Sonic Taxonomy

Katy Perry’s Campy, Gay-Baiting Polka-Dot Pop Was First Cooed By ’80s New Waver Josie Cotton

Once upon a time, there was a female modern pop singer in her mid-twenties from California whose debut single questioned whether her boyfriend was gay.
Chuck Eddy / October 18, 2013

Icona Pop’s Nightclubbing Catharsis Originated With ’90s British Dance-Pop Duo Crush

So the obvious question about Icona Pop is this: What kind of "'90s bitch" (or "chick," on the radio) are they, exactly? The Courtney Love…
Chuck Eddy / September 27, 2013

How No Age’s Cagy Art-Punk Aspires to the Transcendent Negation of the Urinals’ Four-Song Blurt ‘Another EP’

In the Grammy-nominated 64-page booklet that housed L.A. noise-pop-punk-gaze duo No Age's first full album, 2008's Nouns, pages 12 and 13 were devoted to somebody's…
Chuck Eddy / August 20, 2013

How Mayer Hawthorne’s Retro-Soul Takes Its Cues From Robert Palmer’s Eccentric ‘Clues’

Soulster Mayer Hawthorne grew up Andrew Cohen in Ann Arbor, Michigan, not Detroit (his stage surname came from the street he was raised on), and…
Chuck Eddy / July 31, 2013

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Birthed Queens of the Stone Age’s Stoner-Robot Rock

Everybody's always called Queens of the Stone Age "stoner rock," which you'd think would imply throwback turn-of-the-'70s acid-boogola in some sense. Truth is, they haven't…
Chuck Eddy / June 26, 2013

Not Daft, Occasionally Punk: 8 Essentials of French Modern Rock’s Secret History

The typical American exceptionalist stance has long argued that French people have no business trying to rock or roll. And evidence in that truism's favor…
Chuck Eddy / May 24, 2013

Blame the Knack: 8 Essentials of the Fake New Wave Feeding Frenzy

So, you know how all those left-field undie rock bands got signed to major labels in the '90s alt-goldrush wake of "Smells Like Teen Spirit,"
Chuck Eddy / April 26, 2013

Silver Connections: 8 Essentials of Eurodisco

As disco first evolved in the U.S., it was largely R&B-based music, carrying over Motown and Philly International assembly-line slickness, gospel ecstasy, Southern soul grit,…
Chuck Eddy / March 29, 2013

Superrappin’: 8 Essential Oldest-School Rap Albums

No one knows exactly when rap started. Maestros like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash imported sound-system basics to the Bronx from the Caribbean through the…
Chuck Eddy / February 22, 2013

Misty Mountain Pop: 8 Essentials of British Folk Rock

The British folk-rock boom that began in the late 1960s, in retrospect, was inevitable. You'd had American folksingers and roots bands, starting with Dylan, going…
Chuck Eddy / January 25, 2013

Kleeer Channel: Unsung R&B Bands of the 1980s

The most radical turn in rhythm & blues history occurred in the early 1980s: the shift away from self-contained bands who carried their road sound…
Chuck Eddy / December 6, 2012

M/A/R/R/S Attacks!: 8 Essentials of Plunderphonic House

Like a lot of things during that weird pre-Nirvana window when disposable cassettes were retailers' favorite format, a prevalent turn-of-the-'90s prediction about our sonic future…
Chuck Eddy / November 8, 2012

Designed to Kill: 8 Essentials of ZE Records

By the end of the '70s, disco was turning rockier (think Prince, or Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff") new wave was turning dancier (think the B-52's,…
Chuck Eddy / September 27, 2012

Bring It On: 8 Essential Teen-Pop Soundtracks

"What do you do with a soundtrack?" James Hunter wondered 27 years ago in "Start Making Sense," a Village Voice roundup. "You listen to it…
Chuck Eddy / August 8, 2012

Czech Your Head: 8 Essentials of Slav Rock

As rock'n'roll spread across the planet through the 1960s, rematerializing further and further from its origins in the American South, odds increased that its geographically…
Chuck Eddy / July 20, 2012
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