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Gang of Four roar back with post-punk fury

Still in uniform
The history of popular music is littered with musical questioning, from "Why must I be a teenager in love?" to "Who put the bomp in the bomp buh-bomp buh-bomp?" But when pop turned to rock and artists began to attempt to wield their popular might in order to do right, that inquisitiveness often turned into telling people what to do and think.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 02, 2011


The perfectionist persona of Natalia Kills

Going Gaga
The British-born Natalia acted in BBC television and radio comedies (starting at age nine) before morphing into a musical career that has seen her adopt the stage name Natalia Kills — which describes her lethal combination of dark themes and anthemic synthpop.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 26, 2011


Robyn reclaims her identity en route to pop stardom

Dancing on her own
There are some pop stars for whom every record requires a reinvention of their persona. But what if your persona is just yourself, and you've spent your career rejecting the urge to create controversy to make people pay attention to you? For pop chanteuse Robin Carlsson, a/k/a Robyn, the R-word itself causes consternation.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 26, 2011


The Varsity Girls aim for pop stardom

Making the cut
By the time I arrive at their Lowell recording studio to talk to the teenage pop/R&B dynamos Varsity Girls, it's almost 10 pm, and I'm expecting to encounter an exhausted group of studio-tanned kids burned out after a full day of singing and more singing.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 04, 2011


Eleven discs to listen for early 2011

James Blake, PJ Harvey, Cut Copy lead the way
James Blake, PJ Harvey, Cut Copy lead '11
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 29, 2010


2010: The Year In Pop Music

A schizophrenic year of rock and pop
Music may exist to express emotions, dreams, and nightmares, but beyond its loftier aims, it's a means of escape.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 21, 2010


Motörhead | The World Is Yours

EMI (2010)
The Myth of Lemmy is one of speedfreak exuberance fashioned into a lean, mean machine of blackened annihilation.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 15, 2010


Pre-Weezer: The Metal Years

Rivers' edge
Rivers' edge
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 07, 2010


Weezer: The Early Years

Rivers Cuomo reflects on the making of 'Blue' and Pinkerton
When Rivers Cuomo, Weezer wunderkind and Harvard-educated overachiever, sets his mind to something, he is nothing if not meticulous.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 07, 2010


Ke$ha | Cannibal

RCA (2010)
As club banger "Blow" crescendos, incendiary brat and cultural irritant Ke$ha intones, "We are taking over — get used to it!"
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 07, 2010


Deadmau5 | 4x4=12

Ultra (2010)
The world of the superstar DJ is not dissimilar to that of the superstar architect.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 30, 2010


Brandon Flowers and the evolution of a pop-star Killer

The Flamingo kid
Rock stars are often seen, culturally, as wolves in sheeps' clothing, seducing and subverting once they have gotten their fangs into the hearts of music listeners, using their Pied Piper powers of coercion to ensnare innocent ears and radicalize minds with their unholy aims.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 23, 2010


Kanye West | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Roc-A-Fella Records (2010)
Amid the zapping prog-lift of the vaguely Nietzschean "Power," the lead single from his fifth album and magnum opus, Kanye tosses off the casual self-platitude "Every superhero needs his theme music."
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 16, 2010


Holy Grail: 187-riff salute

Shredding along a tighter metal path
Most metal bands have no difficulty in shredding, and shredding mightily.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 16, 2010


Grinderman help liberate some bad seeds

Cave in
Whatever you want to call it, don't call it a midlife crisis.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 09, 2010


Rihanna | Loud

Def Jam (2010)
Let's be honest here: the average human doesn't care about RiRi's need to express her artistic personality through music and would be more psyched if it were just 11 versions of "Don't Stop the Music."
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 09, 2010


Brian Eno | Small Craft on a Milk Sea

Warp (2010)
Brian Eno is a man, flesh and bone, who talks and farts and sleeps and listens to things and presses buttons.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 02, 2010


Review: oOoOO | oOoOO

Tri Angle (2010)
As much as I love a solid song or a monstrous riff, I will always tip my hat to those at the fringes of the music world ...
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 26, 2010


Black Mountain scale various rock influences

Psychedelic heights
If, as they say, talent borrows and genius steals, then Vancouver rock collective Black Mountain do a bit of both.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 26, 2010


Kylesa tell a simpler story

Shaking off the crust
Savannah crust-metal collective Kylesa have opted to keep the mythic in the music alone, searing ears with a widescreen two-drummer assault that's both pummeling and haunting.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 19, 2010


Matt Pike and High on Fire sludge forward

Slow burn
There are, really, just two types of rock legends: those who try hard to find the rocker within them, and those who are born rockers.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 19, 2010

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