Columns > Music

Thursday, February 11 2016

Destined for Greatness: A Conversation With Rikard Sjöblom of Beardfish

Beardfish frontman Sjöblom discusses the makings of his latest solo effort, The Unbendable Sleep, as well as the future of Beardfish, Big Big Train, and more.


Wednesday, February 10 2016

When Is Art Beautiful? When Is It Just Boring?

To paraphrase art critic Peter Schjeldahl, beauty is a kind of action and reaction between the work and the viewer, or the listener, or the reader. Beauty happens.


Friday, February 5 2016

Chaos Does Not Mean Despair in Bowie’s Soundscapes

What Bowie's music describes, again and again, is that we were endlessly, relentlessly killing ourselves.


Thursday, February 4 2016

Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Ties That Bind’, the Working Class, and Authenticity

As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.


Monday, January 25 2016

From Yugoslavia to South India: The Rise of Tamil Turbo-folk

Like its Serbian counterpart, Tamil Turbo-folk masquerades as ethno-nationalist resistance against the dislocations brought to bear by nation building, liberalization, and globalization.


Tuesday, January 19 2016

Celestial Sound: Thoughts on Mahler’s Third Symphony

To listen to Mahler is to claim your soul hasn’t been splintered by postmodernity -- even if you hate Mahler and disbelieve in the soul.


Friday, January 15 2016

The Kamasi Washington Phenomenon

PopMatters' jazz critics didn't include Kamasi Washington's The Epic on their "Best of 2015" list, despite its huge acclaim by mainstream critics. Here's why.


Tuesday, January 12 2016

John Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’: Boundaries, Mobility and Honesty

The working class song has to speak of boundaries and ambition, but it also has to say where the performer stands among the people, among the classes—or where he thinks he stands, or wants to stand.


Wednesday, December 9 2015

Yesterday and Today—Jazz Trumpets Across the Divide

Avant garde trumpeter Nate Wooley has chosen to interpret the music of his childhood hero, the conservative Wynton Marsalis. Why not?


Tuesday, December 8 2015

Many Strings to a Fiddle: The (Other)Worldly Sounds of QViolin

An astonishing performer of mixed heritage, Quetzal Guerrero (QViolin) finds a balance between down home earthy blues and the simmering elegance of otherworldly Latin rock.


Thursday, December 3 2015

In Keeping No Secrets: A Conversation with Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria

Drummer Josh Eppard offers a jovial yet highly earnest examination of how his career, personal demons, and pop culture interests relate to Coheed and Cambria's newest disc, The Color Before the Sun.


Tuesday, November 17 2015

The 25 Best Classic Progressive Rock Albums

The purpose of this column has been to revisit, reassess and, above all, celebrate classic prog rock, so it’s inevitable we name names and select the best of the best.


Tuesday, November 10 2015

‘A Town Called Malice’: What’s Happened to Working-Class Music?

Is it possible that the very idea of the working class doesn't exist in popular music today -- as if it's been erased?


Friday, October 30 2015

Black Mass Murder: Extreme Metal and the PMRC

A mainstream metal band like The Black Dahlia Murder is more explicit than anything the Parents Music Resource Center sought to regulate in 1985.


Wednesday, October 21 2015

Darius Jones, Jazz Bohemian

With his new collaboration with French singer Emilie Lesbros, Darius Jones cements his position as a brilliant, model jazz musician in the new century.


Friday, October 16 2015

The Young Turk: Kamufle’s Basement-Deep Hip-Hop

In his full proper debut album, Turkish rapper Kamufle creates brilliant soundscapes that evoke the vibrant and animated colours of graffiti art, where daisy-age hip-hop meets an Eastern sensibility.


Tuesday, October 13 2015

Ryan Adams by Taylor Swift: Authoring ‘1989’

Even if you've never heard Swift's original performances, you're hearing them when you listen to Ryan Adams perform 1989.


Friday, October 9 2015

Turning Dreams Into Reality: A Conversation with Piotr Grudziński of Riverside

Guitarist Piotr Grudziński reflects on the inspirations, processes, and intentions that make Riverside's latest opus, Love, Fear and the Time Machine, another fearless trip into its distinctive and beloved style.


Thursday, October 8 2015

The Los Lonely Wolves, Los Lobos, Is Still Brilliantly Defying Classification

It's hard to imagine an American band that's more inventive, death-defying and affable as Los Lobos. A new book and record reveal why.


Monday, October 5 2015

The Day Sarah Records Died

I first loved and admired Sarah Records not because it had begun, but because it had ended. It seemed to me ending things took much more courage, strength and self-discipline than beginning them.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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