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Music

Tom Petty: The Soundtrack of our Lives

Tom Petty's unique, tuneful brand of heartland rock was a vital part of many rock fans' lifelong playlists.

Chris Ingalls
Music

Remembering Prince

Jonathan Garrett
Recent
Music

Five 'Revolver'-era Songs That Prove George Martin's Impact on the Music World

Revolver marks the moment the Beatles leaped forward to become the most influential studio artists in rock 'n' roll history. George Martin had a huge role in that progression.

Timothy Malcolm
Music

Orrin Keepnews: Hero for America's Music

Orrin Keepnews didn't just encourage and oversee some of the most important jazz recordings in history; he rolled up his sleeves and helped shape their final form.

Music

Jack Bruce: The Thinking Man's Golden God

Jack Bruce didn’t need music videos, laser shows, dry ice, PR Kits, and crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics. He was too busy being one of the very best musicians in the business.

Technology

Requiem for Perfection: R.I.P. iPod Classic

Last week, Apple answered the question "Why mess with perfection?" by quietly killing off the iPod Classic.

Music

Remembering Michael Johns

PopMatters takes a look back on the music of the all-too-soon departed Michael Johns, an Idol in the truest sense of the word.

Music

The Legacy of Kurt Cobain

Twenty years since the world learned of Kurt Cobain's death, what impact does he have on rock music today?

Music

Remembering GWAR's Dave Brockie: Scumdog of the Universe, Artist, Hero

Dave Brockie forced GWAR fans to take absurdity very seriously. He gave hope to kids all over the world, suggesting that creativity, humor, and heavy metal might be infinitely more powerful than the stultifying, small-minded idiocy that they saw all around them.

Music

Lou Reed Owned the '70s

Perhaps because it represented his formation as a solo artist, his manifestation of “Lou Reed”, as opposed to “Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground”, Reed owned the '70s more than any other decade.

Music

We'll Never Stop Lovin' the Great Possum: RIP George Jones 1931-2013

There’s nothing you can say about George Jones that one of his own records couldn’t say better, and now’s as good a time as any to acquaint or reacquaint yourself with his artistry.

Jerrick Adams
Music

John Lennon’s Biggest Solo Hits in the US

In celebration of what would have been his 72nd birthday, we take a look at the Lennon singles that American audiences sent up the charts.

Music

Flatpicking Folk Legend Doc Watson Passes Away at 89

Doc Watson, along with Django Reinhardt, was the pre-eminent acoustic six-string player in any genre. A true legend of the 20th century, we pay him tribute via these video highlights.

Music

Levon Helm: So Real It Makes You Believe

I can't imagine music without Levon Helm. I can't imagine my world without Levon Helm. Fortunately I'll never have to.

Music

It Needed Doing: Levon Helm's Life in Music

The Band's Levon Helm represented a kind of musician increasingly rare in today's world -- unpretentious, dedicated, and motivated only by love.

Music

Print the Legend: The Man in Black at 80

The late Johnny Cash (who would've turned 80 this month) was a combination of Keith Richards, Elvis Presley, and Public Enemy. Only he did it first, and no one before or since ever did it quite like him.

Music

Whitney Houston and the Wages of Fame

Pop diva Whitney Houston's death this past weekend was sad, yet not wholly unexpected -- nor were the efforts to instantly beatify the singer, a response common in regards to celebrities who die prematurely and as a result of their own appetite for destruction.

Music

Don Cornelius: Rest in Peace, Love, and Soul

Soul Train creator/host Don Cornelius will be remembered--and should hereafter be celebrated--for giving a voice to Black America, and he should also be acknowledged—and praised—for making White America less white.

Music

Wallflower: Etta James and Fame

Etta James was memorialized before she died, and it illustrates a new and common plight among older artists.

Alexander Heigl
Music

Etta's Blues: 1938 - 2012

Across decades and genres, you always know Etta James when you hear her; it would be difficult to think of anyone who sang so well for so long. While we embrace the body of work she left behind after passing away on January 20, it’s hard not to imagine how much more we might have gotten from her, if she’d managed to hook up with a label that knew how to handle a peerless voice.

Music

The End of R.E.M.

On Wednesday, R.E.M. -- one of the most important alternative rock bands of all time -- announced it was calling it quits. But with the group having been described as "important" for so long, it's possible that it's been all too often taken for granted.

Music

Something Real: In Memory of Nickolas Ashford

In life, in words, and in music, Nickolas Ashford never gave less than the real thing. Where does 50 years of music go? They conduct symphonies of memories in the mind.

Music

Amy Winehouse: A Voice to Make You Believe

Even given all of the media saturation in our desensitized age, the sheer speed of Amy Winehouse’s demise was astonishing. Yet, at the same time as she was struggling on this Earth, she possessed a true, utterly rare, gift of a voice.

Steve Jansen
Music

Sease & Desist: The Soulfully Outrageous Sound of Marvin Sease

Marvin Sease will likely never be remembered as a big star, but he knew what worked for him and he mastered it. His fans have always loved and will continue to love him for that.

Music

Billy Bang: Goodbye and Rest in Peace

The more I think about the recently-deceased Billy Bang, the more I'm convinced his life is the kind of story someone should write a novel about. Except someone already did: Billy Bang did, and his novel was his life, and his life's story is articulated in his music. And his music lives on.

Music

LCD Soundsystem: Who Cares About an Edge, Anyway?

Among all the fervent eulogizing of the late LCD Soundsystem, a backlash has kicked up some funereal dirt. So, where to lay the band to rest -- with the hippest of the hip, or the bright-but-empty space with most of the other Madison Square Garden clientele?

Music

Gerry Rafferty: An Appreciation

Gerry Rafferty died too young, embittered and ravaged by alcoholism, added to the strange but poignant list of people we’ve never met but still miss. He leaves behind a perfect song, an aching, sad, beautiful story attached to a sax solo forever lodged in the right brains of millions of music fans.

Music

Right Down the Line: R.I.P. Gerry Rafferty

Hopefully even in his most lonely moments when he could not see the light, Gerry Rafferty's heart was less heavy knowing how many lives he had improved with the gift he shared

Music

O Captain! My Captain!: The Unique Magic of Captain Beefheart

If Captain Beefheart should be worshipped for anything it’s that he never once pandered for the sake of critical or commercial expediency.

Music

Remembering Frank Zappa: 17 Years Later

Zappa was never commercially huge for the two most uncomplicated and inexorable reasons: he didn't particularly want (or, to his credit, need) to be, and more, he couldn't be.

Music

Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson: 1955-2010

Music just lost a visionary who pushed sonic boundaries into dark, unexpected territory.

Music

Stevie Ray Vaughan: 20 Years After "The Day Music Died" Again

Stevie Ray Vaughan died just as 'In Step' was signaling a major musical departure for an artist who showed every intention of being around long enough to change the landscape of rock and blues several times over.

Music

Here's to You, Michael Been

Listen to the Call now and there is no denying some songs sound dated, thanks to an overabundance of keyboards. But singer Michael Been's songwriting remains a rarity

Music

Fade to Black: R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio kicked off the '80s by helming Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne's departure. During the '80s, he routinely shunned temptation to soften or commercialize his sound. 20 years later, metal is immeasurably the better thanks to his efforts.

Music

Lena Horne and the Power to Believe

Don't rely on Wikipedia or a pat obituary to grasp the impact Lena Horne had on stage, screen, civil rights, and social justice. Go to the best authority on the life of Lena Horne -- the Lady herself.

Music

World's Famous - The Death and Life of Malcolm McLaren

Through a string of genre-hopping musical explorations, he was at best a visionary, at worst a journalist in thrall to the sights and sounds of the streets, whether those found in the Bronx or Johannesburg or Vienna.

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