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

Music
Former Katrina and the Waves Singer Finds Her Bliss on New Record
Katrina Leskanich talks about her first solo album in ten years and the 30th anniversary of Katrina and the Waves' mega-hit “Walking on Sunshine”. [20.Apr.15]
Speedy Ortiz: Foil Deer
They may party like it's 1995, but 2015 might just be the year of Speedy Ortiz. [20.Apr.15]
Daktyl: Cyclical
English DJ Daktyl's first album of originals suffers from a lack of conviction, but shines in short bursts. [20.Apr.15]
Why Don't You Try Writing Your Own Songs?: 'The Bends' and Its Cover Songs
By Scott Elingburg
Three unique takes on tracks from The Bends, spanning the stripped-down acoustic to the full-fledged orchestral, represent how these songs still have the power to stun two decades later. [17.Apr.15]
Counterbalance: Tears for Fears 'Songs from the Big Chair'
I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the 1430th most acclaimed album of all time. But traditions I can trace against the child in your face won't escape my attention. A 1985 synth-pop hit is this week's Counterbalance [17.Apr.15]
Reviews
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They may party like it's 1995, but 2015 might just be the year of Speedy Ortiz.
English DJ Daktyl's first album of originals suffers from a lack of conviction, but shines in short bursts.
Hold On is full of perky, precocious and thoroughly engaging intent, an album with a more experimental nature that doesn’t diminish ample accessibility. Consider it a must-hear, even if for its sheer ingenuity alone.
Nashville's Sarah Gayle Meech will just as soon kick your ass as she will break your heart on Tennessee Love Song.
A vibrant and lively collection that will please a wide variety of listeners who open their ears to its many layers and surprising connections.
Cherry Bomb is the first time in a long time that we’ve gotten to see Tyler grow up at all, but is it too much to ask for this 24-year-old man to mature a little faster?
The tightly woven harmonies of these three sisters evoke the old souls and sounds of British folk while offering an updated feminine perspective.
Therapy? never seemed to be programmed for longevity, but Disquiet shows us they aren't close to running out of gas.
Umphrey’s McGee’s ninth album finds the band taking a sojourn of sorts with a session at London’s landmark Abbey Road studios.
Underground-turned-super producer Emile Haynie (KiD CuDi, Lana Del Ray, Eminem) stunt-casts his debut like crazy (Randy Newman?!) and against the odds crafts a very firm pop record out of the attention deficit.
Lustmore is a widescreen vision narrowed by delicate sonic focus that, unlike so much beat music, commands attention.
Summoning Suns is a perfect entry point into James Blackshaw's eclectic musical journey.
The fifth album by this Brooklyn-based quartet provides a tribute to their dogged persistence.
This re-release provides evidence that Bettye LaVette should have been famous decades earlier.
Detroit troubadour merges the shimmering decadent of '70s glam rock, the subtleties of indie rock, and the danceable innovation of synth pop on sophomore solo LP.
The addition of a full musical ensemble has done little to alter Villagers’ sound, what with the lush, ethereal arrangements, the lonely reminiscing and reflection, and the hushed gaze that pervades these pieces overall.
On Better than Home Beth Hart delivers a veritable tour-de-force that highlights her remarkable prowess as both a singer and songwriter.
A delightful journey of songs through musical decades and styles, all delivered in Scaggs' soulful tenor.
If you wanted a cover album of Black Sabbath, Nirvana and Weezer's greatest hits but the originals were too strong for you, no worries! JEFF the Brotherhood's prolonged adolescent fixation with their predecessors continues!
Judas Priest's three-disc re-issue of their classic 1984 chart-topper shows that the years have been kind to both the album and the band.
Seeds of experimentation and collaboration planted long ago bear some of the best fruit of Calexico's long career.
On its second album After It All, the Durham-based sextet successfully raids the storehouse of American musical traditions, incorporating influences ranging from blues to folk, rock to pop, and hip-hop to musical theater.
Americana's band of brothers expand their sonic horizons in Water Walker.
Madeon has the ear for a strong hook and a natural knack for dance production, but by failing to provide enough distinction to his tracks on an individual basis, his Tumblr-friendly brand of EDM turns him into a bit of a one-trick pony.
Sidewalk Chalk rise further to the top of the hip-hop scene with their third release, Shoulder Season.
Capsule Reviews
Events
Mixed Media
News
By Randy Lewis
The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place in Cleveland on Saturday night. Here were the highlights as the evening unfolded, presented in reverse chronological order... [20.Apr.15]
Features
Katrina Leskanich talks about her first solo album in ten years and the 30th anniversary of Katrina and the Waves' mega-hit “Walking on Sunshine”. [19.Apr.15]
By Scott Elingburg
Three unique takes on tracks from The Bends, spanning the stripped-down acoustic to the full-fledged orchestral, represent how these songs still have the power to stun two decades later. [16.Apr.15]
Columns
Ties That Bind
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? [07.Apr.15]
Jazz Today
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. [06.Apr.15]
From The Blogs
I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the 1430th most acclaimed album of all time. But traditions I can trace against the child in your face won't escape my attention. A 1985 synth-pop hit is this week's Counterbalance [17.Apr.15]
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