Recent Features
The Microscopic Septet: Pioneers Across Jazz Boundaries

In the '80s, "The Micros" mixed tradition and avant-garde jazz with impunity and almost got famous doing it. Today they're just playing the blues.

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Chuck Berry’s Defiant, Ground-Shaking Rock

The late Chuck Berry's biggest hit may have undermined one of his greatest talents: his gift for storytelling.

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The Old Dominion in Song: Clipse and the Virginia Schism

Though the trappings may be different, the rhetoric layered beneath Lord Willin’ is a borrowed form of dubious justification that reeks of the Virginia slave system.

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Born Anew: An Interview with Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash

Once a member of the mighty, shifting Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Nash now branches out on his own in gloriously unexpected ways.

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21 Mar 2017 // 9:29 AM

Ed Sheeran Is Essentially the English Ginger Drake Now

÷ is the final step in Sheeran’s shift from baby-faced ginger kid whispering about class A’s over acoustic guitar to England’s version of a man who constantly refers to himself as "The Boy".

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20 Mar 2017 // 9:00 AM

Chuck Berry, O.G.

Chuck Berry was a black man who spent the majority of his career entertaining white audiences with music more deeply rooted in black culture than they ever thought to ponder.

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20 Mar 2017 // 3:00 AM

The Improbable Birth of American Rock Writing

Paul Williams, the 17-year-old founder of Crawdaddy!, believed that rock 'n' roll could reach the aesthetic, political, and social equal of any other art form.

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They're not necessarily the “best songs” in their storied catalogue, but these are the songs through which (perhaps) we might gain the deepest appreciation for their popular genius.

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Farewell Songs and New Beginnings in Late Night TV

How late night TV talk shows move on musically.

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16 Mar 2017 // 8:25 AM

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Curious Legacy of Outkast

When it comes to hip-hop, everyone remembers who kicked down the front door -- but no one remembers who opened the windows.

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16 Mar 2017 // 7:55 AM

Auto-Tune In or Out?

Those who would doubt the influence of music technology on the development of pop music need to remember that rock music would not be possible without the invention of the electric guitar.

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City Plans and Vulcan Hands: Spiral Stairs’ Scott Kannberg Speaks

Doris and the Daggers is the first release from Spiral Stairs since 2009. Scott Kannberg explains what took so long. Spoiler? Life.

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Five Lives in 15 Broad Strokes: An Interview With LaChanze

Through a one-woman show and new EP, "Feeling Good" celebrates the multi-faceted life of Tony Award-winning performer LaChanze.

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‘On the Nature of Daylight’: Arrival’s Gentle, Beating Heart

Max Richter's 'On the Nature of Daylight' signaled that as a new parent, I was going to have a relationship with Arrival's message.

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These ‘70s Avant-Garde Jazz Musicians Blew Freely, Fiercely, and Reverently

These cats blew all night and day a new, astonishing page into the jazz lexicon. What they couldn't do was get gigs in jazz clubs.

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This Is How You Break Into My House to Find Me: An Interview with Sxip Shirey

Sxip Shirey found recent success with "Woman of Constant Sorrow", and now discusses robotic bells, the pleasure of composing for circuses, and his new album A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees.

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The Way the Song Finds Its Way: A Conversation With Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips talks with PopMatters about new songwriting methods, her new EP, upcoming full-length, and yes, Gilmore Girls.

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Steve Hackett on His New World Music-Influenced Album and Leaving Genesis 40 Years Ago

The progressive rock guitar legend offers a message of unity on his latest The Night Siren.

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Decoding the Message: An Interview with Thievery Corporation

Unafraid of genre or style, Thievery Corporation are back with an album influenced by everything from Jamaica to the current political climate.

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How Foxygen Turned a Study of Genre into the Sound of the Future

PopMatters spoke to Sam France and Jonathan Rado about the themes that dominate the album, their work with a 40-piece orchestra, and their strange connection to the POTUS.

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Thoughtful Absurdity of 'Spaceplan'

// Moving Pixels

"Spaceplan is a goofy game that still manages to pack a potent emotional punch.

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