Latest Blog Posts

Jazz drummer Ed Thigpen died in Copenhagen on Wednesday, January 13. His death at age 79 followed his struggles with Parkinson’s disease and a late-2009 hospitalization for other “heart and lung problems”. Widely recognized as an exceptionally tasteful and versatile drummer, Thigpen played with Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.

Read his detailed obituary from the Los Angeles Times.

Just to get it out there in the open, what you are reading is a bit of a shameless plug—yet few shameless plugs are as fun as this one.

You see, I wouldn’t be here writing for PopMatters if it wasn’t for a guy named Benjamin Durdle. Ben was the guy who got me into recording songs, which has become one of my favorite hobbies in life. Am I any good at it? To be totally honest with you: no, not really—but that’s almost beside the point. Although I had always been a fan of pop music, it was Ben—the guy with keen underground sensibilities and an infectious love for actually recording whatever musical inkling dripped into his head—who opened me up to several new bands and the very concept of how music production works, which inevitably was one of the major things that lead me to become the writer that I am today.

Serena Maneesh
S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor
(4AD)
Releasing: 22 March (UK), 23 March (US)

Norway’s recorded their new album in a cave outside Oslo, appropriate for a group mightily concerned with musical atmospherics. Emil Nikolaisen says of the new work and approach, “Studio environments often get on my nerves “and I love the underworld, you can silently head down there and do as you please, leave the world behind. So we found this huge cave with stone walls, it looked like a refugee hideout from World War II, with a huge, undiscovered treasure of sound.”

SONG LIST
01 Ayisha Abyss
02 I Just Want to See Your Face
03 Reprobate!
04 Melody for Jaana
05 Blow Yr Brains in the Mourning Rain
06 Honeyjinx
07 D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D.
08 Magdalena (Symphony #8)

Nneka & J.Period
The Madness (Onye-Ala)

Nneka & J.Period Present: The Madness (Onye-Ala) available for download now. Featuring guest appearances from heavyweights of all kinds, The Madness (Onye-Ala) includes exclusive new tracks from M-1 (Dead Prez), Jay Electronica, Zumbi (Zion I), Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Aceyalone (Freestyle Fellowship), General Steele (Boot Camp Clik) & Talib Kweli. Nneka’s The Uncomfortable Truth EP available on iTunes now. Full length album, Concrete Jungle dropping 2 February on Yo Mama/Decon/Epic Records.

by PopMatters Staff

12 Jan 2010


These New Puritans
Hidden

(Domino)
Releasing: 18 January (UK), 2 March (US)

Britain’s These New Puritans released a stellar debut two years ago in Beat Pyramid, a record we deemed an 8 and Chris Baynes called an “idiosyncratic, swaggering, and intellectual album, but more importantly for the listener, a damn exciting and original one too.” The group follows with their sophomore effort Hidden this month in the UK, March in the US. The first single, the cerebral and atmospheric “We Want War”, bodes well for the overall quality of the new effort.

SONG LIST
01 Time Xone
02 We Want War
03 Three Thousand
04 Hologram
05 Attack Music
06 Fire–Power
07 Orion
08 Canticle
09 Drum Courts–Where Corals Lie
10 White Chords
11 5

//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

READ the article