Tuesday, October 8 2013
All heavy metal bands burn out eventually, but when and how they end matters most. A good death counts for a lot in the genre, because it marks the final point in a band's quest for immortality.
Wednesday, October 2 2013
The jazz world found its most intrepid explorer in Don Cherry, an adventurous sonic provocateur whose worldly exploits re-drew lines all over the musical map.
Friday, September 27 2013
The great Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of novels. Some, like Get Shorty, were adapted for film. So why do I associate him with smooth jazz? Well, John Lurie had a hand in that.
Wednesday, September 25 2013
A month removed from this year's debacle, it's time to understand that the Video Music Awards are worth reviving, worth enjoying like we did decades ago.
Monday, September 23 2013
In addition to being one of the pivotal bands of the early '70s, Yes perfected prog-rock as a kind of performance art in sound.
Friday, September 20 2013
Some people think that heavy metal's too filthy a lens to gaze at the world through, but most fans don't care who finds metal lewd, crude, or otherwise.
Tuesday, September 17 2013
With each tweet, photo upload, and "twerk" video, Miley Cyrus artfully crafts her star image, always maintaining our interest in how she presents herself.
Wednesday, September 11 2013
The great jazz pianist and NPR host of "Piano Jazz", Marian McPartland, left us a few weeks ago. She will be missed.
Thursday, September 5 2013
PopMatters speaks with Only God Forgives composer Cliff Martinez about working with Nicolas Winding Refn, writing music for bloody movies, and finding success in film music.
Wednesday, September 4 2013
In underground metal, ritualized hymns are brought to the boil in the catacombs of the psyche, pointing to the malevolence that awaits in the darkness of the cosmos, linking the baleful depths of the Earth directly with the ominousness of galaxies overhead.
Monday, August 26 2013
"Dancing in the Street" did not seek the kind of greatness ascribed to it -- it simply woke up one morning and found that greatness bestowed upon it.
Wednesday, August 21 2013
Throughout the political, economic, and social trials that have dominated and threatened to decimate one of the world’s most vibrant cultures, musicians have stood fast—drawing on ancient traditions to give voice to the hopes, fears, and frustrations of the people of Zimbabwe.
Tuesday, August 20 2013
New Radicals sort of invented the term "frenemies", didn't they? Regardless, the group's lone record, Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, still stands as one of the lost treasures of the '90s.
Sunday, August 18 2013
Traditionalism is the key to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, beginning with their devotion to the past -- but it's a past with all the rough edges, those cuts that make us bleed, rendered dull and ineffectual.
Wednesday, August 14 2013
Bassist Stephan Crump makes pop with his wife Jen Chapin, experimental improvisation with guitarist Mary Halvorson, and he's a great mainstream player, too. What can't he do well?
Sunday, August 11 2013
John Fogerty has teamed with a group of contemporary artists to deliver a celebration of his songs and of American music with Wrote a Song for Everyone. It couldn't be a more welcome celebration.
Thursday, August 8 2013
No matter how classically trained (John Williams) or pop-minded (Hans Zimmer) a composer might be, the skill set required for making great movie music is unlike any other form of composition.
Monday, August 5 2013
At once ancient and modern, Istanbul, one of the world's most eclectic and evolving cities, adds yet another element into its cultural melting pot: hip-hop, a music and subculture that has impassioned many Turks -- and infuriated others.
Tuesday, July 30 2013
Will crowdsourced talent discovery kill traditional A&R? Or is it just the boost the industry needs?
Sunday, July 28 2013
For more than a century, immigrants—particularly those from Latin America—have helped forge the cultural identity of the United States. In so doing they've spiced up America's food and thankfully, its music, too.