Pop Unmuted is a podcast dedicated to in-depth discussion of pop music from varying critical and academic perspectives. On Episode 12, Scott Interrante and Kurt Trowbridge are joined by Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dr. Robin James, to discuss her new book Resilience and Melancholy: Pop Music, Feminism, Neoliberalism as well as Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”. As always, we close with our Unmuted Pop Songs recommendations.
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Great Peacock blew me away during a live taping of their song, “Take Me to the Mountain”, nearly 18 months ago. I’ve been anxiously awaiting their debut full-length album, Making Ghosts, ever since. Recently released on This Is American Music, Great Peacock continues with the roots-based anthems and sing-along choruses, more Southern indie than Americana.
After 15 seconds, the silence is finally broken by a single grazing of a drumstick on a cymbal, followed by the shrill ring of guitar strings tugged and swiped at the head above the string guide. The volume builds. At 46 seconds in, the drums arrive in a rattling, lead-footed march. Finally, with a sharp wail of guitar feedback, lowercase dives in to “Slightly Dazed”.
Mendelsohn: The other day I was listening to music and thinking about the Bible. Not the fun parts where the world ends or people get smote, but the rather dry part—specifically Chronicles 1, with all the begats and what not. I was thinking about lineage. Tracing lineage can be incredibly boring, because forsooth, I’m not sure why it’s important to know that Abigail childed Amasa. Having said that, I’m going to trace some lineage in hopes of explaining why the Avalanches’ Since I Left You, released in 2000 the Year of Our Lord, was such a critical and commercial success and how exactly a couple of ex-punks from Australia made it happen. I’ll dispense with all the begats and forsooths in favor of terms like turntablism, sampling and plunderphonics. Ah, who am I kidding? Let the begatting begin.
For a variety of reasons, the need for a feature piece among them, I was going to review the new Lamb of God album this week. Never mind the fact that it doesn’t come out for another two months, or that the band’s American PR is only just starting to get the hype machine rolling; these days, I couldn’t care less about publishing a review before such absurd press announcements as an “album artwork unveiling” and “track listing unleashing”. Besides, no band should ever complain about getting press, especially if the review is positive, so why not hammer out a fun piece about a rare 2015 album that’s captured my attention?
Yeah, I like the new record, VII: Sturm Und Drang. Quite a lot, actually. Given the freedom I have with this weekly column, the urge to sit down and slap together a thousand words about why I enjoy VII: Sturm Und Drang so much is near impossible to resist. It’s the same for any music fan: when you hear great new music, you have to gush, you need to run out and tell people about it. Yet at the same time, as a writer there’s also something stupid, trite, and narcissistic lurking underneath that desire, too: the fleeting satisfaction of being first.