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

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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Britrock's Kaiser Chiefs returned this year with a new record and just recently they stopped by Guitar Center to record some live performances of their new songs.

Here we have Kaiser Chiefs taking an acoustic turn through Education, Education, Education & War‘s “Bows & Arrows”. If it’s possible, this take is a bit of a mellower affair than the very electric album version. The At: Guitar Center with Nic Harcourt podcast includes live performance clips, as well as engaging interview portions where the artists discuss the creation of their music.


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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tex Ritter's granddaughter Carly Ritter emerges as a promising young Americana artist with her self-titled debut from Vanguard Records.

Carly Ritter grew up in a musical home with her parents large collection of rock ‘n’ roll records. But it’s when she decided to explore her grandfather’s traditional forms of country music that she truly found her voice. In college while majoring in philosophy, Ritter spent her senior year “in the basement of the music library scouring sheet music for all these old folk songs, spirituals, blues and country songs.” That devotion has paid off with this fine debut. Teaming with Ry Cooder, his son and his son’s wife among others, Ritter now offers up Carly Ritter.


Today we are premiering the video for the single “It Don’t Come Easy”, which Ritter says “speaks to the tension between wanting love and at the same time wanting freedom.” Ritter adds, “I adore ‘It Don’t Come Easy,’ which Juliette wrote and asked me to add a verse. It’s a kind of sad song that speaks to some of the challenges of love. I played it recently at an open mic, and afterwards a man came up to me crying; he told me he had some kind of catharsis when he heard it. That’s one of the great things about sad songs.”



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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Los Angeles backpack rapper Pigeon John returns with his sixth studio album next Tuesday, but we have the goods for you today.

Pigeon John grew up listening to pop as much as hip-hop and he brings that broad sensibility to his work, creating songs that are fiercely independent of any genre expectations. That musical exploration and curiosity always renders Pigeon John’s records as intriguing listens.


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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tim Noyes, a.k.a. Handsome Ghost, ditches the indie folk of his earlier years and springs forward with a fresh take on poptronica via Color Study.

Having risked it all searching for success as an indie folk artist only to come up cold, Noyes decided to start with a completely fresh canvas and a new palette. His songwriting gift has never been in question as Noyes can write a great tune in any genre, but with his new Handsome Ghost project, he has really found his unique voice. Warm electronic beats and textures underpin gorgeous dreamy vocals that just seem to lift higher in every measure. This music feels organic, like it emerged fully formed into instantly memorable tunes.


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Watch the award-winning documentary about the famed Burning Man festival right here on PopMatters. Spark: A Burning Man Story is available for streaming and purchase.

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


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Spark


Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


 



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