Ann Powers http://wdiy.org en God, Drugs And Lizard Aliens: Yep, It's Country Music http://wdiy.org/post/god-drugs-and-lizard-aliens-yep-its-country-music <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWx6csgGkg4</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:07:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38558 at http://wdiy.org God, Drugs And Lizard Aliens: Yep, It's Country Music Why We Fight About Pop Music http://wdiy.org/post/why-we-fight-about-pop-music In 2007, the Canadian music critic Carl Wilson published a book-length experiment in extreme aesthetic sport: a sincere and shockingly comprehensive study of music he had already decided he hated. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:41:00 +0000 Ann Powers 38429 at http://wdiy.org Why We Fight About Pop Music Make Peace With Pop: 6 Songs That Prove Pop Gets Along With Everyone http://wdiy.org/post/make-peace-pop-six-songs-prove-pop-gets-along-everyone <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShSDMPlX8No</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou5T1SeGhOo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBr5FPIL8UU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtATrfNQJLU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzoazPPC7b8</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mCEZzzQ3o</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:34:00 +0000 Ann Powers 37848 at http://wdiy.org First Listen: EMA, 'The Future's Void' http://wdiy.org/post/first-listen-ema-futures-void Erika M. Anderson appreciates the flickering quality of meaning. She likes the sparks that fly off sounds, igniting constructive confusion: the buzz that makes an old synth sound like a guitar, or the way an acoustic beat can crash into an electronic one to make a whole nervous system of rhythm. She's also into wordplay, starting with the name of her ongoing project EMA — an acronym that could stand for a government agency but, read another way, is a feminine name. Then there's the title of her second album, <em>The Future's Void</em>, with its odd, homonym-like instability. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 37525 at http://wdiy.org First Listen: EMA, 'The Future's Void' First Listen: Nickel Creek, 'A Dotted Line' http://wdiy.org/post/first-listen-nickel-creek-dotted-line "I think we're more grown-up now, to use an extremely childlike term," the violinist Sara Watkins recently <a href="http://www.independent.com/news/2014/mar/19/sara-watkinss-fresh-starts/">told a reporter</a> who asked what had changed in the eight years since Nickel Creek — the trio of Watkins, guitarist Sean Watkins (her brother) and mandolinist Chris Thile — released a studio album. Watkins' words astutely acknowledged the expectations leveled at the former child prodigies, who wowed bluegrass and country fans with three precocious albums in the early 2000s. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 03:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 37130 at http://wdiy.org First Listen: Nickel Creek, 'A Dotted Line' Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.' http://wdiy.org/post/lady-gaga-sxsw-dont-sell-out-sell <em>On Friday, March 14, Lady Gaga gave the keynote at SXSW 2014, a long interview conducted by John Norris that covered her career in pop, from her roots in the rock clubs of downtown New York to her decision to partner with a corporate sponsor for the concert she performed at Stubb's the night before. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 15:48:00 +0000 Ann Powers 36667 at http://wdiy.org Lady Gaga At SXSW: 'Don't Sell Out. Sell In.' The Guide To Making SXSW Fun (For Everybody) http://wdiy.org/post/guide-making-sxsw-fun-everybody The last thing anyone would say about South By Southwest is that it's an avenue for self-improvement. The annual mega gathering, which began last week for film and interactive-technology mavens and turns into a music conference and festival tomorrow, fulfills many needs for the culture nerd. Communal bonding? Yes – somewhere around 100,000 people will wander the Austin streets looking to high-five each other during this time. Fun? For sure. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:56:00 +0000 Ann Powers 36332 at http://wdiy.org The Guide To Making SXSW Fun (For Everybody) Listening In Reel Life: The Pop Music Inside The Oscar Nominees http://wdiy.org/post/listening-reel-life-pop-music-inside-oscar-nominees The most romantic scene from any of this year's Oscar-nominated films begins with a deliciously idiosyncratic pickup line. At a swinger's pool party in 1978, a flabby yet still somehow alluring Christian Bale gently grabs the arm of Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams at her most wide-eyed and guileful. "Is that <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396582/duke-ellington" target="_blank">Duke Ellington</a> on your bracelet?" he murmurs. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 13:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 35910 at http://wdiy.org Listening In Reel Life: The Pop Music Inside The Oscar Nominees Hearing Devotion In Pop's Details http://wdiy.org/post/hearing-devotion-pops-details <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT_nvWreIhg</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Ann Powers 35452 at http://wdiy.org Hearing Devotion In Pop's Details First Listen: St. Paul And The Broken Bones, 'Half The City' http://wdiy.org/post/first-listen-st-paul-and-broken-bones-half-city About a year ago, I saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform at a tiny club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., called the Green Bar. The Birmingham band's six members squeezed onto the stage, looking like ragtag school kids. Singer Paul Janeway, nerd-tastic in spectacles and a Sunday suit, unfurled a handkerchief. He started to croon, then shout and wail.<p>The two horn players rang the blues; the rhythm section slipped into a hot pocket; the guitarist pulled out some nimble riffs. Janeway kept hitting notes that I'd only heard before from soulful elders like Bobby Bland. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 04:03:00 +0000 Ann Powers 34854 at http://wdiy.org First Listen: St. Paul And The Broken Bones, 'Half The City'