Recent Features
M for Montréal - Leonard Cohen Eats There

Montréal may sit a mere 37 miles north of the American border and, for me, a short 90-minute flight from Philadelphia, yet the former Canadian capital really is a world away. PopMatters visits the M for Montréal in search of great new Canadian music and the soul of a city.

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2 Feb 2009 // 8:00 PM

Concert Overload

Free-for-all shows are like a "cool" parent trying to be your friend, instead of your authority figure. While it seems like a good situation at first -- no curfew, no rules -- you realize, eventually, that what it really needs is some structure.

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The Big Shoulders Ball: Celebrating the Inauguration, Chicago Style

A busload of Chicago's best and brightest independent musicians storm the nation's capital on the eve of the Presidential inauguration and a former Chicagoan turned Washingtonian discovers that maybe you can transport the spirit of the Windy City -- if only for one night.

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6 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Part 5: Best and Worst Dressed

They may not have been Ziggy Stardust, but they certainly weren't wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Behold this year's haute couture.

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6 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Part 4: Best Moves

Theater ain’t just for drama dorks -- it’s the lifeblood of rock n’ roll. Here’s to the crazy-big effects, stage set-ups, and sets that made this a dramatic year indeed.

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6 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Part 3: Hecklers and Other Interruptions

Hecklers, bless their souls, push performers to say things that no person on stage should ever say out loud. Here we honor the best on both sides of this eternal dance of the foul-mouthed.

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6 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Part 2: Rawk and Anti-Rock

Anyone can lay down a rocking riff, but it takes a real fiend to unleash the fire burning below. Dust off your devil horns, because these muthas didn’t just rawk our socks; they set those little bastards on fire.

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6 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Part 1: Best and Worst Openers

Remember when LCD Soundsystem opened for Arcade Fire? How about when the Shins opened for Modest Mouse? Door times are for the birds, but sometimes it does pay to show up early.

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CMAs and the End of Genre or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Kid Rock

This year's CMA winners point to a future where the only thing necessary to be classified as country is a desire to join in and sing.

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16 Nov 2008 // 9:00 PM

Hamburg: Germany’s Port of Rock ‘n’ Roll

PopMatters shoulders its backpacks and treks to Hamburg to check out Germany's pop music capital, to partake of four days of Kunst und Kultur, historical wanderings, and indulge in a bit of Gemütlichkeit.

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13 Nov 2008 // 8:59 PM

Voodoo Music Experience Festival

The Voodoo Experience brings national acts to New Orleans and highlights the city’s uniquely diverse music scene. Such is the ethos of the city: Anything goes, as long as there’s dancing.

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Where Music is Written, or Dapper LeChampagne’s Unraveling at Austin City Limits

Dapper was going to disintegrate today. He would see her during Band of Horses. She was wearing white. Her eyes were round and soft when they met his.

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Forty-Nine Hours at T-Dot Town’s Annual Small World Music Festival

Today's global music is an extension of the culture that has been emerging over the last century, when airplanes and vinyl recordings made social exchanges possible to an extent previously undreamed.

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Personal Epics: The 46th Annual New York Film Festival

Shafted by the current events taking place outside its theaters, the New York Film Festival was agreeably low-key this year, demonstrating that art, at its best, can serve as valuable provocation when we try to make sense of a bewildering world.

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4 Nov 2008 // 9:00 PM

CMJ Music Marathon 2008: From Top Draw to Taco Bell

Whether they were looking for a quick blast of blog action or a record deal, over 1,000 bands poured into New York City looking for that elusive ounce of praise that could elevate them from a gaggle of fans to the Gossip Girl soundtrack. Here are the best 20 and the worst 10 artists.

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1 Sep 2008 // 10:00 PM

Event Etiquette

Enthusiasm at sporting events and concerts is great. But when your spirited dancing turns into a one-man mosh pit, it's a damned annoying distraction.

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Horses for Courses: Virgin Mobile Festival 2008, Part Two

Sandwiched between Lil Wayne’s lyrical wizardry and Kanye West’s globetrotting techno-populism, Bob Dylan gave one of the festival’s rare encores on a day when nearly every band deserved one.

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Horses for Courses: Virgin Mobile Festival 2008, Part One

With a line-up that read like a quick scroll through an FM radio dial, the Virgin Mobile Festival attempted to please every faction of the musical market and had more successes (Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sharon Jones, Wilco) than shortcomings (The Offspring).

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7 Aug 2008 // 10:00 PM

Noise Bleed

The surfeit of noise in the modern world demands a genre of music that can match it, squall for squall. Humphrey reports on San Francisco's noise music scene.

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High Sierra Music Festival 2008

Despite the forest fires that plagued Northern California, the festival went off without a hitch, providing its own smoking performances and hot jams along with inventive instrumental interplay and socially conscious songs.

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