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Music

Eddie Cochran's Working Class "Summertime Blues" Asks, This Is Living?

Ever get the feeling that the struggle to get by makes it impossible to have the energy or the time to storm the barricades? That's what American capitalism has achieved in 2018: maximum depression. And that's why Cochran's 1958 song of angst plays on to this day.

Music

Here to Stay? The Neil Young Archives

Combining his punk ethos and tech savvy in this new online archive, Neil Young has to choose what archival releases add new understanding, new angles on the story, new points of emphasis in his own history -- and which do not.

Music

Kanye West: The Iconoclast Gives In

How the allure of newness is leading Kanye West astray.

Television

'Wild Wild Country' and the Inevitable Destruction of the American Frontier

This Netflix documentary is a master class in xenophobia, Orientalism, and hysteria, and Bill Callahan's "Drover" becomes the sound of the hammer of judgment coming down.

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Net Neutrality and the Music Ecosystem: Defending the Last Mile

"...when the history books get written about this era, they'll show that the music community recognized the potential impacts and were strong leaders." An interview with Kevin Erickson of Future of Music Coalition.

Music

Protomartyr and the Paradise Papers of a Developing Nation

Protomartyr's story of the USA is the "Paradise Papers" of a country that officially considers itself a developed nation but in fact is developing in the wrong direction -- and everyone knows it.

Music

The Next Hot Music Scene Can Be Found at Twin Peaks' Bang Bang Bar

One of the most heartening and compelling aspects of David Lynch's approach to this new season of Twin Peaks is his widened musical palette.

Music

Being Human: Rag'n'Bone Man and the Authenticities of Voice

Human fits alongside the works of Alabama Shakes and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, but can Rag'n'Bone Man's distinctive gospel-blues voice find a place on the American charts?

Interviews

The Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli Talks About 'In Spades', Prince, and the Critical Beat

Greg Dulli tells PopMatters that "nothing's excluded when it comes time to write a song... I am absolutely omnivorous."

Music

Algiers and the Political Structures of Noise

How can there be a political movement if we're unwilling to move? Algiers connects past and present for the sake of the future.

Music

Chastity Belt's 'I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone' and the Power of Termite Art

Chastity Belt's latest is a killer album, laid back but upbeat, honest and laser sharp, a highly unified piece of work by four people who know exactly what they want to say and how to say it.

Music

Power Play: Brian Williams, Leonard Cohen, and "First We Take Manhattan"

In "First We Take Manhattan", Leonard Cohen recognized the shared appeal of extremism in politics and art as the allure of power.

Music

Lana Del Rey's "Love" in the Era of Trump

"Love" makes me wonder if we've misheard Del Rey's use of nostalgia, mistaking it for the rose-colored (and heart-shaped) variety when instead it produces a fog.

Music

Fade Into the Machine: Bon Iver's '22, A Million'

Bon Iver's 22, A Million may be the first album that, truly, should be dedicated to Big Digital if not artificial intelligence.

Music

Privilege Corrupts: Donald Trump and "The Devil in His Youth"

How a song by Protomartyr keeps taking on new meaning in the age of Donald Trump.

Music

Fantastic Negrito's "Working Poor" Is the Soundtrack to the Summer of '16

America's working poor exist in a shadow cast by the harsh light of prosperity. "Working Poor" speaks from those shadows, creates light within that space, and insists on being heard.

Music

Flea-Market Music: On the Glorious Cacophony of The Felice Brothers

Their style is loose, but not without form; cluttered, though sometimes spare; common, but not ordinary; discounted, but not cheap; public, but out-of-the-way; historical, but liable to disappear at any moment.

Music

Prince: Never Stop Arguing

Prince's life is over but his music is not, and that music was never just about him, and it was never just about me, and it was never just about you.

Music

Time of Absence: Documenting Kanye West's 'Life of Pablo'

The Life of Pablo is an ideological attack against the pop institutions that continually try to mystify art and control the artist's identity for profit.

Politics

Tomorrow Belongs to Me: "Freedom's Call", Donald Trump and Propaganda

When you see and hear a group of children in star-spangled cheerleader outfits lip-syncing the words “Cowardice! Are you serious?” to an EDM reworking of the 1917 patriotic song “Over There”, that is the moment you should wake up.

Music

When Is Art Beautiful? When Is It Just Boring?

To paraphrase art critic Peter Schjeldahl, beauty is a kind of action and reaction between the work and the viewer, or the listener, or the reader. Beauty happens.

Music

Bruce Springsteen, 'The Ties That Bind', the Working Class, and Authenticity

As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.

Music

John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero': Boundaries, Mobility, and Honesty

The working class song has to speak of boundaries and ambition, but it also has to say where the performer stands among the people, among the classes—or where he thinks he stands, or wants to stand.

Music

Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection shows Springsteen and the band writing their second act, the one where they figured out how to grow up without losing touch with the energy and freedom of rock 'n' roll.


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