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Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

The Good Listener: Saying No To 'Songstress' And Other Forbidden Words

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A certain someone hates the word "songstress." What else should be abolished from music writing?


First Listen: Sondre Lerche, 'Please'

Sunday, September 14, 2014

On the Norwegian singer-songwriter's seventh studio album, the ache and anger of divorce gets re-purposed into a loose, feisty, energetic record that finds Lerche sounding fully recharged.


The Good Listener: Do You Ever Just Get Sick Of Music?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ugh, all of those notes. What's a listener to do when music no longer soothes, enthralls or excites the way it once did?


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Celebrity Apologies And A Regrettable Television Pop Quiz

Friday, September 12, 2014

After a few words about Joan Rivers, the gang delves into a conversation about apologies, sincerity, authenticity, free speech and PR. Then we give ourselves a quiz and discuss What's Making Us Happy.


The Good Listener: Where Are All The Great Songs About Football?

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Good Listener has a modest proposal for those who seek a football anthem everyone can enjoy.


Pop Culture Happy Hour: Repurposing 'The Simpsons' And Busting Out Of A Rut

Friday, September 05, 2014

On the heels of a recent TV marathon, the gang discusses ways to make old things new again. Then it's on to a conversation about cultural complacency, followed by What's Making Us Happy this week.


First Listen: Ryan Adams, 'Ryan Adams'

Sunday, August 31, 2014

After a three-year hiatus, the singer's 14th album is the sound of a once-prolific genius who's only recently relearned what it's like to walk on steady footing.


The Good Listener: Parents Just Don't Understand?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thoughts on a timeless question: "How do you get your parents to respect the music of today?"


First Listen: Interpol, 'El Pintor'

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The New York post-punk band has aged into its polished sound nicely, maintaining its influences (Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, et al) while sounding more distinct from them than ever.


First Listen: Blonde Redhead, 'Barragán'

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The last decade has seen a marked softening in Blonde Redhead's sound, to the point where the quietest moments on Barragán don't sound like songs so much as vapors infused with tunes.


The Good Listener: Can I Ask Loud Talkers At Outdoor Concerts To (Please) Shut Up?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shushing people at indoor concerts is understandable. What about events where options are greater?


First Listen: J Mascis, 'Tied To A Star'

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Though not entirely unplugged, Tied to a Star showcases the soft intricacy of a veteran craftsman who knows when to hang back and decide to pulverize another day.


Song Premiere: Stars, 'From The Night'

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's a misnomer to describe a song about embracing darkness as "sunny," but here we are. "From the Night" is the opening track from Stars' new album, No One Is Lost, which comes out out Oct. 14.


First Listen: Bishop Allen, 'Lights Out'

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summery but subtle, Lights Out is the sound of a band that's mastered the art of quality control, just in time to release an album that's all highlights.


The Good Listener: How Much Is Too Much To Pay For A Concert T-Shirt?

Saturday, August 09, 2014

You want to help a band cover costs, but you don't want to get gouged, either. How much is too much?

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First Listen: Sarah Jaffe, 'Don't Disconnect'

Sunday, August 03, 2014

A ferociously intelligent singer-songwriter, Jaffe never stops inventing, reinventing, exploring and reflecting on her (and our) place in a forbidding, foreboding world.


First Listen: The Underachievers, 'Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium'

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Issa Gold and AK move words and beats so deftly on their new album, it can be difficult to keep up. But they're saying it's OK if you don't catch every word; if, right now, you don't know everything.


Mavis Staples, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2014

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Mavis Staples, whose titanic career spans the civil rights movement, Soul Train and solo work with Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Jeff Tweedy, closed the 2014 Newport Folk Festival on Sunday, July 27.


First Listen: Mirel Wagner, 'When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day'

Sunday, August 03, 2014

As implied in her second album's title, the Finnish songwriter makes haunting, revelatory music for hidden places. Wagner sings for the dead; she digs past the heart of any matter and into bone.


The Good Listener: Why Do Band Photos Look Like That, Anyway?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Folk-rock bands posing on hay bales. Metal bands in alleys with burning trash cans. Why are there so many tropes in press shots — and what are some of the secrets to getting them right?