Recent Features
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 // 11:00 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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Charles Mingus: Tijuana Moods

This newly remastered version of the Mingus classic still sounds crazy after all these years -- crazy good!

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Quirk Rock: An Interview with They Might Be Giants

John Linnell of TMBG reflects on 25 years of music-making, the joy of reading and eating at the same time, and the removal of Hillary Duff's soul in an expansive interview with PopMatters.

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8 Jul 2007 // 11:00 PM

Journeymen

Gypsy Caravan, a new documentary about a six-week tour featuring some of modernity's top Gypsy musicians, is an exceptional peek at life on the road, entwined with the history, and current state, of Gypsy culture.

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Been Caught Healing: An Interview with Perry Farrell

Perry Farrell already saved rock from the tyranny of hair metal. Now he’s back to save the world.

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Carry on Compressing!: Joe Meek and 1960s Britain

Joe Meek’s pioneering genius will not be forgotten, but overexposure to his work is like living in a hall of mirrors, on four hours sleep, tequila, and cotton candy.

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More Than One Story Out There: An Interview With Henry Rollins

"I just don't think we know the whole story... and for America that is very dangerous." The seminal hardcore rocker and sage spoken-wordist chats with PopMatters about Iraq, Iran, music and activism, and how contemporary culture profits off those who defy it.

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Blondie: Eat to the Beat

Almost half a million YouTube views later, Blondie's Eat to the Beat video receives a long awaited release on DVD with (yet another) remastered CD.

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27 Jun 2007 // 10:59 PM

Cowboy Troy’s Latest… “Bland Content” Warning

ADVISORY: Cowboy Troy's second attempt at fusing country and hip-hop contains references to minivans, grills, and strong images of suburbia that may numb office drones to the tedium of cubicle life. Discretion is advised.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

// Moving Pixels

"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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