Part four of the most "memorable" music of 1999 brings a superb sophomore turn from the Dixie Chicks while Garth Brooks goes kinda nuts. British rock stands proud with Muse, Gomez, and Supergrass and the schlocky, corporate rock of Creed rockets to the top of the US charts.
PopMatters is 20 this year -- until October when we are 21 -- and a 2009 special section celebrates the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Today we kick things off with albums from January through March, highlighted by Eminem's debut and stellar pop from XTC and Blur.
Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".
Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.
New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.
It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.
Tri Angle comes to an end as a label but begins as an important archive of electronic music. To celebrate these legendary 10 years of Tri Angle, here are 10 of their many essential releases.
If 2007 didn't invite any gripping controversies, it was certainly filled with competitive comparisons -- between young and old, past and present, and among splintered factions -- and both surprising hits and disappointing misses. All in all, a dynamic and at times resurgent year for the broad scope of Americana.
Jazz was working all the angles in 2010. Is there any other genre that has as much range -- from solo instruments to big bands, from instrumental to vocal, from European musicians to both North and South Americans, from truly pretty music to raucously avant-garde "noise"?
The synthesis of the past, present, and future was so much of what country music was about in 2010. Country was still fairly male-dominated in the era, although the changing winds, wherein women would create the most forward-looking music, were already beginning to blow.
Punk rock gives voice to the hardest of times. As punk is a wide-ranging umbrella genre saturated with numerous subcultures, styles, aesthetics, and attitudes, making a list is more like trying to super-glue together a ripped and torn fanzine. But try, we must.
Journey back to 2010 to experience the best independent and international films from a time when our biggest worries involved "wars on terror". These films are highlighted by a host of superb documentaries, a stellar film from China, and one of the finest works of "hillbilly noir" ever.
Africa dominated the world music scene in 2010 -- or at least, it dominated Western perceptions of what "world music" might be. That said, the new vinyl archeology could be seen at work in all areas and all eras of recorded music.
In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?
"Indie rock" is a term as amorphous and hard-to-pin-down as some of its associated lingo. But for our purposes here, we'll go with a line of demarcation strangely omitted from the discussion much of the time: the rock portion of the equation.
Let's take a journey to Pop Past and re-experience the best electronic albums from a decade ago. Many electronic sounds in 2010 remained in the margins, using the lexicon of its predecessors to define what they were.
This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we conclude with part five featuring Joy Division, Gang of Four, Talking Heads and more.