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Prove your music nerd cred

Slate wants to know if you can name those 70s, 80s, 90s or more recent hits from hearing just the first second of them.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 24, 2014 - 57 comments

Well-honed weltschmerz and mesmerizing monotony

Lana Del Rey: Why a Death-Obsessed Pop Siren Is Perfect for Late-Stage Capitalist America (mirrored at Salon.com)
Lana Del Rey is pushing the envelope, and here's her message, delivered with a languid pout: 21st-century America is a rotting corpse, deadlocked culturally, economically, and politically. Since there's nothing we can do about it, let's enjoy ourselves as the body-politic disintegrates, perhaps by savoring some toothsome bites of the past: candy-colored Super 8 films, juicy jazz tunes and clips of sultry screen sirens. The future is a retrospective.

All of this echoes the ancient danse macabre, the dance of death, the motif that sprang out of the medieval horrors of war and the plague. It's a plea for fevered amusement while you've still got time.

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 11, 2014 - 59 comments

How to craft pop perfection

You Look Sexy When You Do That (SLYT) by Brett Domino
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 7, 2014 - 26 comments

Miss American Dream

How Britney Spears went to Vegas and became a feminist role model. No, really. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 13, 2014 - 53 comments

"I Love, I Love, I Love My Wife—But Oh! You Kid!"

Ragtime’s slaves-to-the-rhythm weren’t just figments of Billy Sunday’s fevered imagination—and “I Love, I Love, I Love My Wife—But Oh! You Kid!” wasn’t just a novelty ditty. It was, like the other hits of its era, a generational marker, an anthem of changing times and freedom and youth. The old songs sound goofy to us, but a hundred years ago they carried a teenybopper throb and the impish menace of punk rock. Lengthy (6000 words) link-rich article by Jody Rosen at Slate.
posted by cgc373 on Jun 3, 2014 - 17 comments

Thriller wasn't lying...

Michael Jackson has a new album out: Xscape [more inside]
posted by jammy on May 15, 2014 - 29 comments

All these moments will be lost in time, like -

Internet personality Neil Cicierega (previously) has released a new mashup album based on Smash Mouth, "Smooth," "The Power of Love," Daft Punk, and other stuff: Mouth Sounds.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 27, 2014 - 36 comments

Mustard On The Beat

Who is DJ Mustard? And why is he "The Sound of 2014."? [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson on Apr 15, 2014 - 17 comments

I'm giving it my all

In which Kings of Leon covers Robyn's "Dancing On My Own", complete with unchanged pronouns.
posted by dry white toast on Apr 11, 2014 - 29 comments

On the BeyHive and Cyborg Mrs. Carter

"They are in love with what she transmutes. What she is allowed to be."
posted by spamandkimchi on Apr 1, 2014 - 5 comments

"Half time has infected pop music"

Has pop music criticism really devolved into lifestyle reporting as alleged by this Daily Beast article? The response by Slate reviewing Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream". [more inside]
posted by lizarrd on Mar 25, 2014 - 66 comments

Quicker Than A Ray Of Light

Sixteen years ago, on February 22, 1998, Madonna released her seventh studio album, Ray Of Light, followed the next day by lead-off single Frozen. Popular music and culture would never be the same. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Feb 17, 2014 - 91 comments

Wormhole Radio

Scratchy Grooves For almost twenty years, starting in 1984, Bill Chambless on WVUD-FM at the University of Delaware, explored the pop music of 1900 to 1940 on vintage recordings, "scratches and all." Stream the shows at this website, migrated from the original cassette tapes and maintained by his son.
posted by Miko on Jan 24, 2014 - 9 comments

What if Disney Princes were in a Boy Band?

What if Disney Princes were in a Boy Band? Appearances by: Ariel and Eric; Beauty and Beast; Cinderella and Prince Charming; Jasmine and Aladdin; Mulan and Li Shang
posted by zizzle on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Pop History

The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2013 - 14 comments

What It’s Like When A Label Won’t Release Your Album

What It’s Like When A Label Won’t Release Your Album
posted by reenum on May 19, 2013 - 41 comments

Manele, Romanian pop music

Modern Manele is a deliciously vulgar, cheesy-fun, bouncy Eastern European pop music. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on May 14, 2013 - 19 comments

Time to feel old!

Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997, 1999, and 2002
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2013 - 109 comments

Then Play Long

Marcello Carlin and Lena Friesen review every UK number one album so that you might want to hear it, starting in July 1956 with Frank Sinatra's Songs For Swingin' Lovers (reviewed August 2008) and so far ending up in September 1981 with Genesis' Abacab (March 2013).
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 2, 2013 - 7 comments

Let's big dance!

Are you still confused by Ukraine's 2007 Eurovision entry? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Mar 30, 2013 - 21 comments

How a Live Nation Deal Cornered Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake likely made his new album to fulfill a contract he signed with Live Nation in 2009.
posted by reenum on Mar 28, 2013 - 36 comments

I want to be let alone to listen to my damn records.

Noted filmmaker Allison Anders (recent L.A. Weekly profile) won 50 rock and pop records once owned by Greta Garbo at auction. She's listening to them, one by one, and writing about them at Greta's Records.
posted by Mothlight on Feb 13, 2013 - 5 comments

I don’t believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did.

A couple days ago, Minami Minegishi, a 20 year-old member of the wholesome, innocent idol group AKB48 posted a video of herself, head shaved, tearfully begging not to be fired from the group. What horrible crime did she commit? What awful, unpardonable sin caused her demotion and public humilation? Dating. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 1, 2013 - 76 comments

Baby Brosteps Towards The Elevator

"This year, two monumental genres with decidedly global pedigrees arrived on our shores and attempted to crack the American pop code, with one enjoying far more decisive success than the other...One of those is definitely sexier and zeitgeistier than the other, but that doesn't always result in sustained cultural relevance."
K-Pop, EDM, and Baby Brosteps Toward a More Global Pop Landscape
posted by mannequito on Dec 18, 2012 - 33 comments

Thank You For The Music

"If Fantasma is a concept album, then what exactly is the concept? Simply-put, Fantasma is an album about music itself — a tribute to how the very process of hardcore music nerd fandom and collection reference lead to creation and production." Released in 1997, Fantasma by Cornelius was one of the finest albums of the 90's, and arguably the peak of the Shibuya-Kei music scene in Japan. Néojaponisme recently published a five-part, detailed retrospective on the album in honor of its fifteenth anniversary. While reading, you can listen to a playlist of the full album on YouTube. Enjoy! [more inside]
posted by naju on Nov 25, 2012 - 22 comments

Pop music is never just pop music

The 'About' page of UK music website Popjustice also doubles as a pop fan manifesto.
posted by rollick on Aug 2, 2012 - 26 comments

Cinderfella

What happens when you mash up Cinderella, Disney songs, queer culture, and top 40 hits? This, apparently. [SLYT]

Warning for general ear-worminess. I'll be humming this all week.
posted by MeghanC on Jul 28, 2012 - 12 comments

Long afloat on shipless oceans ...

Its writer refused to record it. Pat Boone almost killed it. Then it was resurrected as a B-side to an indie prestige project. Then it became an A-side in its own right, sold a half a million copies, and ended up being performed by its writer on the last ever episode of the Monkees. - "Song to the Siren's irresistible tang" by Martin Aston. [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 20, 2012 - 41 comments

If you’ve ever heard someone complain about the 4 chord pop song, this is what they are talking about.

"I analyzed the chords of 1300 popular songs for patterns. This is what I found."
posted by stroke_count on Jun 12, 2012 - 97 comments

Beebs!

GQ Attempts to make a man out of Justin Bieber.
posted by eugenen on May 18, 2012 - 95 comments

Ring Ring

The story of the ABBA sound. 8 minute Swedish documentary. Click the "CC" button for subtitles.
posted by rollick on Mar 16, 2012 - 59 comments

Time Has Come Today, Just Not Royalties

The story of Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers in one picture. A cautionary tale of working for an RIAA label (and Clive Davis) and what happens when your 'legendary hit' peaks at #11. At least he has a friend in Yoko Ono.
posted by oneswellfoop on Mar 4, 2012 - 20 comments

Pitchfork, 1995–present: What did we do to deserve Pitchfork?

In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 24, 2012 - 109 comments

Give Me Dynamite Love

GonZo Presents Disco's Payback: The Reboots is an 11-track album featuring modern pop records mashed up with disco classics.
posted by beaucoupkevin on Jan 15, 2012 - 3 comments

Or just ten reasons why Donna Summer is awesome in general

10 Reasons Why Donna Summer Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
posted by rollick on Dec 14, 2011 - 54 comments

Top 40 Data

The Billboard Wayback Machine is an interactive that lets you explore the Billboard charts spanning from 1964 to 2011
posted by gwint on Oct 18, 2011 - 12 comments

Snap, Crackle, Rattle and Hum.

40 Noises That Built Pop [parts 234]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 7, 2011 - 79 comments

If you look in my fridge, it's like children's food—chips, milkshakes, yogurt

"[Punk] in itself is comedy. The whole thing is ludicrous. They were taking themselves so seriously—" he laughs—"and the great message you want to tell people forty years later is 'Put butter on your crumpets'? What they were saying they stood for, which was sort of anti-greed, anti-establishment... At the end, they all want the check. That's the truth." Pop biographer Chris Heath - who's written some rather fascinating books on Robbie Williams and the Pet Shop Boys - meets Simon Cowell.
posted by mippy on Sep 1, 2011 - 80 comments

Oh nah nah, what's my name?

Pop star Rihanna gives good Meet & Greet [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 18, 2011 - 132 comments

We're All Born Superstars

In Defense of Pop Music -- New York Magazine takes a look at the rise of pop and dance music and the death of rock in the charts.
posted by empath on Jul 16, 2011 - 110 comments

Don't Put The Bandleader on the Album Cover

It was music to be heard, not listened to. It was the soundtrack to the relaxed, sophisticated, mature vision of the good life. It was music for lovers. It was upbeat, elaborately arranged, chart-toppingly popular, and yet has been almost written out of the popular music history books, dismissed as “elevator music”; soulless, toned-down, pre-chewed, limp cover-versions of popular songs for old people. So sit back, put aside the politics and angst, slip into something comfortable (preferably with someone of similar description), and allow yourself to experience The Joy of Easy Listening [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 16, 2011 - 42 comments

Like Punk Never Happend: Smash Hits! Online! 3 decades later!

Smash Hits! was a UK music magazine, first published at the end of 1978. It charted the progress of pop styles, including the rise of 2-Tone, and included a number of freebie discs, first as flexi discs, and later on CDs. The magazine faltered in the 1990s, and closed shop in 2006. Since then there have been a few one-off "special editions," first a 2009 tribute to Michael Jackson, and then a Lady Gaga special in 2010. 30 years after the first issue went on sale, a fan posted the first issue online. So far, new scans have been posted fort-nightly, following the original release schedule. 73 issues are online to date, each three decades after they first were sold. (via MetaChat)
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 14, 2011 - 20 comments

This is not a Gaga post

La Coacha explores modern pop music in Blonde Ambition.
posted by hippybear on Mar 28, 2011 - 3 comments

Sunday Comes Afterwords

Rebecca Black's Friday is a video single from an artist you may have never heard of, yet it's spawned animated gifs and in-depth lyrical analysis, raised speculation over possible album tracklists, garnered numerous covers, it's received the super-slow treatment (similar to Justin Bieber), and a short movie mash-up. Where did this all start? A magical place called Ark Music Factory.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 13, 2011 - 284 comments

mmmm Bop Bop

Today in 1966, Brian Wilson starting laying down instrumental tracks for "#1 Untitled." Eight months, 90 hours of tape, and $50,000 later, he released his "pocket symphony." [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Feb 17, 2011 - 54 comments

junk culture

"Pop music is old. Whether you consider it started with jazz, swing or rock and roll in the 50s, it's old. There is nowhere new go to. Seriously! There are new bands who have their own voice and style but in terms of the type of music they're making....it's just recombinations of other historical styles. There is nowhere new to go. There just isn't, I'm sorry to say, and it's not because I'm old." Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark's Andy McCluskey on pop music, not getting any respect, and reforming the band. They've got a new album out; the title track (and forthcoming single) "History of Modern" is a jaunty ode to the inevitable death of everyone & everything. [more inside]
posted by the bricabrac man on Jan 19, 2011 - 43 comments

a long-lasting lunch break

Bored of Ke$ha, Fergie, and their various American contemporaries performing "hip-hop"-"tinged" "pop"? Say "alo" to apple-cheeked Romanian-German star Miss Platnum. Maybe start with Mercedes-Benz and She Moved In, before moving on to her earliest and biggest hit, Give Me the Food. [more inside]
posted by eugenen on Dec 4, 2010 - 47 comments

The Music of Jacques Brel

The Music of Jacques Brel is an article by music journalist Amy Hanson about the career of pop music legend Jacques Brel and his effect on popular music in the English language. A lot of songs and covers are mentioned in the article, below the cut are links to the songs that I could find videos of online. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 6, 2010 - 49 comments

The Eight Finest Seconds in Europop History

Epic Sax Guy [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2010 - 51 comments

Unterhaltungskultur

I maintain that only an encyclopedic-archaeological turn can save an aging person's attachment to popular culture from descending into ridiculousness. Against Eighties Music by Justin E.H. Smith
posted by xod on Jul 26, 2010 - 144 comments

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