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by Jessy Krupa

2 Jul 2013


Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger (2013)

July is a big month in the music world, as so many major releases are hitting the shelves that discussing them warrants a separate PopMatters article. See: Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for July 2013

But the next 31 days also feature some TV debuts, big box office hits, and America’s most patriotic holiday. So get comfortable. Open a cold one, and enjoy July’s offerings.

by PopMatters Staff

2 Jul 2013


“Waiting on a Broken Heart” showcases these new influences with longing pedal steel and soft country harmonies. Meanwhile “Love Her Anyways” is a classic power pop song interwoven with strains of classic Springsteenesque American rock. What do these tunes and the rest on the band’s new self-titled album have in common? Killer hooks. Melodies and choruses that sound like instant hits, while lodging in your head on auto-replay.

Front man Mark Fredson tells us about their approach on this record: “We still are heavily influenced by the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. But, we don’t attach ourselves at the hip to it like you could say we did on our third record, Concrete Class. In this case, I think the songwriting is more mature, with more attention paid to lyrical content. When writing the songs, I placed a huge emphasis on hooks and big, memorable choruses, which is something I’ve never seen through nearly as much in the past. Also, with the addition of a second guitarist, Zach Setchfield, you get a special sort of Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards guitar interplay that is hard to come by in modern music.”

by Imran Khan

1 Jul 2013


The true Dadaists of punk, Rip Rig & Panic were unlike any band that came before or after them. Exploring a chaotic, often confounding, musical world that embraced jazz, funk, afro-pop and new-wave punk in one streak, the band approached all corners of their music with wild abandon.

A collective of musicians that included pianist/saxophonist Mark Springer, guitarist and saxophonist Gareth Sager, drummer Bruce Smith and a then-teenaged Neneh Cherry on vocals, Panic sought to reconfigure the borders of pop music, reshaping it—sometimes in the span of one song alone. Berserk song-titles gave clear indication that the band never took itself seriously; consider titles like “Wilhelm Show Me the Diagram (Function of the Orgasm)” or “Rip Open, But Oh So Long Thy Wounds Take to Heal”.

by Zach Schonfeld

1 Jul 2013


In March, reunited post-punk outfit Crime & The City Solution released their first LP in 22 years, the mostly excellent American Twilight.

The band has now put together a video for highlight “Beyond Good and Evil”, featuring actress Olga Volchkova and some riveting chess moves. The video was directed (and features drawings) by Danielle de Picciotto.

by Charles Pitter

1 Jul 2013


This is a literate, emotional song, the kind to get you through bad times. The lyrics, with thoughtful, sisterly Zen advice could possibly make you cry if you’re feeling a little sensitive, but the melody is catchy enough to pull you out of whatever downer I hope you’re not in.

There’s a strong sense of movement, but it’s compactly written, covering a relatively wide narrative and impressive musical ground in only three minutes.

//Mixed media

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// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

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