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Preview: Music Popcast


The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

Copyright: © © 2018 The New York Times Company

Cardi B Arrives at the Top

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:27:26 -0000

The 25-year-old’s LP “Invasion of Privacy” is part of her broad-scale pop culture takeover. A conversation about her rise and debut album.

Media Files:

Logic, XXXTentacion and Hip-Hop Morality in 2018

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 21:13:37 -0000

A conversation about the earnest rapper and the SoundCloud renegade, both successes of modern internet-driven rap fandom.

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Kacey Musgraves and Ashley McBryde, Country Traditionalists With a Twist

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 14:56:30 -0000

Two new albums put a spotlight on Nashville’s ongoing, agonized relationship with female performers.

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Ashlee Simpson: You Asked, We Answered

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 15:43:20 -0000

Part two of our conversation about the mid-2000s pop star features debates about her MTV reality show and “S.N.L.” debacle, and a listener mailbag.

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Was Ashlee Simpson Underappreciated? Discuss

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 17:39:41 -0000

In the mid-2000s, the pop singer had platinum albums and an MTV reality show. Hear the first of two conversations about Ms. Simpson’s misunderstood career.

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Lucy Dacus, Soccer Mommy, the Breeders and the Future of Indie Rock

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 17:26:29 -0000

A conversation about carefully considered creative paths — and how pristine voices with powerful messages are amplified — as three strong new albums arrive

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In Defense of Soundtracks. And Fergie.

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 16:39:23 -0000

What’s responsible for the recent soundtrack renaissance that brought albums from “Black Panther” and “The Greatest Showman” to the top of the charts?

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The Complex Intersection Where Rap and the Legal System Collide

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:41:52 -0000

A conversation with a criminal lawyer about the racial politics of legal representation, the Meek Mill saga and the future prospects of incarcerated would-be stars.

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Justin Timberlake Down, Meek Mill Up: How Twitter Swings Public Opinion

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 22:15:18 -0000

The internet’s response to the two musicians after the Super Bowl shows how criticism works these days. Rapid-fire groupthink online can be strong enough to have real-world impact.

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Can the Grammys Be Fixed?

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 16:00:00 -0000

Big stars didn’t show up. Ratings were down. Hip-hop was once again shut out of the major categories. Can “music’s biggest night” represent what’s really happening in music?

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Hear What Music Will Sound Like in 2018

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 21:49:18 -0000

Flamboyant hip-hop, promising punk rock, intricate bluegrass and more: a conversation about the artists we’re looking forward to following this year.

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Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:44:43 -0000

The lead singer of the Irish rock band, who died at 46, wrote songs in the 1990s that deeply touched young women and Irish listeners while appealing to a worldwide audience

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In Streaming, One Goliath Creates Many Davids

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 19:54:24 -0000

Streaming has established itself as the dominant mode of music distribution. What could go wrong? Quite a lot, it turns out.

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Is Today’s Jazz Finally Outrunning the Past?

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 17:23:44 -0000

Jazz could have spent 2017 looking backward, focusing on the centennials of foundational figures. But instead, several strains of contemporary jazz thrived. 

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Will Eminem Ever Change?

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 23:28:26 -0000

After a brief break from the spotlight, the rapper returned with “Revival,” an album that revisited familiar tropes and sounds. Where can he go from here?

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The Popcast Answers Your Burning Questions About Pop Music in 2017

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 16:33:49 -0000

Our readers picked the topics of conversation, which included Fergie, the state of streaming and evolutions in Latin pop

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In 2017, Pop Music Made Triumph Out of Tough Times

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:08:43 -0000

From Lorde to Kendrick Lamar, many of the albums and songs on our critics’ best-of lists showcased the work of musicians meeting difficult circumstances with artistic fortitude.

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After 40 Years, U2 Is Still Huge. Why?

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 17:20:19 -0000

A conversation about the band’s 14th album, “Songs of Experience,” and its ongoing quest for bigness.

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Remembering Lil Peep

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:51:44 -0000

The 21-year-old rapper, who died last week, found a unique way to unite the languages of hip-hop and emo.

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Has Arrived. Let’s Discuss.

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:21:49 -0000

Ms. Swift plays a different game on her sixth album — making pop music that directly competes with the rest of the field’s dominant players.

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Is Almost Here. Let’s Discuss.

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:10:59 -0000

She hasn’t done interviews, but the pop star has been leaving hints about what to expect on her sixth album. Our writers listen to the signs.

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How Will Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Be Remembered?

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 20:54:59 -0000

A new biography of the magazine’s founder has been praised by our critic and slammed by its subject.

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What Are the Billboard Charts Really Measuring?

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 18:51:10 -0000

Changes to the formulas used to build albums and singles charts will weigh paid streams more than free ones. What will the impact be?

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The Persistence of Pink and Kelly Clarkson, Outspoken Pop Survivors

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:37:29 -0000

Two of the music world’s biggest voices and boldest personalities are back. Deep into successful careers, where have their paths diverged?

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Shania Twain Was Country’s Crossover Queen. What Is She Now?

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:21:34 -0000

In the 15 years since she last released an album, the music industry has undergone big changes, but Ms. Twain’s new LP still debuted at No. 1.

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Tom Petty, a Secret Punk on Rock’s Mount Rushmore

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:29:35 -0000

He was a student of the ’60s who learned from his elders, but put his own deliberate spin on rock ’n’ roll.

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National Anthem Protests, From ‘Jazzing the Banner’ to Taking a Knee

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 20:43:29 -0000

“The Star-Spangled Banner” has long been a site of dissent and disagreement. A conversation about the history of the anthem, and those who have protested it.

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Bye, Bro. In Country Music, It’s the Year of the Gentleman.

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:55:20 -0000

Nashville has been undergoing a gender crisis for most of the 2010s. Is the latest development — kinder men — a solution?

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From Instagram to ‘Bodak Yellow,’ Cardi B Has Arrived

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:24:15 -0000

The rapper behind one of the summer’s biggest hits has made swift moves in the music industry, and is making waves in the fashion world, too.

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Women Dominating Rock: There’s More to the Conversation

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:43:49 -0000

What happens when the media shines a light on feminist punk? A conversation about D.I.Y. scenes and representation.

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The Popcast Answers Your Questions About Beyoncé, Music Videos and More

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 15:45:48 -0000

On this week’s episode, our readers picked the topics of conversation, which include Lil Wayne, merchandise and Camila Cabello.

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Is SoundCloud a Business or a Community?

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 18:04:51 -0000

If the music-streaming service disappeared, a culture might vanish too. A conversation about where the tech and culture worlds collide.

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Kesha and Taylor Swift Find New Voices

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:22:09 -0000

On “Rainbow,” Kesha steps away from her old persona but keeps her former spark. In court, Taylor Swift speaks with no filter. 

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What Keeps Phish Fans Coming Back for More?

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:02:10 -0000

The band just completed a 13-show run in New York where it didn’t repeat any songs, and its fans are already hungering for the next residency.

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Is Arcade Fire Its Own Worst Enemy?

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:09:57 -0000

As the band released its most divisive album yet, it embarked on a rollout that confused its narrative even further. 

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Celebrating Two of Rock’s Big Voices, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 22:51:08 -0000

A conversation about two singers in different bands who left significant musical and emotional legacies

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Streaming Is Taking Over Pop, but It’s Far From Flawless

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:31:41 -0000

Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal: Seemingly every major streaming service has suffered through some controversy lately

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From Jay-Z to Prodigy, It’s Time to Talk About Hip-Hop’s Elders

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:00:04 -0000

A new album from Jay-Z, documentaries about Sean Combs and Dr. Dre, and the death of Prodigy have stirred new thinking about older artists

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Can K-pop Conquer America?

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 15:55:52 -0000

Fanaticism about this Korean genre is on the rise in the United States, but it hasn’t cracked mainstream pop culture

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Hip-Hop’s Punk Moment Has Arrived

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:59:15 -0000

SoundCloud rap is a raw, rowdy, rebellious movement fueled by young rappers looking outside the genre for inspiration.

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Katy Perry, Lorde and Halsey: How to Make a Pop Album in 2017

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:34:50 -0000

Three female pop stars, three different approaches: a conversation about their new albums, on Popcast.

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Why We’re Still Listening to the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:44:50 -0000

Our pop music critics are not fans of record anniversaries, but 50 years after the creation of “Sgt. Pepper,” there are still lessons to be learned from the album.

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Latin Pop Thrives, No Bieber Required

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 20:29:40 -0000

“Despacito” is the first Spanish-language song to top the chart since “Macarena,” but there are many more interesting shifts in Latin pop today.

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Festivals That Inspire Awe, and Festivals That Lead to Criminal Investigations

Fri, 26 May 2017 19:35:49 -0000

Music fests are ubiquitous, but only some are curated well enough to be thrilling. And there’s the Fyre Festival.

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Harry Styles and John Mayer, Teardrops on Their Guitars

Fri, 19 May 2017 16:31:48 -0000

The One Direction member and the pop-blues poster boy have a few things in common.

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Paramore Returns, Headed Straight For the 1980s

Fri, 12 May 2017 14:46:21 -0000

One of the most impressive rock bands working in the mainstream has taken a left turn. Where is Paramore headed, and how did it inspire scores of artists?

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Finding Feist’s Pleasure and Pain

Fri, 05 May 2017 18:15:54 -0000

The singer-songwriter’s new album is a low-fi exploration of extreme emotions. How does it relate to her earlier hits, and how did she get here?

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How Lil Uzi Vert Turned Rap Into Rock and Became a Pop Star

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:00:59 -0000

He’s a rapper, a social media phenomenon, the guy yelling “ya” on Migos’s hit “Bad and Boujee.” What’s the secret of Uzi’s success?

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A Deep Dig on Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole’s Hip-Hop’s Values

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:59:20 -0000

The two rappers recall an earlier time in the genre’s history, in terms of aesthetics and politics. How do they fit in today?

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Chainsmokers?

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:32:40 -0000

In three years, the duo has had several hits while offending all sorts of people. What does its sound say about EDM?

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Jazz in 2017: The Music Is Thriving, Though Support Is in Peril

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:54:47 -0000

Kamasi Washington and some Los Angeles musicians are producing vital recordings, but N.E.A. funding is uncertain. A conversation about the state of jazz.

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Drake Changed Hip-Hop’s Sound. Can He Change the Business?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:27:07 -0000

His release isn’t an album or a mixtape, but a playlist — a move that could position him to shift the music industry once again.

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How Chuck Berry Became a Rock ’n’ Roll Mastermind

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:01:45 -0000

He wrote the guitar licks, told the clever stories, duckwalked across the stage and forever changed popular music

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The Billboard Charts Are Wackier Than Ever: What’s Going On?

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:49:33 -0000

Streaming figures into chart positions now, a fact that has started yielding some very odd results.

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The Greatest Trick Ed Sheeran Ever Pulled Was Convincing the World He’s an Underdog

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:29:41 -0000

The British singer/songwriter is a record-smashing superstar, but he still plays the spurned lover. How does he do it?

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What Future and Migos Tell Us About Atlanta’s Rap Dominance

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 19:07:37 -0000

A panel discusses Migos, Lil Yachty and more of the city’s budding stars on Popcast.

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What Happens When Nashville Outsiders Become Country’s Big Stars?

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:27:19 -0000

The city synonymous with the country music business is in transition. How is it dealing with rapid change, and the Trump era? A panel discusses on Popcast.

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Were There Any Real Winners at the Grammys?

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 22:46:13 -0000

It was an awards show filled with flubs, tear, apologies and protests. The New York Times pop music writers discuss Adele, Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper and more on Popcast.

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Will the Grammy Awards End With a Big Surprise?

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 21:28:58 -0000

The New York Times pop team debates whether Sturgill Simpson will pull out a surprise victory in a night stacked with Adele vs. Beyoncé face-offs.

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Punk Rock Is Alive and Well, No Politics Required

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:03:54 -0000

The current political climate doesn’t come up even once during the latest Popcast, a conversation about Japandroids, the Menzingers and the state of rock.

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The War Over ‘La La Land’: Gotta Hear Both Sides

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 20:16:47 -0000

The toast of Hollywood has divided our culture writers. Two of the movie’s boosters go to battle with two of its critics in this week’s Popcast.

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The Crooner in Chief: Barack Obama’s Musical Legacy

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:32:30 -0000

He brought soul and hip-hop into the White House like no president before him. A discussion of Mr. Obama’s most powerful musical moments, on this week’s Popcast.

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Hip-Hop’s Elders and Youth Go to Battle (Again)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:22:59 -0000

Should rap’s young stars have more reverence for the genre’s pioneers, and vice versa? A conversation about hip-hop’s latest generation-gap struggles.

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Mariah Carey and New Year’s Eve: Is the Fantasy Over?

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:40:58 -0000

A panel discusses Ms. Carey's recent New Year's Eve performance and career.

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10 Songs That Tell the Story of 2016

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 16:35:57 -0000

A round table of pop experts discuss the year in tracks, from Maren Morris's "Rich" to Twenty One Pilots' "Ride" to Rihanna's "Sex With Me."

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The Year in Jazz Music

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 16:56:58 -0000

A roundtable of writers discuss trends and notable moments of the year.

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Pop Music Trends in 2016

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 19:56:04 -0000

The pop music team discusses news themes and what may shape it for years to come.

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The Best Albums of 2016

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:40:18 -0000

This week, The New York Times music team reflects on albums that defined 2016.

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For Bruno Mars and the Weeknd, the Past as Muse

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:54:17 -0000

This week, a discussion of new releases by both artists who have more in common than it may appear.

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Revisiting Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo'

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 19:43:59 -0000

After a series of bizarre shows, Kanye West canceled the remainder of his "Saint Pablo" tour last week. This weekend, we're listening back to the conversation Jon Caramanica led at the time of the album's release.

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Mourning the Greats: Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell and Mose Allison

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 20:36:01 -0000

This year has seen the loss of Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, and, now, three more towering figures have died. A look at their legacies.

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Popcast: Division and Unity in Pop, and Beyond

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 05:00:00 -0000

Can the cultural events of the last couple of weeks connect to macro political realities?

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Popcast: A Tribe Called Quest Returns

Sat, 05 Nov 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A discussion of the group’s legacy and how it fits into the current hip-hop landscape

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Popcast: What’s Next for Kesha?

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 04:00:00 -0000

The pop star has been locked in an ugly contract dispute with Dr. Luke; two writers who have examined her case break down the pop star’s situation.

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Popcast: Nu-Dance Rises With Help From Streaming

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 04:00:00 -0000

This week, Jon Caramanica and guests discuss club music.

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Dylancast: Bob Dylan Wins the Nobel Prize!

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Our music and book critics discuss Dylan, the musician, and Dylan, the writer.

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Popcast: Tyler Glenn at the Crossroads

Sat, 08 Oct 2016 04:00:00 -0000

His fiery solo album questions almost everything he used to believe in.

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Popcast: Finding the Joy (and Humor) in Bon Iver’s Pain

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0000

The new Bon Iver album abandons many of the musical choices that informed much of his earlier music.

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Popcast: The Next Teen Star Machine

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Shawn Mendes broke out on Vine. The next breeding ground for pop stars might be, a social music app for teens.

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Popcast: Fall Preview

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0000

The pop music team discusses some of their favorite upcoming fall releases.

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Popcast: The Return of New York Rap

Sat, 10 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Young M.A. represent an unexpected moment.

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Popcast: Stardom in the Age of Social Media

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 04:00:00 -0000

With celebrities so accessible online they have to go above and beyond when meeting fans in the arena.

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Popcast: Frank Ocean Returns

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A roundtable discussion on the release of the musician’s latest works.

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Popcast: Race and Hip-Hop, a Conversation

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A discussion about the current wave of white rappers trying to elide conversations about race, with varying success.

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Popcast: Janet Jackson and the Legacy of ‘Control’

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A discussion on how pop failed Ms. Jackson for years, and what it has done for her lately.

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Popcast: A Send-Off for Ben Ratliff

Fri, 05 Aug 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Mr. Ratliff, a music critic at The Times since 1996, discusses his tenure.

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Popcast: Gucci Mane and Atlanta Hip-Hop

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Jon Caramanica explains how Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty and 21 Savage are all part of the same long line.

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Popcast: Dissecting the Legacy of Alan Vega and Suicide

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Days after Mr. Vega’s death, the journalist Geeta Dayal discusses Suicide’s early days.

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Popcast: The Return of Pop-Punk and Emo

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Pop music writers discuss Blink-182’s influence on modern pop-punk bands.

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Popcast: J Balvin’s Reggaeton Mission

Fri, 08 Jul 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Ben Ratliff and Joe Coscarelli discuss how the Latin music superstar is rewriting the rules.

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Popcast: Prince’s Fateful Flight and Judith Hill’s Story

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 04:00:00 -0000

For those looking to understand Prince’s musical life in his final years, the larger story of Ms. Hill is illuminating.

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Popcast: Techno’s Dual Identity

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A discussion of techno as youth music and heritage culture.

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Popcast: Hip-Hop Concerts and the Police

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:00:00 -0000

After a fatal shooting at a T.I. concert, Jon Caramanica and Joe Coscarelli discuss rap, race and security with Minya Oh, a.k.a. Miss Info, and Joie Manda of Interscope Records.

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Popcast: Arthur Russell

Fri, 27 May 2016 04:00:00 -0000

New York Times music critics discuss Mr. Russell’s wide-angle, slow-release significance.

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Popcast: Chance the Rapper and Drake

Fri, 20 May 2016 04:00:00 -0000

New York Times music critics discuss the latest albums by both artists.

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Popcast: Radiohead and James Blake

Thu, 12 May 2016 04:00:00 -0000

New York Times critics compare the latest releases.

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Popcast: Britney Spears

Sun, 08 May 2016 04:00:00 -0000

A discussion of Ms. Spears’s conservatorship.

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Popcast: Beyoncé Serves Up ‘Lemonade’

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 04:00:00 -0000

New York Times critics and writers discuss the singer’s new album.

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Popcast: Remembering Prince

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:00:00 -0000

New York Times culture critics discuss Prince’s music and impact.

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Popcast: Caetano Veloso

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:00:00 -0000

Mr. Veloso, the great Brazilian singer and songwriter, discusses current events in his country.

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