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by PopMatters Staff

25 May 2016

Chris Ingalls: I wanted to like this solely on the basis of Idris Elba, but even he can’t save this cringe fest. He drops by at the beginning and in a few other spots, like Vincent Price in “Thriller”. But at least MJ had a decent song to show for it. It may move you and even inspire, yes, a dance off, but this is little more than a novelty song, stuffed with embarrassing pop culture cliches and serving merely as background music for a hip-hop dance competition or something the wedding reception DJ can throw on after the old folks leave. [4/10]

by Sarah Zupko

25 May 2016

Seattle’s Western Centuries keep the fire alight for real honest to goodness honky tonk country music. Dale Watson would be likely to say “that’s a real country song”. But the band’s members—Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton, Jim Miller—come from vastly different musical backgrounds and all bring something unique to the table. Morrison comes from the Americana scene with a youth spent playing in New Mexico conjunto bands, while Lawton is a Seattle native who was devoted to punk and hip-hop before he fell head-over-heels in love with bluegrass. Meanwhile Miller was a heavy in the jamband world, founding the highly popular Donna the Buffalo. And they all meet to make first class authentic country music.

by PopMatters Staff

25 May 2016

John Bergstrom: ‘80s pop and especially ‘80s synthpop takes a lot of flack, much of it deserved. But “Enola Gay” is a resounding refutation of the notion nothing substantial, beautiful, or timeless could ever come from skinny English guys with synths, though the live rhythm section is essential to the song’s power, too. Andy McCluskey’s stunner is a lament for the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, and you can feel the dizzy, Tilt-A-Whirl hook willing itself back to a simpler, less terrifying time. The production is spot-on, having aged remarkably well. And as McCluskey demonstrates, you could skip the wistful melancholy and (nerd) dance to “Enola Gay” just as easily. Everything a classic should be. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 May 2016

Photo: Anya Roz

Hazmat Modine co-songwriter Wade Schuman sums up his band perfectly saying, “I think our band is like a really good NYC diner. The food comes from every tradition you can think of, but in the end it’s really the ultimate American comfort food.” Hazmat Modine’s membership includes musicians of various ages, races and backgrounds, a true melting pot, just like New York City, and their music draws from a host of American traditions including early jazz, the American popular songbook, blues, country, R&B, as well as a variety of world beats. It’s makes for exciting music that is always open to new influences and change. Hazmat Modine’s third album, Extra-Deluxe-Supreme, is meant as something of a document of their 10-year history and their adventures traveling the world, absorbing new influences and spreading American roots musics far and wide.

Hazmat Modine’s Extra-Deluxe-Supreme releases June 3rd via Barbès Records and today we are bringing you the video for the band’s new single, “Moving Stones”.

by PopMatters Staff

23 May 2016

Photo: Holly J. Schumacher

East Tennessee’s Derik Hultquist did what lots of musical dreamers do… he headed straight to Nashville after graduation. Like most, he worked the odd jobs to support himself while working hard on developing his songwriting as well as discovering his true singing voice. Hultquist has released a number of EPs over the years as his music progressed and now, after 10 years in Nashville, he is set to release his full-length debut album, Southern Iron, coming June 17th via Carnival Music/Thirty Tigers. Southern Iron is a well-crafted set of Hultquist’s original songs living in the country/pop sphere with songs that occasionally feature elements of psychedelic and roots rock.

//Mixed media

Moving Pixels Podcast: Our Own Points of View on 'Hardcore Henry'

// Moving Pixels

"Hardcore Henry gives us a chance to consider not how well a video game translates to film, but how well a video game point of view translates to film.

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