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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

The 60 Best Songs of 2018

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 60 songs that spoke to us this year.

Music

Neko Case's 'Hell-On' Has Just Enough Pop Touches to Round Out Its Idiosyncrasies

Hell-On follows the same basic outline as Neko Case's records since she refined her sound way back on 2002's Blacklisted. But as always, there are wrinkles.

Music

The New Pornographers and Waxahatchee Offer Houston Set Filled with Gems

The New Pornographers recently played Houston for the first time in nine years. They did not disappoint.

Music

The New Pornographers Bring Siren Songs and a Monkey's Paw to Oakland's Fox Theater

Their siren sound draws indie rock fans like the sailors who would shipwreck after being enchanted by the sirens’ voices of mythological lore.

Music

The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions

Whiteout Conditions continues the New Pornographers' traditions of great hooks and vocals while increasing the band's use of synths even more than on their last album.

Music

Carl Broemel: 4th of July

Six years in the making, the second solo offering from the My Morning Jacket guitarist is tender, nostalgic, and often sweet. Neko Case, Laura Veirs, and MMJ buddies are on hand to help.

Music

case/lang/veirs - "Honey and Smoke" (Singles Going Steady)

The song is extremely well-crafted, sounding like some classic from the minds of Jimmy Webb or Bacharach/David.

Music

Laura Gibson: Empire Builder

Laura Gibson's excellent fourth album is the cathartic sound of someone starting over.

Music

Neko Case - "Man" (Singles Going Steady)

Wherein Neko Case tackles gender politics in her loudest rock song yet, aided by guitarist M. Ward.

Music

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: After

"They sleep, we live!" Young hearts come hither and feel the After glow.

Music

Various Artists: While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records

After 20 years of steady releases and catalog development, the rest of the country has finally caught up to the vision of Bloodshot Records.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 20-1

These top 20 records of the '00s feature some familiar faces, but also several that, over time, have grown more fondly in memory.

Music

The New Pornographers: 4 Sep 2014 - Brill Building NPR Show (Photos)

The New Pornographers teamed with NPR for a unique performance at the Brill Building - the place that inspired the title of their newest album Brill Bruisers.

Music

The Anti- SXSW: A Festival for the Disheveled at Couch By Couchwest

A no-cost counterpoint to SXSW one can enjoy at their leisure, Couch By Couchwest is a festival where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.

Music

"Very Self-Conscious About Everything": An Interview with A.C. Newman

New Pornographers frontman and solo artist Carl "A.C." Newman talks about his failure to be a real rock star and how an almost painful self-consciousness creates his work.

Reviews

Capitol Hill Block Party: 20 - 22 July 2012 - Seattle

A weekend full of live music including performances by Neko Case, Aesop Rock, Major Lazer, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Twin Shadow, Youth Lagoon, Thee Oh Sees, Doomtree, Father John Misty, John Maus, Porcelain Raft, Spaceghostpurrp, King Tuff, Blood Diamonds and more.

Music

Kelly Hogan: I Like to Keep Myself in Pain

On her first album in a decade, Kelly Hogan delivers bravura performances of music contributed by a host of songwriting legends including Andrew Bird, Vic Chesnutt and Stephin Merrit, among others.

Reviews

Los Lobos + X: 5 May 2012 - Los Angeles

It's the type of dream show that can only happen in the City of Angels.

Music

Cheyenne Marie Mize: We Don't Need

Promising singer-songwriter has problems finding a real direction.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Lydia Loveless: Indestructible Machine

Ladies and Gents, Lydia Loveless came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Bad news is she's all out of bubblegum.

Events

Kanye West = Batman? Five Perfect Broadway Superhero Musicals We'd Like to See

If only the creators of the Spiderman musical had chosen Elvis Costello instead of U2 to create Spidey's soundtrack... While we're at it, here are some ideas for Broadway's next pack of superhero shows.

Maya Frank-Levine
Music

Dodos: No Color

Everything you need to know about the new Dodos album can literally be heard in its first seven seconds: the drums are back, and they are very, very loud.

Music

Going Off: An Interview with the Dodos

The Dodos' Meric Long espouses on guitar holes, "super shy" singing, getting Neko Case to sing on half of his band's new album, and how he just wants the Dodo shows to "go off" ...

Jane Jansen Seymour
Reviews

The New Pornographers: 21 July 2010 - Tucson, AZ

There’s something endlessly fascinating about watching a collection of individuals melt into one entity, especially when the resulting effort produces something so simple and honest.

Andrew Watson
Music

Kathryn Calder: Are You My Mother?

The member of the New Pornographers and Immaculate Machine comes out with a solid solo debut that she recorded in her mother's living room.

Music

Jakob Dylan: Women + Country

With some help from T-Bone Burnett and Neko Case, Jakob Dylan, now 40, finally writes the Americana-folk record we always knew he wanted to make.

Music

Erosion Nearly Complete, Music Industry Begins Reconstruction at SXSW 2010

SXSW conference attendees took a workmanlike “how-to” approach to discussing new revenue streams, replacing the “what do we do now?” tone of recent years.

Dennis Shin
Music

Where Are the Ladies at on the Best of the Decade Charts?

For a decade that prided itself for breaking down musical barriers, there is a noticeable lack of female presence on this decade's most highly-regarded albums.

Music

Neko Case: Spinning to Love

Neko Case's Sixth album, Middle Cyclone is almost a month old, but has quickly become one of her most important works in her distinguished career.

Music

Neko Case: Middle Cyclone

Beguiling beauty and powerful pipes can’t save Case’s latest from feeling like a disappointment.

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Neko Case - "People Got a Lotta Nerve" (MP3/video)

Great song. Even greater cause.

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Neko Case, Vetiver, Beirut...

Music

Animals in Time: Neko Case and the Contemporary Country

The music of Neko Case shows us a world of danger, guilt, regret, displaced hearts, lost time and lost faith, several deaths, the matter-of-factness of animals, and reckoning. In other words, exactly what the contemporary moment shows us.

Michelle Banks
Music

Various Artists: This is Next

The world is better for every new pair of ears that gets turned on to Of Montreal and Ted Leo. The only real question is this: do you really need this album to begin with?

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