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Music

Laura Nyro's "Save the Country" Calls Out from the Past

Laura Nyro, a witchy, queer, ethnic Russian Jew, died young, but her non-conformist anthem, "Save the Country", carries forth to these troubled times.

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

I Went on a Jewel Bender During Quarantine. This Is My Report.

COVID-19 sure sucked the life out of things. I found some comfort in Jewel. That's right. Jewel.

My Favorite Thing

Weird and Sweet, Riotous and Hushed: The Beatles' 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 'The White Album' is a piece of art that demonstrates how much you can stretch, how far you can bend, how big you really are. The album is deeply weird. It has mass. It has its own weather.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Eurovision 2020: Staging Political Identity

Eurovision contestants subvert the events' apolitical ethos simply with their identity, which is then subverted by performer and audience subjectivity. So who, ultimately, wins?

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Isolation Odyssey: Behind the Scenes with a Lockdown Orchestra

Scattered throughout the world, members of Opera North's orchestra share how they are enduring the loss of live performance and companionship during the COVID-19 lockdown. They also share a mood-lifting, online isolation performance of a work that everyone knows but not always for the same reasons.

Music

Is 'Murder Most Foul' Dylan's State of the Union Address?

The implication of Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul", expressed with an understated passion, is that in 2020, it may not be just the music or even the president that has died.

Music

Nicki Minaj Is the Greatest Rapper of the Decade Bar None

2020 and it's finally time to acknowledge Nicki Minaj's right to G.O.A.T. status, as the best female rapper AND the best rapper of the past ten years — no gender preposition required.

Music

The Beatles 'Let It Be': So Good They Ruined It for Everyone

The Lumineers' Wesley Schultz recalls the Beatles' influence on his band, perhaps most of all the Let It Be album, released 50 years ago this month and the subject of a forthcoming documentary.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Work Doesn’t Always Look Like Work: In Defense of Radical Laziness During COVID-19

Expecting financially devastated artists to produce during the coronavirus shutdown is akin to handing a condemned man a typewriter on his way to the gallows. To hell with that.

Music

Punk and Metal: Frenemies for Life

Worlds collided when punk and metal realized they were opposite sides of the same coin.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

The Cure's "Seaside" Cure for Sheltering at Home

In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

How to Listen to Your Old Music While Self-Isolating

There are various ways you can mine the bounty of your exquisite taste to while away an hour or two during this stressful time of coronavirus. But you've got to do it with some intentionality.

Music

How Em Rossi "Got This Feeling" to Write About a Perfect Love Story (premiere + interview)

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Em Rossi shifts a promising pop career into high gear with her major label debut single, "Got This Feeling", along with the music video inspired by a romantic couple close to her heart.

Music

What the Sirens Taught Us: An Elegy for Mermaidens

There's something not-quite-right, something distinctly off-kilter, about the Mermaidens' feminine voice in New Zealand's music scene.

Music

29 Black Music Documentaries for Black History Month 2020

For Black History Month 2020, we are showcasing films and videos featuring Black American artists. Enjoy them and learn about the origin of each Black music legend featured.

Music

Punk Hybrids: Wham! Bam! Glam-Punk!

Glam Punk is "Rock 'n' roll with lipstick on," sneered John Lennon.

Music

Seduction Through a Pane of Glass: Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner"

Britney Spears and Fall Out Boy try to universalize desire in their versions of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner". That may be how pornography works, but it's not how desire works, and this difference is the key to the coy allure of the song.

Music

The New Old Flower-Power Fantasy of Greta Van Fleet

If Greta Van Fleet are that wonderful horrible thing called zeitgeisty, that zeitgeist is defined by desire to escape to a fantasized past where the battles were cleaner and the battle lines simpler than today's appear to be.

Music

How the Staple Singers Became the Soul of Protest Music

The Staple Singers' Stax recording, Come Go with Me, captures their transformation from the church-wrecking gospel highway to the soul-filling pop charts.

Music

Music As Control: Phase Fatale on 'Scanning Backwards'

Berlin-based techno producer, Phase Fatale discusses how music can operate as a means of control and how technology has entered the most intimate of human affairs.

Music

Punk Hybrids: Back in the Garage

Punk's idea(l)s may have been fostered in Art schools, but its musical foundations were cultivated in garages.

Music

Every Win on The Wrens' 'Meadowlands' Is Hard Won

After suffering through the pressures and losses of years past and laboring on their album in practical anonymity, the Wrens have hit the ground running.

Music

Joni Mitchell's Fearless Jazz Debut, 'Ladies of the Canyon' at 50

Joni Mitchell's foray into jazz was not an impulsive change. Rather, jazz has been the constant, undulating beneath industry demands and topical concerns that called for the acoustic guitar or the Appalachian dulcimer.

Books

The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts Matters, Dammit! An Interview with Biographer Mike Edison

Mike Edison's biography on the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, Sympathy for the Drummer is a full-throated assault on the notion that, in music, more is better, and that perfection is a friggin' virtue.

Music

Yeezus vs Jesus: Kanye West's Faith in 5 Songs

Kanye West's rap is rooted in gospel right from The College Dropout days. These five songs, which explore the relationship between Yeezus and Jesus, show that his recent album, Jesus Is King, isn't an aberration.

Music

A Pact to Be Tender When the World Is Coarse: Stewart Lupton and Jonathan Fire*Eater

With the release of the expanded edition of Tremble Under Boom Lights, the 45-page chapbook of the poetry of Stewart Lupton, and the re-release of Wolf Songs for Lambs, Jonathan Fire*Eater are ripe for reappraisal.

Music

Codeine Club Music: 10 Sizzurp Rappers and Their Lean Lyrics

Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.

Lists

How Synthwave Grew from a Niche '80s Throwback to a Current Phenomenon

Synthwave began as something of a retro gumbo, pulling from modern house and nu disco music and piling in influences from vintage genres like Euro disco and the original sounds of electro. Enjoy Preston Cram's, aka "Iron Skullet" list of some of the most standout examples of synthwaves' reach into virtually every entertainment medium today.

Music

The Timetravellin' Bob Dylan: On 'Bringing It All Back Home'

Bob Dylan is going nowhere—and will continue to do so. That is his lot. That is our luck. He was there at the birth of America. He will be there at the funeral.

Music

Bruce Springsteen's 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' Calls Out to Us

Bruce Springsteen's 1995 album, The Ghost of Tom Joad, inherited and built upon some powerful 20th century American literary, political, and pop culture themes. Can we hear its haunting call in these times?

Music

Hip-Hop Legend Kurtis Blow: The Interview

A timeless artist and hip-hop legend, Kurtis Blow blazed the trail for early hip-hop artists and continues to carry the torch for hip-hop music in new arenas.

Music

'Blue', 'Tapestry', and Oil: Or, Oil Capitalism in Two Key Singer-Songwriter Albums

Joni Mitchell's Blue and Carole King's Tapestry were fueled by petroculture, which powered the rise of feminism in music. How? Read on.

Music

Rebelling Against the Rebellion: British Punk's Second Coming

Louder, faster, angrier, and harder than punk ever sounded, second-wave punk in 1979 Britain kept the core instrumental ingredients but used and produced them in ways that boiled off any subtleties or sophistication.

Music

Sitting on Top of the World: An Appreciation of Cream's Ginger Baker

For an artist whose discography spans continents both literally and stylistically, there was one reliable thing: Ginger Baker knew what was needed, and if he had to invent new ways of forcing rhythm to the forefront, that was his job. It will remain his legacy.

Music

Groupthink and Other Painful Reflections on ​Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

TOPY and Genesis P-Orridge's knowing adoption of cult iconography and organizing principles quickly slid from satiric emulation to full embrace -- and we all went along with it.

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