Protomartyr at PopMatters

My latest column at PopMatters concerns the great band Protomartyr, from its first album to its latest, Relatives in Descent. Here's an excerpt:Relatives in Descent is, musically, a more contemplative and less full-throttle Protomartyr album than the three which precede it. I almost wrote "intellectual", which in some circles -- (some) punk, pop country, the... Continue Reading →

The Latest: Algiers at PopMatters

My July column, "Algiers and the Political Structures of Noise," is up at PopMatters: read it here. I've been a fan of the band Algiers since their debut self-titled album. Nobody else sounds like they do: a bucketful of warm soul and cold techno-punk...or is it cold soul and warm techno-punk? Their fusion is utterly... Continue Reading →

Ties That Bind: Sound Is Our Weapon

My new column is up at PopMatters this morning. Titled "Sound Is Our Weapon: Protest Music and Black Lives Matter," it started out as me simply listening to Janelle Monae and Wondaland's "Hell You Talmbout" and Rhiannon Giddens' "Cry No More" and, as you can read, it became something more than that.

Ties That Bind, Dylan, More Dylan

My new column for PopMatters went up today. Titled "A Nightly Ritual: Bob Dylan's Never-Changing Set Lists," it reviews his May 16, 2015 show here in Columbus and examines the mini-controversy over his set list, which is very heavy on recent songs. I didn't end up cutting much unless you count everything I left out of the review--which, as LeBron James has been saying lately, is "everything." The challenge of writing about Dylan isn't just saying something new, it's choosing how to narrow down your focus when there's so much his music touches.

Ties That Bind: Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”

My new column went up today at PopMatters, which has been going through a significant site redesign. The end result is sharp-looking."Spectacle of Empty Gestures: Rihanna's 'American Oxygen'" concerns the song and the video, both of which strike me as either confused or simplistic, or both. Unless there's obvious reason or proof, I never doubt... Continue Reading →

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