Recent Features
A Chance to be Uncanned: An Interview with Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot talks about how she got switched from classical to jazz, why she decided to cover "Over the Rainbow", and how a "lust for comfort destroys the passion of the soul".

READ more
Reviewing Jazz of 2009: Wherefore Art Thou, Blue Note?

The best jazz of 2009 did not come, even a little bit, from the storied "major labels" of jazz. What happened to Blue Note and Verve this year?

READ more
The Best Americana of 2009

This year saw a flood of plaid-shirted indie-roots bands building on the beardy throwbacks who gained country-rock traction in 2008. And while mainstream country music continued its evolution into '80s pop metal, plenty of roots acts turned the other direction with back-to-basics records.

READ more

15 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best Country Music of 2009

Country music purists may be stockpiling vinyl and dry goods for the Swiftocalypse, but all things considered, 2009 was a pretty good year for country music.

READ more
Good Memories of Bad Times: Wolverine Under the Boardwalk

Under the Boardwalk taps hidden micro-genre in Wolverine, reaffirming the inexhaustible inventiveness of the character, and delivering hard comment on the need for human resilience.

READ more
I Still Love H.E.R. (And So Should Everyone Else)

One surprisingly successful technique for converting hip-hop haters and deepening the existing fan's love for the culture is to expose them to "old school hip-hop".

READ more

14 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best Hip-Hop of 2009

2009 was the Year of the Comeback, filled with powerful storytelling, dense lyricism, and sprawling departures.

READ more

14 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best Jazz of 2009

This was a great year for melding innovation and tradition. The trend continues of piano trios playing boldly, creating a new language for this venerable jazz form. And other kinds of groups have been equally inventive, particularly in working through what it means to be a jazz group -- a notion that has evolved beyond trumpet-saxophone-piano-bass-drums.

READ more
Take It From an Honest Man: An Interview with A.A. Bondy

After spending nearly a decade in grunge band Verbena, A.A. Bondy reinvented himself as a working-class folk singer and feels like he is playing the most sincere music of his life.

READ more
Troublemakers: Adam Lambert and Will Phillips

Adam Lambert and Will Phillips have a lot in common. Both have publically pushed boundaries of what is deemed socially allowable.

READ more
Staying on the Edge: An Interview with Damon Elliott

Having produced hits for Destiny's Child, Bone Thugz-n-Harmony, and P!nk, Damon Elliott talks to PopMatters about his career and his work on that Fame remake.

READ more

13 Dec 2009 // 8:59 PM

Kathy ‘Oprah’ Griffin?

We don’t need Oprah Lite or Oprah 2.0, we need someone who’s a true Oprah-in-Training. And the only person who can claim that title is... Kathy Griffin.

READ more

10 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best Electronic Albums of 2009

We have no idea where the hell electronic music is going in the next decade, but if you can't find something in the wide stew of sonics out there to get excited about, check your pulse. You're probably dead.

READ more
The Best Psych Albums of 2009

Psychedelia has influenced so many things in 2009 -- whether the band is labeled freak-folk, psych-pop, or garage psychedelia to name a few -- that the creative approach to songwriting has influenced and been adopted by so many genres that barely any independent label has remained untouched by its reaches.

READ more
The Best Metal Albums of 2009

It seems every year I say it, but this year it's truer than ever: this was one hell of a year for metal. If you think the Mastodon record is good (which it is) just wait 'til you hear this list’s top three.

READ more
Matt Pike Don’t Need No Stinking Shirt

High on Fire encapsulate everything metal should be: aggressive, epic, and uncompromising; its lead man's very being cries out “Seek and Destroy”.

READ more
Precious and Lee Daniels: State of the Race

In adapting author Sapphire's difficult novel for the screen, director Lee Daniels is helping change the way spectators view African American women by deploying stereotypes and then exploding them.

READ more
Forget McCloud (or Maybe Not, Baudrillard)

Scott McCloud's text does not make any concessions to doubters. It gives people permission to start from the presumption that comics are 'real' art, as well as 'real' literature.

READ more

9 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best World Music of 2009

In 2009, well-known artists reliably produced solid albums, lesser-known artists did things that were often surprising and successful, archives were trawled by enthusiasts, old songs were excavated, polished, and compiled, and labels both large and small kept moving stubbornly on.

READ more

9 Dec 2009 // 9:00 PM

The Best Bluegrass of 2009

For bluegrass fans, 2009 was a great year for music, a bad year for frugality. Though we're only listing the Top Ten, there were many excellent artists and albums worthy of a mention.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Fire Emblem Heroes' Is a Bad Crossover

// Moving Pixels

"Fire Emblem Heroes desperately and shamelessly wants to monetize our love for these characters, yet it has no idea why we came to love them in the first place.

READ the article