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Is Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew' a Tradition-Carrier or a Sellout?

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew does not sound like any mainstream popular music in the US from its time. What made this album different?

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20 Jazz Albums You Might Have Missed in 2020

During the new-year season of best-of-the-year lists, I find myself looking backward—even at a year as difficult as 2020. Time was dilated—I thought I had too much of it but, as usual, there was too little for all the great music.


Folkie Peter Stampfel Surveys the 20th Century in His Unique Style

Peter Stampfel's 100-song collection features well-known tunes and obscure ditties. The songs range from the serious to the goofy, all performed in his inimitable absurd style.


Ashnikko's Debut 'Demidevil' Attempts to Birth a Pop Star From the Endless Feed

Demidevil is poised to keep Ashnikko relentlessly populating the feed in 2021 with some impressively strong new bangers. But it'll be crucial for her to remember the difference between Nicki Minaj and the iLOVEFRiDAYs of the world.


The Best Music of 2020

PopMatters surveys the year in music in this month-long Best Music of 2020 series.


Popular Culture Is Eating Its History and OMD Are Not Complaining

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are the most important and influential group of the late 1970s/early 1980s birth of electropop. OMD's classic, clever, arty synthpop single "Enola Gay" is 40 years old, and Andy McCluskey takes us through their history.


BTS Master the Art of Timeless, Universal Songwriting with 'BE'

BE is the album in which BTS's sound crosses over to cement the type of legacy they're building – one that started in youth and is very proudly Korean, but that makes sense for any age or place.


Nicki and Patrick Adams Offer an Engaging Classical/Jazz Hybrid on 'Lynx'

Eclectic siblings Nicki and Patrick Adams draw from a wealth of musical genres and training to produce an album of depth and beauty.


LOG ET3RNAL Is a Dubbed-out Beauty of Soft, Skeletal Ambience

Ulla and Perila, two experimental producers on the vanguard of modern ambient, take their talent to new heights on LOG ET3RNAL, their first collaborative LP under the LOG moniker.


How Leeds Led the Goth Scene

Leeds' the F Club, Ace of Clubs, and the Warehouse are just a few of the clubs that ushered in goth. Ethan Stewart talks with musicians and fans who were there.


Elvis Costello Gets Dark and Brooding on 'Hey Clockface'

Elvis Costello is a complex man of dark humor and flashes of anger as he keeps fighting the good fight armed with a razor wit.


Shanghai Restoration Project Offer Innovative Alternate Reality on 'Brave New World Symphony'

Imagination has always been the Shanghai Restoration Project's beating heart, and it has perhaps never been more timely than on Brave New World Symphony.

Music Reviews

Maxwell Stern Gives Us a Warm Car in Frigid Winter with 'Impossible Sum'

Maxwell Stern's debut record, The Impossible Sum, is a relaxed, honest, deeply felt exploration of what it means to be a feeling, caring human in our time of incessant gaslighting and doom scrolling.


Susan Alcorn's 'Pedernal' Is a Chamber Jazz/Americana Blend

Baltimore's wizard of the pedal steel guitar, Susan Alcorn, offers a creative blend of Americana, jazz, and ethereal improvisation on Pedernal.


MetalMatters: The Best Metal Albums of December 2020

Post-rock legends Jesu return after seven years, chameleonic rockers Boris collaborate once more with noise fiend Merzbow, and Dan Barrett unleashes Black Wing's sophomore record.


J Mascis Welcomes You to Three Nights of Exquisite Songcraft and Pure Fun

Fed Up and Feeling Strange: Live and in Person (1993-1998) shows the Dinosaur Jr maestro doesn't need a wall of amplifiers to make an impact.


Barry Gibb Re-Visits Bee Gees Classics with Superproducer Dave Cobb

Barry Gibb went to Nashville to make a country record of Bee Gees classics with Americana producer Dave Cobb. The result is Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1.


Dave Scanlon's 'Pink in each, bright blue, bright green' Is a Stark, Deeply Elegant Solo Work

Dave Scanlon, the singer and guitarist of Brooklyn's JOBS, offers a stripped-down collection of songs that retains the unique intensity of his more complex work.


Psychobilly: Qu'est-ce Que C'est?

Many punk hybrids have come and gone since their heydays, but the punk-rockabilly one, psychobilly, has endured and is still thriving around the world today.


The Insular Jazz of Lockdown Rediscovers a Pioneering Sounds of the Past

New COVID-era recordings from saxophonists Chris Potter and Ben Wendel recall pioneering work by the brilliant composer Wayne Shorter.

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