Articles on Pop music

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It’s comforting to think that technology has its limits, that the album persists. Jared Hersch

What music sounded like in 2015

The hard numbers of sales, downloads, streams, and billboard charts seem to do all the work for us. But do these measures tell us anything meaningful about music's nature and value in 2015?
Marvin Gaye’s daughter speaks to the media after her family was awarded $7.4 million. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

How the jury in the ‘Blurred Lines’ case was misled

According to copyright expert Wendy Gordon, the judge bungled his instructions to the jury. From there, the outcome was inevitable.
Through his music, Lead Belly rejected the stereotype that country music was the domain of white artists, while blues music was reserved for blacks. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Lead Belly’s music defied racial categorization

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection depicts the fully-formed artist – a blues musician, yes, but also a performer of string-band, country and pop songs.
‘Real Love’, originally written by John Lennon, gets us hooked on Monty. John Lewis

Sounds like Christmas: why advertisers are all ears this year

There’s no holding back now: the gloves are well and truly off in the run up to Christmas as major advertisers continue their fight for a slice of your seasonal spend. Over the past few weeks, audiences…
Mark Ryden’s art for Michael Jackson’s 1991 album Dangerous. Augusto Podrido/Flickr

Michael Jackson: Posthuman

The album cover for Michael Jackson’s album Dangerous was painted by American pop-surrealist artist Mark Ryden. In it, he depicts a world in which the boundaries between human and animal, living and dead…
Too cool for cash. Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Radiohead and U2: making money by giving music away for free

On September 9, U2 released their new album, Songs of Innocence. Not quite in the normal style: they are offering it as a free download to all 500m iTunes users. Lead singer Bono described the release…
Swift is privileged, as only apex predators are, with the ability to pick and choose from any (cultural) food source. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Taylor Swift is the great white shark of pop music

In the same week American rapper Nicki Minaj released Anaconda, a music video dedicated to celebrating “the butt”, US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released a video, Shake It Off, accidentally dedicated…
Sia refuses to use her body to sell her music. Laurence Barnes

Sia may be the face of music’s future

Australian singer-songwriter Sia’s new album 1000 Forms of Fear has been released internationally today, accompanied by a deluge of media reporting her story: she’s one of a handful of the most successful…

Why is it good to crowdsurf at Handel concerts?

Dr David Glowacki is a highly-respected research fellow of the Royal Society, and expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics – no, me neither – but is also our newest, and arguably most unlikely…
The godfather of punk. zapdelight

The beat goes on: 100 years of William S Burroughs

When William S Burroughs returned to New York City in 1974, after two decades of peripatetic rambling, dubious pleasure and restless escape, the rising rock poet Patti Smith expressed her deep pleasure…
Daft Punk may get lucky Andre Felipe

This year Grammys glitterfest looks set to be a Brit flop

The Grammys, that great annual showcase of the American popular music business, may not rank quite with the Oscars. But there is no doubt, that in the prize-giving season, this jamboree of self-congratulation…
Arctic Monkeys are certain to feature in this year’s most voted songs. AAP Image/MG Promotions

We love music: why Triple J’s Hottest 100 still rocks

Australia’s national youth station, Triple J, has come in for some criticism lately, with a spate of articles accusing it of homogenising Australian music tastes or excluding too many local acts from the…

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