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

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 16, 2014
by Chris Kopcow
Weezer's new album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, walks the tenuous line between redressing the band's follies and giving in to banal fan service.

In 2008, Weezer released “Pork and Beans” and “Troublemaker”, the first two singles off their third self-titled album, colloquially referred to as “The Red Album”. In these songs, frontman Rivers Cuomo takes a stand to say that he’s “doin’ things [his] own way and never giving up” and that he “ain’t got a thing to prove to you.” It’s not hard to see this as him shrugging off the criticisms that the band faced since the early ‘00s, when they streamlined their sound into something a little more pristine and a lot more goofy and frivolous.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
Making the big dumb rock gesture isn't always the cool thing to do. But a good musician always knows when it's best to do it anyway.

In Noisey’s British Masters interview series, there is an exchange from the episode spotlighting once-and-future Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr that delights me to no end. When asked what the impulse behind his laying down a fist pump-inducing solo on the Smiths single “Shoplifters of the World Unite” was, the normally anti-rockist Marr first searches for the right words, then simply admits it felt right to just go for it (well, his actual phrasing was far more blunt—the curious can view the footage for his uncensored phrasing below). Marr then expresses his joy at watching a YouTube video featuring some long-hair dude rocking out to the solo in question (“It was worth it just for that guy’s response”), and goes on to state he never took a shine to heavy metal, only to then immediately recount the time the Smiths (“That’s everybody in the band”, he relishes emphasizing to the interviewer) went to a Van Halen concert. Fixating mainly on Eddie Van Halen’s pleased-to-be-here approach to performing, Marr recalls, “It was so brilliant to see someone sort of carried away by, like, dumb-ass rock ‘n’ roll, you know, and how brilliant he was.”


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
Articles hailing "the death of the music industry" are a dime a dozen, but recent stories about album sales, iTunes Radio, and radio audience shares -- when bundled together -- indicate that the big shift everyone has feared is actually genuinely happening.

The United States is at an absolutely terrifying tipping point, and it’s all because of one terrifying number: “1%-2%”.


You see, ever since Napster and the music industry’s best year ever being at the peak of the millennial boy-band boom, physical album sales have gradually declined as digital has slowly inched its way towards becoming the dominant musical format. We’ve seen articles about this time and time again, and it wasn’t too long ago that a video went viral wherein modern children were asked to try and play music on a Walkman, and they were hilariously confused.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014
Dave Brockie forced GWAR fans to take absurdity very seriously. He gave hope to kids all over the world, suggesting that creativity, humor, and heavy metal might be infinitely more powerful than the stultifying, small-minded idiocy that they saw all around them.

I first came into contact with GWAR when I was about 13 years old. This would have been about 1993 when my friends and I somehow came across a copy of GWAR’s album America Must Be Destroyed in the only record store in the small town in Northern California where I grew up. This was the high era of grunge, and the music that we were listening to took itself very seriously. Like so many young kids, we looked to popular music for examples of the kinds of people we wanted to be. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins suggested the possibility of channeling our feelings of awkward pre-teen alienation into something cool, or at least fashionable.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Mar 6, 2014
Everyone's favorite avant-garde pop weirdo is at it again, and with the recent videos taking on a more aquatic vibe, the music, thankfully, remains as top-quality as ever.

iamamiwhoami has had a stellar couple of years. Since Jonna Lee and Robin Kempe-Bergman’s audio-visual project began back in 2010, they have been creating unique visual and sonic landscapes for us to explore, with the rather suggestive video for “y” even garnering north of 15 million views on YouTube. Finally getting around to playing concerts, 2012’s kin proved to be one of the year’s best albums, and all of the project’s earlier work was housed in last year’s compilation album bounty. In a very short time, iamamiwhoami has created one of the most forward-thinking discographies in recent memory, giving us thrills we haven’t had since Björk was in her prime.


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.