song and, finally, M. Ward’s 2009 version.

by John Lindstedt

3 Feb 2010


Much like another beloved MTV cult hit The State, Daria‘s absence from the DVD market frustrated fans for the eight years the show has been off the air. Fans mobilized an online petition movement and soon became one of most wanted shows on the site tvshowsondvd.com. Rumor had it that music rights complicated Daria‘s release. The show never really had an original score and used pop songs instead. VHS releases replaced or even completely removed the music in some episodes.

But the long awaited DVD release ofThe State last year was a huge victory for cult television enthusiasts, and a teaser trailer revealed that the impossible was indeed possible: Daria is finally getting its due in 2010.

The show will be released in complete series form, including it’s two straight-to-television movies, Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?. Although the exact date is yet to be confirmed, you can sign up to be notified of the release date on amazon. Some episodes will differ from the ones originally aired, however, because of the aforementioned music rights complications.

by Alex Suskind

3 Feb 2010


Rocky Votolato
True Devotion
(Barsuk)
Releasing: 23 February

In 2007, singer/songwriter Rocky Votolato released his seventh full-length studio album, The Brag & Cuss, to mostly favorable reviews. Soon, his lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression resurfaced, however. He stopped writing music and cut himself off entirely from the outside world, holing up in his apartment for more than a year. In an effort to overcome his demons, Votolato spent time studying existential philosophy, history, physics, and theology. Before long, he began writing music again. His upcoming album, True Devotion is the result of those writing sessions.

The new record gives listeners a look into Votolato’s life; a powerful acoustic retelling of his downfalls (see “Lucky Clover Coin”) and his determination (see “Fragments”).

SONG LIST
01 Lucy Clover Coin
02 Fragments
03 Red River
04 Eyes Like Static
05 Sparklers
06 Instrument
07 What Waited for Me
08 Sun Devil
09 Don’t Be Angry
10 Where We Started

Rocky Votolato
“Red River” [MP3]
     

by Darren Ratner

3 Feb 2010


Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
I Learned the Hard Way
(Daptone)
Releasing: 6 April

Ever dapper and full of swagger, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are about to release their fourth LP, I Learned the Hard Way, this spring. Expect more of Jones’ vintage soul (comparisons to Aretha and Tina Turner abound) to blow you away. The title track is currently available for download.

Daptone Records: “I Learned the Hard Way was produced by Bosco Mann and recorded on an Ampex eight-track tape machine by Gabriel Roth in Daptone Records’ House of Soul studios, the record drips with a warmth and spontaneity rarely found since the golden days of Muscle Shoals and Stax. Sharon’s raw power, rhythmic swagger, moaning soulfulness, and melodic command set her firmly alongside Tina Turner, James Brown, Mavis Staples, and Aretha as a fixture in the canon of soul music. From the lush Philly-Soul fanfare that ushers in “The Game Gets Old” at the top of the record, to the stripped down Sam Cooke-style “Mama Don’t Like My Man” at the tail, the Dap-Kings dance seamlessly through both the most crafted and simple arrangements with subtlety and discipline.”

SONG LIST
01 The Game Gets Old
02 I Learned the Hard Way
03 Better Things
04 Give It Back
05 Money
06 The Reason
07 Window Shopping
08 She Ain’t a Child No More
09 I’ll Still Be True
10 Without a Heart
11 If You Call
12 Mama Don’t Like My Man

“Angel’s Share” [MP3]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: The Avalanches' 'Since I Left You'

// Sound Affects

"Get a drink, have a good time now. Welcome to paradise, and read all about the 305th most acclaimed album of all time. An Australian plunderphonics pioneer is this week’s Counterbalance.

READ the article