Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Columns > Music

Wednesday, March 1 2006

The Sounds of Now: Brian Ferneyhough

In the first of a series of contemporary composer profiles, Jenkins discusses Brian Ferneyhough, whose complex scores force performers to confront the boundaries of the possible.


Wednesday, February 22 2006

Feminine But Not Feminist

Why some 'girl groups' must be identified as such and others feel inclined to avoid feminist descriptors: Cober-Lake gauges the cumulative effect of gender-obsessed definitions.


Thursday, February 16 2006

Wild Wanda Jackson

The self-described 'Fujiyama Mama' of '50s rockabilly was a hard-headed, bare-knuckled antithesis to the era's prevailing gender expectations.


Tuesday, February 14 2006

The Profits of Doom

A once-uncool and admittedly limiting metal subgenre is poised to become the Next Big Thing in loud music -- that is, if the metal community lets it guard down long enough to accept it.


Sunday, February 5 2006

If 6 Was ‘06…

With the ritualistic deluge of year-end music lists barely behind us, Nishimoto offers up a different kind of list to help hip-hop's 2006 future learn from its 2005 mistakes.


Tuesday, January 31 2006

Stop Playing with Your Ticket: An Investigation of Concert-going Practices

Feeling stifled by symphonic stodginess? Jenkins reviews concert-going practices of previous centuries and suggests ways to improve the concert experience in our own.


Thursday, January 26 2006

Sweet Relief

What if you could have the majestic intensity of metal music without the overblown male bravado? One Dutch band's frontwoman sheds some light on goth-tinged rock and single-handedly alters the dimensions of doom.


Thursday, January 12 2006

Chuck Berry: A-Merry-Can Rebel

Hail! Hail! One of rock 'n' roll's most innovative mavericks whose dissenting rebellion was fueled by subversive humor.


Tuesday, January 10 2006

Songs Without Words, or So They Say: A Meditation on Titles

Exactly how should the title of a wordless piece of music influence our experience of the music itself? Jenkins muses on how titles interact with the instrumental pieces they represent and, furthermore, on musical selections with no titles at all.


Tuesday, December 20 2005

Playing Ashamed

A tale of two songs, both with complicated manifestations of male sexuality that explicitly broach gratification and possession in the shadow of the Ying Yang Twins' 'Wait (The Whisper Song)'.


Sunday, December 18 2005

The Best Metal Albums of 2005

From metalcore to hardcore, guttural growls to soaring falsettos, and unabashedly sludgetastic to downright operatic, the cream of this year's metal crop is as eclectic as it is provocative.


Thursday, December 15 2005

Out of Proportion: Understanding the Medieval Motet

There is a parallel heard in the complex, seemingly conflicted harmony of 13th century music to today's dissonant world. As we struggle to fold our differences into an orchestrated 'global' accord, we might do well to challenge ourselves to stop, and truly listen.


Thursday, December 1 2005

Pickin’ Up the Pieces: Sampling from the Great Producers

What makes a hip-hop song dope? It's not just about the hook, it's not just about the drops, it's not just about the scratch chorus, and it sure as hell ain't about a salary; it's about a totality.


Sunday, November 27 2005

Forever Undying

Metal's major players are getting more powerful as they get older. Their refusal to soften in accordance with their maturity proves but one thing: when it comes to metal, age ain't nothing but a number.


Tuesday, November 22 2005

A Historicist Manifesto: Why Classical Matters

Classical music, as a culturally archaic archetype of stodginess, has long been disassociated from a contemporary relevance. Can we make it meaningful again now that we've told Beethoven to roll over?


Thursday, November 17 2005

Cab Calloway: Original Rapper

Rhythmic emphases, rhyme infatuations, celebrations of decadence, slang, bling, and an overall manifestation of cool: Cab Calloway was hip-hop's preeminent godfather.


Wednesday, November 2 2005

Keeping an Eye on Mother and Baby

Did Ronnie Spector and Tina Turner play subversive feminist roles under the banner of male-dominated pop music? Or did we simply mistake stilted sexual roles for the progressive politics we desired?


Thursday, October 13 2005

Regeneration

At long last, indie kids and mainstream critics no longer have to listen to their metal music in clandestine shame. Metal's in the midst of an artistic renaissance, and, as Begrand explains, it's a headbanger's ball out there.


Wednesday, October 12 2005

Laughin’ Louis Armstrong: The Trickster

Satchmo's subversive humor struck multiple targets simultaneously: it commented on the very music he was transforming; and, as a survival tool, it presented a league of oppressors with unexpected resistance.


Thursday, August 25 2005

Down With the King

'To Elvis', Jet concluded, 'people are people regardless of race, color or creed.'


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.