Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Merge's Silver Age: 25 Essential Albums Over 25 Years
By PopMatters Staff
To mark Merge Records' silver anniversary, PopMatters picked 25 memorable albums that help tell the label's remarkable history. [22.Jul.14]
The Caging of an American Revolutionary
American Revolutionary wants to offer the appearance of revolution while anesthetizing any deeper understanding of the forces involved. [22.Jul.14]
The Myth of the Global Brown Messiah in Kollywood Cinema
Recent films from the action-masala genre project India as a global sheriff, replacing a toothless West as an expression of muscular nationalism. [21.Jul.14]
Telluride 2014: The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Mandolins
In 2014, Telluride is the perfect encapsulation of where it has been and where it is going to be in the future. [21.Jul.14]
Moving Pixels Podcast: Even More Mines, Maps, and Madness
This week our podcasters continue to traverse the surreal highways and byways of Kentucky Route Zero, as we focus in on its third act. [21.Jul.14]
Today's Articles
22.Jul.14
White Fence: For the Recently Found Innocent
For the Recently Found Innocent, Tim Presley's first studio-made record as White Fence ups the ante over his previous work.
Marvin Gaye and Mos Def: Yasiin Gaye: The Return (Side Two)
Yasiin Gaye swings back around for round two of the long-playing soul/hip-hop mashups. Nice.
Unicycle Loves You: The Dead Age
This is a pretty dull record that doesn’t excite the listener – you’ve heard this all done before on Psychocandy or Darklands or elsewhere.
The Hollies: Greatest + Singles 1 and 2
The Hollies were one of the most successful acts of the '60s, but are almost always relegated as a footnote.
Mac Miller: Faces
Mac Miller continues on his path following money, fame, drugs and alcohol, while writing some clever, craftily worded lyrics along the way.
Merge's Silver Age: 25 Essential Albums Over 25 Years
To mark Merge Records' silver anniversary, PopMatters picked 25 memorable albums that help tell the label's remarkable history.
'Scanners' Still Has The Power to Blow Your Mind
Three decades later, Scanners is still a head-popping good time.
The Caging of an American Revolutionary
American Revolutionary wants to offer the appearance of revolution while anesthetizing any deeper understanding of the forces involved.
'Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!' Is a Hard-Charging History of Rock 'n' Roll
Bob Stanley sets out to map the deliriously vast landscape of pop in this finely detailed new book.
Jack White Rocks The Audience at Forecastle Day Two
Day two of Forecastle concluded with the audience being rocked to muscle weakness.
Recent Articles
Friday, 18 July 2014
A More Authentic Transmedia: The Ethics of Transmedia Fatigue
Sometimes, as Stuart Moore writes in Wolverine: Under the Boardwalk, you just gotta disappear.
Counterbalance: Rush's '2112'
We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx. Our great computers fill the hallowed halls. And it's time to talk about Rush, and their 1976 concept piece. Also, attention all Planets of the Solar Federation: we have assumed control.
The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style
Soul Train boldly went where no show had gone before, showcasing young African Americans and the fashions and music that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel.
Play It Right: An Interview with Sylvan Esso
They were backup singers for Feist. A remix project happened between them. Now, Sylvan Esso's debut album is a thing to behold.
I'm Glad 'Quest for Infamy' Exists Even if I Don't Like It
Is nostalgia an excuse for bad design? Is it even bad design if it's done on purpose to evoke nostalgia?
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Salem is the perfect setting for the game's slightly unreal premise as even the name of the town evokes such slightly otherworldly possibilities.
Is Tarzan Forever Lost in the Jungle?
There are no futuristic weapons or strange beasts in Tarzan: In the City of Gold. With Tarzan, it's just the specter of colonialism and dated views on race.
Craig Leon: Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol.1
An updated, exquisite, extraordinary, genuine electronic classic.
'The Purge: Anarchy' Takes Aim at the One Percent
The absurd extremes of this story have an expansive quality that leaves acres of room to explore its moral, political, and socioeconomic possibilities. But it doesn't.
The Clean: Anthology
If you love crisp, jangly, guitar rock, the Clean's Anthology is quite the collection.
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Act Out for 'Sex Tape'
Sex Tape demonstrates that it's very hard to do a funny movie about the difficulty of maintaining a successful marriage.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
Out of the Shadows: The Brandon Easton Exclusive
Creative force Brandon Easton talks with Julian Chambliss about his newest documentary, the state of comics today, and the questions nobody ever asks.
The Benefits of Not Really Living: On Let's Plays in Videogaming
With Google looking to buy Twitch, we take a look back into an early form of videogame spectating and what it means in the context of that acquisition.
'A Constantly Driving Feeling': Interview with Orlando Von Einsiedel
"The rangers risk their lives every day because of their hope for the park, and the hope that this amazing place promises for Eastern Congo."
Fear and Loathing Versus Hope and Change with the DC Cannabis Campaign
When you live in a cutting-edge state where marijuana is legal, it’s easy to forget how far behind so much of America still is.
Victimhood and 'The Wolf Among Us'
“People like us get forgotten all the time… When we suffer, we do it in silence. And the world likes it that way.” -- Nerissa
The Words That Maketh Murder
David Bromwich's Moral Imagination Is an exploration of the relationship between the America national consciousness and political discourse.
In 'Overlord', Someone's Gotta Go First
Stuart Cooper's World War II drama Overlord easily deserves a place among the great anti-war films.
Reigning Sound: Shattered
Shattered, Reigning Sound's first full-length in five years, is the kind of record that pays tribute to the past, even walks in its shadow, but also provides its own strut.
'The Congress' Is Ari Folman's Ode to Cinema
While The Congress suggests the entertainment industry is dystopian, its own rich strangeness offers a utopian corrective.
RiFF RaFF: Neon Icon
Neon Icon showcases all the reasons you love (or hate) RiFF RaFF, but it also proves he can put together a cohesive record.
Two New Works Capture Only Fleeting Glimpses of the Ever-Elusive J.D. Salinger
J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist and My Salinger Year prove that the man's desire to be left alone may forever frustrate our efforts to know who he truly was.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
The Success and Failure of Silence: Gordon Freeman in 'Half-Life' and 'Half-Life 2'
How can a character without voice or choice connect with players on an emotional level?
Metal Gods: The 15 Best Judas Priest Songs
Hot on the heels of the iconic metal group's new album Redeemer of Souls, Sound Affects combs through Priest's vast and astounding back catalog to round up its greatest tracks.
In Defense Of ... HBO's 'Enlightened'
A couple years after its demise, it's time to look back at how brilliant and confusing Mike White and Laura Dern's series really was.
Values and the Meaning of Moral Behavior in Video Games
The questions asked by the behavior in a game are limited in comparison to those asked by choices. They are always about violence.
'Broken Heart Land' Heartbreakingly Tells of the Harm Done by Intolerance
Norman, Oklahoma serves as a haven for both tolerance and intolerance. This contradiction comes to trouble the parents of Zack Harrington, who killed himself in 2010.
Secrets No Longer Buried : Original Sin: Thor and Loki #1
Revelations are often messy and chaotic, but this is one case where the impact is as seamless as it is profound.
'Bellweather Rhapsody' Is an Entertaining and Enthralling Yarn
What makes this novel interesting is that it is peppered with a cast of characters who are still living in the past, or are afraid of the future.
'Picnic at Hanging Rock' Is Elliptic and Suggestive
Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, now in a sterling Criterion edition, remains lovely to look at and difficult to fully comprehend.
Jungle: Jungle
This British retro-funk duo has created something unpretentious enough to energize a dance floor at 2 a.m., yet curious enough to suggest there’s something just a tad thornier under the surface.
Rowling Has Spun a Web of Publishing Mystery in a Fun Hall of Mirrors
We’re reading a book set in a fictional version of the British publishing industry that’s about a book that mocks this fictional publishing industry.
Old Crow Medicine Show: Remedy
Remedy is a noble stepping stone between Old Crow Medicine Show's past and future.
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Do What You Want: OK Go and the New Landscape of Artistic Integrity
I wrote a piece wondering why OK Go's videos were so good but their songs seemed to be lacking. It generated a lot of great responses -- and then OK Go's Damian Kulash decided to give me a ring.
Smokin' Modernism Is Alive and Well in the Upper West Side
Smoke Sessions Records is doing it old-school: recording the best musicians in New York playing mainstream jazz that cooks.
Ranking the 'Planet of the Apes' Films
They represent some of the best (and worst) movie metaphors in the history of cinematic speculative fiction. Here's how we rate the Apes' films, from worst to first.
20 Questions: The Verve Pipe
"The Freshmen" defined them, but their pop songs since were mature and nuanced. With his band's first album in 13 years, Brian Vander Ark tells us what he thinks is the most tear-jerking scene from Frozen and just how long he can sustain a burp ...
Blue Skies for Black Hearts - 'Blue Skies for Black Hearts' (album stream) (Premiere)
Stream the self-titled new album from the Portland old-school rock outfit Blue Skies for Black Hearts.
'Frontline: Separate and Unequal': The Case Against Resegregation
Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, points out, "People who do things that have racial implications always say that race has nothing to do with it."
Needlessly Elaborately Epic: Uncanny Avengers #21
Overly elaborate plots rarely justify their complexity. But there are exceptions.
'Mind of Winter' Is a Thrilling Page-Turner with Shimmering Prose and a Heart-Wrenching Ending
Laura Kasischke's tenth novel is a dark fairytale about the sacrifices of motherhood and of secrets so deep, we learn to keep them even from ourselves.
Morrissey: World Peace Is None of Your Business
With World Peace Is None of Your Business, Morrissey finds himself becoming lyrically divisive to the point of self-parody.
Mysterious Aliens and Inscrutable Humans: 'Under The Skin'
The simple yet transformative hat-trick of Under the Skin is that it is the humans who are alien.
JPNSGRLS: Circulation
With the manic drive and creativity of the Dillinger Escape Plan at its best, the Vancouver-based JPNSGRLS craft a pop-punk gem in Circulation.
PopMatters Highlights
From The Blogs
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.