PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Brett Newski Asks "What'd Ya Got to Lose?" (premiere)

Photo: Alberto Albuernes / Courtesy of Clarion Call Media

Geek rock/diet grunge master Brett Newski teases his fourth album and a quick run of American dates via "What'd Ya Got to Lose?" Hypnotic vibes and hints of optimism abound. For fans of the Thermals, Pavement, and Built to Spill.

Brett Newski's fourth studio album Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down arrives on 3 April via Nomad Union. The album takes on a number of topics relevant on a global scale in 2020: loneliness, depression, anxiety and the alienation that being connected to media devices at all times can bring. Rather than crushing the listener under the weight of these topics, Newski finds a way to bathe the listener in slacker cool vibes.

Witness "What'd Ya Got to Lose", a heavily hypnotic slice of slacker pop that feels like a lost bedroom pop classic from the '70s, one of those tunes that was overlooked in its time but feels revelatory down the line. Except this song is happening now and its revelations are perfect for these times when optimism is in short supply and steady rockers such as this track can be a great source of comfort.

Newski adds, "So many of us get stuck in a life we didn't plan for...an emotional prison that takes shape in an uneventful relationship, addictive vice, or wildly uninspiring employment situation. 'What'd Ya Got to Lose' is about breaking those vicious cycles," he says. "Pivot. Start over. What's on the other side? Can it be worse than it is now? If you have a good head on your shoulders, you will land on your feet."


South Africa
02.20 - Cape Town @Caferoux1
02.21 - Cape Town @ Alma Cafè
02.22 – McGregor @At_The_Courtyard
03.01 - Johannesburg - Hell's Kitchen

North America
04.03 - Youngstown, OH @ Westside Bowl
04.04 - Baltimore, MD @ Tin Roof
04.05 - New York, NY @ Bowery Electric
04.07 - Easton, MD @ Avalon Theatre
04.08 - Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall
04.09 - Greensboro, NC @ Flat Iron
04.10 - Asheville, NC @ New Belgium Brewing
04.11 - Atlanta, GA @ Smith's Olde Bar W/ James Hall (Pleasure Club)
04.14 - Louisville, KY @ Odeon
04.15 - Cincinnati, OH @ Motr
04.16 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Founder's
04.17 - Lake Orion, MI @ 20 Front St
04.18 - Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Taproom W/ Goran Of The Gufs
04.26 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry W/ Goran Of The Gufs

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.