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Music

The Year Alternative Rock Went Massive and Defined a Decade

Musically 1991 will forever be remembered as the year alternative rock conquered the masses. We explore how alternative became the dominant form of rock music in the 1990s.

Recent
Music

Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree Create an Eerily Experimental Sound with 'Names of North End Women'

The fruitful collaboration between these two unique musicians continues on an album that is dark but surprisingly melodic.

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

Sonic Youth Founder Thurston Moore Asks Why a Song Can't Be an Hour Long

Thurston Moore talks about the three instrumental pieces spanning nearly three hours that make up the Spirit Counsel box set, the people who inspired them, and the fact that he doesn't really consider himself a "guitar guy".

Music

Body/Head Rip Up the Playbook with 'The Switch'

The new studio offering from Kim Gordon and Bill Nace offers an experience that's less tied to the raw emotions of the past and more focused on the exacting, brilliant technical and compositional skills of its creators.

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.

Books

An Artist in His Own Right: Nick Soulsby on Thurston Moore

This oral history seeks to course-correct one man's discography that's been overshadowed by that of his band, but it seems more intent to course-correct Moore's reputation.

Music

Team Tremolo - 'Intruder' (album stream) (premiere) + Interview

Team Tremolo recalls classic shoegaze with a dose of all things loud and mysterious.

Music

Body/Head: No Waves

The experimental duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace return with No Waves, a live document that strives to capture the impact of their impressive debut album.

Music

The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s - Part 3 (60 - 41)

The third part of our examination of the 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '90s, including Sonic Youth, Primal Scream, Garbage, Pixies 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

Merzbow, Gustafsson, Pándi, Moore: Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper

A stunningly ferocious noise album from four masters of their craft.

Music

Thurston Moore: The Best Day

Thurston Moore's most ambitious solo album and possibly the best Sonic Youth-related release since 2004's Sonic Nurse.

Music

Us in Their Land: An Interview with Mike Watt

Mike Watt has been in so many iconic bands that it's sometimes easy to lose count, but now, with a stripped-down Italian trio called il sogno del marinaio, Watt is doing his most daring work yet ...

Music

Lee Ranaldo & The Dust: Last Night on Earth

Ranaldo's second post-Sonic Youth offering finds him indulging in his Deadhead past like he never has before.

Music

Body/Head: Coming Apart

The first outing from the new project of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon finds her returning to her experimental roots and sounding fresher than ever before.

Music

Chelsea Light Moving: Chelsea Light Moving

On his first album with his new band, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore decides to rock as only he can.

Reviews

Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico

An event along the (very blurry) borderline of populism and critical acclaim.

Events

2012 Nelsonville Music Festival

Nelsonville Music Fest 2012 in photos.

Music

In My Own Space: A Conversation with Lee Ranaldo

After over 30 years of creating beautiful noise with Sonic Youth, Ranaldo turns his focus inward and gives us a surprisingly straight up rock record. Here, the legendary indie rock guitarist discusses the interplay in his music between experimentation and accessibility, improvisation and structure, and mainstream acceptance versus the purity of the underground.

Music

Counterbalance No. 72: Sonic Youth’s 'Daydream Nation'

The 72nd most critically acclaimed album of all time comes running in on platform shoes with Marshall stacks to at least just give us a clue. Counterbalance gives a listen to Sonic Youth's 1988 indie game-changer.

Music

My Indie Is Not a Centerfold, Nor Is It Indie

What has come to be known as indie music cannot be recorded and released in places where people are absolutely independent. We need to start thinking -- really, seriously thinking -- about how something that is supposed to be inherently independent can be so dependent on so much else.

Joseph Fisher
Music

Benediction: On Thurston Moore’s 'Demolished Thoughts'

Although Demolished Thoughts was released before the announcement of the breakup of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, it is unavoidably a document of this personal and professional transition.

Music

Yuck: Yuck (Deluxe Edition)

The shoegazing Brits re-release their excellent February debut album along with a bonus EP; a nice addition for fans, a must-have for the uninitiated.

Music

20 Questions: Don Fleming

The famed songwriter/producer and Sonic Youth BFF sits down with PopMatters to wax philosophical on the Beatles, tell us what it's like going through Marty Robbins' record collection, and why he bears a characteristic resemblance to Shaft . . .

PopMatters Staff
Music

20 Music Videos from the 1980s That Have Aged Well

In this second installment of Sound Affects' retrospective of music videos from the 1980s, we focus on 20 promos that have, remarkably, stood the test of time.

Dennis Shin
Music

Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts

Thurston sounds like Thurston, even when he's acoustic. He's just not nearly as interesting.

Music

Cobra Killer: Uppers and Downers

Between the two extremes of Uppers and Downers the third choice of the happy medium would serve Cobra Killer much better.

Books

Grunge by Michael Lavine and Thurston Moore

Sub Pop's first lens on the grunge scene offers an early look at the signs of flannel to come, and the distinctive regional imprints on the sounds that followed punk.

Reviews

Sonic Youth: 3 July 2009 - United Palace Theatre, New York

Classics like "Tom Violence" occasionally worked their way in, but for the most part the set list consisted of tunes from this year's triumphant new album The Eternal

Music

Sonic Youth: The Eternal

It's official: Sonic Youth’s Geffen days are behind them. So, too, it seems, are the pop flirtations that developed with them.

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