Ann Powers

Ann Powers appears in the following:

Critics Look Back At 2012: The Worst Of The Year (And Some Good Stuff Too)

Friday, December 28, 2012

NPR Music critic Ann Powers joins us to look at what topped her her list in 2012, including one very sexy slow jam. Then, we turn the Soundcheck 2012 Music Survey on its head and asks...

Bitch Bad? Dissecting Pop Music's Favorite Five-Letter Word

Friday, September 28, 2012

Last month, both rapper Kanye West's "Perfect Bitch" and Lupe Fiasco's "Bitch Bad" rekindled an age-old debate about the use of the word "bitch" in music. Pop music critic Ann Powers  recently wrote about the term for the NPR Music blog The Record. Powers joined us to talk about the history of the word's usage in music -- from 1920s blues ballads to Elton John's proclamation that the "Bitch is Back" -- and to explain why the word "bitch" continues to make her uncomfortable. 

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Gangnam Style, Beer Talk, And 'Bitch' Is Back

Friday, September 28, 2012

A look at the incredible international hit song "Gangnam Style," the K-Pop breakout with a video watched over 300 million times on YouTube. Then, NPR Music critic Ann Powers on the hi...

On 'Mad Men,' Beatles Tune Misses The Mark

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

This week's episode prominently featured a rarely licensed (and expensive) Beatles tune that underlined Don Draper's disconnection from the rapidly changing youth culture of the '60s....


Are 140-Character Reviews The Future Of Music Criticism?

Friday, January 13, 2012

This week, alternative rock's bible, SPIN magazine, announced that it would eliminate the standard short album review from the magazine. In 2012 the magazine's writers will assess 1,5...


Lay Lady Gaga Lay

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here’s a controversial analogy for you: Bob Dylan is to the sixties as Lady Gaga is to the… what are we calling this decade, anyway? With the release of Gaga’s second album coinciding (almost) with the 70th birthday of The Voice of a Generation himself, the protest singer comparisons abound. NPR music critic Ann Powers joins us with her take on Gaga’s anthem-filled new release, “Born This Way,” as well as her thoughts on the Lady Gaga/Bob Dylan comparison.

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The Year in Rock and Pop

Friday, December 17, 2010

This was the year when a band from Montreal topped the charts, American Idol went indie, and Lady Gaga and Beyonce had their very own Thelma and Louise moment. Los Angeles Times chief pop music critic Ann Powers and Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield join us with their lists of 2010’s best rock and pop music.

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Behind the Pens

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More than 30 stories are included in this year’s "Best Music Writing" collection. Among them: Pitchfork writer Nitsuh Abebe’s reflections on the ever-shifting definition of indie music, and an in-depth profile of Merle Haggard by Rolling Stone’s executive editor, Jason Fine. We talk with Abebe, Fine and the book’s guest editor, Los Angeles Times pop music critic Ann Powers.

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Smackdown: Hall of Shame

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its short list of nominees last week. The list of candidates for induction next year includes The J. Geils Band, Bon Jovi, Donovan and Neil Diamond. Our Smackdown guests were a little underwhelmed.

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Success in 'The Suburbs'

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Canadian rock band Arcade Fire topped the Billboard 200 albums chart this week. Their latest release, The Suburbs, sold 156,000 copies and edged out Eminem for the No. 1 spot. We talk with Los Angeles Times chief pop music critic Ann Powers about chart success means for this "indie" band.


Pandora’s Jukebox

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kurt takes a look inside Pandora — a music website that creates personalized streaming radio stations based on your favorite music — with founder Tim Westergren. And Los Angeles Times critic Ann Powers helps Kurt test the system's mettle, trying to build a station ...

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M.I.A. and Liz Phair Tangle with Fame and Criticism

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pop critics are abuzz about new releases from two provocative female artists. M.I.A. is set to release Maya, her first album since a nasty feud with the New York Times. Meanwhile, rocker Liz Phair has self-released an album that seems to lampoon herself – and M.I.A.

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Where Does Music Journalism Go Next?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Pop critics Jim DeRogatis and Ann Powers discuss the uncertain future of music criticism.

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Simon Cowell: Conqueror or Crank?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

This season will be Simon Cowell's last as judge on Fox's smash-hit American Idol. The caustic Brit everyone loves to hate is stepping down to bring his show X Factor to American audiences next year. Some say he’s brought diverse audiences together and made us all critics; others argue he ...

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It's a Woman's World

Monday, February 01, 2010

Beyonce's six awards set a record for most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night at Sunday's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift took home the evening's biggest prize, Album of the Year. Joining us to explain what that means for the state of pop ...

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Divine Inspiration

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, composer Steve Reich and indie hero Sufjan Stevens have all explored God in their music. We hear how these efforts and others fared with fans and critics. Guests include Ann Powers, chief pop critic for The Los Angeles Times, and Felicia Miyakawa, professor of musicology at Middle ...

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In the Spirit of 'Teen Spirit'

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last month, the video gaming company Activision released its fifth Guitar Hero title. Controversy soon followed, as players discovered that a character modeled on deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain could be made to move and sing in ways the real Cobain would never have done. Today, we hear from entertainment ...

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Divine Inspiration

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, composer Steve Reich and indie hero Sufjan Stevens have all explored God in their music. We hear how these efforts and others fared with fans and critics. Guests include Ann Powers, chief pop critic for the Los Angeles Times, and Felicia Miyakawa, professor of musicology at Middle ...

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Why Authentic Isn't Always Better

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artifice in pop music has a long history - from Ziggy Stardust and his Spiders from Mars to Lady Gaga. Today, we look at the new wave of theatricality in music and why sometimes fake is what feels most real. Guests are Ann Powers, chief pop music critic at the ...

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Death of a Thriller

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson was one of the most successful and influential entertainers of the 20th Century. He won 13 Grammys and sold 50 million copies of his 1982 masterpiece, Thriller. But his fame and reputation declined starting in the 1990s. When he died yesterday at age 50, Jackson was attempting a ...

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