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Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Recent
Music

Wolf Parade's 'Apologies to the Queen Mary' Turns 15

Wolf Parade's debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, is an indie rock classic. It's a testament to how creative, vital, and exciting the indie rock scene felt in the 2000s.

Music

Foghat's 'Fool for the City' Provided a Slow Ride to Stardom 45 Years Ago

For a moment, Fool for the City found Foghat putting their glitter-embossed Converse Chucks on hallowed stadium ground.

Music

Barenaked Ladies Took Chances Like Never Before on 'Maroon' (Track by Track)

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Barenaked Ladies' Maroon, we offer a song by song reflection on why the Canadian group's fifth LP is so triumphant.

Music

20 Years Ago Barenaked Ladies Found Maturity with 'Maroon'

Released back in September 2000, Maroon saw Barenaked Ladies confronting adulthood and leaving novelty behind.

Music

Kate Bush's Splendidly Transitional 'Never For Ever' at 40

Kate Bush's Never for Ever served as the stepping stone for the artist to reach her full potential as a bona fide musical genius.

Music

The Rolling Stones' 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out' Came at a Crucial Moment in History 50 Years Ago

With the Charles Manson murders in the rearview mirror and Altamont just around the bend, the Rolling Stones channeled their audience's unexplored id on Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, now 50 years old.

Music

Funk Rock and Synthesizers in Munich: Queen's 'The Game' at 40

For their eighth studio album, The Game, Queen ushered in the 1980s with a streamlined sound and an instrument they formerly took great pains to avoid.

Music

Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run' Brought Elegiac Depth and Youthful Romanticism to Heartland Rock

Forty-five years after Born to Run's release, the breakthrough third LP from American music legend Bruce Springsteen has lost none of its passion and promise.

Music

Katy Perry's Coming-of-Age Album 'Teenage Dream' at 10 Years Old

Katy Perry's Teenage Dream is a pensive coming-of-age statement disguised as sophomoric pop fun. It proves how it takes a great deal of conviction to pursue instincts that are of less "substance".

Music

The Band's Discontented Third LP, 1970's 'Stage Fright', Represented a World Braving Calamity

Released 50 years ago this month, the Band's Stage Fright remains a marker of cultural unrest not yet remedied.

Music

How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

Ice Cube's 'Death Certificate' Soundtracked the Rodney King Era

It was during the period between the Rodney King beating and subsequent court verdict that Ice Cube cut Death Certificate, a chilling glimpse into the anger and frustration South Central Los Angelinos were feeling.

Music

My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless' and the Un-Invention of Cock Rock

My Bloody Valentine's Loveless stands as an album of (at least) equal importance to Nirvana's Nevermind. A great deal of its importance is how it offers a gender-bending sonic style that severed the entrenched connections between the electric guitar and masculine phallic power.

Music

Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica' and the Altered State

In the context of Primal Scream's prior and subsequent career, Screamadelica is a miracle. It's a rock record about discovering Ecstasy, rave culture, and the music that went with it.

Music

The Album That Changed Everything: Massive Attack's 'Blue Lines'

Even now with all our understanding and acceptance of genre-mashing, Massive Attack’s opening salvo remains as bold and eclectic, as utterly assured a musical message as it was upon release.

Music

Craft Winner: Azeem's Underground Opus, 'Craft Classic'

On Azeem's Craft Classic, listeners get a window into an odd, shape-shifting pandemonium, in which the view on display is a sort of glamorous anarchy.

Music

Call for Papers: All Things Reconsidered: The Clash - London Calling

As we reboot All Things Reconsidered, PopMatters will be starting with the Clash's London Calling, dissecting it from every angle, from track-by-track rundowns to a series of provocative, insightful essays.

Music

Singing the Virginia Blues: An Interview with Gio Washington

Washington's album Son of Pain is a lost treasure of R&B; an album rich in bluesy Southern drawls, honeyed harmonies and street-smart rhythms.

Interviews

Dope Opera: Azeem Talks with PopMatters About His West Coast Hip-Hop Classic, 'Garage Opera'

In 1999, Azeem recorded his underground classic Garage Opera, hip-hop's equivalent of garage rock.

Music

Chasing the Jester's Ghosts: "American Pie"

In light of the March 2017 announcement of "American Pie" being preserved in the Library of Congress, let's not forget other songs of the '70s that matter just as much.

Television

White by Northwest: 'Twin Peaks' and American Mortality

"White" and "weird" series such as Twin Peaks and Wayward Pines speak to an American history haunted by colonialism and racism.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Television

The Reluctant Superhero: The Guilty Walk of David Banner

The Incredible Hulk offered a number of metaphors for both post-war guilt and issues of white masculinity.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Music

Hormonal Rush: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Shakespears Sister

In 1992, Shakespears Sister released Hormonally Yours, a bizarre, moonlit excursion into gothic glam-pop, featuring a host of songs beamed in from the galaxies of sci-fi.

Television

The Reluctant Superhero: Marvel TV in the '70s

Before the rise of the MCU, Marvel attempted to bring some of its most famous superheroes to television.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Television

Queering the Sponge: The Transcendent Queerness of 'SpongeBob SquarePants'

Despite being rooted in nostalgia, the reemergence of SpongeBob could very well be linked to a longing for a yet-to-be-realized queer future.

Daniel Spielberger
Television

Dreams, Diaries, and Getting Down: Individualizing the Past Through Youth and Nostalgia

Despite its limitations, television can help viewers make sense of and shape both the world and the struggle for social change.

Mabel Rosenheck
Music

Jon Brion's Meaningless: An Appreciation

Jon Brion is well known as a successful composer of film scores, but his 2001 self-released album, Meaningless, a lost power-pop classic, should be better known.

Dylan J. Montanari
Television

Sumptuous Buffoonery: The Continuing Appeal of 'Jeeves and Wooster'

A combination of Fry and Laurie's talents and timeless source material keeps Jeeves and Wooster funny more than 20 years later.

Fred McNamara
Film

Freak Like Me: The Misunderstood Brilliance of Tom Green

Tom Green's brand of comedy allows viewers to embrace their own inner freaks.

Mark Matousek
Television

The Stillness That Slays: Buffy, "The Gift", and the Avoidance of Choice

Buffy's final action in "The Gift" is both a noble sacrifice and a narrative evasion of the hard choices the series is predicated on.

Suran Parker
Music

Principled Pleasure: Janet Jackson's 'Control' at 30 Still Commands Respect

A masterpiece of self worth-themed contextual pop proves our idiocy for downgrade shaming her to the status of "wardrobe malfunction".

Music

Always Cry 4 Love, Never Cry 4 Pain: Prince's 30-year 'Parade'

On Parade, Prince allows an openness to ideas and collaboration to a degree he’d never experienced before, and it brings out the best in him.

Music

The Glorious, Quixotic Mess That Is the Beatles' 'White Album'

The crabbed, irate, confounding nature of the Beatles' White Album -- a hard dose of reality compared to the fantasy offered the year before -- fit well with the zeitgeist of 1968.

Music

The Day the Specials Kicked Their Doc Martens Boots Against the Door

The ska revival kicked to life by the Specials blended previous subcultural styles in their own Cuisinart: Kingston, Jamaica, Mod, Skinhead and Jamaican rude-boy.

Erik Hage

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