Recent Features
The Eccentrics

You need not be popular to break the rules, and you need not be popular to break your own conventions. Sometimes the very best music is being crafted right on the fringes of the mainstream, and it is for that reason that sometimes you will find some of rock music's greatest DETOURS.

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The Innovators

Sometimes changing the course of modern music can be surprisingly easy. Though their names may not be laced in the stars right next to Sinatra and Dylan, these mavericks will always be remembered for breaking boundaries, stretching the definitions of genres, and rewriting what the very notion of a "pop song" is.

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Part One: The Icons

With DETOURS, the PopMatters staff is celebrating the strange, bizarre, lovely, and funny albums that have emerged from an artist’s desire to try something different. Some of these detours have lead to modern-day classics. Some have lead to laugh-inducing commercial disasters. And others... others are just plain weird.

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27 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Gone Festin’

Yes, communing with thousands of music fans at summer festivals is fun...for a while. But then it becomes a group of people whom you really didn't plan on spending your weekend with, unless you typically hang out with stoned 16-year olds.

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20 Questions: Vashti Bunyan

Vashti Bunyan chats with PopMatters 20 Questions about music-making at her pace, life without safety nets, and her nonconformist nature.

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Joe Purdy [Lowell, Arkansas]

Know it or not, odds are you've heard Joe Purdy's music on television -- but there's nothing commercial about this artist. Eschewing the lures and traps of the music industry, Purdy is blazing his own path simply for the love of song.

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Vinyl: Got to Get You Into My Life

Maybe it's because current methods of listening aren't cutting it that I've started buying more vinyl. Not because it sounds better or evokes nostalgia, but because listening to vinyl is a more structured and formal experience.

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23 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

Rainyhead

When PopMatters sent two writers to cover Radiohead’s show in Virginia, we didn’t expect such divergent results. Mentally exhausting in a myriad of different ways, they report from the battle lines via text messages. Some things, apparently, shouldn’t be saved for a rainy day.

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22 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Pop Culture: Finding Meaning and Purpose in the Neighborhood

Whether intentionally spiritual or not, popular culture and its products serve many of the same drives of religion: making meaning and forging the bonds of community.

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The Lioness and the Wildebeests: Tori Amos on Going Independent

Finally free from her major-label shackles, Tori Amos reflects on what went wrong during her major-label career, what she plans to do next, and how it feels becoming a comic book icon.

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Pathways to Creation: Exploring Sacred Music in Fes, Morocco

PopMatters goes to Morocco for the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music to honor and share the world’s great spiritual music traditions. At this 14th annual festival, Derek Beres would hear the indigenous sounds of Vietnam, Tunisia, Norway, Pakistan, Belgium, America, and much more.

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20 Questions: Amy Ray

Amy Ray: Talking the talk and walking the walk, this singer/songwriter brings you the world with each song.

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Don’t Forget Your Wellies: Glastonbury 2008

With only a flimsy $15 tent and wellington boots for protection, PopMatters’ Cole Stryker avoided Amy Winehouse’s punches, the mud, and John Mayer, at the annual global gathering that is the Glastonbury Festival.

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Nothing’s Shocking: An Interview With Lydia Lunch

As Lydia Lunch -- No Wave pioneer, Teenage Jesus frontwoman, and life-long provocateur -- sees her landmark tell-all book Paradoxia get re-published for the first time in over a decade, she sits down to talk to PopMatters about breaking taboos, rocking out, and knowing just how to push everybody's buttons.

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16 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Double Standards

What does it say about our time and place that our two boldest -- maybe best -- jazz singers, Patricia Barber and Cassandra Wilson, are returning to singing standards again?

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Life Savers: Girl Talk

Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) made me do something I never thought I would again: enjoy pop music.

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15 Jul 2008 // 10:59 PM

20 Questions: The Buck Brothers

Known for funky, punky pop, the Buck Brothers have a big time love for Earth, Wind & Fire as you'll see in this installment of PopMatters' 20 Questions.

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“Once You Saw Them Live, You Were Hooked Forever”: An Interview With Don Letts

With the 30th Anniversary release of the seminal Clash documentary Revolution Rock, director Don Letts reflects on the sheer power of seeing the Only Band That Mattered in a live setting, the possibility of a Big Audio Dynamite reissue, and his unabashed love... for Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Activity Placement: Why Kanye Needs Us and We Need Him

Kanye West is a bona fide hit-maker. But his real genius lies in his ability to match songs to consumer behavior, marketing his music less as a product and more as the perfect accompaniment to the activities of daily life.

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10 Jul 2008 // 11:00 PM

Truth in Humor

The second season of The Boondocks tackles issues that are important to the hip-hop community with contributions from numerous hip-hop artists. Boondocks Response Syndrome explains why we react to this series the way we do.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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