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The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 1)

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.

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Books

The Oxford Handbook of Music & Virtuality

Blur's Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett created the cyberworld Gorillaz as a critique and subversion of manufactured music. Does it succeed in its intentions?

Sheila Whiteley and Shara Rambarran
Music

Blur + Courtney Barnett Played MSG (Photos) + Blur's 'New World Towers' Documentary Coming Soon

Blur's bi-coastal arena shows beckoned fans far and wide as the band performed songs from The Magic Whip and lots of other hits and rarities. Their documentary New World Towers is part of the DOC NYC festival this Sunday.

Music

Watch Blur's Complete Music Hall of Williamsburg Gig - 1 May 2015 (video)

Britpop was alive and well at the start of May as Blur took to Brooklyn for the first time in 16 years. Now, you can watch the whole concert right here on PopMatters.

Music

Watch Blur Bring "Pyongyang" and "Beetlebum" to Williamsburg

Blur brought plenty of tracks new and old -- in addition to massive squalls of feedback -- to their recent gig at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Music

Blur Dig Into the 'Parklife' Deep Cuts at Their Brooklyn Gig (video)

At their recent Brooklyn gig, Blur performed several classics alongside the material from their new record, including Parklife's "Trouble in the Messenger Centre".

Music

Blur Bring 'Lonesome Street' and 'New World Towers' to Brooklyn (video)

Blur performed to a packed and enthusiastic crowd last week at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg; these performances of two Magic Whip tracks document the fun.

Music

Uncool Britannia: Radiohead's 'The Bends' vs. Britpop in a Battle for the Soul of Britain

The successors to Radiohead and The Bends are a generation who liked how the film started, but lost the script halfway through.

Music

Everything Has Changed, Nothing Has Changed: Music in a Post-9/11 World

The attacks of 9/11 may have caused a noticeable shift in the lyrical content of musicians and even sonic changes in the short term, but, in the end, normalcy finds a way to settle in.

Music

Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots

Even if you think that Damon Albarn has done it all by this point in time, Everyday Robots is a new gold standard in contemporary pop songwriting.

Music

For Tomorrow: The 10 Best Songs from Blur's "Life Trilogy"

Damon Albarn's got a new album arriving in a few days, and his band's most popular album commemorates its 20th birthday. What better time to pay tribute to the period when Blur put the "pop" in Britpop?

Music

Blur: Parklive (Special Edition) (take one)

Blur's biggest, most triumphant concert ever -- playing at Hyde Park as part of the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremonies -- is given a large, multi-disc treatment.

Music

Blur: Parklive (take two)

Parklive may have a lame title, but that's the only thing lacking here.

Music

Various Artists: Now That’s What I Call British

The long-running Now series has a go at crafting a selection of contemporary British pop's leading lights for an American audience. And then it sticks Radiohead's "Creep" near the front of it.

Music

'Blur 21': The Best of the Rarities

The most compelling reason to opt for the CD version of the Blur 21 box set is the inclusion of four rarities discs covering the span of the revived Britpop group’s history.

Music

To the End: 12 Essential Blur Songs for 2012

If you needed any confirmation that Blur took the gold in the 1990s Britpop battle royale, the band's headlining performance capping the London Olympics should close the case.

Music

Why the Blur 21 Box Set is Worth Your Time

Oh goodness yes, another box set from another highly-regarded band, but before you hit your cultural snooze alarm, take a look closer: this actually has everything fans could want, and more, especially when we hear it direct from the horse's mouth.

Music

Listening Ahead: Upcoming Releases for July

The record release schedule usually cools off as summer heats up, but this July offers its fair share of highly anticipated albums from across the musical spectrum.

Matthew Fiander and Arnold Pan
Music

Rocket Juice & the Moon: Rocket Juice & the Moon

This debut showing from the team-up of Damon Albarn, Flea, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen is surprisingly unambitious but solid and fun.

Music

Graham Coxon: A+E

The bespectacled Blur guitarist once again indulges his American indie rock fixation -- and it's a good thing he has.

Music

Damon Albarn Tackles Opera with 'Dr. Dee' (new album / video)

Blur frontman Damon Albarn is flexing his artistic muscles, tackling perhaps the most difficult musical form to master... opera.

Games

'Burnout' Ruined Racing Games For Me

What puts Burnout ahead of other arcade racers like Split/Second and Blur is a single and perfectly implemented mechanic: the ability to ram cars.

Music

Definitely Maybe the Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s

Half the fun of lists like this is tearing them down immediately after they’ve been built up.

Music

A Cold Day in Springtime... Damon Albarn Is My Hero

In a weekend where Gorillaz closed out Coachella and Blur released its first single in a decade, one man swoons over the force at the center of it all.

Music

15 Years Later: Blur's 'Parklife'

Parklife is like a dream date -- it's smart, it's funny, it rocks, it's tender, it gets your blood pumping, and when it's over, you can't wait to do it all over again.

Music

Blur: Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur

Sure, Blur were at times all over the map, but this two-disc set actually accentuates the incongruities of their occasional diversity by odd selection choices, bizarre sequencing, and about as much focus as a shuffle button.

Music

Graham Coxon: The Spinning Top

It's a thing of beauty to see one of the best guitarists in recorded history reach his creative peak after so many years of effort and doubt.

Music

Monkey: Journey to the West

A musical, circus stage show based on a 16th century Chinese novel about a monkey who dreamed of being a god? Damon Albarn must have something to do with it. But stripped of the fancy visuals, the music is left wanting.

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