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Thursday, October 23 2014

Subverting the Rules: An Interview with Cory Branan

Cory Branan's brand of rocking country doesn't fit very well into music industry slots, but the Nashville-based songwriter is carving an idiosyncratic niche for himself regardless.


Wednesday, October 22 2014

“Music Requires a Journey Out of You”: An Interview with John Cowan

New Grass Revival frontman John Cowan talks to PopMatters about the tricks of being a singing bass player, the new developments in folk music, and the career-spanning feel of his latest record, Sixty.


The Voyage Impulse in the Music of Sting

No matter what hat he wears as an artist, the impulse to voyage beyond defines Sting, as do the impulses that compel him to stay.


Tuesday, October 21 2014

The Tyranny of Aspiration Culture

Without room for doubt, uncertainty, and even self-hatred, the tyranny of Aspiration Culture prevails, and meaningful defiance is thrown out the window.


Monday, October 20 2014

Waiting for the Rails to Rumble: The Cycles of Rock Music

The romantic sentiment that rock was better in the past and has, as they say, given up the ghost, is a charming but misguided notion.


Friday, October 17 2014

“We Just Kinda Broke All the Rules”: An Interview with Lucinda Williams

Throughout her long and legendary career, Lucinda Williams has garnered a reputation for dismissing any notions of rules, expectations, or boundaries.


Wednesday, October 15 2014

Sweetback in the Cosmos: An Interview with Melvin Van Peebles

He's almost single-handedly invented the Blaxploitation film genre, but as his recent collaboration with Heliocentrics proves, Melvin Van Peebles is so much more than simply a filmmaker in command of his craft.


Will We Ever Come First? ‘Vampire Academy’ and Female (Mis)Representation

Though a surface reading of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy suggests compelling depiction of women, underneath lies ages-old patriarchal myths.


Tuesday, October 14 2014

Songs of Simulation and Discouragement: Bowie, Bono, and Authenticity

With its Apple-sponsored free public release, U2's Songs of Innocence betrays just how far the band has come from their past, despite its attempts to bring back a Dublinesque vision.


Monday, October 13 2014

“It’s Just About the Document”: An Interview with Danny Clinch

He's an iconic photographer for rock stars such as the Beastie Boys and Bruce Springsteen. Here, he talks about his first book and the stories behind some of his most memorable images.


Friday, October 10 2014

Austin City Limits: A History

An unprecedented access telling of this landmark musical showcase whose history spans dramatic changes in the nature of television, the expansion of digital media, and the ways in which we experience music.


Wednesday, October 1 2014

Lit Up: The National’s ‘Alligator’ and the Hope of Indie Rock

The National's seminal 2005 album Alligator shows the band, like America, to be lit up by white lights even as it is surrounded by darkness.


Monday, September 29 2014

How Women Dominated Pop Music in the ‘00s

We owe it to ourselves to recognize the many women in pop music that made an undeniable impact on popular culture and the world at large.


Friday, September 26 2014

Three Great Albums Fade in Reflection

Despite their canonical status, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Oracular Spectacular, and White Blood Cells lack the staying power of truly great albums.


Thursday, September 25 2014

The ‘00s: Hip-Hop Got Weird at the Turn of the Century

Hip-hop's turn for the weird in the '00s ended up being one of the smartest moves it could take. Forget the old guard; 21st century hip-hop succeeded in improving on its forebears.


Tuesday, September 16 2014

An Artist Capable of Making Something Magnetic: Matt Johnson on Jeff Buckley

Drummer Matt Johnson shares his reflections 20 years later on working with Jeff Buckley and recording what turned out to be a masterpiece, 1994's Grace.


Monday, September 15 2014

Kind of, Kind of Blue: A Conversation with Mostly Other People Do the Killing

Mostly Other People Do the Killing have taken on an ambitious task: recreate Miles Davis' landmark Kind of Blue note for note. Except, as bassist Moppa Elliott notes, note-for-note might just be impossible.


The Road to ‘Grace’: How Jeff Buckley’s Debut Album Remains Timeless 20 Years Later

Drawing from 20 years worth of reviews and books, in addition to new interviews with those involved in Jeff Buckley's music, David Chiu looks back on Grace, which two decades later remains just as impactful.


Monday, September 8 2014

In Kierkegaard’s Reflektion?: Arcade Fire in a “Reflective Age”

Like Kierkegaard did more than a century-and-a-half ago, Arcade Fire has the courage to ask whether our experience of the world is really as spectral, thin, and shallow as it sometimes seems.


Wednesday, September 3 2014

Thought of Sound: An Interview with Matt Sharp of the Rentals

With years between albums, a lot of factors, including a "get here now so we can record" email from the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, was what got Matt Sharp's the Rentals back into gear.


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