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

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Sep 5, 2013
"I think it’s important to respect the past and honor what we accomplished and what that meant for so many people, including myself."

The last time William Beckett graced the stage at Warped Tour, he was fronting emo pop-rock act the Academy Is… in 2008 and was finally on the verge of the big mainstream breakthrough so many fans assumed was inevitable. Instead, the Academy Is… stands as an example for many as to what major label politics can do to a promising indie band, as the group parted ways in 2011 under continued pressure and frustration to deliver radio-worthy material.


In its wake, the band left some of the most classic and revered music the scene has known. Although The Academy Is… was no more, there was never a doubt that Beckett was done creating. Indeed, he emerged last year with three new EPs as part of his new solo endeavor before being signed to Equal Vision Records and recording what will be his first full album as a solo artist. That album, Genuine and Counterfeit, maintains the heart of what fans have grown to love from Beckett, but explores new sonic territory as a brave, forward-thinking pop record.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Aug 29, 2013
Brooklyn dance rock veterans !!! are currently overseas on tour in support of their excellent new album THR!!!ER. PopMatters was able to catch up with the band to discuss the origins of the group's punctuation-friendly handle, diva vocals, Big Audio Dynamite, and the strength of the hottest !!! lineup to date.

Brooklyn dance rock veterans !!! are currently overseas on tour in support of their excellent new album THR!!!ER. PopMatters was able to catch up with the Sacramento-born group’s founding frontman Nic Offer via email to discuss the origins of the group’s punctuation-friendly handle, diva vocals, Big Audio Dynamite, and the strength of the hottest !!! lineup to date.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013
"Some bands are just there and they go through the motions and all these bands do the same things over and over again and no one is feeling it."

When Beau Bokan took over as lead vocalist of blessthefall in 2008, the band was at a crossroads. The shelf-life in today’s metalcore scene is short, to say the least, and the band had just parted ways with lead man Craig Mabbitt, who left for the supposedly greener grasses of Escape the Fate. It didn’t take long for Bokan to stake his claim though, as the band’s 2009 release Witness stands as a prime example of the genre at its finest.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013
Whether you understand his music or not, Stetson's work is undeniably powerful -- a walled-in chamber of voluptuous white noise in which the artist holds the addressees of his wayward signals captive. He speaks to PopMatters about his new album, his 100-year-old sax, and more.

Call it uneasy listening.


Colin Stetson has not made the listening experience of his music easy for his audiences. But what Stetson has accomplished is bringing his brand of jazz to a wider mass that may have overlooked the genre, perhaps dismissing it as marginal music. Though he is quick to point out that his music is not exclusively jazz, his work is infused with the wisdom of the jazz greats that came before him: free jazz pioneers like Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, and Evan Parker seem to be points of reference. Yet the gripping tonalities in his music, while never even grazing the outer perimeters of pop music still share the immediacy of pop.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013
After breaking records and becoming one of the biggest millennial pop stars in the world, Katy Perry's big comeback single is surprisingly safe, timid, and -- worst of all -- just plain boring.

There was a time when Katy Perry was considered a commercial disappointment, believe it or not.


Although Katy Perry’s last album, Teenage Dream, came out all the way back in 2010, it sure doesn’t feel that way, what with her media omnipresence being felt on the radio (which still plays her five chart-toppers from that disc) to film to even being a tabloid queen with her courtship and eventual breakup from comedian Russell Brand. Yet even with two #1’s already to her belt prior to the album’s release (those songs of course being “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls”), the fact that Perry’s album debuted with sales of “only” 200,000 made people think that perhaps Perry wasn’t the big-seller everyone thought she could be. Of course, her consistency is what made her last—not everyone can release an onslaught of broadly-appealing pop like that on such a regular basis, ditching the meta-qualities of Lady Gaga in favor of things much more simple and direct—and it’s that very reason why she was even able to make a film, perfume line, have fans who call themselves “KatyCats”, etc.


While promos for her new album Prism show Perry doing things like burning her iconic blue wig to showcase an artistic rebirth (echoes of George Michael, anyone?), the long-anticipated premiere of her new song “Roar” shows that, despite having just come off what may be her single finest songwriting achievement, her new track, while not an outright failure, is a surprisingly flat entry into her discography, doubly so for something that is supposed to usher in her new blockbuster album.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.