Tag Archives: pop music

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Crystal Castles

1,719 words

Crystal Castles is a Canadian band, initially consisting of singer Alice Glass and producer Ethan Kath. The two met each other because of their mutual connections in the large and prolific Toronto music scene, and collaborated on one track, the chaotic “Alice Practice,” as a mere experiment. The two never intended to form a full-time group Read more …

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Brigitte Bardot’s B. B.

1,920 words

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a famed French actress, singer, pop culture icon, and accidental provocateur. Bardot’s marks on pop culture include her popularization of the bikini, the eponymous Bardot neckline, and her collection of absurdly fun and often intriguing slices of French pop music that feel both timeless in their replay value yet Read more …

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The Wisdom of “The Gambler”

1,426 words

Heavy metal has always been a large part of my life and my red-pill journey. To this day, my morning routine consists of exercising while listening to some of my favorite metal bands like Manowar, Bathory, and Goatmoon. That said, every metalhead has a guilty pleasure, and my guilty pleasure is the music of Kenny Rogers. Read more …

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Morrissey’s I Am Not a Dog on a Chain

1,926 words

How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, old man?

Morrissey, our favorite gay (postulated) racist (dismissed) vegan (confirmed), released his 13th solo album today, March 20th, 2020. It is called I Am Not a Dog on a Chain, which is a fantastic example of just how kneecapped the self-awareness of the rich and famous can be. Read more …

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Elle King’s Love Stuff & Shake the Spirit

2,243 words American singer-songwriter Elle King.

Tanner Elle Schneider, better known by her stage name Elle King, is an up-and-coming musician in the genre of American roots music. Her specific style has several influences, the confluence of which arrives at a triple point between rock, country, and blues. The overall effect often is a bit hypnotic. Her singing voice is even more unique, compelling, and slightly reminiscent of Janis Joplin. Read more …

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Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s Déjà Vu

1,344 words

Déjà Vu, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s first recording as a quartet, was released on this day, March 11th, in 1970. It was greeted with a mixed reception by critics at the time of its release, but has since come to be included in innumerable “best of” lists and is frequently cited as the best work of the group. Taken as a whole, Déjà Vu displays impressive attention to detail and warm, friendly tone, but similarly lacks Read more …

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Real Estate’s The Main Thing

1,536 words

The Main Thing, the fifth studio album from the corduroy indie band Real Estate, was released today, February 28, 2020. It contains some of their most mature work yet, coupled with a healthy attitude towards introducing more complex synthesizer work and poetic lyricism for an album that can be beautiful in its feather-lightness. Read more …

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Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die”

863 words

Eilish. Billie Eilish.

Never afraid to wring every drop of money out of a pop sensation, this is who the film industry is having sing the theme to the new James Bond film, No Time to Die. The media is billing this interestingly; the New York Times covered the song with glowing praise and a mention of Eilish being the youngest person to ever record a Bond theme. Read more …

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Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene

1,683 words

Miss Anthropocene is the fifth full-length release of Canadian avant-pop songstress Claire Boucher, known professionally as Grimes, and it’s considerably darker than much of her previous work. This is fitting — Grimes has stated that the concept of Miss Anthropocene, a triple-entendre, is that of an “anthropomorphic goddess of climate change.” If this sounds like a bunch of woo nonsense to you, you’d be (mostly) correct. Read more …

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Valentine’s Day Special:
Alessandra Mussolini’s Amore

1,122 words

It’s February 14th, and love is in the air. What better way to soundtrack today’s romantic escapades than with Alessandra Mussolini — the granddaughter of Il Duce himself — and her sultry, Japanese-released city-pop record, Amore?

Released in 1982 exclusively for the Japanese market, Read more …

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Iggy & the Stooges’ Raw Power

1,563 wordsCover of Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power.

Iggy and the Stooges released the proto-punk slammer Raw Power on this day, February 7th, in 1973. It’s a raw, aggressive record that set the tone for genres as diverse in sound and era as punk, hardcore, grunge, and metal. Raw Power is also an early example of the importance of mixing and the dangers — or benefits — of studio control being handed to musicians.  Read more …

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Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

2,210 wordsCover of Billie Eilish's "WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?"

Billie Eilish is the youngest person to ever be awarded Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, for her debut effort WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? [1] At just 18, she swept the ceremonies, earning over 60 awards in categories that ranged from Best New Artist to Best Song. Read more …

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Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats

1,224 wordsCover of the Frank Zappa album Hot Rats.

One of the first albums to be recorded on 16-track tape, Hot Rats spawned a jazz standard, a sprawling meditation on prostitution, and some of Captain Beefheart’s best vocal work outside of Trout Mask Replica. It’s mostly instrumental, but does not lack any substance, and the sounds it contains are both timeless and reflective of the late 1960s. Read more …

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Poppy’s I Disagree

1,973 wordsCover of Poppy's album, I Disagree.

Poppy, the mildly unsettling YouTube sensation-turned-bestselling pop singer, released her newest album on January 10th. It’s called I Disagree, and it’s an apt title — much of this record is a violent, abrasive eschewing of both Poppy’s previous work and the rules that govern music in general, much like the hyperpop sensibilities of breakthrough act 100 Gecs or veterans of the deconstruction genre like Grimes, Read more …

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White Rock III:
Towards an Aesthetic of Musical Softness

4,534 words

Greg Prato
The Yacht Rock Book: The Oral History of the Soft, Smooth Sounds of the 70s and 80s
London: Jawbone, 2018

“They kind of moved it away from just mellow/hippie/campfire music and into something new – something that was consciously pursuing the aesthetic of softness. Read more …

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A Dissident Remembers Jim Croce

Jim Croce

3,062 words

Jim Croce may be one of the most overlooked and underrated singer-songwriters of the rock era. This may be because his ideas often pre-date rock-‘n’-roll, and are in some ways anti-rock for eschewing themes pertaining to youth and rebellion. A cursory look at his best songs reveals that few songwriters are as adept at chronicling experiences which are uniquely and universally masculine. Read more …

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Kate Bush, the Faerie Queene

2,285 words

In springing flowre the image of thy day;
Ah see the Virgin Rose, how sweetly shee
Doth first peepe forth with bashfull modestee

— Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

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Dancing in the Dark:
Bruce Springsteen & the Betrayal of Blue-Collar America

2,352 words

Lights out tonight
Trouble in the heartland . . .

–“Badlands” (1978)

I was sold on Springsteen the moment I first heard the mournful wail of his harmonica as he began to sing “The River”:

Read more …

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