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Ambient Producer Joshua van Tassel Believes We Need More Beautiful Things

Joshua van Tassel plays a modern version of one of the earliest electronic instruments: the Ondes Martenot. He discusses the calm, beautiful album he's written for it, Dance Music Volume II: More Songs for Slow Motion.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

Steve McDonald Remembers the Earliest Days of Redd Kross

Steve McDonald talks about the year that produced the first Redd Kross EP, an early eighth-grade graduation show with a then-unknown Black Flag, and a punk scene that welcomed and defined him.

Music

There's Never Enough Time for Folk Music's James Elkington

The sometimes Wilco and Richard Thompson sideman, in-demand producer, and songwriter, James Elkington, muses on why it's taking longer than he expects to achieve more in a week than most of us get done in a lifetime.

Music

Music Is All About Limitations: An Interview with Son Little

Son Little finds commonalities across jazz, hip-hop, soul, R&B, and rock. His latest album grew out of a setback, but he created a stronger, simpler, more ruminative set of songs. Here he talks about creativity and obstacles and how they work together.

Music

Leaving Room: Ryley Walker and Charles Rumback on Collaboration and Listening

Little Common Twist, the latest improvisatory album from Ryley Walker and jazz drummer Charles Rumback, sounds like listening. The two musicians are locked in intuitive communion that confines neither guitar nor drums to their pigeonholes. We ask them how they do it and why.

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

Ahead of the Curve: An Interview with Patrice Rushen

Jazz composer and R&B artist Patrice Rushen talks about how she fought for control of her music and her career in the late 1970s at Elektra -- and produced an extraordinary run of jazz-R&B-disco hybrid albums that the industry wasn't quite ready for.

Music

Swiss Grooves: An Interview with L'Eclair

L'Eclair's third album effortlessly touches on funk, prog, dub, disco, ambient, and electronic genres, warming the chilled precision of Krautrock with danceable rhythms. Bass player Elie Ghersinu observes, "It just keeps on evolving every day, every month."

Music

Pushing Pop to Extremes: An Interview with These New Puritans

From a 35-piece orchestra to a lean, five-person ensemble, These New Puritans are always changing. That continues with the new album, Inside the Rose, says George Barnett, "The pop bits are more pop and the extreme bits are more extreme."

Music

Open to Interpretation: The Knotty Songs of Hop Along

Frances Quinlan has spent nearly half her life in Hop Along and now, performing songs she wrote in her teens, 20s, and 30s, she raises interesting questions around identity, the self, and the way that music continues to evolve after the artist is done with it.

Music

People Are Going Bananas: An Interview with Cherry Glazerr

Cherry Glazerr's singer, main songwriter, and guitar player Clementine Creevy is not one of those artists who wishes everyone would leave her alone. She's made a big rock star album in Stuffed and Ready and she's having a blast playing sold-out shows.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

I Like the Idea of Being Unreasonable: A Conversation with the Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson

Jason Williamson of the Sleaford Mods says what he thinks about punk, hip-hop, politics, and modern life, and if you don't like it, fuck off.

Music

Jon Hopkins' Expanding Universe

With Singularity, electronic composer Jon Hopkins uncovers a joyful sense of connection at the center of all things. "The idea of singularity is the idea that every atom in the universe exists in the same place, this infinitely small point," he says.

Music

A Sense of Geography: How a Move to Texas Hill Country Gave Jerry David DeCicca's Songs New Resonance

When Jerry David DeCicca moved to Texas he found himself in his element. He talks with PopMatters about bringing his new home into his music -- and his music into his new home.

Music

Break It Down and Put It Back Together with Melkbelly

Melkbelly splices insanely supercharged punk energy with noise-band drums and super catchy pop melodies. It's a bewildering, intoxicating sound which has caught the attention of underground Chicago audiences. We ask singer Miranda Winters how it works.

Music

Experiencing Isolation and Connection In Tall Buildings

In Tall Buildings' Erik Hall got the name from recording in a Chicago skyscraper, but notes that "I don't tend to write songs that jump out at the listener, but rather kind of invite the listener in."

Jennifer Kelly
Music

Trust Your Instincts: An Interview with Steve Gunn

Acoustic finger-picker left the archival folk behind to arrive at a psychedelic 1960s-influenced style on his 10th album, Way Out Weather. The trick, he says, it not to overthink things.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

Subverting the Rules: An Interview with Cory Branan

Cory Branan's brand of rocking country doesn't fit very well into music industry slots, but the Nashville-based songwriter is carving an idiosyncratic niche for himself regardless.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

Timeless Resonance: An Interview with Luluc

Australian songwriter Zoë Randall of Luluc has been listening to her favorite albums, over and over, for decades. Her own new one Passerby is so effortlessly lovely that you can likewise imagine yourself putting it on again this year and next year and the one after that.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

There's No Reason This Band Couldn't Last Forever: An Interview with Old 97s

The Old 97s' Murry Hammond talks about longevity, adversity, honesty and the ass-thumping new album, Most Messed Up, that is setting them off on the road once again.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

Rage Against the Mundane: An Interview with Protomartyr

PopMatters talks to Protomartyr's frontman Joe Casey about his band's working class roots, the pros and cons of making music in Detroit and his fascination with spinning cultural flotsam into surreal narratives.

Jennifer Kelly
Interviews

Wild Melancholy: An Interview with Zachary Cale

Zachary Cale may know everything you'd want to know about the fingerings and folk-picking styles of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie McTell, but he's not interested in recording historical artifacts.

Jennifer Kelly
Music

The Uncanny Effect of Being Almost Real: An Interview with Oneohtrix Point Never

In third album as Oneohtrix Point Never, electronic composer Daniel Lopatin works in a palette of sounds that are almost, but not quite recognizable, with structures that are nearly, but not really songs. "I'm interested in things that are on the edge of becoming real," he says. "I was thinking about that a lot."

Jennifer Kelly

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