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The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

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Music

HEALTH: Death Magic

HEALTH's characteristic noise is upended by obscured pop aesthetics on their first LP in six years.

Music

Noise Band Health, As Anxious and Rude As Ever, Adjusts to a New Scene

Right when the band’s new album, Death Magic, could vault it past the LA underground and onto big new stages, it’s mocking the idea of changing to be more popular.

August Brown
Books

Cayenne Pepper Enemas and Other Developments in Early Medicine

From applying leeches to mapping the shape of the human skull, Erik Janik describes a drama of medical history in Marketplace of the Marvelous.

Music

Pictureplane: Thee Physical

Could Pictureplane be "doing a Spinal Tap" and "treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry"? Thankfully, no.

Music

Various Artists: F*>k Dance Let’s Art; Sounds from a New American Underground

!K7 Records tries to make sense of chillwave, witch house, Animal Collective, and other neo-electronic non-dance artists.

Music

HEALTH: DISCO2

Noise-rock foursome gets the remix treatment for a second time, featuring work by Pictureplane, Small Black, and Tobacco. Oh, and there's this one new HEALTH original, too.

Media

Those "Crazy Colored People": Reading Race in Mental Health

Where white kids are depressed, black kids are pathological, even when demonstrating the same behavior in a classroom. NPR's Tell Me More investigates why "Blacks, Latinos Less Likely Treated For Depression". Perhaps the facts of race explain insanity for many, and there's no treatment for that.

Music

Pictureplane: Dark Rift

Frequent HEALTH remixer and tourmate proves why one of our best contemporary bands likes him so much.

Music

HEALTH: HEALTH//DISCO

HEALTH//DISCO draws you in, wins you over with its infectious zeal, and then pushes you into some serious late-night trouble.

Music

Health: Health

Health's first full length is loud and untamed, but artful in its deconstruction.

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