Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson appears in the following:

First Listen: Neil Young, 'Storytone'

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Young recorded all of Storytone's 10 songs with either a 92-piece orchestra or an elaborate big band, but wisely includes beautifully stripped-down acoustic versions, too.


The Good Listener: Where's All The Great Halloween Music?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Christmas yields dozens of holiday albums each year. But, "Monster Mash" aside, what of Halloween?

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Whiplash' And Carbon Dating

Friday, October 24, 2014

Audie Cornish joins the show to discuss an Oscar-friendly Sundance hit, what makes certain art a product of its time, and what's making us happy this week.


Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: Announcing Our Biggest Live Show Yet

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew will appear live at Washington, D.C.'s beautiful Sixth & I synagogue. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at noon ET.


First Listen: The Flaming Lips, 'With A Little Help From My Fwends'

Sunday, October 19, 2014

On an album-length cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Flaming Lips' playful streak gets undercut with moments of abrasiveness and aggression — and detours down strange side roads.


The Good Listener: How Can I Become A 'Music Person'?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A reader grew up listening to Rick Astley in the '80s and needs to know if it's too late to change.


First Listen: Horse Feathers, 'So It Is With Us'

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The chamber-folk band's fifth album feels unerringly graceful — a quality that transcends tempo and tone, infusing every song with enough beauty to overwhelm sadness.


The Good Listener: When You Need To Concentrate, Which Music Is Best?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do you spend your days wearing headphones and staring at a computer screen, looking for music to fill your head without distracting you from the task at hand? This column is for you.


Song Premiere: The Lone Bellow, 'Then Came The Morning'

Monday, October 06, 2014

On the first single from its new album, the band has lost none of its sleekly soaring charm.


First Listen: Stars, 'No One Is Lost'

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Montreal band recorded its new album within earshot of a since-closed discotheque, and it shows. No One Is Lost prioritizes lightness and bittersweet uplift over the devastation of past records.


First Listen: Meatbodies, 'Meatbodies'

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Meatbodies' Chad Ubovich has learned to put his personal spin on the surf-strum mutant beach party championed by California psychedelic rock bands like Thee Oh Sees, Wand and Bleached.


The Good Listener: How Do I Avoid 'The iTunes Pit Of Despair'?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Music has become so abundant, it's hard to keep track of your library — let alone give songs the time they deserve. But there are ways to start over and discover great new songs you already own.


First Listen: Foxygen, '...And Star Power'

Sunday, September 28, 2014

There's a because-we-can quality to the band's overstuffed, 82-minute second album, as Foxygen delights in letting its loosest threads unravel.


The Good Listener: When Was Pop Music At Its Lowest Point?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Haunted by memories of Paula Abdul rapping with a cartoon cat, a reader asks about popular music's worst era.


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.