Recent Features

16 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Films of 2016

PopMatters presents a list of the best films that surfaced in 2016 and impressed us with their cinematic visions of where we’ve been.

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The 12 Best World Music Albums of 2016

There’s no short list that can be truly comprehensive of all the music in a single country, much less a planet, but there are always a few promising places to start.

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Trumpaholism, or, Is “Liquor Before Beer, Never Fear” a Piece of Fake News?

How I worry when I drink, and why Distilled Knowledge is diffuse knowledge.

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NPR Music Host Bob Boilen on the Songs That Impacted Musician’s Lives

The radio personality collected artist interviews about their life-changing songs in a new book. He discussed it here with PopMatters.

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Angels, Sparks, Flashdance: Frank DiMino Returns With ‘Old Habits Die Hard’

The voice of Angel, Frank DiMino, offers first solo release, reflects on the power of song.

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If Studs Terkel Were Alive Today, What Would Steve Bannon Tell Him?

Terkel biographer Alen Wieder reminds us that if he were alive today, Studs would actually listen to the voices of the Trump voters -- all of them.

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13 Dec 2016 // 11:40 AM

The 70 Best Albums of 2016

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving hip-hop scene... from soul and Americana to rocking and popping indie... 2016's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

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On the Robot Zombies of Angkor Wat in John Burdett’s ‘The Bangkok Asset’

The sixth novel in John Burdett's Bangkok detective series is a dispiriting, dismaying mess. Is there still hope for recovery or is the series in a death spiral?

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Get in the Ring: Mike Watt Talks ‘Ring Spiel ‘95’

In 1995, Mike Watt released his first solo album and embarked on a tour with some talented, famous and supportive friends. He looks back on that time now with fondness but says that, at first, he wasn't sure what the future would bring.

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Altering Your Course Through a Song: An Interview With NPR’s Bob Boilen

Co-host of 'All Things Considered' on NPR, Bob Boilen discusses his book, Your Song Changed My Life, and what music has affected him.

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Home Alone: Laird Koenig’s ‘The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane’

Novelist Laird Koenig managed to capture the world of children with an exactitude that is rare nowadays. His children are often sagacious -- and sometimes they're sociopaths.

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High School Angst With an Edge: An Interview With Hailee Steinfeld

In her last few weeks as a teenager, Hailee Steinfeld talks about making The Edge of Seventeen and navigating her young acting career.

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Whalebone: An Interview with Islands

In celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Islands debut album, bandleader Nick Thorburn contemplates what he's getting out of the project and if this might just be the band's last hurrah.

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The 25 Best Album Re-Issues of 2016

The music world saw amazing reissues from all over the genre map, spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and soul to folk.

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How About Some Noah Baumbach, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Altman & Akira Kurosawa for the Holidays?

If you ever wonder why certain elements get tossed into a movie, remember: beauty never needs to be justified. These and other thoughts on recent Blu-ray releases.

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Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ Trumps Reality TV

Shakespeare's As You Like It employed every signature reality show convention three and a half centuries before television even existed.

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To the Sound of Music: Interview With ‘La La Land’s Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz

In the thick of Awards season, director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz talk about their dazzling film, La La Land.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2016

In 2016, indie pop's highlights often went hand-in-hand with a general feeling of fading away, falling apart, saying goodbye.

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7 Dec 2016 // 2:00 AM

The Best Songs of 2016

From electronic to soul... from American to rock... from hip-hop to rockin' and poppin' indie... 2016 was a stellar year in popular music.

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6 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

Robert Altman, the Blackguard of American Elections

At times it feels as if Altman is forcing us to drink drain cleaner in order for us to feel the gut wrenching pain of the farce that American democracy has become.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

// Sound Affects

"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.

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