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Devon Powers

Devon Powers

Devon Powers worked as a freelance music journalist before joining the Department of Culture and Communication at Drexel University in 2008. She served on the 2010 program committee for the International Association of Popular Music (IASPM) - U.S., and in 2009 was named an Emerging Scholars Fellow at Franklin & Marshall College. She holds a BA (1999) in Women's Studies and English from Oberlin College and a doctorate (2008) in Media Studies from New York University.

List of articles in the library by artist

Richard Ashcroft: Human Conditions

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2003

PUT ON A Richard Ashcroft record, and suddenly, everything changes. ...

Beth Gibbons, Clinic, Gary Wilson, Interpol, Low, N*E*R*D, Richard Ashcroft, The Streets, Supergrass: Best Music of 2002

Guide by Devon Powers, PopMatters, December 2002

...

Badly Drawn Boy: Have You Fed the Fish?

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, November 2002

BOTH OF Badly Drawn Boy's full-length albums begin the same way. There's the rush of esotericism right away, the musical equivalent to gibberish, which lasts ...

Badly Drawn Boy: Irving Plaza, NYC

Book Excerpt by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2001

YOU COULD CALL Damon Gough, aka Badly Drawn Boy, the British indie equivalent of the Little Engine That Could. ...

Badly Drawn Boy: Various Artists: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Twisted Nerve But Were Afraid to Ask

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, November 2001

EVEN THOUGH he won the UK's prestigious Mercury Music Prize, Damon Gough, a.k.a Badly Drawn Boy, isn't much for hubris. In fact, he seems to ...

Badly Drawn Boy, Björk, David Bowie, Broadcast, Coldplay, Doves, PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Radiohead, Elliott Smith: The Best of 2000

Guide by Devon Powers, PopMatters, December 2000

FOR A MUSIC whore like myself, even a good album can be a little like a one-night stand. There's that lovely moment of courting, checking ...

The Beatles, Danger Mouse: More Than Words: Musings on Music Journalism — Life Goes On

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2004

FEBRUARY 24 WAS a banner day for the Copy Left, a loose network of computer activists, intellectuals, forward-thinking musicians and zealous fans who continue to ...

Björk: Radio City Music Hall, NYC

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2001

IT'S RARE WHEN a pop star is also a prophet. The awesomeness possessed by those few who transcend celebrity to enter the echelons of cult ...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spiritualized: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Spiritualized: Beacon Theatre, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2002

The Drunk and the Junkie: A Concert Review in Two Parts ...

Blur: Think Tank

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2003

IT'S finally happened: Blur have become one of those bands. ...

British Sea Power: Northsix, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2003

NORTHSIX IS JUST a cinderblock box with cold metal pillars that reach from floor to ceiling, obstructing the view in what would otherwise be ideal ...

Mariah Carey: Greatest Hits

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2002

THERE'S A popular mythology out there that says that certain things–like pop divas and Fortune 500 companies–never die. ...

Charlatans, The (UK), Starsailor: The Charlatans/Starsailor: Irving Plaza, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2002

What it feels like for a boy: The Charlatans, Starsailor, and musings on transatlantic masculinities. ...

The Clientele: The Violet Hour

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2003

YOU HAVE TO turn up the volume to hear the Clientele, and it's still quiet. Alasdair Maclean sings in a breathless whisper; their music itself ...

Clinic: Winchester Cathedral

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2004

CALL IT WHAT you will—consistency versus predictability, innovation versus identity abandonment: whatever the name, this is the most serious quandary that bands face as they ...

Color Me Badd: The Best of Color Me Badd

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2000

IT SPEAKS VOLUMES that, at this historical moment, viable cred can come the title "Original Boy Band". Throughout The Best of Color Me Badd, you ...

The Coral: The Coral

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2003

IT TAKES BALLS to begin an album as pompously as The Coral begin their eponymous debut. The opening bars of country wrangle swagger into a ...

The Coral: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

SURE, THE CORAL are just a few yards in front of me, but they're not really here. ...

The Coral: Magic and Medicine/Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2004

WHEN IT COMES TO new music, we rock critics are not unlike 15-year-old straight boys who have finally pilfered a copy of Jugs from the ...

Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Cruel Smile

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2003

ELVIS COSTELLO is one of those artists that people love. Not just listen to and like, not just appreciate and admire, but actually wholly love, ...

Elvis Costello: Beacon Theater, NYC

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, November 2001

THIS WAS NOT a show for the half-hearted. Even the nosebleed seats in the Beacon Theater that night ran a hefty $35. For prime position, ...

Cousteau: Village Underground, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2001

IN THIS ERA of the cult-status rockstar who can elicit bewilderment and terror just with facsimiles of his/her likeness, there's something to be said for ...

The Decemberists: Her Majesty the Decemberists

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2003

AN IMPORTANT DETAIL about Her Majesty the Decemberists—and one I'm venturing you won't read about in many other reviews of the album—is that there's a ...

John Doe: Dim Stars, Bright Sky

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

JOHN DOE IS on a mission, albeit an undefined one. He tells us as much in 'Magic', a song that comes two thirds of the ...

Doves: Bowery Ballroom, New York City

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, February 2001

TONIGHT, IT'S obvious that Doves don't yet think of themselves as proper English rock stars. ...

Elastica: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2000

I WENT WITH my friend Shannon, who almost didn't get in. We were both lax in terms of buying our tickets, and it seemed that ...

Elbow: Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2009

TODAY IS lead singer Guy Garvey's birthday, and he's in a gaming mood. "How old do you think I am?" he asks the crowd, early ...

The Electric Soft Parade: Electric Soft Parade: Holes in the Wall

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2002

ANOTHER SIBLING duo with the surname White have come to breathe life into a dying musical genre. While Meg and Jack White (of the White ...

The Embarrassment: Blister Pop

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2001

BLISTER POP opens with an edited assembly of The Embarrassment trying to characterize themselves for local radio programs. They bounce back and forth between categorizations—rock, ...

Embrace: If You've Never Been

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2001

"No, I won't feel ashamed": Embrace-ing Emo-Pop ...

Erase Errata: At Crystal Palace

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2003

THERE'S A MOMENT in 'Ca. Viewing' — the second song off the second record from the first band to give women a meaningful place in ...

The Fiery Furnaces: Gallowbird's Bark

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2003

IT'S A HIGH-FALUTIN' seaside carnival from another time, where maidens don pinstripe stockings and pantaloons, click buckled shoes as they jitterbug with spry sailor gentleman ...

Fruit Bats: Mouthfuls

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2006

WHAT A MOUTHFUL is: too much stuff crammed in, can't get enough, taking in the world by taste. An experience so overwhelming it's worth sacrificing ...

Gene: Maxwell's, New Jersey

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2002

WHEN I first heard Gene, it was 1995, and I was a senior in high school. ...

Ed Harcourt: Fez, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

ED HARCOURT has always been a solo artist, but tonight, he seems even more alone, maybe even lonely. ...

Ed Harcourt: Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, May 2002

AFTER TAKING A healthy swig from what appeared to be a bottle of cheap red wine, Ed Harcourt became possessed. It was the culmination of ...

PJ Harvey: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2001

APPARENTLY I'D HEARD correctly — and the critic was the gangling boy behind me, piping up shortly after lead singer Polly Jean Harvey joined her ...

Richard Hawley: Late Night Final

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2002

WARNING: WHAT you are about to experience contains not a hint of irony or pessimism, skepticism or half-truths, denial or doubt. ...

Richard Hell: Time

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2002

RICHARD HELL can walk down the street in New York City's East Village without being recognized. ...

The Hives: Veni Vidi Vicious

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2000

I'M CONVINCED that there's something about Veni Vidi Vicious, that elicits borderline personality. One minute I'm singing its praises to everyone I know (including an ...

Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2002

I FIND SOMETHING terribly tragic about Interpol. It's more than Paul Banks' elegiac vocals, which stir my gut every time I hear them, so much ...

Interpol: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2002

YOU'D NEVER guess from the pre-show mania that New York rockers Interpol are not yet superstars. ...

The Killers/Menlo Park/The Prosaics: Don Hill's, New York City

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2003

IT'S 10:15PM, the venue is already behind schedule with the showcase, and nobody cares. Instead, more and more bodies cram their way into downtown venue ...

Ladytron: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

JUST ONE DAY after I saw the Ladytron concert, I experienced its antithesis. ...

Sondre Lerche: Two Way Monologue

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2004

I'M LISTENING to Sondre Lerche and drinking tea on an unseasonably cold spring evening. It's been a rather shit season so far. A few pretty ...

Liars: They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2002

THESE DAYS, there's been a lot of talk about the resurrection of punk/post-punk by New York City bands. ...

Liars: They Were Wrong, So We Drowned

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2004

THE MYTH of the Ugly Duckling is prevalent in our culture; equally important, though with less prominence, is that of the Deteriorating Swan. Let me ...

Liars: Brownie's, New York City

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2002

BY THE night's end, it seemed everything had been destroyed — including the band. ...

Lil' Kim: The Notorious K.I.M.

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2000

MS. KIMBERLY "Lil' Kim" Jones, here's your most telling lyric: "You can never be me. You can only resemble." ...

Lupine Howl: The Bar at the End of the World

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2003

LUPINE HOWL are over the top. Their moniker is peculiar, severe; their album titles, obscure and potentially off-putting (The Carnivorous Lunar Activities of Lupine Howl, ...

Metric

Profile by Devon Powers, PopMatters, December 2003

THE ONLY thing that tops hearing 'Succexy' — the shit-kicking superpop social commentary that is an instant calling card for Metric's debut Old World Underground, ...

Mull Historical Society: Loss

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, July 2002

CALL ME SHALLOW, but the cover art of Loss almost kept me from buying the thing. Nevermind the obsequious musings from the British press prominently ...

Samantha Mumba: Gotta Tell You

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2000

FOLLOW THE ANALOGY: Britney is to McDonald's as Christina is to Burger King, as Jessica is to Wendy's as Mandy is to Dunkin' Donuts or ...

Muse: Origin of Symmetry

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2001

TO SOME, they were the band that would have been king. Just over a year ago, the now-defunct British music magazine Select boldly went where ...

Music, The : The Music: The Music

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, February 2003

I HAD A dream about The Music. No: I had a memory. ...

Nada Surf: The Proximity Effect

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2000

SO, I'M STRANDED on a desert island. No, worse: I'm stranded in nothing town in AnyState, where a McDonald's, a WalMart, and a tired bar ...

Ocean Colour Scene: Mechanical Wonder

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2001

WHERE WERE we again? Oh yeah: we were discussing what country and western music from a modern English rock band would sound like. ...

Joan Osborne: Righteous Love

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2000

THE FIRST TIME I turned on the radio and heard 'St. Theresa', (the opening track off Osborne's 1995 release, Relish) I felt branded for life. ...

Paloalto: Heroes and Villains

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2003

I THINK SOMETIMES as music reviewers we don't think about how hard it is to be in a band. You have to find similarly-minded, dedicated ...

Phantom Planet: Phantom Planet

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2004

I'LL CUT RIGHT to the point: I like Phantom Planet, and I like this eponymous new record. Here's why: ...

The Psychedelic Furs: The Psychedelic Furs/Talk Talk Talk/Forever Now

Retrospective by Devon Powers, PopMatters, July 2002

I see the future and it will be the Psychedelic Furs. ...

Pulp: Hits

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2003

PULP HAVE a greatest hits record, and it’s about goddamned time. The enigmatic group, fronted by the inimitable Jarvis Cocker, are by far the oldest ...

Radiohead: Kid A

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2000

TO LIVE THROUGH October 2000, when music's critical landscape has eaten, slept, and breathed Radiohead. To watch the drama unfold: It Band, shaken by Internet ...

The Ramones: Joey Ramone 1951-2001

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2001

SINCE JOEY Ramone’s death, countless journalists have commented, with varying mixtures of pessimism and solace, that punk is dead, literally. ...

The Raveonettes: Whip It On

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

THE RAVEONETTES are sneaky little devils, aren't they? How dare these wily Danes cause such a stir with their debut Whip It On, just over ...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Retrospective by Devon Powers, PopMatters, December 2003

TRUTH BE TOLD, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is not my all-time favorite album, no matter how you slice it. It's not my desert island album—that's ...

Eileen Rose: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2002

INSIDE THAT tiny red dress is a tinier woman, and she's standing before the tiniest crowd I've ever seen at the Bowery Ballroom. ...

The Shins: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, September 2003

THE SHINS are fantastic. When I say fantastic, I'm not speaking of their musical ability or creative chops — fantastic here is not a synonym ...

Snow Patrol: Final Straw

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2004

ONE OF THE REASONS we listen to music is because it provides a vehicle for expressing feelings that would otherwise go unexpressed. Rage, passion, fear, ...

The Sound: Jeopardy

Retrospective by Devon Powers, PopMatters, March 2003

JEOPARDY IS the album missing from your music collection. ...

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Welcome to the Infant Freebase

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2001

FIRST, I'D LIKE to devote a little time to talking about schizophrenia. There are those who toss the word around often, especially those whachamacalit academic ...

Spacehog: The Hogyssey

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, April 2001

THE YEAR WAS 1995 when Spacehog hit the world with their silver-bullet hit, 'In the Meantime'. It was the era when Oasis was gonna live ...

Dusty Springfield: The Ultimate Collection

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, December 2001

OH, POP MUSIC! One minute, it pushes the envelope wide-wide open, then the next seals it up tight as can be! Such a force it ...

Squirrel Nut Zippers: Bedlam Ballroom

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2000

THERE ONCE WAS a year called 1996. Hit songs came from bands like La Bouche. Humanity, near the brink of ruin, tottered, desperate for salvation. ...

Starsailor: Silence Is Easy

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, January 2004

THIS TIME around, Starsailor have created an album that's the musical equivalent of wearing a "Kick Me" sign through a crowded high school hallway. ...

Stereophonics: Irving Plaza, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, February 2002

WHAT COMES AFTER Britpop? Or, the Stereophonics take your American hype and shove it ...

Sufjan Stevens

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, February 2004

POSTMODERNISM HAS jacked it all up. In its wake, the cultural zeitgeist of irony has become so prevalent and requisite that plain old earnestness ceases ...

The Streets: Irving Plaza, New York City

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2004

LISTENING TO The Streets, one gets a clear indication that Mike Skinner is a punk. He's the kind of guy who'd borrow your car and ...

Robin Thicke : Robin Thicke: A Beautiful World

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, August 2003

Impressions of sound: the thinness of Thicke. ...

Turin Brakes: Bowery Ballroom, New York

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, July 2003

THEY'VE DEDICATED 'The Road', the second to last number of the night, to Jean. Jean is the slight, wide-eyed woman with her hands in prayer ...

Gary Wilson: Forgotten Lovers

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, February 2003

Portrait of the Artist as a Sex-Crazed Eccentric ...

Gary Wilson: The Cult Of Personality

Profile by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2002

IN THE LATE 1970s, Gary Wilson was 24 years old and living in the basement of his parents' house in Endicott, NY. ...

List of genre pieces

Is Music Journalism Dead?

Comment by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2004

IF EVER there was a time when writing about music felt utterly pointless, that time is now. ...

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