Category Archives: pop culture

Naptime, or How Did You Stay Awake in 2013?

If one word could sum up pop music in 2013, I would choose “exhausted”. “Tired” isn’t enough, and “comatose” would be going too far, but “exhausted” seems just right.* It isn’t that people aren’t trying—if anything they’re trying harder than … Continue reading

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Deep Thought

The medium is the message only if: a) The message is unimportant b) The message is a cliché, banality, or truism c) The message is misunderstood d) The import of the message is ignored In all other cases, though the … Continue reading

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Who Says Folk Music is Dead?

The wonderful story of “Wagon Wheel”, from Big Bill Broonzy to Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup to Bob Dylan to Old Crow Medicine Show. What this article, written in 2011, misses is the latest twist on the story: Darius Rucker turning … Continue reading

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The Best of Disney Pop

Inspired by Michaelangelo’s NPR piece on the value of compilation albums, I’ve decided to put up one I’ve been working on and listening to consistently for the last couple of years: The Best of Disney Pop. I’ve been holding off … Continue reading

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What’s In A Name?

I don’t worry much about genre distinctions. When you’re writing about pop music, which cuts through and stomps down those sorts of artificial barriers every chance it gets, they don’t do you much good other than to give you an … Continue reading

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Does “Mid-turbo” Equal “Wimpy”?

There have been a couple of interesting pieces in Billboard recently by Sean Ross, who worries (I think) that pop radio is in danger of becoming “wimpy”. This would appear to be a bad thing. It’s hard to tell, since … Continue reading

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Bad Example: Why Cat Power Shouldn’t Be the Poster Child of Indie’s (Supposed) Collapse

I hope I don’t sound like too much of a jerk for what I’m about to say. Let me just point out at the very beginning that I have all the sympathy in the world for what Chan Marshall (aka … Continue reading

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Oh, Grow Up

This week, for some reason, has been “I hate rap week”. Maybe it’s overload, or the knowledge that with every week there’s going to be another record in which: 1) mediocre rappers will brag about how much money they make, … Continue reading

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Lil Wayne: The Fat Elvis of Rap

Not physically of course—he’s still as thin as a skateboard—but psychologically, symbolically. Take a look at the video (as much of it as you can stand—I barely got through the first minute myself). Even if you assume that he’s talking … Continue reading

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