Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

17 Apr 2017


Andrew Paschal: Coco Hanes wears all the trappings of adolescent garage pop, but “I Don’t Wanna Go” is more melodically astute than I at first expected. In the same way that “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” couched a deeper yearning for freedom within its bubblegum frame, Hanes seems to be getting at a real conversation about independence even through her veil of carefree irreverence. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

14 Apr 2017


Andrew Paschal: The second season of Mr. Robot featured a scene similar to the “Ain’t It Funny” music video, with the characters locked in a twisted black comedy version of an old-school sitcom. Both clips vacillate between funny-creepy and actual creepy, using humor while also inverting and dissecting that humor. Danny Brown is excellent as always about highlighting substance abuse as the mental health problem it is while pointing out the way artists are in some ways encouraged to self-destruct for public entertainment. [8/10]

by Sarah Zupko

13 Apr 2017


Austin’s Culture Wars is a young band about to release their debut EP and they sport a fully-formed, radio-ready sound that blends heavy chugging guitars with foot stomping electronic beats. Frontman Alex Dugan is a charismatic singer with a distinctive rock voice that could fill stadiums. Imagine the Prodigy blended with Aerosmith and you get close to what Culture Wars is all about. Today, we are bringing you the first single from the Culture Wars EP releasing June 9th. Entitled “Money (Gimmie, Gimmie), it’s anthemic slice of electrorock that serves as a statement of purpose for a young group seeking success and also grapples with identity issues. The song is instantly memorable as is Culture Wars.

by Jonathan Frahm

13 Apr 2017


Photo: Donna Green

The duo Ryanhood has been all about proudly exhibiting their scrapes and scars for the world to see. This much couldn’t be any clearer than on Yearbook, their latest album released earlier this year. Ryan Green and Cameron Hood, two of Tucson’s most well-regarded artists, take this general fact about their artistic output and set it against an anthemic backdrop in their music video for “Alright Tonight”.

by PopMatters Staff

12 Apr 2017


Mike Schiller: It’s the sign of a master at work that we can fully expect greatness and be blown away by what we get anyway. Even the title of Kendrick Lamar’s latest has layers, the period and all-caps type belying the the word itself. The contradictions within are just as stark; Kendrick is political, and he is sexual, he is confident, and he is angry, his braggadocio game is strong even as he preaches humility. It is intense, and it is immediate, spending a very non-To Pimp a Butterfly sub-three-minute runtime to get its message across. “This that Evian, that Grey Poupon, that TED Talk / Watch my soul speak, you let the meds talk,” he offers in a particularly inspired couplet, making us laugh before he viciously cuts us down to size. If he’s pulling this off in a tight three minutes, one can only imagine what he’ll be able to do with his next full album-length statement. [9/10]

//Mixed media