Columns > Music

Monday, August 10 2015

No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.


Friday, August 7 2015

Lush Life: The Music of Brazil’s Doris Monteiro

Doris Monteiro, Brazil's "Queen of Radio", offered in 1976 what was perhaps her finest musical declaration with Agora, a now obscure and luxurious treasure of Brazilian pop-delights.


Wednesday, August 5 2015

Reappraising Ian Anderson’s ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’

Minstrel in the Gallery seems as autobiographical as any Jethro Tull album, before or after, and there is a vulnerability and sensitivity that the songwriter was simply growing into.


Tuesday, August 4 2015

Let Us Now Praise Dale Watson, American Treasure

Dale Watson wants to secede from country music and all we can do is hope that this is one rebellion that comes to a happy end.


Tuesday, July 21 2015

When Do Misogynistic Lyrics Become Hate Speech?

Hip-hop, free speech and misogyny at North by Northeast.


Monday, July 20 2015

Why Country Music Really Needs Kacey Musgraves

At a time when mainstream country music is perceived as too pop, Musgraves has the potential to bring it back to the basics -- and in a progressive fashion, too.


Friday, July 17 2015

The Resurgent Power of Miles Davis’ Late Music

A new box set of Miles Davis' appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival remind us of his restless need to evolve -- and several new records remind us of how his later styles live on.


Wednesday, July 8 2015

Afropunk Is Officially a Brand and That’s a Good Thing

There is a large community of alt-black folks out there, and Afropunk has given them a big tent to party under.


Tuesday, June 23 2015

Meditations in Sound: The Jazz Africana of Pharoah Sanders

Exploring the realms of African mysticism, Pharoah Sanders walks an extraordinary path through the hinterland of jazz music's otherworld.


Thursday, June 18 2015

Steve Coleman’s Analogies in Various Places

The music constantly shifts and moves in Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance's Synovial Joints, flexing one set of instruments against another in a creative tension.


Thursday, June 11 2015

Keeping the Acclaim: The Legacy of Coheed and Cambria’s ‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV’

A decade after its release, Coheed and Cambria's third full-length album remains the group's highest benchmark, as well as one of the genre's best modern albums.


Monday, June 8 2015

A Nightly Ritual: Bob Dylan’s Never-Changing Set List

Bob Dylan's current show is a book musical without the book, crafted by the American Shakespeare.


Monday, May 18 2015

Ubiquitous Grooves: A Vinyl Obituary

Perhaps these days our real choice is not between buying vinyl or digital, but between listening and not listening.


Wednesday, May 13 2015

The Story of Billie Holiday’s Life Shouldn’t Overshadow the Power of Her Music

To say that Billie Holiday's songs remain memorable because we know she lived a hard life does her artistry a most insulting disservice.


Friday, May 8 2015

Jóhann Jóhannsson on Composing as Storytelling

PopMatters talks with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson about his role in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, for which he won a Golden Globe.


Wednesday, May 6 2015

Spectacle of Empty Gestures: Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”

The problem isn't that Rihanna's "American Oxygen" fails as political art, it's that we might consider it a success instead of a mere gesture.


Tuesday, May 5 2015

Covering Cover Songs

Cover songs don't have to be all that bad. Just listen to what Becca Stevens and Jason Moran have been doing lately, and you'll see.


Friday, April 24 2015

Status Flow: The Kingly Rhymes of Marracash

A household name in his native country, Italy has in Marracash one of its biggest contenders of hip-hop.


Wednesday, April 22 2015

Beyond Record Store Day: Digging Up Some Choice Used Americana Vinyl

There are plenty of good reasons to visit an actual record store besides that one hyped day in April.


Wednesday, April 8 2015

Bill O’Reilly’s Rock & Roll Machine

Nostalgia has its uses, its benefits. But is it useful and beneficial when it obscures the reality of the past and present, usually in the service of power, prestige, and making a buck?


//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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