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by Brice Ezell

22 Oct 2014


The indie pop outfit Act As If hails from Los Angeles, but you’ll know that within a few seconds of its latest tune, “Keep Me By Your Side”. It’s the kind of carpe diem ballad that sends eyes looking westward, toward the lights of Sunset Boulevard and the sandy beaches of Los Angeles. With its triumphant vocal harmonies and soaring guitars (with just a hint of the Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” in the rhythm guitar), “Keep Me By Your Side” is a tune that’s catchy and earnest, and perfect aural accompaniment for a drive down California’s famed Highway 1.

by Brice Ezell

22 Oct 2014


“They can’t find a hole for this pigeon,” soul legend Swamp Dogg says of himself. “But I don’t feel rained on. I don’t feel bad. I still consider myself the most successful failure in the United States, and that’s really not bad at all.” As a musician, Swamp Dogg has become “one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music”, according to AllMusic critic Steven Thomas Erlewine, due in large part to his boundary-pushing, edgy, and gut-bustiingly funny social commentary. The White Man Made Me Do It, his latest LP, continues on in this vein, displaying all of the inimitable Swamp Dogg traits. Below you can stream the title track from the album, which finds Swamp Dogg laying out his insightful and snarky commentary on racism atop a groovy musical background.

by PopMatters Staff

22 Oct 2014


The song premiered last night with Zane Lowe of the BBC and SiriusXM BPM and it is featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. The soundtrack was curated by Lorde and releases November 18th via Republic Records.

by Brice Ezell

21 Oct 2014


Cheekily, on the Facebook page for the Edmonton, Alberta-based synth-pop project Artisan Loyalist (helmed by Rob Batke), the genre designation reads “Post-Yoga”. Given the seemingly endless parade of genre splintering that is happening at the moment, it’s not a stretch to imagine that such a thing exists. However, on The Ace EP, the latest collection of tunes from Artisan Loyalist, the music definitely doesn’t sound like it’s meant to take you to a zen place. From the sitar-esque lead riff to “O, Chamelon” to the propulsive beat of “O, Chamelon (Khotin remix)”, The Ace EP is definitely something to get the feet moving.

by Brice Ezell

21 Oct 2014


While the world lost a legendary writer and public figure when Maya Angelou passed earlier this May, fortunately many have found creative and heartwarming ways to celebrate her legacy. Perhaps most creative of all is the forthcoming album Caged Bird Songs, an album that pairs Angelou’s spoken word pieces with hip-hop musical backing. Below you can stream “On Aging”, a track where Angelou’s wise musings on getting older are met with a surprisingly well placed slap bass that could have been straight-ripped from a Rick James album.

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Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

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