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All Kinds of Time: Adam Schlesinger's Pursuit of the Pure, Peerless Pop

Adam Schlesinger was a poet laureate of pure pop music. There was never a melody too bright, a lyrical conceit too playfully dumb, or a vibe full of radiation that he could shy away from. His sudden passing from COVID-19 means the brightest star in the power-pop universe has suddenly gone dim.


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PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists

If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by the quality readership of PopMatters.

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Monophonics Are an Ardent Blast of True Rock 'n' Soul on 'It's Only Us'

The third time's the charm as Bay Area soul sextet Monophonics release their shiniest record yet in It's Only Us.

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Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.

Music

JARV IS... - "House Music All Night Long" (Singles Going Steady)

"House Music All Night Long" is a song our inner, self-isolated freaks can jive to. JARV IS... cleverly captures how dazed and confused some of us may feel over the current pandemic, trapped in our homes.

Music

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Music

Jennah Barry Offers Up a Warm, Sublime Collection of Memorable Tunes on 'Holiday'

Canadian indie folkster Jennah Barry returns with her long-awaited sophomore album, Holiday, which takes on a looser, more relaxed approach.

Music

Maria McKee Puts Down Her Electric Guitar and Picks up Dante on 'La Vita Nuova'

"Show Me Heaven" was another country. Maria McKee has moved to England, immersed herself in the Classics and turned away from the 21st century.

Music

Fotocrime's '80s-Inspired Rock Is Often Half-Baked

Fotocrime's South of Heaven is interesting mostly in that it's one of the most mediocre rock records I've heard in a long time.

Music

Salsa Band LPT Hints at the Genre's Future

LPT's debut album, Sin Parar, hits all the right notes for a contemporary salsa album.

Music

The Killers - "Caution" (Singles Going Steady)

The Killers go for the big hooks and singable anthems on "Caution", but opinion is sharply divided about the song's merits amongst our Singles Going Steady panel.

Music

Lilly Hiatt - "Some Kind of Drug" (Singles Going Steady)

Lilly Hiatt sings about a different kind of love on "Some Kind of Drug". Hers is for a city and the impact gentrification has had its soul.

Music

There's Never Enough Time for Folk Music's James Elkington

The sometimes Wilco and Richard Thompson sideman, in-demand producer, and songwriter, James Elkington, muses on why it's taking longer than he expects to achieve more in a week than most of us get done in a lifetime.

Music

Weeks Island's 'Droste' Is a New High Water Mark in Ambient Steel (EP stream) (premiere)

Lost Bayou Ramblers' Jonny Campos turns up as Weeks Island with Brian Eno/Cluster-inspired music straight from the bayou. Hear Droste in full ahead of its release on Friday.

Music

Ireland's Junk Drawer Share New Krautrock Meets Post-Punk Song, "Temporary Day" (premiere)

Junk Drawer's "Temporary Day" is a simple yet compelling video for a gripping song that shows why the band have earned such acclaim in their native Ireland.

Music

'Stone Crush' Proves (Again) That Memphis Is Ground Zero for Soul and R&B

Stone Crush shines a light on the forgotten -- or never known -- artists that passed through the doors of Memphis' most storied studios in an attempt at just one fleeting moment of fame.

Music

Jazz's Kandace Springs Pays Tribute to 'The Women Who Raised Me'

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs tackles a dozen songs associated with her jazz vocal heroes, and the combination of simplicity and sincerity is winning.

Music

Circles Around the Sun Shoot for the Stars on New Album

Jamrockers Circles Around the Sun's self-titled third album finds the band transcending darkness after losing their founder in 2019 to chart a groovy new course.

Music

How to Listen to Your Old Music While Self-Isolating

There are various ways you can mine the bounty of your exquisite taste to while away an hour or two during this stressful time of coronavirus. But you've got to do it with some intentionality.

Music

David Bowie: 25 Deep Cuts (Playlist)

For all of the imagery that dominated the religiosity of David Bowie  --  the fashion, the characters, the hairstyles --  what matters most are the songs. Here are 25 killer deep-cut Bowie originals, album by album.

Music

Country's Ruthie Collins Finds 'Cold Comfort'

Ruthie Collins' Cold Comfort is devoid of glittery instrumentation and mellifluous lyrics. Instead, the music is raw, sometimes bitter yet earning for optimism. Collins' grittiness is measured and her anguish certain.

Music

Miranda Lambert - "Bluebird" (Singles Going Steady)

Miranda Lambert sings her blues the way an artist paints with them on her latest single, "Bluebird".

Music

Counterbalance No. 9: The Clash - 'London Calling'

Counterbalance offers up the right profile of the Clash's London Calling, an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres over the course of an hour plus.

Music

Rustin Man's 'Clockdust' Is Woozy Psych-Folk of Arresting and Fathomless Beauty

Arriving less than a year after Drift Code, Rustin Man consolidates a rich vein of form with the sepia-toned Clockdust, an autumnal record rendered generous and exquisite by each song's emotional weight.

Music

Basia Bulat Asks 'Are You in Love?'

Are You In Love? continues Basia Bulat's work with Jim James with equally excellent results but a slightly different theme about love in general.

Music

Dua Lipa's 'Future Nostalgia' Is the Dance Escape We Need Right Now

Engaged, confident, and better than ever, Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia is a dancefloor fire-starter but just a shade away from being a true pop masterpiece.

Music

Experimental Rock's Trees Speak Summon Kosmische Sensations on 'Ohms'

On their inspiring second album, Ohms, Arizona avant-garde collective Trees Speak invoke the best of expansive electronica through motorik repetitions across a sprawling masterwork.

Music

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" Is His First New Song Since the Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" is a 17-minute story song about JFK's assassination and a suitable audio dispatch from and for the end times.

Music

The Weeknd - "In Your Eyes" (Singles Going Steady)

With "In Your Eyes", Toronto's premier Michael Jackson cosplayer, the Weeknd, has advanced his visual brand while parking his music in the summer of 1984.

Music

Iceland Post-Rockers VAR Get Back to Basics With "Run" (premiere)

Post-rock band VAR share their latest single, "Run". It's dynamic, emotional, and filled an exuberance that recalls We Were Promised Jet Packs and Frightened Rabbit.

Music

Dua Lipa Makes Kitschy Cool on 'Future Nostalgia'

Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia is near immaculate meta-pop that refuses to forego tight songwriting for nostalgic bells and whistles, helmed by a singer is exponentially more aware of what she's capable of.

Music

How Em Rossi "Got This Feeling" to Write About a Perfect Love Story (premiere + interview)

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Em Rossi shifts a promising pop career into high gear with her major label debut single, "Got This Feeling", along with the music video inspired by a romantic couple close to her heart.

Music

The Weeknd Gets Lost in Vegas on 'After Hours'

Despite After Hours' infectious blend of '80s synthpop and dark, alternative R&B, the story's beginning to get old on the Weeknd's fourth studio album.

Music

Whitney Rose Gets Stonesy With "In a Rut" (premiere + interview)

Texas singer-songwriter Whitney Rose turned a panic attack into the hook-laden "In a Rut" from her upcoming album, We Still Go to Rodeos.

Music

Nick Storring's 'My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell' Is Beautiful, Haunting, and Otherworldly

Canadian composer Nick Storring's latest album, My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell, is mysterious, multilayered, and unforgettable.

Music

Anna Calvi Re-writes Her Own History on 'Hunted'

With the help of some celebrity friends, Anna Calvi tinkers with her past and creates an alternate version of her last album.

Music

Matchbox Twenty: Aren't We All a Little "Unwell" in the Time of Coronavirus?

Say what you will about Matchbox Twenty – I know I once did. But during this COVID-19 pandemic, we're all going "crazy" and feeling "a little unwell" in this time of isolation, and I'm turning to their music.

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