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45. Lady Gaga Is A Perfect Illusion

Lady Gaga’s new single, “Perfect Illusion,” is the apotheosis of her artistic statement. She is well known for her visual style that too often overshadows her music. But when taken together, it is evident that Lady Gaga is playing all of us because the non-conformity […]

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44. How Beyoncé to The Beatles Modulate Your Emotions

Certain pop songs have that moment, when everything seems to change but still remain the same, when the drama gets ratcheted up, when the tension increases and our emotions take an elevator ride to the heavens. From Beyoncé to Johnny Cash, savvy pop songwriters know a […]

43. Pop Drpo

43. Pop Drops and Chipmunk Soul

A strange syndrome is wreaking havoc on the voices of our biggest pop stars. From Rihanna to Justin Bieber, no one is safe from having their beautiful vocals chopped up, screwed down, repitched and repurposed. As dance music takes over the charts and new software grants vocal manipulation at […]

42. Gideon

42. The Gideon and Hubcap Show

This episode marks something of a departure from the norm. With Charlie away, host Nate, aka “Hubcap,” takes us on a home-show tour of the Scottish Highlands with his traveling minstrel act, The Gideon and Hubcap Show. It’s an entirely different kind of summer music […]

41. Breaking Down The House

41. Breaking Down The House

The fingerprints of house music are all over mainstream pop, but much of its sound has been whitewashed. That ubiquitous four-to-the-floor kick and synth bass sound draws from Chicago’s queer, black and latinx warehouse club culture. Micah Salkind is working on a book on the […]

40. One Dance

40. Around The World With Drake

How do you create a hit that both breaks sound barriers and chart records? Drake has done this with a unique mix of international music from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.K. and Canada. But is his chart topping success musical appropriation or celebration? A deep listening […]

39. Good Music Bad People

39. When Good Music Happens To Bad People

We have more information about pop stars lives than ever before, but this transparency is not always uplifting for music lovers. Just as we may enjoy following the intimate lives of celebrities on Instagram, we simultaneously uncover how stars abuse their power to marginalize others, […]

37. Pop Feminism

37. All About Those Baseline Assumptions About Feminism in Pop

With Meghan Trainor’s new singles “No” and “Me Too” ubiquitous on the radio dial, a larger discussion about the uneasy relationship between social movements and selling records takes a feminist bent. Memories of the polarizing 2014 hit “All About that Bass” come to the surface, […]

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36. Jonas vs. Jonas: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Boy Band

A battle between brothers is playing out on the pop charts, a sibling rivalry the likes of which the music industry hasn’t seen since 1987, when Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” and “Let’s Wait Awhile” jockeyed for peak position on the Hot 100. Today, […]