Recent Features
The Best Indie Pop of 2009

My indie-pop year 2009 was about young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2009

We got it all in 2009. The stuff right here -- this is singing, this is songwriting. It lives, it breathes, and it bites. Hard.

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The Best Debut Albums of 2009

The best debuts are exciting not only for what they promise, but for what they deliver, too. Think of these ten albums not as what could be, but also what already is: the best debut records of 2009.

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World Tour/Media Whore(s): The Year in Reunions

While 2009 spawned plenty of rumors that brought the Libertines, the Smiths, and the Stone Roses back together, these were the bands that actually dusted off their guitars and plugged in their amps one more time.

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6 Dec 2009 // 9:59 PM

A Welcome Return Home: The Orenda Fink Interview

Orenda Fink, one half of the acclaimed band Azure Ray, discusses her newest solo release, Ask the Night, a stripped-down piece that finds her reconnecting with her childhood in Alabama.

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On the Sixth Day God Created Man…chester, Part Four.

Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.

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Reconsidering the Revival of Cassette Tape Culture

At best, the cassette revival is merely a vacuous fad of no genuine value; but at worst, it's a confused, regressive cultural misstep more dangerous than most would care to admit.

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3 Dec 2009 // 9:59 PM

MCA’s Heavy News

This is more about the surprise I felt when an hour after my heart ached for my own mother it ached again in a similar way for someone whom I have never actually met. So I’ve spent probably months listening to the Beastie Boys. So what? This gives me the right? The short answer is “Yes. Yes, it does."

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Making a Case for the Most Underappreciated Band in Pop Music

Big Star may have long dwindled on the threshold of musical ubiquity and dangling obscurity, but it strangely seems like the only befitting legacy for artists so caught between their innate standing as pop music outsiders and their reverential, ever-striving will for superstardom.

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30 Nov 2009 // 10:00 PM

Bela and Boban in Budapest

The first phrase to learn in Budapest has to be "Maga sokkal jobban tud angolul, mint én magyarul", or “Your English is far better than my Hungarian.”

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“We’re Trying to Make Our Own Kind of Mythology”: An Interview with Wild Beasts

Bruce Springsteen? Drowning rats? Steve Reich and the joyous art of hedonism? These are the least interesting topics that Wild Beasts talk about following a year of well-deserved acclaim for their sophomore album.

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29 Nov 2009 // 10:00 PM

Selling Out to Survive

Placing songs in advertising remains a touchy subject. PopMatters spoke with a few artists whose music has appeared in advertising to find out what motivates them to do what some people claim is “selling out.”

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The World Is All There Is: An Interview with Fool’s Gold

Rising Afropop titans Fool's Gold are bringing a unique cultural heritage to rock music: singing in Hebrew, changing their lineup with virtually every performance, and having one hell of a time shattering conventions ...

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The Story of a Soul Survivor: ‘Private Dancer’ at 25

On the eve of Tina Turner's 70th birthday, PopMatters salutes the 25th anniversary of Private Dancer. Join us as we celebrate the making of a modern classic while David Bowie, Nona Hendryx, Janelle Monáe, Bryan Adams, and more than 20 artists and producers pay tribute to the girl form Nutbush who conquered the world stage.

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The Gospel According to Butch: Part 3—The Artist

Here songwriting is the focal point and Walker talks about his time working with Avril Lavigne, gives props to "The Macarena", and how he shouldn't try to make songs that are "post-gleeful".

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“With Our Love, We Can Save the World”: The Beatles Within and Without the Late ‘60s Zeitgeist

The Beatles were consistently constructed as symbolic avatars for the social and cultural shifts of their time and place, even while they were still in the midst of that time and place.

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In My Own Life: 20 Indirect Beatle Memories

Unlike other bands that have come and gone, the actual fabric of my life is laced with unusual -- and even eccentric -- reminders of the Fab Four's impact.

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Spinach and Broccoli Music: An Interview with Composer and Drummer John Hollenbeck

John Hollenbeck recombines the familiar in compositions that are startlingly new. His new Eternal Interlude is among the best jazz of 2009. Here, he explains his quirky, fresh methods.

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‘Revolution in the Head; The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties’ by Ian MacDonald

Every corner of this book is filled with characterful touches. You can look, but you will not find this level of writing in any other Beatles book.

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20 Beatles Buried Treasures

A list of the nearest things in the most overexposed catalogue in the history of popular music to “deep tracks”.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

//Blogs

"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layer and texture to music.

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