Columns > Music

Thursday, September 23 2010

Return of the Teutonic Terrors

German greats Accept have done the the unthinkable, successfully replacing one of the most inimitable frontmen in the metal world.

Sunday, September 19 2010

Wales:  So “Cool Cymru” Part II

Not so beholden to British traditions, Welsh bands are as likely to be influenced by US music as UK music. Indeed, Cardiff is sometimes called the “New Seattle” due to its prevalence of (post-)grunge bands.

Monday, September 13 2010

Six Packs Ain’t Nothing More Than EPs With a Working-Class Name

EP sounds like an academic term. “Six pack” makes people think of beer, of a tough-guy’s abs, or Six Pack, the 1982 race-car comedy starring Kenny Rogers.

Sunday, September 12 2010

Soundscape Mix #8: Orchestral Werks

Our latest free mix tape has a certain sense of refinement carried through tracks by the Cinematic Orchestra, the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, and Casiokids. But, overall, this mix should be considered as seriously as a tuxedo t-shirt. Fun rules.

Thursday, August 26 2010

Soundscape Mix #7: Ad Noiseam

Berlin's Ad Noiseam has quietly become one of the world's penultimate electronic labels. Featuring recent tracks from Larvae, Raoul Sinier, the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Broken Note, and Roel Funcken, PopMatters' latest free mix proves that Ad Noiseam is a force to be reckoned with.

Tuesday, August 24 2010


How do you follow up the best metal album of 2009? By putting out one of the best Americana albums of 2010, of course.

Sunday, August 22 2010

Chilled to Spill: How The Oil Spill Ruined Chillwave’s Summer Vacation

Empty nostalgia or a realignment of values, chillwave's alchemical waste-sounds may be on the cusp of a deadbeat summer.

Wednesday, August 18 2010

Hip-Hop Storytellers: The Heist Motif

Bluster and bravado are considered par for the course in hip-hop, but rappers adopt cunning personas to tell stories of money, power, and respect.

Tuesday, August 17 2010

Sam Bush: Still Rockin’ That Bluegrass Train

In the pantheon of bluegrass pickers, Sam Bush is the default leader. Still, Bush remembers playing onstage with Bill Monroe in the early '70s, and after he showcased his kinetic picking technique on the mandolin, Monroe leaned over and told him to “stick to the fiddle”.

Wednesday, August 11 2010

Less Is More Satanic: A Prescription of Restraint and Subtlety for Slayer

Who writes lyrics more menacing than those of thrash-metal legends Slayer? Pretty much everyone.

Sunday, August 8 2010

Ten Reasons to Love Jason Moran

With his new recording Ten, pianist Jason Moran marks a decade of playing by his great Bandwagon trio. Listeners should count themselves lucky.

Thursday, August 5 2010

Feeding Grapes to Cannibals: Tropicália and the Evolution of Pop

The tropicalists devoured string quartets, Penny Lane horn solos, war marches, Ezra Pound, Stockhausen and Finnegans Wake -- and then regurgitated an anti-nationalist manifesto.

Wednesday, August 4 2010

Soundscape Mix #6: Cats

Our new mix features tunes from Jaga Jazzist, Broadcast, Dosh and many more as a free download. So, here's to life, and all the creatures great and small that enrich our days in uncountable ways.

Monday, August 2 2010

Jukebox Heroes: A Long Delayed Return to Classic Rock—Which Can Be Pretty Damn Good

Maybe classic rock's most bothersome aspect is that it traffics in arguably one of the most fertile creative periods in rock history, but leaves the impression that most bands never wrote more than three or four songs.

Sunday, August 1 2010

Sing, Memory

It’s comforting to think that no matter how addled my mind gets, I’ll always be able to temporarily return to a clearer past with the help of a song or two, playing in my brain.

Tuesday, July 27 2010

Wales: So “Cool Cymru” Part I

While England was exporting the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who '60s, Wales offered up Shirley Bassey, Mary Hopkin, and Tom Jones. Things changed, thankfully, and Super Furry Animals became the heart and soul of the Wales “Cool Cymru” movement.

Wednesday, July 21 2010

Hip-Hop Storytellers: The Vignette

"That story is over, but my rhyme ain't done." Vignettes are important tools in hip-hop's rich and plentiful storytelling tradition.

Monday, July 19 2010

The World According to Country Radio: It’s Pretty Basic, Baby

Country is a genre with its own sense of time. New songs on country radio aren't necessarily new. The songs aren't interested in capturing a point in time, instead, they're all about depicting the essentials of life.

Thursday, July 15 2010

It Was Only Yesterday L.A. Went Up in Flames

Langston Hughes’ proverbial California raisin in the sun exploded to a funky beat. I stared blankly past the familiar storefronts, into a world I could barely grasp. How civil a society was it that my daughter was about to join?

Monday, July 12 2010

Temporal Warp and Your Brain: Side Effects of Classics Hits Radio

Classic hits radio is a manifestation of the ancient oral cultural practices which never go away but rather interpenetrate modern literate culture in all kinds of ways: children's superstitions and playground rhymes; urban legends; chain letters and emails.

//Mixed media

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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