Recent Features
Bowerbirds [Raleigh, NC]

Rising up from under the mega-strip mall concrete, Raleigh, NC's Bowerbirds are the best folk act you haven't heard yet.

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30 Jul 2007 // 10:00 PM

Out in the Cold

HotHouse, a non-profit arts center in Chicago, embodied how beneficial a commitment to the arts could be, and surely this would override any business issues, I thought. I thought wrong.

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The Essential Selection: An Interview with Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto from Gossip unveils the music that made her the woman she is today, calls L.A. girl punks, Mika Miko, "the best thing ever", and describes her kinship with Missy Elliott.

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25 Jul 2007 // 10:00 PM

The Depreciation Guild [New York]

For the two breathing members of the Brooklyn-based band The Depreciation Guild, a love of intense rock music and the vintage video game sounds of the 1980s have melded into something powerful.

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Saving Humanity: An Interview with John Vanderslice

"I am in general very anti-government." John Vanderslice brings his political and economic sides to the fore in taking on the world's crazies.

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Karen Dalton: In My Own Time

Just as the ambiguous details surrounding Nick Drake's death led people to exhaustively make his sorrow sacred, Karen Dalton was soul country's undiscovered Ophelia.

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22 Jul 2007 // 10:00 PM

Resurrections

The co-founder of the maverick reissue label the Numero Group talks about seeking out the eccentric, saving the unknown, and releasing only what you love.

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19 Jul 2007 // 10:00 PM

Now, Check the Method

Brian Coleman's new book on classic hip-hop albums and Saigon's public rant offer rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of hip-hop's creative process.

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Part 5: Public Enemy to Dixie Chicks (1989-2006)

The brave, early activists of the US AIDS movement knew that Silence = Death. Throughout history it's "Put up", we're told, "Shut up", we're threatened. Praise to those who set their protest to song and act up!

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The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 4)

The music in Bergman's Saraband sets up numerous tensions that it never reconciles: listener and performer, individual and group, passive aestheticism and practical enactment. Music in Bergman's world offers hope, but it does not offer answers.

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Part 4: Heaven 17 to N.W.A. (1981-1988)

Sarcasm, irony, tongue-in-cheek, parody. Thumb your nose at 'em. Flip 'em the finger. Plug in the amp and blast 'em. That oughta kick 'em outta their apathy and get their asses shakin'! And more thoughts on motivational music.

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Master P: Ghetto D

You'd be hard pressed to make an argument for Ghetto D as one of the great rap albums of the '90s, or even, really, a very good album at all.

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Part 3: Curtis Mayfield to The English Beat (1970-1980)

"Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine, go down .." Julie Andrews sang in Mary Poppins. Indeed, a bitter dose of angry words in need of saying, and set to a beat, quite effectively gets heard.

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Part 2: Janis Ian to Jimi Hendrix (1966-1970)

Music truly is the universal language. The best songs of protest are passed around, from movement-to-movement, era-to-era; its singers gaining multilingual fluency along the way.

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Part 1: Beethoven to Phil Ochs (1824-1965)

Psalm 100 instructs, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!". What more joyful sound than the life-affirming song of protest, for that is the sound wrenched from the deepest grief and suffering, from exhausted and diseased lungs, and the voice raised in tuneful protest is among the most beautiful of human sounds. Sing out, indeed!

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The Sunny Side and More: An Interview With John Carter Cash

John Carter Cash talks to PopMatters about his mother's life and the process of creating the new June Carter Cash tribute album and biography.

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The Last Cowboy in Town: Chris LeDoux

The rodeo songs of bronco-riding champion Chris LeDoux may seem like the work of one man, but they offer a window into Country & Western mythologies, old and new.

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11 Jul 2007 // 10:00 PM

Family Matters

A well-rounded musical background is crucial -- otherwise, you could end up like a friend of mine, who had never heard Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life", and so felt lost during some hand-clapping good times at the bar last weekend.

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Pretenders: Learning to Crawl

Their cathartic third proper album was really the last one under the Pretenders banner that could be considered something more than just a vehicle for frontwoman Hynde -- which is remarkable considering the ashes from which the album rose.

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Je Suis France [Athens, GA]

Now ten years into its rule as one of Athens, Georgia's best-loved party bands, Je Suis France has broken out its most professional album ever in Afrikan Magik. But don't worry that they're turning into squares -- the big hit is still an eight-minute space-rock epic... about a whale's erection.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Be Prepared to be Unprepared

// Moving Pixels

"Bloodborne wants to catch us off guard, even as it teaches us to always be on guard.

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