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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.


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Counterbalance No. 7: Bob Dylan - 'Blonde on Blonde'

Number seven marks the first appearance of a fellow we’ll be seeing a lot of, one Bob Dylan. He’s a poor fool in his prime on the 1966 opus Blonde on Blonde—Counterbalance has a listen.

Music

Miles Davis' Top 10 Performances of American Standards

While Miles Davis will always be known for his original compositions and for genre-busting, innovative records like Kind of Blue, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew, it's worthwhile to give a listen to his great performances of standards from his earlier career.

Music

The 10 Most Awesome Queen Songs

Let them entertain you... here are ten songs of Queen at their hard-rocking and overblown best.

Music

Grimes - "Idoru" (Singles Going Steady)

Creative, existential bondage for the sleep-deprived, Grimes' "Idoru" is better than any hallucination Titanic Sinclair could dream up for Poppy this week.

Music

Counterbalance No. 6: Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'

Marvin Gaye's What's Going On has been called the greatest soul album of all time. But is it truly "right on"—or maybe a little bit "jive"? Counterbalance’s Mendelsohn and Klinger find out what's happening, brother.

Music

15 Essential Tracks from the New Zealand Pop Underground

Recorded for $60 in an island country near the bottom of the globe, "Tally Ho", the debut single by New Zealand's the Clean, was an unlikely candidate to be an international game-changer and a defining moment for a pop movement. Here's a sampling of essential tracks by 15 of New Zealand's finest acts.

Mike Noren
Music

Counterbalance No. 5: The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Number five on the list is practically synonymous with Great Artistic Statements. But was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band really the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper"? A splendid time is guaranteed for all as Counterbalance figures it out.

Music

Counterbalance No. 4: 'The Velvet Underground and Nico'

The Velvet Underground & Nico's self-titled debut album started as all hype thanks to Andy Warhol, but it somehow managed to become one of the most influential records of all time. Has this record outlasted its 15 minutes of fame? Peel slowly and see.

Music

Counterbalance No. 3: Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our Counterbalance team takes on the "Greatest Albums of All Time". This time it's Nirvana's Nevermind. Dust off your flannel shirt... it's going to be a grungy good time!

Music

The 10 Best Sappy Love Songs of the 1970s

Just in time for Valentine's Day... If you were a child of the 1970s, you no doubt grew up hearing these tunes on your parents' eight-track player and car radio. The songs on this list are sappy, high-drama love ballads -- and for that they're being celebrated.

Music

12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums

PopMatters' '80s alt-rock primer spotlights the essential alternative rock albums from the broad genre's rich and diverse early years.

Music

Counterbalance No. 2: The Beatles' 'Revolver'

In this installment of the tag-team series Counterbalance, we take on the Beatles’ 1966 bellwether Revolver. Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream!

Music

Counterbalance No. 1: The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds'

Ten years ago, we began presenting the beloved Counterbalance series that ran through 2016. Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger debate the merits of some of the most critically-acclaimed albums of all time. We are re-running the entire series beginning today with a new entry each Monday. Enjoy.

Music

12 Must-Have Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

Before you go out to your favorite haunted house or visit your favorite witchy woman, be sure to have the proper monster music handy.

Music

Yesterday's Jukebox: Chic - "Good Times"

Take a moment to consider Chic's massive 1979 disco hit "Good Times", the most present-tense song ever.

Music

Hope Sandoval's Quiet Rebellion Against the Music Industry

Absent from Instagram and Twitter and mostly uncommunicative to the press, listeners must wait patiently for the reclusive Hope Sandoval's return without any hints as to what she may bring.

Music

Fave Five: Hayden Thorpe - Five Albums That Show Me How It's Done

We all miss the now-defunct UK outfit Wild Beasts, but with his solo album, singer Hayden Thorpe is aiming to make something more personal, and raw. Guiding his way? His "Five Albums That Show Me How It's Done".

Evan Sawdey
Music

Fave Five: Mamas Gun - Five Albums Where the Voice Is King

Songwriter Andy Platts has played for everyone from Corinne Bailey Rae to Beyoncé and has written hits for K-Pop stars. However, his home base is UK soul outfit Mamas Gun, now going a decade strong. Celebrate their new album with Andy's picks of "Five Albums Where the Voice Is King".

Evan Sawdey
Music

Konx-om-Pax Shares His Visual Influences on New Album, 'Ways of Seeing'

Electronic producer Konx-om-Pax creates cinematic soundscapes, and he shares the artistic influences on his new album, Ways of Seeing, with us.

Music

Fave Five: Tor Lundvall's Favorite Albums of All Time

Dark ambient artist Tor Lundvall is releasing his new album of early, surprising, and downright joyous pop-oriented material today and so he gives us a scintillating tour through the albums that shaped him.

Evan Sawdey
Music

20 Questions: Ishmael Butler from Shabazz Palaces and Knife Knights

Our 20 Questions feature sums up the quality that Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler only reveals once you get to talking with him: his dry, clipped humor.

Music

15 Essential Scott Walker Songs

We celebrate the career of experimental pop pioneer Scott Walker through 15 of his essential songs.

Music

Stephen Malkmus - "Come Get Me" (Singles Going Steady)

"Come Get Me" sounds a little like early-period Shins with its herky-jerky vocal melody that Stephen Malkmus isn't afraid to run into the ground, not to mention an arrangement that just barely exists on the good side of modern indie cliché.

Music

Vök - "Erase You" (Singles Going Steady)

Icelandic electropop trio, Vök's "Erase You" is a testament to strength although it's not outwardly apparent. It expresses emotional mutability and the ultimate belief that strength can be derived from subjection.

Music

Doing a Good Thing For Other People: An Interview with SWMRS

Bay Area political punk band, SWMRS talk about changing their name, recording in conference rooms, and committing to social justice as a rock band.

Music

Matmos - "The Crying Pill" (Singles Going Steady)

Here we are in 2019, and Matmos is still producing sounds that just don't fit comfortably into any electronic subgenre currently available for classification.

Music

Jordan Rakei - "Mind's Eye" (Singles Going Steady)

Everything about "Mind's Eye" seems designed to draw you in gently, and then there is Jordan Rakei's remarkable voice.

Music

Cardi B and Bruno Mars - "Please Me" (Singles Going Steady)

Here we have two artists sticking closely to their strengths, Cardi B being supremely confident and hilariously vulgar while Bruno Mars sings a hook designed to get stuck in your head for days.

Music

Chromatics - "Time Rider" (Singles Going Steady)

On synthpop band Chromatics' latest track "Time Rider", the melancholy remains present, but they find the beauty in it as a means of survival and sanity.

Music

Teenage Fanclub - "Everything Is Falling Apart" (Singles Going Steady)

Teenage Fanclub create an impeccably boss Velvet Underground groove with "Everything Is Falling Apart".

Music

Fave Five: Methyl Ethel

Methyl Ethel's Jake Webb looked inward, writing, producing, and performing his third album as Methyl Ethel all on his own. To celebrate, he counts down his "Five Great Palette Cleansing Albums for the Sedentary Listener".

Evan Sawdey
Music

Fave Five: Juliana Hatfield

Juliana Hatfield nods her idols on her new album Weird, and celebrates by listing her "Top Five Albums That Were Spun the Most on the Record Player of My Pre-Pubescence".

Evan Sawdey
Music

Fave Five: Dan Mangan

Juno-winning Canadian songwriter Dan Mangan's love of his influences and peers has lead him to craft something quite joyous: his list of Five Great Albums From Now-Defunct Bands.

Music

Fave Five: The Dodos

Coming off yet another acclaimed set of strum-and-pound indie pop, Meric Long of the Dodos takes our Fave Five challenge and lists the Top Five Records You Can Enjoy With a Two-Year-Old.

Evan Sawdey
Music

20 Questions: Keys N Krates

"Use as few sounds as possible to get your point across when making music." Pretty great advice from a dance trio that's shaking up the system.

Evan Sawdey
Music

The PopMatters Progcast Discusses Highs of 2017 and Hopes for 2018

In this episode of the PopMatters Progcast, we reflect on our top albums of 2017, as well as discuss some of the major releases arriving this year.

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