Recent Features
This Is How It’s Gonna Be Now: Beyoncé, U2, Thom Yorke, and Surprise Album Releases

For artists a big as Beyonce, U2, and Thom Yorke, the surprise album release model offers minimal risk and maximal reward. It's a paradigm that's sure to be replicated by others going forward.

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31 Oct 2014 // 1:20 AM

Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for November and December 2014

In the last installment of "Listening Ahead" of 2014, read up on new albums by Marianne Faithfull and Andy Stott, as well as comprehensive boxsets of the third Velvet Underground album and the Bedhead catalog.

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Four of a Kind: A Breakdown of Sloan’s ‘Commonwealth’

Sloan's jaw-dropping double album Commonwealth strikes a perfect synergy between the band's identity and the collective identities of its members.

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Power to the People: An Interview with Basement Jaxx

Many Jaxx fans were surprised by the relatively-straightforward nature of the duo's latest effort, Junto, but the way Felix tells it, it's a deliberately unexpected move from the Grammy-nominated duo.

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One Chord to Another: A Retrospective on the Records of Sloan

We look through the varied and vivacious 20-year discography of Sloan album by album, charting this underrated group's significant achievements.

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Sloan Picks Up Where the Beatles Left Off

Picking up where the Fab Four left off isn't easy, but if one band has done it in the past 30 years, it's Toronto's Sloan.

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Heart of Darkness: An Interview with Valery Gore

Buried deep in the emotional grain of Valery Gore's music, there is some semblance of order, some sense of undisclosed truths.

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Jazz May Be Reeling in Terms of Record Sales, But It’s Thriving As an Art Form

What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?

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23 Oct 2014 // 1:20 AM

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.

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“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.

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22 Oct 2014 // 1:20 AM

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.

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What He Has Sown: A Conversation With Bruce Soord of the Pineapple Thief

The Pineapple Thief mastermind delves into the making of Magnolia, the [un]fair criticisms of fans, and the joys of modern Opeth, among many other topics.

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21 Oct 2014 // 1:20 AM

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.

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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.

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“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.

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A Dark Rapture: The Rise of Punk in Spain

Spanish punkers came swinging harder than ever, screaming not for the sake of inducing change, but screaming for the sake of screaming – because now they could.

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El May Reclaims Her Confidence on the Introspective ‘The Other Person Is You’

Lara Meyerratken, the Los Angeles-by way of-Australia indie pop musician, returns with her first new album in four years.

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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.

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The Afterparty: An Interview with Bloc Party’s Kele

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke talks his new solo album, Trick, and explains how the album pushed him to make music in an entirely fresh way.

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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.

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