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Music

Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge

MTV's central role in delivering grunge to a national audience in the early 1990s demonstrated the network's power as a creator and definer of culture.

Recent
Music

12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums

PopMatters' '80s alt-rock primer spotlights the essential alternative rock albums from the broad genre's rich and diverse early years.

Music

The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2019

In 2019, the music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock legends to foundational electronic artists, soul and jazz to pop of all stripes.

Music

The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2009

Step back 10 years when we presented our 20 best re-issues of 2009, highlighted by the long overdue remastering of the Beatles oeuvre, a number of '80s and '90s classics, and one of the most storied catalogues in electronic music.

Music

A Shirt of Violent Green: R.E.M.'s 'Monster' Gets the Deluxe Reissue Treatment

Twenty-five years after the release of R.E.M.'s Monster, a lavish boxed set of the Georgia quartet's most controversial album creates a much-deserved opportunity for reassessment.

Music

R.E.M. at the BBC Podcast Series - Part 1 (premiere)

Today we have something special for you... a premiere of part one of a three-part podcast paying tribute to R.E.M.'s work at the BBC with exclusive interviews.

Music

The 21 Best Album Re-Issues of 2018

In 2018, the music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and electronic to pop of all stripes.

Music

R.E.M. Grow Up in Public on 'At the BBC'

R.E.M. at the BBC features eight CDs and a DVD of material recorded live in Britain by R.E.M., who went from cult heroes to global superstars right before our eyes.

Books

Chris Stamey's Homage to the New York Music Scene of the '70s

A Spy In The House of Loud works best on quiet stages, taking singular trips down clearly paved roads with definite endings.

Music

Say It Loud! 100 Great Protest Songs: Part 4 - Dead Kennedys to Steve Earle

PopMatters has scoured the musical spectrum for the best examples of the protest song form, including anthems of great popularity and obscurity alike. Stay tuned all week as we unveil the top 100.

Music

The 21 Best Album Re-Issues of 2017

In 2017, the music world saw amazing reissues from all over the genre map, spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and jazz to soul.

Music

R.E.M.: Automatic For the People (25th Anniversary Special Edition)

Every streetlight a reminder: a quarter-century after its initial release, R.E.M.'s crowning achievement is available as a deluxe set.

Music

Brace Yourself: An Interview With Allen Thompson

Two members of Allen Thompson's band broke their backs last year. Brace yourself for their new sound.

Books

The Strength of "Anatomy of a Song" Is Found in Its diverse and Impressive Group of Interviewees

A self-described “oral history jukebox” gives behind-the-scenes details about popular songs and the historical circumstances that shaped pop culture as we know it.

Music

The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s - Part 5 (20 - 1)

The fifth and final part of our examination of the 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s, includes Portishead, Blur, Björk, R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails and more.

Music

The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '80s: Part 5: 20 - 1

Songs of anxiety, paranoia, freak-outs, chilling verses, feverish desire, harrowing lyrics -- they all make for damn good music.

Music

The Minus 5: Dungeon Golds

Dungeon Golds reeks of Record Store Day as it sounds like something that a super fan would hoard.

Music

R.E.M.: Complete Rarities - Warner Bros. 1988-2011

R.E.M. finally follow up Dead Letter Office with the orphaned Warner Bros. tracks. Prepared to be overwhelmed.

Music

R.E.M.: Complete Rarities - I.R.S. 1982-1987

The legendary band allocates the oddities of their underdog years, shining a light on the scrappier side of R.E.M.

Music

What Will We Become? R.E.M.'s "Driver 8"

In 2008 Michael Stipe introduced "Driver 8" as "a song that represents the dream of the United States of America and what it may become in the next three days." What did he mean, and has that dream come true?

Music

R.E.M.: Green (25th Anniversary Edition)

R.E.M.'s major label debut found the group confronting the realization that it was becoming kind of a big deal, and the impulses to either carry on like normal or address the situation head-on proved to be equally enticing.

Music

Various Artists: The Voice Project Presents Home Recordings Volume 1

Music as a tool for social change: An important cause highlighted in a simple, yet powerful way.

Music

Music in the '90s: When Alternative Became Mainstream

The genre once tied to college radio and indie record companies became mainstream in the '90s. Some of those icons of “alternative” are making comebacks – or never went away. Is this 2012 or 1996?

Music

R.E.M.: Document (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

As before-and-after a dividing line as any band ever drew, and easily one of the top hundred albums of 1987. Now with more grainy photographs.

Music

The Top 10 Overplayed Songs You Hate by Artists You Love

Individually, they've each amassed a musical legacy worthy of several daily spins. Yet according to radio, these terrific musicians are only worth one -- or on the outside chance, two -- songs each. As a result, they've become pigeonholed, and these 10 tracks have become (almost) insufferable.

Music

Counterbalance No. 65: R.E.M.’s 'Murmur'

This week’s look at the all-time most acclaimed albums talks about the passion, and the 1983 debut from the pride of Athens, GA. Combien de temps? Depends on how fast you read.

Music

The 2011 Artists of the Year

This year's top artists are a diverse lot represented by two of the world's biggest pop divas, a plethora of critically adored indie faves, some new talents emerging from the hip-hop underground, a couple of veteran Americana acts, and a few alt-rock legends among many more.

Music

R.E.M.: Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 - 2011

Part Lies, which is the band’s seventh (!) greatest hits album not counting live records, is the one to get your mitts on – particularly if you’re like me and are more of a casual fan than a rabid diehard.

Music

Silver Tongues: Black Kite

New band steps comfortably into the 1990s.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Battle to Stay Relevant

Watching your favorite band become irrelevant is like watching Michael Jordan unable to elevate high enough to dunk in his final year in the NBA.

Music

John Wesley Harding: Video-making Man

John Wesley Harding teams up with Eugene Mirman for new video, "Sing Your Own Song", which spoofs a Paul Simon classic.

Music

Ranking R.E.M.: The 10 Best Albums

One author's farewell ranking of the top 10 R.E.M. LPs illustrates that some albums that were monster hits have not aged especially well, while another album entitled Monster has, and that the usual suspects remain indelible after all these years.

Music

Counterbalance No. 53: R.E.M.’s 'Automatic for the People'

For this week's Counterbalance, Klinger and Mendelsohn discuss Acclaimed Music's 53rd Greatest Album of All Time. Grab some beans or black-eyed peas, some Nescafe on ice, and join them.

Music

R.E.M's 'Out of Time' Over Time

On Out of Time, R.E.M. wasn't too big to be cool -- yet.

Ian Mathers

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