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by Danilo Castro

15 May 2017


Tuxedo is doing their part to keep funk alive.

Comprised of soul singer Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One, the dapper duo (yes, they do actually wear tuxedos) sound as though they’ve come through a time warp to remind the world of the importance of getting down. Their self-titled debut was a perfect thesis for this mission in 2015, melding the buttery-smooth grooves of groups like Chic and Zapp with the rubbery G-funk of Dr. Dre and DJ Quik.

Sprinkle in a playful image and a tongue-in-cheek approach to songwriting, and you get a duo that, even in the wake of retro-funk acts like Daft Punk and Bruno Mars, most organically update the sound for modern audiences. PopMatters caught up with Hawthorne and Jake One as they tour their latest album, Tuxedo II, and got the scoop on how they kept the funk feeling fresh the second time around.

by Sloane Spencer

1 May 2017


Publiciy photo: Joey Kneiser (courtesy of All Eyes Media)

John Moreland’s new album, Big Bad Luv, takes a big leap forward for an artist already wash in buzz. The recent king of sad bastard songs found some joy in recent years, and the rock band of close pals supporting this record elevate his lyrics to a more accessible sound. If you already rode the Moreland wave, you will not be smacked upside the head with shock, but if you have not yet gotten on board, so to speak, you might not even realize the waves have changed.

“There’s two or three songs that I’ve had for a couple years,” notes Moreland, speaking to PopMatters. “I started writing those songs before High on Tulsa Heat had even come out because I wanted to get a jump start on the next record, you know. I feel like putting out a record and just chilling a little while, and then it sneaks up on me, and I’m like, “Oh! I’ve got to make a new record now, and I don’t have any songs.”

So, to step away from the beach theme—or not—Big Bad Luv is exactly the sort of album you will crank up with the windows down on a summer road trip. Hell, you’ll be chair-dancing at the red light. The more upbeat tone is balanced by Moreland’s insight into human relationships and our own tendencies to get stuck in our heads sometimes. You’ll still find yourself quoting him in your deepest conversations with those you love.

by Mantas Krisciunas

27 Apr 2017


The first thing that strikes you about the way Eric Anderson talks is just how chipper he is.

The 30-year-old Seattle-based musician is about to put out his fifth record, Keepers, as Cataldo, into the world. The accompanying promotional video, titled “Market Research”, shows Anderson walking around Seattle asking strangers to put on headphones and then answer questions like: “If this song were to be in a commercial, what sort of product could it advertise well?” People balk, stand around confused, looking almost offended, before blurting something very negative. The comment section, unconventionally, is full of full-hearted support for the musician, denouncing the “haters” who dare to dismiss the new music as “the most unenjoyable EDM” they’d ever heard.

by Dan Derks

19 Apr 2017


Photo: Roger Sargent

Before reading on, whether you’re seasoned or green with Sleaford Mods, it’d be helpful to watch two videos of the band. “Jobseeker”, performed on Later… with Jools Holland, and “Tied Up In Nottz” are certainly good starting places.

That Jools Holland clip is the quintessential capture of singer Jason Williamson’s showmanship and producer Andrew Fearn’s casual approach to laptop music performance. At first glance, it’d be understandable to write the Mods off as a snotty gimmick, but the band’s authenticity and earnestness are ignorable and infectious. Same applies to “Tied Up In Nottz”—only Williamson could make a mini-autobiography out of “I woke up with shit in my sock outside the Polish off-license / ‘They don’t mind,’ said the asshole to the legs.”

by Matt Fogelson

5 Apr 2017


Twenty-five years after their first album helped usher in a new form of musical expression, Pearl Jam is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was a senior in college when that debut record, Ten, was released in August 1991. A week later, my father, a 48-year-old non-smoker, would lose his startlingly-short battle with lung cancer.

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Stevie Wonder Takes a Knee as Green Day and Others Also Speak Out at Global Citizen Festival

// Notes from the Road

"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.

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