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

Halloween '75: Dracula, the Spider and the Pompatous of Love
I remember that Halloween, Halloween 1975. I wanted to dress as Spider-Man… [30.Oct.14]
Six Little Horror Games That Would Like to Play With You This Halloween
Here are a few little games to put you in the spirit of the spooky season. How you will come out of the other side is up to you. [30.Oct.14]
Fear, Inc.: Beyond the Shadows of the American Haunt Industry
Haunted houses. Extreme haunts. Big scares. Big money. Maybe even big health benefits (when used with caution, of course). Step inside, if you dare. [30.Oct.14]
Four of a Kind: A Breakdown of Sloan's 'Commonwealth'
By Aaron Pinto
Sloan's jaw-dropping double album Commonwealth strikes a perfect synergy between the band's identity and the collective identities of its members. [30.Oct.14]
Why Is It So Difficult to Find Fear in Video Games?
Horror is probably one of the toughest genres to pull off in video games, partly because of traditional video game conventions. [30.Oct.14]
Today's Articles
30.Oct.14
Daniel Lanois: Flesh and Machine
Daniel Lanois has upped the ante with Flesh and the Machine by pledging to search "for something that’s never been heard before".
Medicine: Home Everywhere
Home Everywhere is a brave record, one that you have to be patient with.
Betty Who: Take Me When You Go
Betty Who's debut album is not the standout debut that this charismatic pop star deserves.
Otis Brown III: The Thought of You
An ideal fusion of old school hard blowing jazz and new generation rhythms and attitude, this disc feels like the path forward.
George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75
Listening to the entire production on offer here means delving inside an artist's trajectory. Naivety, genius and clever pop.
Harmonie Ensemble New York with Steven Richman: Henry Mancini: Music for Peter Gunn
What was it like to hear the Peter Gunn music for the first time? Some of us will never know for sure. But with this release, you're likely to have fun trying to recapture the moment.
Four of a Kind: A Breakdown of Sloan's 'Commonwealth'
Sloan's jaw-dropping double album Commonwealth strikes a perfect synergy between the band's identity and the collective identities of its members.
A. Sinclair - Pretty Girls in Pretty Tights (video) (Premiere)
Texas rock outfit A. Sinclair's '60s-inflected, driving rock song "Pretty Girls in Pretty Tights" is an energetic tune with some interesting lyrics.
Julien Sagot: Valse 333
Valse 333 is art, accessibly weird and wonderful art, and a real bonbon for those who savour richness in their music.
Empty Moon - 'The Shark' (album stream) (Premiere)
Stripped-down and intimate, The Shark, the debut album by Brendan Hangauer's solo project Empty Moon, evokes many images with few sonic ingredients.
Dona Onete: Feitiço Caboclo
Looking around for translations of the Portuguese lyrics, I find out that I've been listening to her request kisses from a beer-wet mouth.
Titanics: Deeper
Icy beats, glimmering guitar lines, and subtly flowing melodies meld into a chillwave atmosphere on Albany duo's new EP.
The Archers: These Wicked Woods
Anyone looking for the secret ingredient in maple syrup might want to check these guys out, as, once you boil their music down, it’s pretty sweet.
Ten Years Later, the Original 'Saw' Still Satisfies
The first Saw is really a whodunit. The next six are all about the "why".
'Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show' Is a Man's World
Showrunners misses the opportunity to explore why creating fictional worlds continues to be gendered as masculine in our cultural imagination.
'30 for 30: Brian and the Boz' Captures the Conflicting Incarnations of the NCAA
Brian and the Boz allows viewers to understand the contexts of star Sooner Brian Bosworth's life, including how the NCAA treats its players.
What a Difference a Hair Makes
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil feels timeless, because it contains truths you’ve known all along.
'The Art of the English Murder': It's Not all Good Clean Fun
The second half of the19th century saw the murder rate drop precisely when "the activity of enjoying a murder became increasingly acceptable."
Why Is It So Difficult to Find Fear in Video Games?
Horror is probably one of the toughest genres to pull off in video games, partly because of traditional video game conventions.
Six Little Horror Games That Would Like to Play With You This Halloween
Here are a few little games to put you in the spirit of the spooky season. How you will come out of the other side is up to you.
Halloween '75: Dracula, the Spider and the Pompatous of Love
I remember that Halloween, Halloween 1975. I wanted to dress as Spider-Man…
'The Honourable Woman' Is a Thriller With Emotional Resonance
The Honourable Woman is smart, taut, and consistently suspenseful, without ever sacrificing character for plot, which is no easy feat.
Fear, Inc.: Beyond the Shadows of the American Haunt Industry
Haunted houses. Extreme haunts. Big scares. Big money. Maybe even big health benefits (when used with caution, of course). Step inside, if you dare.
Recent Articles
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
One Chord to Another: A Retrospective on the Records of Sloan
We look through the varied and vivacious 20-year discography of Sloan album by album, charting this underrated group's significant achievements.
Power to the People: An Interview with Basement Jaxx
Many Jaxx fans were surprised by the relatively-straightforward nature of the duo's latest effort, Junto, but the way Felix tells it, it's a deliberately unexpected move from the Grammy-nominated duo.
Lily & Madeleine: Fumes
Lily & Madeleine may not shout or scream, or even cry, but they still want to be heard.
Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock & Roll Time
The Killer makes an album worthy of his reputation, aided by an all-star cast and co-producer (and fellow music legend) Jim Keltner.
'Subversive Horror Cinema' Opens Your Eyes to Films You Thought You Knew
Aware that theories about the horror genre can turn into fanboy rants, Jon Towlson's book is almost encyclopedic in its efficient division and referential format.
Snowpiercer Encapsulates Class Warfare In a High-Speed Train
By compressing its revolutionary struggle into such a tightly compressed and void-encircled space, Bong Joon-Ho’s evocative post-apocalyptic actioner becomes furiously kinetic but metaphorically overburdened.
Weyes Blood: The Innocents
Today's weather forecast predicts rain, pain, moths and tombstones. Best pack an umbrella.
KMFDM: Our Time Will Come
You have to admit that it’s nice to have KMFDM still making music, even if the band’s relevance at this point is in question.
The Pine Hill Haints: The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints
The Pine Hill Haints supply antique sounds, modern attitude, and a good time all around.
Sólstafir: Ótta
Sólstafir won't go gentle into that good night.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Of Grimms, Slayers, and Vampires with Souls
Although our heroes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Grimm are initially alone, accepting help, and valuing their found families, is a virtue.
Dead at Last: Notes on the Consequences of Death on the Virtual Body
In games that feature perma death, by melding narrative consequence to mechanical consequence, a great deal of meaning is added to even the most routine of skirmishes. Death makes play matter.
Sloan Picks Up Where the Beatles Left Off
Picking up where the Fab Four left off isn't easy, but if one band has done it in the past 30 years, it's Toronto's Sloan.
The 10 Best Games/Traps in the 'Saw' Franchise
James Wan and Leigh Whannell didn't start off the Saw series with a focus on the gory "games", but these 10 examples of Jigsaw's various traps explain the franchise's enduring fear factors.
Jack Bruce: The Thinking Man's Golden God
Jack Bruce didn’t need music videos, laser shows, dry ice, PR Kits, and crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics. He was too busy being one of the very best musicians in the business.
Pride and Mourning: Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #2
How does a woefully ill-equipped teenage girl cope with the loss of a loved one?
The Witchcraft of History in 'Babyaga: A Novel of Witches in Paris '
Like Neil Gaiman, China Miéville and Catherynne M. Valente, Toby Barlow takes an historic urban space and transforms it into a place to ask questions that haunt us.
The Flaming Lips: With a Little Help From My Fwends
The Flaming Lips, with the help of more than a few friends, tackle an icon. Literally.
Obituary: Inked in Blood
On their ninth album, Obituary continue to deliver ash-blackened riffage and unintelligible, swamp-creature squeals straight from the bile sac.
Michael Goldberg's Semi-Hallucinogenic Take on the Authentic Real
True Love Scars is a whirlwind tale of a young music fanatic’s quest for true love, high times and “the authentic real” (not necessarily in that order).
'Death Comes to Pemberley' Is Jane Austen, Continued
Affairs, unwed pregnancies, and murder all abound, but at the heart of Death Comes to Pemberley is the story of a marriage.
Monday, 27 October 2014
From Time Travel to Sword and Sandal: 'The Planet of the Apes' Films They Almost Made
Love the Apes or hate them, you should see what they almost threw at us!
I'm Rick James' Bio, Bitch!
The majority of Glow is a blow-by-blow account of the drugs he took and the women he bedded. James either had a great memory, or he took remarkable notes.
Moving Pixels Podcast: Ghouls, Ghosts, and Gaming
In anticipation of Halloween, the Moving Pixels Podcast discusses a couple of indie horror games, The Cursed Forest and One Late Night.
Heart of Darkness: An Interview with Valery Gore
Buried deep in the emotional grain of Valery Gore's music, there is some semblance of order, some sense of undisclosed truths.
'The Science Delusion' Makes a Familiar Argument From a Fresh Angle
Curtis White's arguments against the myopia of New Atheism have been made by many philosophers before him, but his alternative provides new insights into the follies of scientism.
Wade Bowen - Wade Bowen (album stream) (Premiere)
With his new self-titled album, Wade Bowen has made what he calls "the record to start the next phase of my career."
What Should I Be Looking For?: The Multiversity: The Just #1
All around the multiverse, people are reading comicbooks, the same comicbooks, these comicbooks written/and to be written by Grant Morrison.
'The Vanishing of Ethan Carter': The Weird and the Familiar
Most of the horror of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is derived from an eerie sense of dread created through the atmosphere that is established through the presence of the alien and the weird in an otherwise familiar environment.
The Twilight Sad: Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave
The Scottish band reconcile their previous modes by pulling back on the electronic drive of their last album, while continuing to elevate tension gradually rather than release it for maximum devastation.
The Church: Further/Deeper
An album that moves the band onward and upward, further and deeper – a journey begun a long time ago in a 1980s galaxy far, far away.
In 'The Party', Peter Sellers' Brownface Is the Elephant in the Room
While Peter Sellers' role as an Indian man in The Party may represent just another one of his masks, it also does problematize this 1968 film.
Friday, 24 October 2014
The Commandments of Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce made the stage his pulpit, the audience his parishioners, and stand-up the sermons for his alternative secular faith.
All Tomorrow's Progs: An Exclusive Preview of 2000AD: Winter Special '14
After an 18-year absence on the global stage of popculture, the 2000 AD Specials returned earlier this year. The Winter Special is a thematic return to the magazine's roots.
Counterbalance: 'Franz Ferdinand'
And if you leave here, you leave me broken, shattered, I lie. I'm just a crosshair. I'm just a shot, then we can listen to the 192nd most acclaimed album of all time. Franz Ferdinand’s 2004 debut is this week’s Counterbalance.
Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones
Brian Jones was the golden boy of the Rolling Stones—the visionary who gave the band its name and its sound. Yet he was a haunted man, and much of his brief time with the band was volatile and tragic.
'John Wick' Gets You to Root for Keanu Reeves
John Wick offers you a chance to feel smart about the revenge thriller genre, and to feel okay when you want John (Keanu Reeves) to survive.
Gods Will Be Watching
This game wants to be a work about sacrifice and hardship, the greater good, and moral integrity. However, I wish it could have reached the heights it was aiming for.
'30 for 30: When the Garden Was Eden' Challenges the Narrative of the Melting Pot
30 for 30 shows how black men are expected to respond to limits and hopes, to contain, channel or otherwise cope with their frustrations.
'The Affairs of Others' Is a Testament to the First-Person Narrative
Even when the voice of Amy Grace Loyd's narrator suffocates the reader, her excellent prose and perceptive observations continually bring the reader back into Celia's world.
Underworld: Dubnobasswithmyheadman (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition)
This mammoth edition of a truly classic album is worth it for fans for the wealth of material and insight into the choices involved in its creation.
In 'Stonehearst Asylum', the Inmates Are in Charge
Stonehearst Asylum is Interestingly positioned at the crossroads between conceding inmates as fearsome criminals and as victims.
Indie Horror Month 2014: 'Eversion'
Eversion's most unsettling moments are when it changes its rules and mechanics without telling you.
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