Thursday, December 10 2009
It seems every year I say it, but this year it's truer than ever: this was one hell of a year for metal. If you think the Mastodon record is good (which it is) just wait 'til you hear this list’s top three.
High on Fire encapsulate everything metal should be: aggressive, epic, and uncompromising; its lead man's very being cries out “Seek and Destroy”.
Tuesday, December 8 2009
During the height of his career, Bill Monroe fielded a baseball team that would organize pickup games in each town in order to drum up publicity for that evening's concert.
Thursday, December 3 2009
Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.
Monday, November 30 2009
The first phrase to learn in Budapest has to be "Maga sokkal jobban tud angolul, mint én magyarul", or “Your English is far better than my Hungarian.”
Monday, November 23 2009
John Hollenbeck recombines the familiar in compositions that are startlingly new. His new Eternal Interlude is among the best jazz of 2009. Here, he explains his quirky, fresh methods.
Tuesday, November 17 2009
What started out a back-to-basics project has turned into one of the coolest, most forward-thinking American metal bands of this decade.
Monday, November 16 2009
Hip-hop, as a culture and a musical genre, moves at lightning speed. Keeping up requires an awareness of our expectations and a willingness to revisit our assumptions.
Thursday, November 5 2009
The Rockist attends his most eagerly anticipated metal show in over a decade only to find... the Banana Splits?
Tuesday, November 3 2009
In the late '30s and '40s, Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys were the biggest stars in country music, but when he appeared onstage at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, he did so after a number of years spent toiling in relative obscurity.
Sunday, November 1 2009
At a time when country music was shining like a new dime, John Hartford and his collaborators were digging into old time music to find something new.
Wednesday, October 21 2009
Two recent releases by leading saxophonists Chris Potter and James Carter raise the question of the utility—or the misuses—of virtuosity in jazz.
Tuesday, October 20 2009
The Five Deadly Venoms are leading the charge of a thriving bluegrass scene in Brooklyn.
Tuesday, October 13 2009
With four landmark albums this decade alone, Converge has saved its best work for last. Vocalist Jacob Bannon talks with PopMatters about his music, his art, and his insanely talented band.
Sunday, October 11 2009
K'naan's The Messengers series is a trilogy of episodes designed to highlight the genius of Nigeria's Fela Kuti, Jamaica's Bob Marley, and the United States' Bob Dylan.
Wednesday, October 7 2009
In 1989, I loathed the New Kids on the Block with a passion and intensity that only junior high-aged children can bring to their study of popular culture, yet when Hangin’ Tough Live hit DVD, I had to see it.
Tuesday, October 6 2009
Johnny Cash was a serious scholar of music, and this knowledge was reflected in his own work, which included covers of everyone and everything from Jimmie Rodgers to Nine Inch Nails, oldtime hymns to reggae.
Thursday, October 1 2009
Manchester's working class population showed the world that trade unions can resist authority. Such solidarity and class consciousness is heard in the arrogant sneers of the Stone Roses and Oasis.
From Marshall Crenshaw looking spiffy in a powder gray suit with matching fedora to ... Carnival Cruise ship reggae?
Wednesday, September 30 2009
Kristofferson at times evokes Leonard Cohen, with a voice that pulls the listener into the depths of darkened barrooms, whether to share a sob story or a bit of tongue-in-cheek sagacity. His 20th album is out soon.