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Wednesday, February 25 2015

Songs of Imploration and Love: The Music of Tajikistan

For centuries, Tajikistan has seen just about every monarchy, kingdom, religious faith and culture sweep through its land, leaving an indelible impression on its people and music.


Tuesday, February 17 2015

A Call for the Academy to Reconceptualize the Best Original Score Category

So long as the Academy clings to a myopic definition of what an "original" score is, too many deserving composers will be left out come Oscar night.


Monday, February 9 2015

Do iPhones Dream of Boxcars? Joe Ely and Sci-Fi Country

In 1983, road-weary Texan Joe Ely hovers over gadgets and wires, entering a brave new world of technology. Is he creating science-fiction country music?


Wednesday, February 4 2015

Bligg Up!: The Bizarre Swiss Hip-Hop of Rapper Bligg

Swiss rapper Bligg, hip-hop's resident weirdo, reinvents the genre through subversion and humour -- and an alphorn's load of smart, catchy tunes.


Monday, February 2 2015

The Visual Enchantment of Music Photography

Sometimes photographs tell stories that music cannot fully articulate, carrying in their grain long-gone atmospheres.


Friday, January 23 2015

Miraculous Metropolis: A Reflection on Dream Theater’s ‘Scenes from a Memory’

Fifteen years after its release, Dream Theater's fifth LP remains not only the quintet's truest masterpiece, but arguably the greatest progressive metal album ever made.


Monday, January 19 2015

The 2015 Grammys Get Jazz Mostly Wrong, a Little Right

Grammy nominations in jazz are rarely adventurous and usually confusing. Yet this year's slate is intriguing.


Tuesday, January 13 2015

The Act You’ve Known for All These Years: Covering ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band may be the most overanalysed, overexposed album in history. In light of the Flaming Lips' affectionate reimagining, can the inescapable masterpiece ever be surpassed?


Tuesday, January 6 2015

A Blockbuster Turns 30: Alan Light Talks About Prince and ‘Purple Rain’

Music journalist and author of Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain Alan Light talks with PopMatters about Prince's one-of-a-kind perfect album.


Friday, December 19 2014

‘American Interior’: A Multimedia Tale of a Welsh Vision Quest

Gruff Rhys' innovative, multi-platform narrative unfolds the beguiling and intriguing narrative of an enigmatic Welshman seeking out his kind... in America.


Wednesday, December 17 2014

When Kendrick Lamar Hits NPR, We All Win

When everyone feels they can be an expert, how do you reassert your ownership over a topic? By waiting for its crossover moment.


Tuesday, December 16 2014

A Healthy Dose of Darkness: The Best Film Scores of 2014

The year 2014 saw classic composer/director teams hit new highs, as well as a considerable dark streak take over the world of film scoring.


Wednesday, December 10 2014

Six Shots in Ferguson, One Night in New York

Trumpeter Igmar Thomas and his haunting tune, "The Hunted", sums up the most difficult lesson of 2014.


Wednesday, November 26 2014

The Noir Traveler Returns: The Evolving Sound of Alvarius B.

The Invisible Hands have given us a glimpse of Alvarius B.'s (Alan Bishop) view of the world from the center of Cairo. It's not a happy perspective, but there's a hint of hope.


Monday, November 24 2014

In Defense of Not Wanting to Hear Your Band Perform a Favorite Album Live

When a band performs its best album at shows, over and over, it's like they're admitting that they'll never achieve that particular level of greatness again.


Friday, November 21 2014

The Moody Blues: Masters of the Mini Epic

While so many of their progressive rock contemporaries were writing novels in the form of side-long suites, the Moody Blues were masters of the short story.


Thursday, November 20 2014

New Riffs From Jazz Lips: From Eminem to Sun Ra

There's an unending flow of vocal jazz these days, which is a blessing and a curse. Beyond the glut of rehashed standards from 50 years ago, some original work shines.


Thursday, November 13 2014

What Does Heavy Metal Say About Canadian Identity?

This rollicking look at the intersection of heavy metal music and Canadian identity reveals some interesting connections, and raises some important questions, too.


Tuesday, November 4 2014

Sequels, Monsters, Robots, Heroes and Apes (Oh My!): Year Two of ‘The Next Reel’

What does Tom Petty think of Cylons? What does the Polar Bear from LOST know about CPR? Why does everyone think this author is a produce clerk?


Thursday, October 23 2014

Jazz May Be Reeling in Terms of Record Sales, But It’s Thriving As an Art Form

What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?


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