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Wednesday, May 7 2014

On the Upswing: Craig Handy and Second Line Smith

Saxophonist Craig Handy has a killer new band that combines the jazz-funk of Jimmy Smith with a New Orleans second line groove.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

Our Jason Isbell, Ourselves

Jason Isbell delivered one of the strongest records in 2013, and in doing so, he helped redefine the parameters of Americana.


Thursday, April 24 2014

Omniscient Visions: The Genius of Devin Townsend

There's no modern prog musician whose approaches, innovations, and reinventions are as multifaceted, brave, intricate, and original as those of Devin Townsend.


Tuesday, April 22 2014

Cassette Fever in the Age of Bandcamp

The cassette tape is a miniature monument to a lost age of music; a small casket in which to hide memories and last hopes.


Tuesday, April 15 2014

In Defense of Jesse Winchester

With the news that the singer-songwriter has passed, it's time to look back on someone Bob Dylan once dubbed 'The Greatest Living Songwriter'.


Monday, April 7 2014

I Was Young When I Left Home: How Kurt Cobain’s Voice Resonates

There are times when you hear Kurt Cobain sing that you believe no other voice has ever told the truth about suffering. But it's more complicated than that, isn't it?


Thursday, April 3 2014

A Controlled Lunacy: Brigitte Fontaine’s Manic French Pop

French pop's most peculiar figure has been baffling and delighting audiences for decades with her challenging blend of global music styles.


Thursday, March 27 2014

The Sound of Venezuela’s Restlessness

As protests continue to rage in Venezuela, a traditional Venezuelan spirit is on display. It is thoughtful and reflective, yet opaque. It might be best understood through the music.


Thursday, March 20 2014

Forgotify Rises to the Challenge of Spotify

Forgotify serves as an entry into an internet wormhole, into the many songs that streaming listeners forgot, and it shows us a lot about our habits in the process.


Wednesday, March 19 2014

Is Blue Note Records on the Rise, Again?

One of the great treasures of jazz's past, the Blue Note record label, seems to be enjoying a new golden age. Here are two reasons why.


Wednesday, March 12 2014

On Country Music Outsiders… and Fakers

Let's compare Eric Church's macho, white-power Outsiders to some newly reissued country outsiders from the '70s, the out-gay-country group Lavender Country.


Thursday, March 6 2014

The Holy Trinity: Genesis

During this three album stretch, Genesis evinced as much growth and glory as any of their prog brethren, and the banner they raised still casts a huge and heavy shadow over everything that followed.


Wednesday, March 5 2014

A Melancholy Never Far Away: An Interview with Jóhann Jóhannsson

PopMatters speaks with Jóhann Jóhannsson about his latest venture into music for cinema, his moody and melancholy score for the police thriller, McCanick.


Tuesday, March 4 2014

In Defense of Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ Tour

Seeing Kanye West perform, I learned not only what it's like to see a master at the top of his game, but also what it is that makes the polarizing artist so fascinating.


Thursday, February 27 2014

Pussy Riot Isn’t the Only Band Rocking on Russia

From clever Soviet-era symphonies to current black market recordings, Russian musicians have a long history of working around the state's culture of censorship.


Tuesday, February 25 2014

Who Does Lydia Loveless Think She Is?

With the release of her two new records, Lydia Loveless watches you watching her. Maybe you should listen, instead.


Thursday, February 20 2014

The Rap Pack: Italy’s Indie-Rappers

Italy’s independent hip-hop scene has so far produced some of the brightest, most interesting artists on European shores.


Thursday, February 13 2014

You Can Achieve Greatness! Harnessing Your Pop Culture Spirit Animal

Just as our bodies are made of recycled stars, our thoughts are spawned from bits of songs and books and movie dialogue. So what happens when your star gets old?


Thursday, February 6 2014

The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.


Friday, January 31 2014

How Can a Listener Ignore the Influence of the Market on the Beautiful Art of Jazz?

Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.


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