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

I Never Believed in Background Music: Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes
Rich Robinson was half of the Black Crowes, but as a solo artist, he's finally flown into his most distinct, powerful effort to date. [24.Jul.14]
The Pursuit of ComicCon: Comics, Fans and the Ideology of Choice
OK, I’m going to sound a little G.O.P., but ComicCon is a public good and must be defended. And you’d never guess from what… [24.Jul.14]
Ripe with Rich Attainments: Jethro Tull's 'A Passion Play', Reassessed
A Passion Play tends to draw the most resistance from even prog-rock aficionados; it obliges time and attention to let it work its charms. [24.Jul.14]
A Dance with 'Destiny'
Can we overcome the Darkness through the power of dance? We’ll see. [24.Jul.14]
Sun-Drenched '90s Nostalgia at Forecastle Day Three
Forecastle rounded out its 2014 installment with aplomb, proving that it is only going to get bigger and better from here on out. [24.Jul.14]
Today's Articles
24.Jul.14
Weird Al Yankovic: Mandatory Fun
Yankovic's release-week overexposure lead him to having his first #1 album, but the parodies prove to be way better than the originals this go-round. #Accordions
Got a Girl: I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
These are faithfully recreated jet-setting sounds from the golden age of air travel, and the highs hit quite high.
Unkle Bob: Embers
Reformed British band Unkle Bob reform and return with characteristic charm on third album Embers.
Devon Williams: Gilding the Lily
LA-based tunesmith Devon Williams decides to join his peers and craft a musical exploration of that trendiest of decades, the 1980s.
Shawn Lee: Golden Age Against the Machine
The man who never met a genre he couldn't master tackle old-school hip-hop, delivering a solid effort that is more hits than misses.
I Never Believed in Background Music: Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes
Rich Robinson was half of the Black Crowes, but as a solo artist, he's finally flown into his most distinct, powerful effort to date.
Aisles: 4.45 AM
The real variance between a band of sophisticated copycats and this bunch is indeed intelligence.
Ripe with Rich Attainments: Jethro Tull's 'A Passion Play', Reassessed
A Passion Play tends to draw the most resistance from even prog-rock aficionados; it obliges time and attention to let it work its charms.
Young Rebel Set - Yesca and the Fear (Live at Sofar London) (video) (Premiere)
Check out a performance by the up-and-coming British indie rockers Young Rebel Set at the intimate Sofar venue in London, the National-indebted "Yesca and the Fear".
You Barely Need One Percent of Your Brain to Appreciate 'Lucy'
If you surgically grafted a snippet of Flowers for Algernon and a low-end documentary about the human brain onto a Cliff Notes summary of La Femme Nikita, the result might approach the lazy schizophrenia of Luc Besson's latest fembot warrior fantasy.
'The Newburgh Sting' Has Us Wondering, Is the FBI Thwarting or Conjuring Terrorism?
The plot these would-be terrorists conjure is as preposterous as any you'd find in a bad action movie.
A Dizzying Reverie of Nudity in 'Trans-Europ-Express' and 'Successive Slidings of Pleasure'
In these two films, Robbe-Grillet hones in on the plastic and empirical qualities of film, which expose entirely subjective and unreal states.
The Who's Pomp and Bombast, Egos and Flaws
The Who FAQ brings some entertaining insight into who the hell those guys are.
'Song of the Shank' Celebrates a Unique American Musician
This feels like an exercise in deep thought and immersion in "Blind Tom’s" uniquely bizarre experience and the cruel history he was forced to live.
The Pursuit of ComicCon: Comics, Fans and the Ideology of Choice
OK, I’m going to sound a little G.O.P., but ComicCon is a public good and must be defended. And you’d never guess from what…
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CONTEST: Win $50 Visa gift card and a LUCY T-Shirt & Hat
Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in LUCY, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Tatiana Maslany Continues to Astound in 'Orphan Black: Season Two'
The second season of BBC America’s Orphan Black continues its breakneck pace of twists and turns, all the while showcasing the best performance on television.
Sun-Drenched '90s Nostalgia at Forecastle Day Three
Forecastle rounded out its 2014 installment with aplomb, proving that it is only going to get bigger and better from here on out.
A Dance with 'Destiny'
Can we overcome the Darkness through the power of dance? We’ll see.
Recent Articles
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
A Tragedy Wanting to Happen: Death and Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is both sculpted by pain and feels creatively defined by it. Her recent feud with the Guardian, however, reveals that she is not entirely lost.
The Music That Sprouts Between Empires: Ukrainian Culture Amidst Conflict
Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.
PS I Love You: For Those Who Stay
Some might be enamoured by the nods to classic rock, and some might not, but what you get in the end is an album of little significance.
Germaine Greer's Activism Takes Root in Australia's Rain Forest
In White Beech Greer makes it clear that complacency is our most pressing problem, not just in the sense of doing nothing but also in terms of doing the wrong thing.
Disney and Spike Lee Unite in 'The Spike Lee Joint Collection'
Even with some dips in quality, these four movies represent part of a remarkable run; you can feel all of them strive for masterpiece status.
David Gray: Mutineers
Deliverance. This being the singer's 10th album, David Gray presents himself as a complete man with these 11 songs.
Uri Caine: Callithump
Solo piano from the idiosyncratic and omnivorous jazz pianist.
Cardinal: Cardinal (reissue)
Reissue of the overlooked indie classic by pop oddballs Eric Matthews and Richard Davies.
K. Leimer: A Period of Review (Original Recordings: 1975-1983)
The songs on A Period of Review were essential to Leimer developing his own style. Whether or not they're essential to your music library is another matter.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
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.
James Garner's 10 Greatest Film Performances
There was much more to James Garner than Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford. Here are ten movies roles which he should be remembered for, as well.
The Caging of an American Revolutionary
American Revolutionary wants to offer the appearance of revolution while anesthetizing any deeper understanding of the forces involved.
Fighting Games and the Power of Motion
Fighting games are more deeply centered on physical movement than any other game genre and that focus highlights the myriad of ways that motion can be presented.
Savage Fun: Savage Hulk #2
This isn't a perfect Hulk story. It doesn't break new ground or raise important issues. But, frankly, who cares? It's fun.
Smells and Bells, Halls and Hells: 'The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London'
The mud, rain, smoke, fog, and excrement that abounded meant whatever one's rank, the weather and the smells took their toll on one's health, one's clothing, and one's nerves.
'Scanners' Still Has the Power to Blow Your Mind
Three decades later, Scanners is still a head-popping good time.
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.
'30 for 30: Slaying the Badger': Shenanigans at the 1986 Tour de France
Slaying the Badger constructs an exciting, sometimes troubling story of competition and deceit, focused on the 1986 Tour de France.
'Halt and Catch Fire' Is a Spark in the Arid Texas Heat
The tech mecca of Dallas gets plenty hot, and as AMC's Halt and Catch Fire attests, the heat is equally matched by tech industry intrigue.
'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.
Monday, 21 July 2014
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.
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.
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.
The Upsetters: An Interview with Metronomy
They're the electronic group that looked for a challenge, tried tape analogue tape recording, and made their most acclaimed disc yet.
The Road Ahead: Exclusive Preview of Trinity of Sin: Pandora #13
Reading Trinity of Sin: Pandora #13 triggers familiar memories of Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead, only some of them warm and comforting.
Aeon Command
By keeping it simple, Bat Country has developed a simple, engaging, and surprisingly relaxing two-player competition to pass the time on a lunch break.
Uncharted and Off-Track: X-men #16
Having a clear destination isn't the same as being on the right path towards it.
'Rebel Music' and Islam's Influence on Jazz, Hip-hop and More
Exhaustive and thorough, Hisham D. Aidi's study on the Islamic influences in contemporary music is alternately informative and alienating.
La Roux: Trouble in Paradise
The collaborators are different, but the voice is just as strong, and has only gotten better with time.
'Mood Indigo' Is Mesmerizing Michel Gondry Magic
Michel Gondry goes all out here, bringing both the fanciful wonders and dire circumstances of our couple's doomed affair to breathtaking, eye-popping life.
'Cornbread Nation 7: The Best of Southern Food Writing' Is American Regionalism at Its Finest
A splendid collection of tales of Southerners traveling abroad and children of immigrants living in the South and reflecting on their heritage.
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.
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