Recent Features
“My Tastes Don’t Evolve; They Broaden”: An Interview with Robert Christgau

At a transitional moment in his career, one of pop music's best-known and most-respected critics talks about the changes in culture, academia, and journalism.

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16 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Triumph of Musical Tourists

Under the name Beirut, Zach Condon released an album of Balkan-style songs he recorded in his bedroom and became an Internet-driven sensation. Though his music gestures nostalgically toward a gypsy old world, Condon’s casual appropriations suggest something much grimmer for the future.

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Just Making Records: An Interview with Portastatic

Mac McCaughan creates string charts and listens to tropicalia while running Merge Records, and he doesn't mind if you haven't listened to Superchunk.

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The Profound Consolation: The Use of Bach’s Music in the Films of Ingmar Bergman (Part 1)

In Bergman's films, Bach's music functions to give access to a rarified atmosphere of revelation and emotional depth; it reveals something previously inaccessible within a character.

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Waylon Jennings, Jukebox Hero

The Waylon Jennings boxset Nashville Rebel gives reason to consider Jennings as not just a country-music outlaw, but a Wurlitzer Prize winner, whose voice from a jukebox can erase all the pain in the world just by giving voice to it.

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Perpetual Motion: An Interview with Akron/Family

With its third album in two years Akron/Family takes another snapshot of its continuously evolving musical journey. Meek Warrior's free jazz freak outs may surprise some fans, but bass player Miles Seaton shrugs it off, saying, 'We just want to keep capturing wherever we are along the way.'

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9 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Disappearing Designer: An Interview with Joan of Arc

Tim Kinsella, the musician-filmmaker- performance-poet- burlesque dancer behind Joan of Arc claims an irony-free zone while explaining his process of unintentional creation. PopMatters giggles nervously.

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Blind Guardian’s Twisted Myths

For Hansi Kürsch, lead singer of Germany's Blind Guardian, there's no Justin Hawkins flash, no DragonForce pub chants, no hipster-pandering irony. If he's going to sing about faeries and orcs, he's going to do so and mean every damned outlandish lyric.

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In for the Long Haul: An Interview with The Long Winters’ John Roderick

The singer-songwriter discusses fame, failure, and frequent flier miles, and explains why he's glad it took him this long to get this far.

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When Monkeying Around Becomes Serious Business

More of the Monkees lingered at number one on the Billboard chart for 18 weeks in 1967, later confirmed as the third best-selling LP of the '60s (a higher ranking than any Beatles album), and by some measures the 12th best-selling of all time.

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Unsung Heroes: The Band of Extraordinary Women

Huff fantasizes about wielding Diddy-like power to create a supergroup of underrated, under-the-radar female musicians. Danity Kane, eat your heart out.

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Sugar Hill Records: 25 Years and Going Strong

Sugar Hill's early recordings possessed an aural purity that met people's hunger for authenticity and also seemed fresh and new. There was something honest about the sounds of the banjo, dobro, fiddle, and mandolin, and the way they mixed together.

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29 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Gaining on the Green Man: A Road Odyssey in Four Acts

In an epic cross-hemisphere trek, writer Ben Oswest treads the long road between Cape Town and Wales to consummate a 13-year, 20,000-mile long-distance love affair with the Silver Jews.

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27 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

It Shall Be Released

Rubenstein looks back at the release of a number of highly anticipated albums to contrast his opinions then and now. How much does personal expectation factor into our ultimate enjoyment of music?

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Weather Report: Partly Sunny, Then Showers—Looking Back on the Fusion Supergroup

A new box set encapsulating the jazz group's career causes our jazz critic to reassess his love-hate relationship with Weather Report.

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Songs of Faith and Struggle: An Interview with Wovenhand

Wovenhand's David Eugene Edwards tells PopMatters about his bleak view of humanity, his love of outsized percussion, his fascination with traditional music, and the difficulties of being a devout Christian in the rock world.

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Found Genres #2: The Soundtrack to Satan’s Life

Not the demonic metal that pleads for the Dark Lord's favor but genuinely tormented music suitable for clearing all but the truly damned from a party.

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25 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Wild Abandon

It may seem quaint now, even after punk's scorched-earth campaign, to think of '50s rockabilly as a danger to Western Civilization, especially in light of pop culture's rampant envelope-pushing since then. But a closer inspection would make even the seen-it-all cynics take pause.

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The Dogg, The Doctor, & Death Row

By consistently giving us addictive beats and hot lyrics, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg have had an undeniable influence on the world of rhyme. This is dedicated to the rapper and the producer who were down from Day One.

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20 Sep 2006 // 1:00 AM

Indie-Rock Stripes

Through tour tribulations and member reconfigurations, San Francisco band Film School has endured.

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