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Sunday, March 25 2007

Fight or Flight: The Dichotomy of Manowar

True metal believers or a mousse-abusing joke? Begrand explores how Manowar, one of the most polarizing and contradictory metal bands of all time, can simultaneously flaunt Spinal Tap-isms and ignite a crowd of 30,000 screaming fans.


Thursday, March 22 2007

Why Don’t the Planets Speak?: An Inquiry Into Music and Language

Speech involves saying something individual in a rigid system of conformity. Music seems to attempt something similar -- or, more appropriately, people attempt something similar through music.


Monday, March 19 2007

P.M. Mixtape, Vol. One

Maybe the sun has set on the days of the cassette tape, a format that made you work for your music. Huff, feeling nostalgic for the "fast forward" and "rewind" buttons, makes his own theoretical cassette mix of oddball hip-hop tunes.


Wednesday, March 14 2007

The Rudest, Crudest, Lewdest, Drunkest Band in Christendom

Extreme was the nature of the Macc Lads' music, as was the nature of reactions to it. Within their deftly created insular world, traits of civility, sensitivity, and compromise were anathemas. Therein lay the foundation of their punk-inspired wit.


Monday, March 12 2007

Bling, Bling, Bia, Bia!: How Hip-Hop Can Survive Beyond Black History Month

If hip-hop is an art, or a larger entity such as a culture, then we must be able to assess it. No body survives unchecked, so what sets hip-hop apart? As its producers and participants, fans and Stans, we must be able to navigate conversations about our actions.


Thursday, March 8 2007

Celebrating John Coltrane, Personally

Spurred on by a couple of anniversaries, a new podcast "Traneumentary", and plenty of memory, Layman reflects on the music and meaning of John Coltrane.


Thursday, March 1 2007

The Revolution Will Not Be in a Stadium

If the Chinese revolution has a soundtrack, it won't be the Rolling Stones' songs; especially given that their ticket prices are more than most Chinese can afford.


Monday, February 26 2007

Rumi-nating on a New Axis

The Sufi poet formerly known as Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi is celebrating 800 years, and the entire spectrum of Persian culture is throwing a party.


Thursday, February 22 2007

Not-So-Strange Noodling

The Crusaders' jazzy soul conjured images of a cool neon wilderness populated with hop-heads, pool-hall hustlers, and midnight cornerboys straight out of Nelson Algren.


Monday, February 12 2007

Moping Around

Whether it comes through teenage rebellion, alienation, or heavy drug use, chronic music appreciation is not typically a choice made due to a desire for group participation; it's more often about wanting or needing to separate oneself.


Wednesday, February 7 2007

Young Machetes and Mere Motion

The Blood Brothers fight dreams with nightmares: unicorns with tar teeth, witches with obscene riches, and carnival graveyards.


Monday, February 5 2007

Welcome to Helluary

Begrand finds refuge from a taxing winter in some of the best metal releases of the still-young year, including a highly twisted album from his neck of the Canadian prairies.


Sunday, February 4 2007

The Purple Experience: Your PopMatters Primer on Prince’s Pop Life

So many Prince albums, but where do you start? Here's a funky little list designed to aid your quest.


Wednesday, January 31 2007

Ali in the Family

Vieux Farka Touré continues his late father's musical legacy with a weathered voice, poetic passion, and a new debut album.


Thursday, January 25 2007

Where Are They Now?: Hip-Hop Learns How to Look Back in Anger (Management)

The year 2006 was notable for when so many highly visible artists stepped up to sharply criticize, yet still support, the culture; when's the last time so many of your top five dead or alive had so much to say?


Monday, January 22 2007

The Sounds of Now, Part Three: Anthony Braxton and the Ethics of Improvisation

Jenkins's latest installment in a series of contemporary composer profiles discusses Anthony Braxton, who seems to have looked to music as a means not to erase or ignore cultural dissonance but rather to confront it directly.


Tuesday, January 16 2007

Tapping the ‘Wire’

The Wire's season-ending musical montage was a culmination, in many ways, of a season filled with musical meaning.


Thursday, January 11 2007

A World Shares the Stage

Beres inspects the 'major guitar and string theme' at this year's globalFEST event in New York, which will host music from Brazil, Cape Verde, Paris, and beyond.


Wednesday, January 10 2007

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Shtick:  The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury

Ian Dury's subversive humor gently ribbed the eccentrics within his own class-culture. His caricatures were vicarious self-parodies, pre-emptive strikes fending off a dominant middle-class inclined to more demeaning and patronizing portraits of its "inferiors".


Tuesday, January 9 2007

Honey Hush

Popular songs like Da Muzicianz' 'Hush' suggests that it's not only okay, but romantic and positive to assume to know what a woman wants, and to act in her best interests, while she may not say otherwise.


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