Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

2 Feb 2017

Photo: Amanda Marsalis

Chris Ingalls: Angel Olsen’s latest single is a beautiful, sparse, fragile ballad with her breaking voice accompanied only by what sounds like an upright piano that’s seen better days. There’s an inherent sadness in the song and the recording that seems to come from pain and despair. The minimalist arrangement works beautifully here and gives the song the right amount of emotion. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

1 Feb 2017

Paul Carr: Since finally breaking into the mainstream with The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow have continued to produce cerebral, rousing indie songs. As expected, this is a passionate, supremely confident song from the band who have made a career of finding hope in sadness and truth in failure. The song is built around a chunky, rolling bass line and marching drums with Garvey’s plaintive croon meditating on the promises and possibilities of childhood. As always Garvey manages to distil life’s grand themes into more relatable, domestic ones with his lyrics streaked with humility. The whole thing is reassuringly familiar with lush and vivid strings used as a counterpoint to the bruising rhythm and deceptively simple guitar riff. Few bands can do stirring, passionate anthems this well which makes it all the more important not to take the group for granted. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

31 Jan 2017

Photo: Jessica Lehrman

Steve Horowitz: Rockabilly lives! Nikki Lane kicks out the jams with a thumping beat and slightly hiccuped vocals that make the music seem fresh and new. Sure the song is silly, but so is love when it’s right. In an age of cynicism, it’s refreshing to see a video where everything works out for the best. The Vegas scenery, the Elvis impersonator, and such fit the song. Dreams may not always be real, but one can’t hit the jackpot unless one is willing to take chances. Lane’s music dares to look backward as the path towards the future. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

30 Jan 2017

Adriane Pontecorvo: Power! Lewis and his Honeybears have it, and they let it loose on “PTP”, a tight, groovy burst of some serious soul. This is sweatin’, howlin’ R&B with a lot of hot, hot horns and Joe Lewis coming right at you with a voice made for old school funk. The Honeybears is a group that plays with perfect musical unity, and when Lewis screams, there’s no doubt that this is an ensemble with the gumption and skill to blaze its way into a well-deserved spotlight. Let’s hope the upcoming full album helps make that ride a little easier. [10/10]

by PopMatters Staff

30 Jan 2017

Photo: Guy Lowndes

Steve Horowitz: Where there is smoke, there is comedy. I don’t have a damn idea of what is going on here, but the musical elements whose parts are broken down and recombined suggest that as time passes everything changes. The melody initially resembles (purposely?) Bob Dylan’s “Sign on the Window” whose wry take on the human condition fits here before the music breaks down into something more spiritual. Gospel with a sense of humor, Gandhi and Freud and mother, oh my. The bullshit of sports and the worship of the strong is just another pathology brought about by our shared humanity and uncertainty of what it all means… No one is to blame / everyone is to blame.  Not even nature can save us. The end of civilization may be nearer than we think. Father John Misty understands to live is to feel pain. Ha Ha Ha. We must all be mad. There lies freedom. The sophistication of answers that don’t make sense, indeed. And there is always music. Sweet music, to offer solace when all else fails. [9/10]

//Mixed media

'Who' Will Be the Next Doctor?

// Channel Surfing

"What shall it be? A Doctor with whip-smart delivery of his lines? A woman who will bewitch before she kicks a Dalek's ass? Oh, the possibilities...

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