Latest Blog Posts

by Will Layman

24 Aug 2017


Photo: John Rogers (ECM Records)

Every obituary of the guitarist John Laird Abercrombie, who died of heart failure on Tuesday at 72, will mention his first recording on ECM Records, Timeless.

Timeless was the beginning of a long and subtle partnership between a true and popular jazz artist and his producer, a partnership that produced a wonderful recording as recently as this January, Up and Coming, by Abercrombie’s latest quartet.

by Jedd Beaudoin and Jordan Blum

24 Aug 2017


Photo: LASSE HOILE

For over 20 years, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, No Man) has been a major force in modern English progressive rock (among other styles), and his recently released fifth solo LP, To the Bone, maintains that genre-defying excellence very well.

In this introductory episode of the PopMatters Progcast, lifelong progressive rock aficionados Jordan Blum and Jedd Beaudoin explore the context and impact of Wilson’s best studio albums to date—including both solo works and collaborative creations—as well why To the Bone is the most drastically polarizing record he’s ever made.

by Jon Harvey

14 Aug 2017


Photo: Jesse De Florio

The internet never killed rock ‘n’ roll, but it for sure killed much of the mythology that rock ‘n’ roll existed upon. If the journey into the afterlife is anything as portrayed in Starz’ American Gods, then those who pray to rock gods may be greeted by one Tony Esposito, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of White Reaper.

by Evan Klonsky

2 Aug 2017


Let’s talk about John Mayer’s voice. You know the one—those goopy dulcet tones on “Your Body is a Wonderland”, soft and sweet as taffy including all the leftover stickiness that makes you feel like you better go brush your teeth afterward.

Mayer is inseparable from his voice, which might seem like an obvious point to make about anyone other than Mayer. He’s someone who’s spent so long trying to escape his voice—his original teenage swoon instrument—it’s hard to know which one you’re getting these days. Is he the Stevie Ray Vaughan impersonator of John Mayer Trio? The soulful bluesman of Continuum? The detached folk rocker of his last two albums? Jerry Garcia lite with Dead & Co.? Or is it some combination of both, none, and all of the above?

by David Chiu

27 Jul 2017


Imagine you are a relatively unknown and unsigned musical artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia, who recorded and posted online a song you wrote when you were 17 years old. And then about five years later, that six-minute introspective and dramatic song gets randomly spotted on YouTube by a member of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, and who then later contacts you about wanting to record that song for that band’s upcoming album.

Now two years later, your song ends up being on that band’s recently-released new record that also includes material written by Sia, Johnny Marr, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, Charli XCX, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, and the Strokes’ Nick Valensi—in addition to the song being mentioned in Rolling Stone.

//Mixed media

//Blogs

"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

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