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Monday, December 16 2002

Best Music of 2002: James Beaudreau

It’s been another great year for music—in rock, jazz, and reissues. Here at PopMatters, we writers have a good deal of leeway as

Tuesday, December 3 2002

The Thrill is Gone: The 20th Anniversary of Thriller

Since the off-the-chart global success of Thriller 20 years ago, Michael Jackson has been on the unenviable quest to top himself and unfortunately his out-of-studio antics have done just that, obscuring a musical career of some distinction.

Friday, November 8 2002

A Link in the Chain: The Blasters

The Blasters were one of the few bastions of what is often referred to as roots rock in the '80s. Just don't ask them to sit quietly in any category.

Select Your Memory: Geffen, MTV and Pop Culture Exhume Nirvana

[T]rue to the reflexive nature of media in general, MTV's self-absorption quickly deflects whatever cultural capital the station tries to give Nirvana back onto itself.

Wednesday, November 6 2002

Look Back and Laugh

Since it's inception in 1980 Dischord has released 133 of the best albums by some of the most interesting and diverse bands ever... The CDs are still cheap, most bands still record in Don Zietra's studio, their advertisements all feature the brilliant black and white photography, and most of the band members have stayed.

Saturday, November 2 2002

Royalty? (for Jam Master Jay a.k.a. Jason Mizell)

[W]ithin the context of hip-hop music and culture the killing of Jam Master Jay is comparable to someone walking up to Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin and shooting them in the head. It is cultural treason.

Tuesday, October 22 2002

Pearl Jam Roach Motels

What the public and the music industry have forgotten is that the people can still make things happen. The Attack of the Glue Albums may seem like a silly, innocuous act by itself, but it's part of a bigger plan to beat the music buyers into submission. If the music industry doesn't watch it, the buyers are going to rebel, and if that happens, both the labels and the media would lose.

Wednesday, October 9 2002

Song of the Mellow Hippo: An Interview with the Future Sound of London

The Future Sound of London talk to PopMatters about what they've been doing for the past six years since 1996's Dead Cities and tell us about their newest release, The Isness.

Tuesday, October 8 2002

Two Cheers for Jeff Tweedy

The world on the ground is a house of blues, made worse by compliance, made better by songs and heart and -- most un-punk -- civic-mindedness. Tweedy might take seriously the Woody Guthrie mantle he inherited with Billy Bragg during the 'Mermaid Avenue' sessions.

Wednesday, September 18 2002

Rock of Ages

Let's face it: you have a musical past and it can't be buried.

Tuesday, September 3 2002

MTV Video Music Awards

Axl Rose delighted mature viewers but left much of MTV's new target audience -- those who think the Backstreet Boys are old -- thinking the 40something's antics were a bit sad.

Tuesday, August 27 2002

Hip-Hop and the New Jazz Funk

For some reason (possibly the urban secularism of both forms) jazz and hip-hop have generally made sympathetic partners.

Wednesday, August 21 2002

To: Big Five Re: Download Sites

In a perfect world, the Big Five would all go to bed one night and wake up to find the Internet had been destroyed while they were sleeping. What they don't realize is that the Internet is their salvation.

Wednesday, August 14 2002

World Domination . . . Almost: An Interview with Ash

It’s the same old story, really. Band that’s huge in Britain and in other countries across the globe, try as they might, can’

Dylan Revisits an Old Burial Ground

While Newport reveled in going against the grain it was never a place for musical revolutions. That is why Dylan made such a big splash when he used it as a place to introduce his new sound. But now, there is no establishment.

Tuesday, August 13 2002

Fans Gather for the Rising, While a Beleaguered City Is Shut Out

Bruce Springsteen is said to have saved rock and roll. Despite the fact at 52 he remains one of the most engaging performers in the history of the genre, it's not his to save anymore.

Monday, August 5 2002

The Singers and the Songs

It's a pretty good time to be a jazz vocalist -- particularly a female one. If your name is Diana Krall, it is of course even better.

Sunday Singing: The Black Gospel Quartet

The intricate four-part harmonies that were the bedrock of the black gospel quartet tradition, were honed over centuries in the work songs that enslaved blacks incorporated into their daily activities as exploited laborers. These harmonies have always had a 'public' visibility that connected them more to the secular world, though so many of the narratives were 'other-worldly', which would also include visions of emancipation and a return to the 'homeland'.

“Warm? Cool? What’s the Difference?”: Reevaluating ECM

Is there anything common linking these artists? A sound? An aesthetic? A philosophy? I don't really think so. All they have in common is their brilliance at playing jazz music, and having once been signed to the same label.

Monday, July 29 2002

Playing Ball: Spearhead Frontman Michael Franti Takes to the Streets

Michael Franti has made a life ignoring conventions. Maybe it stems from a formative childhood, a black boy adopted by white parents. Maybe it arises from an unwillingness to merely regard music as an frippery, an entertainment, merely a dramatic gesture

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