Recent Features
Michael Des Barres Puts His Heart on His Sleeve for ‘The Key to the Universe’

With his new album, the veteran British singer/actor delivers a set of spirited and emotional rock and roll.

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The Leap: The Universe of Difference Between ‘Pablo Honey’ and ‘The Bends’

In jumping forward from the lackluster Pablo Honey, Radiohead finally started becoming the Radiohead that is idolized today.

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Bill O’Reilly’s Rock & Roll Machine

Nostalgia has its uses, its benefits. But is it useful and beneficial when it obscures the reality of the past and present, usually in the service of power, prestige, and making a buck?

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Talkin’ Bout Evil With the Lower Dens

The Lower Dens' new album is called Escape From Evil, but the way Jana Hunter tells it, recording it was nothing but a joy.

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Billie Holiday at 100: Still an Inspiration

On Billie Holiday's centennial, her influence remains everywhere in music. Jazz singers Cassandra Wilson and Jose James, have new tributes out on Blue Note.

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Fact and Fiction: The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle on Wrestling and the Creative Process

The prolific songwriter and now acclaimed author John Darnielle tells PopMatters how he created his wrestling-themed album Beat the Champ, what he calls the Mountain Goats' "most musically interesting record by a country mile".

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3 Apr 2015 // 2:10 AM

Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for April 2015

The latest "Listening Ahead" provides an early look at new albums from Built to Spill, Speedy Ortiz, and Waxahatchee.

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The Curious Art of Wrapping Music

With the 'gratuity' of music fostered by digital ubiquity came a renewed, exacting demand for magic artefacts.

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This Is Our New Song: ‘The Bends’ and the Reformation of Alternative Rock

The Bends was the genesis of Radiohead’s perceptive, forward-thinking tendencies, which would go on to inspire countless musicians in myriad ways.

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What’s Not to Love About the Trombone?

There was a time when jazz trombonists like Glenn Miller were mega-stars. Not so today, but talents like those of Ryan Keberle and Joe Fiedler make the case that they should be.

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Experiencing Isolation and Connection In Tall Buildings

In Tall Buildings' Erik Hall got the name from recording in a Chicago skyscraper, but notes that "I don't tend to write songs that jump out at the listener, but rather kind of invite the listener in."

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‘The Bends’ and the Blazing of a Trail Into the New Millennium

Amidst a transformational time in the post-Vietnam and post-Reagan eras, The Bends represented a transition between the tumultuous latter half of the 20th century and the new millennium ahead.

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30 Musical, Literary and Cultural Reasons to Celebrate 30 More Years of Phish: Part Two

From Romanticism to structuralism, the musical ingenuity of Phish pays tribute to a variety of cultural movements; they're more dada than dad rock.

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The Artist Is Not Present: The Significance of Sia’s Anti-Pop Persona

For once, a pop artist has rejected the idea of stardom, and as a result, has become one of the world’s most discussed pop stars.

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Too Smart to Be Naïve, Too Young to Be Jaded: ‘The Bends’ and Teen Angst

Even teenagers two decades removed from The Bends' original release can still find deep emotional connections to its depiction of isolation and dissatisfaction.

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Thursday’s Geoff Rickly on Reissues, the Future, and Selling Crockpots

Thursday is no more, but their legacy lives on, with singer Geoff Rickly reissuing Waiting on his own label and talking about what chances, if any, there are to the group reuniting.

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“Where Do We Go from Here?” ‘The Bends’ of the 20th Century and Beyond

The Bends is the 20th century's identity emerging under pressure, forced to search bleakly for some form of cohesion among an increasingly artificial and commercial world.

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How the Go! Team Puts the “I” in Team with ‘The Scene Between’

Ian Parton, leader of the Go! Team, weighs the maturation and development of his crazed wall-of-sound schoolyard aesthetic on new album The Scene Between.

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James McMurtry and His Complicated Games

Americana legend James McMurtry is fiery, opinionated, and smart as a whip. His latest (accidental) endeavor: Occupy spokesman.

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The Annotated Guide to the Music Videos of ‘The Bends’

With one album Radiohead left an impressive music video legacy, one that would extend to later masterpieces such as OK Computer.

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