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Music
Lit Up: The National's 'Alligator' and the Hope of Indie Rock
The National's seminal 2005 album Alligator shows the band, like America, to be lit up by white lights even as it is surrounded by darkness. [1.Oct.14]
So Long and Goodnight: The Top 15 Songs of My Chemical Romance
It's been more than a year since My Chemical Romance decided to lay down their instruments, and PopMatters looks back on some of their finest moments. [1.Oct.14]
Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Both familiar and challenging, Williams' new record invites her audience to dance slow and close to a set of adult songs for adult listeners. [1.Oct.14]
Bonnie Prince Billy: Singer's Grave a Sea of Tongues
Existential dread is nothing new for Will Oldham's performing persona, but this new record might be his most harrowing yet. [1.Oct.14]
Dinosaur Feathers - 'Control' (album stream) (Premiere)
The Brooklyn-based outfit Dinosaur Feathers's third studio album "look to Janet Jackson for spiritual guidance". It's as interesting a listen as it sounds. [1.Oct.14]
Reviews
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Both familiar and challenging, Williams' new record invites her audience to dance slow and close to a set of adult songs for adult listeners.
Existential dread is nothing new for Will Oldham's performing persona, but this new record might be his most harrowing yet.
Much of this New Zealand compilation recalls a promo sampler from 25 or 30 years ago, when "college rock" was a niche and variety encouraged on a more daring or more cocky label's eclectic roster.
On So Cow's first full-band record, the trio sounds natural and the songs instinctual, even as they tighten into tense, nervous coils, twisting the edges and tilting the balance of typical garage rock structures.
On Bringing Back the Sunshine, Blake Shelton brings back more of the same.
Here's an album that crackles with fresh mojo while maintaining the authentic vibe of the originals that inspired the project in the first place.
These two new albums are welcome additions to Prince's canon, as none of his post-2004 comeback discs are as wall-to-wall fun as these are.
Luke Winslow-King furthers his explorations of pre-war American music on his latest for Bloodshot.
Former Carissa's Weird member Jenn Ghetto expands her solo project, S, into a full band for the best parts of Cool Choices. Oddly enough, it's when she's alone on the record that her emotions are the hardest to make out.
Zoot Woman’s eagerly anticipated return to the electronic music scene rarely reaches the glittering heights of its shimmering title.
By making an album for himself, Benjamin Wynn just might end up pleasing everyone.
Hornsby explores his many, many sides on a double-disc that might be tough listening for fringe fans.
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes isn't about any new technology, even with its faux-edgy release through bittorrent; it's about the old question about the power and limitations of our human containers.
On third LP, Mended With Gold, the band pursues escape velocity with the most commitment yet, making the most bombastic and polished arrangements of their career.
On In the Orbit of Ra Sun Ra collaborator and Arkestra member Marshall Allen presents a portrait of the jazz legend every bit as complicated and strange as a cross-section of his reality could possibly be.
If We Loved Her Dearly is any indication, Lowell has simply run out of material, if not ideas, musical or otherwise.
This electro-dance trio wants you to feel human. Easier done than said.
Hate Core is alive and well! Sheer Terror, New York hardcore hate-mongers, return with a new record, new line-up, and their same old abhorrence for, well… everything.
Despite the high anxiety, Night Surfer, Prophet’s 13th album, is pure-bred, colourful rock with a dark sense of humour.
A wild mix of styles are brought to the music of Fats Waller by the pianist Jason Moran and his collaborator MeShell Ndegeocello. A dance party that proves, again, that jazz boundaries are joyously crumbling.
Producer Jimmy Tamborello puts together a pleasant but modest set of textured beats and ambient sounds for his fourth studio album.
The Clean member Hamish Kilgour's first solo record, All of It And Nothing, doesn't seem interested in grabbing for your attention.
Almost every single moment of Savage Imagination is pretty and melodic, but these tracks tend to just drift by before dissolving into the next pretty, sweet bit of noodling.
Myth and Mythopoeia holds the course for John Zorn's career -- presenting music that is as difficult to hear as it is rewarding to absorb. There's also one track here that can be preserved for the ages.
Did I truly experience "the Real South" over the course of the Hopscotch Music Festival weekend?
Cohen's 13th studio release offers nine powerful reflections on the sacred and the profane with characteristic mix of humor and longing.
Glittered with transcendent brilliance, gilded shadows do not hide the empowered dramatic turn of Perfume Genius's Too Bright.
Single Mothers sounds like something you would expect from Earle: a carefully calculated and cohesive product.
This is psychologically dangerous stuff, and a great deal of enjoyment comes from revelling in Prude’s excesses. That comes to a point, though.
With Live at Biko, Mark Kozelek delivers a live set of highly compellingly autobiographical later period work that sets a new standard for the nakedly confessional singer-songwriter.
Girl Talk & Freeway collaborate to bring you a fast-paced EP that is well worth its short run time.
Capsule Reviews
The veteran guitarist and singer returns with a strong release that pairs him with Nashville writers, studio greats, and longtime producer Kevin Shirley. [01.Oct.14]
Events
Mixed Media
News
By Mark Olsen
For a film that received two documentary prizes at the Sundance Film Festival, “20,000 Days on Earth” is very honest about how… [25.Sep.14]
Features
The National's seminal 2005 album Alligator shows the band, like America, to be lit up by white lights even as it is surrounded by darkness. [30.Sep.14]
We owe it to ourselves to recognize the many women in pop music that made an undeniable impact on popular culture and the world at large. [28.Sep.14]
Columns
Jazz Today
Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria. [25.Sep.14]
Kickin' Up Dust
Since the early '80s, The Rainmakers have been among the best bands to emerge from the Heartland Rock boom of that decade. They may be the best that's still at it. [21.Sep.14]
From The Blogs
It's been more than a year since My Chemical Romance decided to lay down their instruments, and PopMatters looks back on some of their finest moments. [01.Oct.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]
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