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Wednesday, September 25 2013

In Defense Of ... Saving the VMAs

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

The Holy Trinity: Yes

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

A Very Dirty Lens: How Can We Listen to Offensive Metal?

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

Is Miley Cyrus a Master of Social Media?

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

“Later”, Marian McPartland

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

Getting Good at Getting Dark: An Interview with Cliff Martinez

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

The Sound the Earth Makes While Vomiting the Grotesque

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

How to Make Political Pop Without Trying

"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

Zimbabwe and the Beauty in the Struggle

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

In Defense Of ... New Radicals

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

The Mind-Numbing Conservatism of Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros

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, from Pop to Avant-Garde and Back Again

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 Is Still Square, But He’s Kinda Cool, Too

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

Scores of Summer 2013: Pulse-Heightening Horror, Twee Indie, Thunderous Action and Old-School Blues

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

Istanbul Calling: Hip-Hop in the Melting Pot

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

In with the A&R Crowd

Will crowdsourced talent discovery kill traditional A&R? Or is it just the boost the industry needs?


Sunday, July 28 2013

Latin Music Is American Music

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.


Wednesday, July 24 2013

In Defense Of ... Boycotting the Corporate Concert Industry

$400 for a VIP package to see Matchbox Twenty? Nearly $300 smackers for a regular ticket into the Legends of Summer tour? How much is enough when it comes to the big business end of the live music industry?


Tuesday, July 23 2013

Nippon Riffin’: Japan’s Nastiest (and Best) Metal, Part II

We're tackling death, doom, blackened thrash and black and sludge metal, here; the heavier end of the Japanese metal scene is our destination.


Monday, July 22 2013

Nippon Riffin’: Japan’s Nastiest (and Best) Metal, Part I

Japan has a proud history of exporting some fantastically thunderous metal. This month's Ragnarök is a two-part exploration of the Japanese metal scene, covering its history and an in-depth look at five of the nation's very best metal bands.


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