Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
Stream of (Music) Consciousness
The 'Marshall McLuhan' message borne by the mp3 revolution is clear: music is endlessly plentiful and entirely disposable. So what's the message of streaming? [15.Sep.14]
The Road to 'Grace': How Jeff Buckley's Debut Album Remains Timeless 20 Years Later
By David Chiu
Drawing from 20 years worth of reviews and books, in addition to new interviews with those involved in Jeff Buckley's music, David Chiu looks back on Grace, which two decades later remains just as impactful. [15.Sep.14]
Kind of, Kind of Blue: A Conversation with Mostly Other People Do the Killing
By Moppa Elliott and Greg Elliott
Mostly Other People Do the Killing have taken on an ambitious task: recreate Miles Davis' landmark Kind of Blue note for note. Except, as bassist Moppa Elliott notes, note-for-note might just be impossible. [15.Sep.14]
U2: Songs of Innocence
It's hard to fault a lot of young people for are asking the question of "Who is U2?", because after listening to Songs of Innocence, this is a question that not even the band themselves could answer. [15.Sep.14]
Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Mike Auldridge: Three Bells
Mike Auldridge is joined on this, his final recording, by fellow dobro masters Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. A fitting capstone to a legendary career. [15.Sep.14]
Reviews
MonFriThuWedTue
It's hard to fault a lot of young people for are asking the question of "Who is U2?", because after listening to Songs of Innocence, this is a question that not even the band themselves could answer.
Mike Auldridge is joined on this, his final recording, by fellow dobro masters Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. A fitting capstone to a legendary career.
To a large degree, the last year in music has been about the triumph of the smooth.
There are different ways to experience and to express joy. It can be celebratory, or quiet and introspective. Joy in Spite of Everything balances those poles of sound and style on what is one of the most successful jazz releases of the year.
Saying that The Water(s) shows potential would be unfair. Mick Jenkins has already arrived.
Some of these experiments are more successful than others, but it is that basic uptempo, wah-wah inflected, bass-heavy, organ-choogling funk that makes the strongest impression here.
Pere Ubu's 18th album offers their most cohesive and disturbing vision of dystopian America. A carnival of oblique reference points, it's also their best album of the 21st century.
Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer meet up for a second time, making music that, unsurprisingly, sounds like it was made for virtuosos.
A concise, pure and punchy pop history lesson.
Adrian Thaws is one of Tricky's most successful attempts to achieve reconciliation between the strengths of his established sound, and his need to progress as an artist.
It's a fine line between "retro" and "novelty", but no one walks it better than Brian Setzer.
American Hi-Fi is not a group to reshape the way we hear music. They’re simply a good time.
Three of Shostakovich's symphonies sound as scary as they probably did during their premiere, thanks to a unique orchestra and a unique conductor.
From the top on down, the intent of Forever For Now is perfectly clear: fun. This is one big good time broken into 12 melodically succinct, percussively infectious packages.
This is a celebratory affair from start to finish, and constructed in such a way as to put a big grin on your face.
The Man Upstairs is a beguiling diversion for Hitchcock, one devoid of any mystery or humor.
Seemingly on the verge of death not long ago, Vini Reilly re-emerges with a timely, often gorgeous reminder of why he is among the greatest guitarists of his generation.
Sloan changes things by giving each member a side of a double-vinyl record. It works.
Avi Buffalo settle for a sleeker, cleaner set of psychedelic folk on the follow-up to their more compelling 2010 debut.
Forty-plus years on, Afro-beat master Orlando Julius is still gettin' it done.
Any anticipatory pleasure to be derived from the pain detailed on Annabel Dream Reader is numbed by its own flogging tedium.
He tells you about a "Brand New Dance" that’s sweeping the nation. The craze is just getting out of bed, standing up, and confronting death. He's not just being funny
Somebody call 911! Ryan Adams is on fire!
Just when you thought hip-hop couldn't get weirder...
Exile proves that McGrath deserves something more: a rabid following of many devotees who sing along with every pointed word and buy his albums with no reservations.
Rustie continues his go big or go home mission statement, for better and worse.
Its similarities to 2011's Very Best differ only by three songs -- but excising his Rubin-produced songs for some '70s schmaltz will make you say "Play Me" to this comp.
Those that didn’t enjoy Skull Orchard before won’t be won over, but it doesn’t change the fact that those naysayers have conspicuously terrible taste.
Capsule Reviews
Mixed Media
News
By Mikael Wood
On Feb. 10, 2013, Kimbra walked onto the Staples Center stage and accepted a Grammy Award from Prince, who added his own… [26.Aug.14]
Features
By David Chiu
Drawing from 20 years worth of reviews and books, in addition to new interviews with those involved in Jeff Buckley's music, David Chiu looks back on Grace, which two decades later remains just as impactful. [14.Sep.14]
By Moppa Elliott and Greg Elliott
Mostly Other People Do the Killing have taken on an ambitious task: recreate Miles Davis' landmark Kind of Blue note for note. Except, as bassist Moppa Elliott notes, note-for-note might just be impossible. [14.Sep.14]
Columns
Out of Pocket
The 'Marshall McLuhan' message borne by the mp3 revolution is clear: music is endlessly plentiful and entirely disposable. So what's the message of streaming? [14.Sep.14]
Kickin' Up Dust
Has country music lost its capacity for brutal, unshakeable loneliness? Or are we just experiencing some calm before the next, inevitable heartache? [24.Aug.14]
From The Blogs
In my eyes, indisposed, in disguise as no one knows hides the face of this week's Counterbalance. 281st most acclaimed album of all time, won't you come and wash away the rain? [12.Sep.14]
DVD Reviews
If you've never been a Devo fan, this DVD will give you all the reason you need to remedy the situation. [09.Sep.14]
The Past Is a Grotesque Animal takes a compelling, 20-year long story, and zips far too quickly through it. [04.Sep.14]
Now on PopMatters
Announcements
PM Picks

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.