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Music

New Wave: Turning Rebellion into Money

If 1977 was New Wave's breakout year, by 1979 it had become an industry force, all but replacing punk as a viable vehicle or term of currency.

Recent
Film

Elvis Costello's 'Detour: Live At Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Featuring Larkin Poe'

Elvis Costello has a rich body of songs, so it's no surprise that when he turns up on the stage he bests even some of the greats.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Imperial Bedroom

History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

Music

Bruce Springsteen, 'The Ties That Bind', the Working Class, and Authenticity

As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.

Books

The Creator and Creation in Elvis Costello's 'Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink'

Costello on Costello is a joy for those already in the cult and another arrow in the quiver for those who think he should just shut up already.

Music

Joe Jackson: Fast Forward

The fact that this album was recorded in four different cities gives the disc a conceptual feel, heightened by the consistency of Jackson’s eagerly effusive vocals and the songs’ sprawling tempos.

Music

The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '80s: Part 4: 40 - 21

Stories sung with grace and compassion. We can only hope our stories will be told so well, sometime.

Music

Steve Nieve: ToGetHer

This album may ultimately be better suited to summer haze than winter chill. But Nieve is one classy musician and these songs (mostly) deserve a listen.

Music

Gov't Mule: Shout!

Southern Rock is alive and well through Gov't Mule. So is jazz ... and jam band music ... and funk ... and ... and...

Music

Elvis Costello and the Roots: Wise Up Ghost

For all the collaborations both Costello and the Roots have enjoyed, this has to be among the most exciting, imaginative collection either party has experienced.

Music

Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown” from New Album 'Wise Up Ghost'

Elvis Costello and the Roots are teaming up for a new album releasing in September via the famed Blue Note Records. 'Wise Up Ghost' offers a compelling blend of the Roots' deep funk and Costello's acerbic vocals, tied together by fabulous songwriting.

Television

Tomorrow Belongs to Her: The Art That Rose Against Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher is dead, yet her influence is stronger than ever. What lessons can be drawn from the cultural response to Thatcherism, and can they be applied again?

Music

Counterbalance No. 116: Elvis Costello's 'My Aim Is True'

The 116th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time would like to go to Spain or somewhere like that, with its two-tone bible and its funny cigarettes; its suntan lotion and its castanets. Counterbalance is waiting for the end of the world.

Music

Mirth, Music and Mayhem: The Tom Scharpling Interview

PopMatters talks with comedian, radio host and director Tom Scharpling about his signature brew of "mirth, music and mayhem."

Tim Slowikowski
Reviews

Riot Fest (Day 3): 16 September 2012 - Chicago

Riot Fest 2012 was a major success. The lineup was special, and the setting enhanced the experience, somehow leaving behind the typical downsides to major outdoor festivals.

John Beringer
Music

The Top 5 Songs for the Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign

Republicans love rock 'n' roll -- almost as much as the bands loathe them. Here are five songs the GOP can call its own.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Night Rally" and "Radio Radio"

"Night Rally" is threatening and filled with devastating imagery, and "Radio Radio" -- while no less subversive in its subject matter -- is more upbeat, and most satisfyingly, contains a proper resolution.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Lipstick Vogue"

"Lipstick Vogue" builds off themes established previously on This Year's Model, but here the Attractions are simply unrestrained.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Living in Paradise"

This song's inconvenient placement in the This Year's Model track sequence might in part be responsible for its relative anonymity.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Lip Service"

The culmination of Costello's Beatles fixation, "Lip Service" is a comparatively tame power pop number that rounds out the otherwise threatening second side of This Year's Model

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"

It's almost not worth listening to Model unless it's a version that contains "Chelsea", as the song's presence is essential to the album's overall impact.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Hand in Hand"

"Hand in Hand" is overall reminiscent of Merseybeat, without a doubt one of Costello's major touchstones for This Year's Model and beyond. Yet the relatively tame vocal performance and buoyant melody offer a sharp contrast to the harsh lyrics.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "You Belong to Me"

On "You Belong to Me", the author's romantic possessiveness and sexual neuroses that are merely hinted at in previous selections from This Year's Model reach their volcanic acme here, where they stay for the impassioned remainder of the record.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Little Triggers"

More than the simplistic doo-wop homage some seem to disregard it as, "Little Triggers" is Costello at his lovestruck summit.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "Pump It Up"

The most stylistically New Wave cut from This Year's Model, the somewhat dated and overplayed "Pump It Up" serves as an arch between the lyrically-effusive "The Beat" and melodramatic "Little Triggers", a transition that otherwise wouldn't be as fluid.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "The Beat"

Nearly all of "The Beat's" magic lies in its glorious, impressionistic lyrics; everything else seems like sort of an afterthought.

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello - "This Year's Girl"

"This Year's Girl" is much-welcomed cool-down after This Year's Model's comparatively raucous opener, "No Action"

Music

Girls, Girls, Girls, Etc.: Elvis Costello's 'This Year's Model'

Leaving behind psychedelic prog for nervy New Wave, the latest Between the Grooves series is a track-by-track deconstruction of Elvis Costello's malicious 1978 masterpiece. First up is the frenetic "No Action", Costello's best album opener and a great way of introducing his backing band the Attractions to the world.

Music

In Defense of Train Not Being Nearly as Bad as You Might Think

Sure, you may believe that it's not cool to like Train, but with the release of the unabashedly infectious California 37, the San Francisco trio brings fun back to pop music.

Music

Counterbalance No. 79: Elvis Costello's 'This Year’s Model'

Counterbalance is on tenterhooks, ending in dirty looks, listening to the 79th most acclaimed album of all time, thinking about this and that. A 1978 classic from EC—pump it up, until you can’t feel it.

Music

Carsie Blanton: Idiot Heart

Twelve smart songs from Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter. Oliver Wood produces.

Music

John Wesley Harding: The Sound of His Own Voice

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez's self-proclaimed bastard son looks back in whimsy.

Music

Old Country Comfort: How the British Might Save American Music (Again)

The British saved rock 'n' roll, reignited the blues, and may just make country music more American.

Events

Wilco + Nick Lowe: 22 September 2011 - New York

The threat of rain didn't prevent Wilco from playing to a sold-out crowd in Central Park last Thursday night.

Comics

Captain America and a Past That Must Linger Still

Despite the dark times that birthed the original Captain America #1, there was a hopefulness to the character. Writer Ed Brubaker however offers a Cap worn down by personal history. Or is that the point?


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