Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Features > Music

Monday, November 24 2003

Getting Back

The convoluted events of January 1969 continue to echo as some of the most dramatic and least understood moments in the Beatles' mind-bogglingly successful career. And no album is more associated with the group's breakup than Let It Be.

Wednesday, November 19 2003

. . . And Bless the Mic for the Gods: Rakim Allah

When Greg Tate published his groundbreaking essay 'Diary of a Bug' the first 'text' he took up was none other than Rakim Allah, the Poet Laureate of the Hip-Hop Nation. Indeed there's never been a hip-hop artist who deserved top-shelf scholarly love from the camp of the Blackademe Niggeratti more than Rakim.

Wednesday, November 12 2003

CMJ Music Marathon: Do It Yourself (And With the Help of Your Licensing, Marketing and Publicity Tea

Associate Concert Editor Christine Di Bella takes a look back at what CMJ really had to offer its participants -- and the answer might be a redefinition of the DIY ethos.

Wednesday, November 5 2003

Burying Lester Bangs

Dead at 33, Bangs has risen, Christ-like, from the pens and keyboards of hundreds or maybe thousands (what feels like millions) of rock scribes from sea to shining sea, all spewing their paltry imitations of Bangs's 'speedflight wordsperm bullshit.'

Monday, November 3 2003

The Tortured Soul of Marvin Gaye and R. Kelly

R. Kelly is no Marvin Gaye, nor should he be. But R. Kelly is a Soul Man, who seemingly for lack of any other recourse, has chosen to share his demons with us through his music as so many tortured Soul Men of the past have.

Tuesday, October 28 2003

Elliott Smith: 1969-2003

Smith wrote beautiful, brutally honest and touching music, but his songs were most effective while he was still among the living. In the end, he didn't cheat death; he only cheated us.

Elliott Smith: A Fond Farewell

Elliott Smith's art was an articulation of his soul -- his 'figurative self', if you prefer -- coming to terms with its inherently, inescapably flawed corporeal frame. This inner turmoil made for great music. And in the end, it probably killed him.

Monday, October 27 2003

CMJ Music Marathon: Day Four: Sick of Rock

Can rock and roll make you sick? And should we want it to? Day four of PopMatters CMJ Festival coverage.

CMJ Music Marathon: Day Three: Where My Girls At?

Day Three's coverage of CMJ seeks to find out where the girls are.

Friday, October 24 2003

Dizzee Rascal: The End of Garage’s Beginning

Like The Streets' Mike Skinner, Dizzee approaches UK Garage with a seriousness that elevates it from dancefloor juice to art. On 'Boy in Da Corner', he uses garage as the jumping off point for an ear-bending journey through the music of fin-de-siecle African diaspora, in much the same way Tricky used UK dance music 10 years ago on 'Maxinquaye'.

CMJ Music Marathon: Day Two: Revenge of the Singer/Songwriter

More coverage of Day Two, including run-ins with the sensitive side of CMJ.

CMJ Music Marathon: Days One and Two: CMJ on the Free

Strapped for cash? Day two of our CMJ coverage is a lesson in doing the festival on the cheap.

Thursday, October 23 2003

CMJ Music Marathon: Day One: Travis vs. CMJ

Day One of our coverage of the New York-based new music festival, including pit stops with Travis, the Killers, Menlo Park, and the Prosaics.

Tuesday, October 7 2003

Afterbirth: Me’shell Ndegeocello

Conceived in the months after the September 11th attacks, Me'shell Ndegeocello's new release 'Comfort Woman' finds the artist reflecting on life, death and the everyday struggles of surviving a world seemingly coming apart at the seams.

Thursday, September 25 2003

Banged Up But Still Unbreakable: Comes With the Fall

PopMatters Music Critic Michael Christopher uncovers the drive that keeps Comes With the Fall going -- DIY style.

Monday, September 15 2003

Sometimes the Good Guys Wear Black

After all, the man fed on adversity. It fueled his work throughout his career.

Johnny Cash 1932-2003

Johnny Cash was, to me, as complex as America itself. He wrote songs about bad men, good women, and hard times, but was never seduced by nor succumbed to cynicism, true men of faith are not like that.

“Everyone I Know Goes Away in the End”: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Not a great lover or follower of country music -- hey, what could a bunch of twangy bejeweled cowpokes say to me, a snotty punk brat from Manchester, England, right?

The Last Great Rebel

Johnny Cash pushed insurgent separatism to the hilt. He cemented his iconoclastic status in 1965 when he showed up wearing all black and a scowl at the usually pastel and buoyant church of county music, the Grand Ole Opry.

Johnny Cash Made the Most Punk-Rock Album Ever. In 1969.

What Johnny Cash did on At San Quentin defies belief. He made the angriest, balliest, toughest, most punk rock album of all time.

Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.