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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.

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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.

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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.

Music

Ric Ocasek and the Cars: Just What We Needed

That mullet, those shades, the slender build, and his angular mug in those epic videos from the days when MTV ruled. The Cars' Ric Ocasek was the picture boy of '70s and '80s new wave / power pop.

Music

What It Takes to Be Kind: An Interview with Thor Harris

There's still beauty to be found in the best of humanity, says the kindest guy in underground music, Thor Harris of Thor & Friends.

Music

What the Song Asks For: An Interview with Barb Jungr

Barb Jungr reflects on what draws her to Bob Dylan and Jacques Brel's music, and the creative approaches taken to their work on her new album, Bob, Brel, & Me.

Music

Darkness Illuminates: Goth Punk's Great Escapism

While goth punk's theatricality dramatizes concerns about depression and suicide amongst young people today, its safe spaces are inviting to the otherwise alienated and ostracized.

Music

Buckets of Tears and Peace in Drowning: Bob Dylan and Tyler the Creator's Break-up Albums

Breakup albums have a rare power; they mark the moment when an image-conscious artist is suddenly compelled to let his guard down. Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Tyler the Creator's IGOR are similar in their vulnerability.

Music

She Runs Because She's Free: Poet Avery R. Young on Carrying Forth Harriet Tubman's Spirit in His Art

Chicago poet and recording artist Avery R. Young talks about his new book of poetry, neckbone: visual verses, and his new album, tubman.

Music

MetalMatters: June 2019 - A Month Full of Long-Awaited Returns

Slough Feg carry on their heavy metal journey while Darkthrone keep digging towards their proto-punk/heavy metal core. Baroness return with their most ambitious work to date, while Pinkish Black continue to explore the endless possibilities of synth driven extreme music.

Music

Rewards of a Lifetime: An Interview with Dionne Warwick

With her new album 'She's Back' plus a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, Dionne Warwick remains a regal force among music legends.

Music

Industrial Punk: Here's a Finger, Now Form a Band!

For Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P-Orridge, punk's sonic harshness was welcome but it did not go far enough.

Music

Deerhunter's Transcendent Trajectory

Deerhunter's Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? and Cryptograms are antithetical twins -- shattered mirror images, whose fragments echo each other and reflect Deerhunter's beginnings of and return to inspired experimentation.

Books

On Warren Zevon, the "Kurt Vonnegut of Rock Music"

Author C. M. Kushins talks with PopMatters about the complicated legacy of Warren Zevon, from crack-up to recovery and back again, and his research for Nothing's Bad Luck: The Lives of Warren Zevon.

Music

Post-Punk: The Cerebral Genre

The punk spirit would likely have died but for the theoretical questions post-punk forced bands into answering.

Music

Jazz Organ Master Joey DeFrancesco Collaborates with Pharoah Sanders with 'In the Key of the Universe'

PopMatters interviews the Hammond B3 organ master Joey DeFrancesco, who collaborates with tenor giant Pharoah Sanders for a session of spiritual playing.

Music

'When I Get Home', 'Astroworld', and the Problem with Place-Based Authenticity

Lucky for you, philistine listener and reader, we critics are here to make your listening experience truly authentic by bringing you into the "back to their roots" covenant of artistic judgment.

Music

Strange Vistas from the Occultism of Coil and Psychic TV

Psychic TV and Coil were vanguard bands that blended ritual magick and creative method. But even their esoteric beliefs bore scant resemblance. This is a split that runs deep.

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