Recent Features

22 May 2006 // 1:00 AM

The Writer vs. Himself

PopMatters examines what happens when a journalist tries to take a chart-topping band to task.

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The Cut-Out Bin #6: Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991)

A classic album from a punk power-pop band that made the mistake of making listeners laugh.

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The Cut-Out Bin #6: Dennis DeYoung, Desert Moon (1984)

Mock Styx's keyboard-playing frontman as a second-rate Elton John with an unfortunate taste for both bombast and treacle if you must. But his solo record resounds with something even rarer than good songs: humility.

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The Cut-Out Bin #6: Bright Eyes, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005)

Generally viewed as a less-than-stellar offering from an otherwise promising young songwriter, the neglected cousin of I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning is actually a challenging meditation on the dual nature of time.

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Judging a Bach By Its Cover

If people are no longer as interested in classical music as a cerebral escape from the banalities of the everyday, then certain producers of classical recordings are willing to embrace this cultural condition by selling Bach not as an alternative to popular image culture, but as a part of it.

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If You Hear Any Noise…: An Interview with Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys take you to the stage with their concert film Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!.

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The Great Beast Resurrected

The long, strange trip of seminal metal band Celtic Frost is unexpectedly outfitted with a new plot twist: a new record that redefines a career over 20 years after it began.

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17 May 2006 // 1:00 AM

Practice Makes Imperfect

Yet another reissue of Wire's early albums presents a chance to reappraise the band's vaunted reputation -- were they punk-inspired innovators or canny and cynical manipulators of their audience's pretensions?

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15 May 2006 // 1:00 AM

Dada Swing

How does an Italian band overcome an indifferent scene at home and the insular, unexposed audiences overseas? Why, by conquering America first, of course... one show at a time.

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A World of Limestone: Grant McLennan 1958-2006

With the passing of Grant McLennan, the world loses one of the best songwriters it never knew it had.

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It’s Different for Girls

Rounder Records' new tween collective, a manufactured group of girls with inflexibly 'distinct personalities', is little more than harmless fun for a very specific target market. But what potential effects will Girl Authority have on the developing identity of its audience?

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Lonnie Donegan and the Birth of British Rock

As skiffle's working-class trailblazer, Lonnie Donegan infused '50s British rock 'n' roll with a regional accent and music-hall comedy style missing from the popular American exports.

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9 May 2006 // 1:00 AM

From Classy to Ashy

Though they are said to celebrate 'urban luxury', why are hip-hop CD covers so dull and unappealing?

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8 May 2006 // 1:00 AM

Running a Different Race

The Walkmen faced down a writer's block crisis and the constant pressure to tour in order to craft their latest album, A Hundred Miles Off.

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Dancing in the Face of Adversity: The New Orleans JazzFest After Katrina

Our reporter covers the first week of JazzFest and partying to those great NOLA tunes within a national disaster zone.

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Amel Larrieux

After reaching the heights of mainstream success, neo-soul vocalist Amel Larrieux had to start over when it came to crafting her own vision. Three albums into a sometimes turbulent solo career, she's finally found her independence, and is preparing a musical explosion of creative output.

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Folk Goes Interplanetary with Espers

The Philadelphia folk collective's Greg Weeks and Meg Baird talk about their new larger band, the tantalizing possibility of an all-planetarium tour, and their delicate balance of space-age drone and pristine folk.

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The Busy Boy Buys Box Sets: Billy Bragg Revisited

Billy Bragg has been described elsewhere as a one-man Clash, but that's the sort of arrant nonsense that gets music journalists a bad name. No, what Bragg is, is an English Bob Dylan. Cross-bred with a cockney Morrissey who learned how to box.

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27 Apr 2006 // 10:00 PM

Death and Music

As my eyes locked on that stark casket, my mind tripped out. The cognitive dissonance of it all shut me down until they played Aunt Shirley's 'Here's to Life'.

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Silversun Pickups

Something special is happening in Los Angeles, but a band with a sound this big can't be kept secret for long. Silversun Pickups are ascending artists of raucous splendor and inspiring vitality.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

'Five Came Back' Is an Unusual and Seminal Suspenser

// Short Ends and Leader

"This film feels like a template for subsequent multi-character airplane-disaster and crash projects, all the way down to Lost.

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