Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Thursday, Mar 12, 2015
No matter how much one dislikes "Blurred Lines", it's hard to see how the victory of the Gaye estate will be beneficial to artists in the future.

Despite any personal opinions or beliefs one may have about the controversial 2013 hit, music fans have to realize that the verdict reached in this week’s case regarding the similarities of Robin Thicke’s number one single “Blurred Lines” to the classic Marvin Gaye track “Got To Give It Up Pt. 1” is reckless, misguided, and above all just an absolute mistake. The influence of Gaye’s song in “Blurred Lines” is evident, and has been publicly admitted without hesitance by the song’s authors Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. The fact that “Give it Up” inspired “Blurred Lines” is not up for debate, but it’s ultimately not the issue at hand.


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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
Spitting poems from England's ghettos, British rapper Luca Brazi presents a more sombre and thoughtful approach to hip-hop.

He’s from England’s West Country but he sounds like he’s straight out of the Bronx.


Like a strange musical answer to The Lonely Londoners and The Planet of Junior Brown, British rapper Luca Brazi’s solo debut, Dying Proof, bridges the gap between the salty airs of English dives and the danger and panic of the South Bronx. The 20-something MC has been circulating in the UK’s underground hip-hop scenes for a number of years now, as a member of hip-hop collectives Granville Sessions, Moose Funk and B.O.M.B. He’s now just released his first solo album this past summer. It’s the product of everything the rapper has loved about hip-hop, his saving grace from his early school days as a young child growing up in the West Country.


Tagged as: hip-hop, luca brazi
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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014
by Max Qayyum
As the guitarist for A Rocket to the Moon, Nick Santino was worried if fans would follow his solo endeavors. As his 2014 album Big Skies and a recent UK tour has proven ... yes, yes they will.

Nick Santino is well known from his days of being lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in American pop-rock band, A Rocket to the Moon. In 2013 they called it a day, and Santino carried on by himself.


While the split may have come swiftly, Santino moved on. He released a couple of EPs last year, and then released his first solo, full-band album, Big Skies, in May of this year. The record continued where A Rocket to the Moon left of, yet left Santino in a position to add new influences here and there, while expanding his musical career.


Now, being signed to 8123, Santino is touring with the UK on the label’s own tour, supporting alternative-rockers The Maine and indie-pop group Lydia. The tour has been a major success, and PopMatters caught up with Santino in Nottingham to talk about the transition from touring in a big rock band to gracing the stage with just a guitar.


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Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014
Mark Springer's Piano is an album to remind listeners of the possibilities on offer when one is open to chance and emotion.

Possibly the only punker during the UK’s post-punk revolution in the early ‘80s to have a serious understanding and appreciation of Chopin and Stravinsky, Mark Springer was always an outsider amongst the outsiders. As a member of Rip, Rig and Panic, a post-punk band that melded the incendiary attitude of punk with the free-flowing good vibes of funk and jazz, Springer added to the proceedings the unlikely element of classical music. His unusual contributions made him at once an appreciated and welcome colour in the dreary landscape of post-punk, as well as an alienated affiliate.


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Friday, Jun 13, 2014
Ultraviolence benefits not only from stronger song craft, but also from tasteful production that sustains a mood befitting Lana Del Rey’s postmodern Nancy Sinatra shtick.

Lana Del Rey’s debut Born to Die suffered from a crisis-of-authenticity, the outrage and barrage of think-pieces as manufactured as the singer’s found-footage videos and pouting sexuality. But beyond all the hipster handwringing, Born to Die simply didn’t have many great songs, and even standouts like “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” were marred by a limping production style.


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