Recent Features
Yesterday’s Dreams: Motown in the 1980s

The music of Motown's third decade does not quite deserve the close attention that the label's first two decades warrant, but even a cursory look at the label in these years reveals that things weren't all bad.

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What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Liberation from the Motown Sound

When Obie Benson of the Four Tops brought him a song he had co-written with Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye found something that had reflected the way he had been feeling ever since Tammi Terrell's death -- anger, sadness, and disillusionment about his friend's death and the chaotic world around him.

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These Are the Breaks: The Motown Sound’s Influence on Hip-Hop Sampling

For any influential group in the hip-hop game, specifically in the early 1990s, Motown's stamp of approval and its variety of subsidiaries were undeniably influential.

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Twirling the Dial: My Motown Memories

For those of us in tune with the sounds of the genre-redefining decade, a transistor radio was the seminal social sidekick. We loved listening to that little mono wonder, its tiny shrill speaker sparking a hundred journeys directly into the center of our mind.

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Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead

If "I've Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying" could work as a slogan for Motown, the song itself works as both a dance song and a tearjerker.

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Manufacturing Motown

Like the nameplates on the auto industry's productive output, Motown's headline acts were brand identities under which cultural commodities were sold.

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The Big Shoulders Ball: Celebrating the Inauguration, Chicago Style

A busload of Chicago's best and brightest independent musicians storm the nation's capital on the eve of the Presidential inauguration and a former Chicagoan turned Washingtonian discovers that maybe you can transport the spirit of the Windy City -- if only for one night.

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Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

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20 Questions: Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell as a solo artist is “brimming with talent and blessed with a killer voice”, says PopMatters’ Stuart Henderson.

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Middleman: Joshua Redman and Jazz’s Vanishing Division

"The position of not taking a side has endured." Joshua Redman talks about the hoary division between tradition and innovation, the spatial approach to doubled rhythm sections, and jazz's academic antidote.

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Season of the Wild Flower: An Interview with Dionne Farris

"Whatever happened to Dionne Farris?" Just ask Dionne Farris herself. After more than a decade out of the spotlight, the seeds Dionne Farris planted on her 1994 debut are finally in bloom on her long-awaited follow-up, Signs of Life.

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21 Jan 2009 // 9:00 PM

Part 2: Katzenjammer to Xiu Xiu

From Katzenjammer to Xiu Xiu, PopMatters presents our second batch of Slipped Discs, 40 great albums that didn't quite make our year-end list in 2008, but our writers thought belonged there.

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20 Jan 2009 // 9:00 PM

Part 1: AmpLive to Damien Jurado

From AmpLive to Damien Jurado, PopMatters offers up the first batch of Slipped Discs, 40 great albums that didn't quite make our year-end list in 2008, but our writers thought belonged there.

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19 Jan 2009 // 9:00 PM

Visions of the World

Three world-music documentaries deserving of your attention detail the unity of Islam through music, the convergence of South Asian folk with modern technologies, and the plight of Saharan desert dwellers.

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18 Jan 2009 // 9:00 PM

Seven Ways to Detox

It's 2009, and that means it has now been a full decade since Dr. Dre's last official release. Here are some suggestions for survival while you continue to await his long-gestating follow-up, Detox.

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Hearts in Exile: An Interview with H2D Founder Chuck Warner

Hyped to Death founder Chuck Warner chats about the seductive siren song of obscure '80s post-punk and underground no-wave that sold maybe 500 albums or 250 singles or even ten tapes before fading into musical oblivion.

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20 Questions: Michael Franti

Known for his social activism as much as his fusion of musical styles, it’s clear in PopMatters' latest edition of 20 Questions that Michael Franti is always just being himself, as he will on President Obama's inauguration on Tuesday 20 January 2009.

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Three Icons and the Worlds They Left Behind

Miriam Makeba, Odetta and Eartha Kitt both fully represented and completely transcended their moments in time

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20 Questions: Casey Driessen

Casey Driessen is a rather funky fellow. He wears red shoes. He eats headphones at art museums. Sometimes he channels Vassar Clements.

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11 Jan 2009 // 9:00 PM

Happy-Go-Plucking

Steve Martin, Sufjan Stevens, and Kermit the Frog all know it and you should, too: the banjo is hands-down the coolest instrument out there.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

//Blogs

Treasuring Memories of Paul McCartney on 'One on One' Tour

// Notes from the Road

"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.

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