Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

4 Aug 2015


As a painfully white dude, I feel like there’s a pretty finite amount of value I can bring to the conversation around Kendrick Lamar’s latest opus so I’m sure everyone will take this for what it’s worth. One of the many beauties of To Pimp a Butterfly is its brazen complexity. The album is a extended celebration of blackness that refuses to elide the conflict and contradictions inherent in that identity that are often suppressed for one reason or another in American national discourse. The fact that Kendrick can release an interlude like “For Free” as a single showcases not only the album’s ridiculous depth, but also his deftness as a songwriter. It’s a 2:13 double entendre about both the worth of black males in relationships and the insidiousness poisoning of black culture by American consumerism. That would be impressive enough but to back the whole thing with some straight-up jazz riffing from Robert Glasper and still make it commercially viable in 2015 is nothing short of spectacular. Kendrick’s albums seem to be generating a prodigious output of singles like Michael Jackson in his heyday and it’s just as thrilling now as it must have been then.—JOHN M. TRYNESKI (8/10)
(8 of 10)

by Adrien Begrand

4 Aug 2015


Starting out plaintive and gradually becoming something a lot more ominous, like a storm rolling in on a sweltering day, “Room For One” encapsulates what Brooklyn group Bodies Be Rivers do so well on their self-titled debut EP, which comes out today. Accompanying it is a beautifully sparse, minimal video for the track, which you can watch below.

by PopMatters Staff

3 Aug 2015


The loss of a harddrive is one of those things that can’t resolve to ever sound like anything but a first world problem, but to those of us who live inside of a machine it is hella traumatic. Like when Scarlett Johansson briefly goes offline in Her, you fear that a piece of you may have just disappeared into the digital ether. So, I’ll defend Future from the inevitable jabs he’s going to get over the melancholy mood he reserves for some data storage. That said, Future’s patented flat affect and minimalist depressive hedonism has managed to stir me a total of about three times in his career and MikeWillMadeIt is responsible for all of those tracks. I honestly can’t distinguish the rest of this song from the last couple songs he’s released. I always hope to be surprised, but this is just the American hip-hop version of the mopey miserablism that defined the indie ‘90s.—TIMOTHY GABRIELE (2/10)

by Adrien Begrand

31 Jul 2015

Photo by
Jim Herrington

Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennan, also known as Dead Rock West, recently put out the album It’s Everly Time!, a 13-song tribute to the Everly Brothers. Featuring an array of standards and underrated tracks, their latest single is their cover of the 1965 song “The Price of Love, which has been re-recorded live for their new video for the track.

by PopMatters Staff

31 Jul 2015


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Truth and Other Restrictions: 'True Detective' - Episode 7 - "Black Maps and Motel Rooms"

// Channel Surfing

"Series creator Nic Pizzolatto constructs the entire season on a simple exchange: death seems to be the metaphysical wage of knowledge.

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