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

Scorsese vs. Scorsese: Tales of Two Dreamers
The Wolf of Wall Street celebrates deception, whereas Hugo upholds the search for truth. Which worldview is Scorsese's? [16.Apr.14]
Goldieblox vs. the Beastie Boys: A Parable on Permissions
By Monica Corton
When a song becomes forever connected with a product, particularly with the use of a parody lyric, it's deemed “baked” or “overused”. [16.Apr.14]
'The Blind Swordsman' Teaches How to See Video Games More Clearly
The Blind Swordsman at first might seem like madness, a video game without an essential component of the video game, the video part. [16.Apr.14]
Sam Cooke's Tennessee Waltz: A Cultural Geography
By Carrie Allen Tipton
With his rendition of "Tennessee Waltz" for his 1964 Copacabana shows, Sam Cooke proceeded to do the impossible: he made the waltz swing. [15.Apr.14]
In Defense Of ... Jesse Winchester
With the news that the singer-songwriter has passed, it's time to look back on someone Bob Dylan once dubbed 'The Greatest Living Songwriter'. [15.Apr.14]
Today's Articles
16.Apr.14
Woods: With Light and With Love
With Light and With Love is Woods' most cleanly produced record to date, and the brittle edges of their sound now melt around bright, bittersweet songs.
My Chemical Romance: May Death Never Stop You: The Greatest Hits (2001-2013)
May Death Never Stop You proves to be a tricky overview of MCR's output, trying to please both casual fans and completists at the exact same time.
The Dandy Warhols: Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Live At The Wonder
The Dandy Warhols didn't invent the wheel, they just drive really well.
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers feat. Edie Brickell: Live
Steve Martin, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and Edie Brickell join each other on CD and DVD Live to provide music and comedy lovers with a fantastic live experience.
Hospitality: Trouble
Indie pop for indie pop scholars.
Tatvamasi: Parts of the Entirety
Polish guitarist Grzegorz Lesiak does a musical about-face, pointing to grand things down the road.
Bruce Springsteen's Artful Criticism of American Culture
This is an ambitious undertaking, weaving American history, popular culture, and Bruce Springsteen’s music into a cohesive narrative.
Cayenne Pepper Enemas and Other Developments in Early Medicine
From applying leeches to mapping the shape of the human skull, Erik Janik describes a drama of medical history in Marketplace of the Marvelous.
'The Blind Swordsman' Teaches How to See Video Games More Clearly
The Blind Swordsman at first might seem like madness, a video game without an essential component of the video game, the video part.
The String Arcade
This isn't an exercise in nostalgia or recognition, but a journey into new territory.
Boundaries Are All Fictions in Godard's Breathless
Even now, after countless reviews and essays, it's easy to be captivated by the way Godard obfuscates our expectations for cinematic art.
Scorsese vs. Scorsese: Tales of Two Dreamers
The Wolf of Wall Street celebrates deception, whereas Hugo upholds the search for truth. Which worldview is Scorsese's?
Culture
Goldieblox vs. the Beastie Boys: A Parable on Permissions
When a song becomes forever connected with a product, particularly with the use of a parody lyric, it's deemed “baked” or “overused”.
Women with Rare Intellectual Authority Form 'The Bletchley Circle'
The resourcefulness and fearlessness of these women is a highlight in a series so well-written and well-acted.
Recent Articles
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Sam Cooke's Tennessee Waltz: A Cultural Geography
With his rendition of "Tennessee Waltz" for his 1964 Copacabana shows, Sam Cooke proceeded to do the impossible: he made the waltz swing.
In Defense Of ... Jesse Winchester
With the news that the singer-songwriter has passed, it's time to look back on someone Bob Dylan once dubbed 'The Greatest Living Songwriter'.
Stuffed, Wired, and Eager to Please: 'Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy'
Walter Potter crafted hundreds of animals, amphibians, and birds into intricately assembled Victorian dioramas for the delight of his fellow Britons.
The Both: The Both
Aimee Mann and Ted Leo are a perfect pairing on their new band's immensely likeable debut.
'The Making of a Lady' Is a Fine Portrait of Mystery and Misdirection
There is only one place to find the social acuity of Jane Austen and the inquisitive intrigue of Alfred Hitchcock, and that is in a Frances Hodgson Burnett story.
Carlene Carter: Carter Girl
Carter Girl, plus family and friends, delivers a rousing tribute to personal and family history.
Lilacs and Champagne: Midnight Features Vol. 1: Shower Scene
With Midnight Features Vol. 1: Shower Scene, the sample-heavy duo of Lilacs and Champagne prove that their one-of-a-kind sonic can function beyond the realms of the recording studio.
Mudhoney: Live at Third Man Records
If this is what a Mudhoney shows sounds like these days, then I say hooray for longevity.
The Fleshtones: Wheel of Talent
Nearly four decades into their career, these veteran garage-rockers haven't lost their knack for creating catchy and infectious tunes.
Los Lonely Boys: Revelation
Los Lonely Boys deliver some of their best work, exhibiting exceptional musicianship on the eclectic yet consistent Revelation.
Monday, 14 April 2014
Rock the Cashbox: The Great Rock n Roll Sellout
How you can’t sell your soul to rock ‘n’ roll because it has already sold its soul... There once was a time during the new Age of Aquarius when the length of someone’s hair meant more than the balance in their bank account.
'Blue is the Warmest Color' Is Truly a Feast for All the Senses
What Blue is the Warmest Color demands of its viewers is to stop looking and start sensing, start engaging with cinema with all five senses.
Moving Pixels Podcast: Another Hand of 'Hearthstone'
This week we play a few hands of Blizzard's collectible card game, Hearthstone, while considering its place in the free-to-play gaming landscape.
Why 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Is Not a '70s Thriller Throwback
When the film's story showcases the turncoat nature of those in power, it doesn't have the impact -- or the ideas -- of the films from the '70s.
When I Grow Up: The Beach Boys - Good to My Baby
With the second track of The Beach Boys Today!, we get a solidly written song reminiscent of the group's earlier singles: sophisticated but digestible and fun.
A 'Simulacrum of Life' in Words: Marcel Theroux's 'Strange Bodies'
In this thoughtful, entertaining novel, Marcel Theroux explores the ways in which we construct 'a workable self out of all the dissonant parts.'
The Room Two
While it is true that a mystery loses all interest once it is explained, it is also true that continually implying something significant without providing a payoff can render it meaningless.
The Afghan Whigs: Do to the Beast
Greg Dulli, John Curley, and some other guys they're calling the Afghan Whigs channel the rock, soul, and dark undertones of the band's classic work on an excellent quasi-reunion album
A Hands-Off Approach Goes a Long Way in 'Philomena'
The direction is solid but not overbearing, the score subtle and light, the entire affair very nicely cushioned around Coogan and Dench's performances, and the film is all the more effective because of it.
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Piñata
Madlib and Freddie Gibbs drop one of the best hip-hop albums in recent memory.
Making Sense of Nonsense and 'Assembling Flann O'Brien'
Given Brian O'Nolan and his sly guises, one must wonder what this erudite satirist makes of this posthumous tribute to his tetchy talents.
Friday, 11 April 2014
Only God Forgives' Weird Yet Coherent Oriental Psychedelic Noir
In Bangkok, the convulsions of violence on the street merge with scenes of surreal ritual that is possible in the West only in dreams… or drug reveries… or films.
Redshift: Talking with John Arcudi About His Expanding the Hellboy Universe
Our month full of Hellboy to celebrate Hellboy’s 20th anniversary continues as we share an earnest conversation with Hellboy Universe collaborator John Arcudi who opens up about his expansion of the Universe with B.P.R.D. and the Lobster Johnson stories.
Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport
In the late 1800s, America’s most popular spectator sport wasn’t baseball, boxing, or horseracing—it was competitive walking. Indeed, when a New York arena overbooked, fans rioted.
Counterbalance: Charles Mingus' 'Oh Yeah'
Oh Lord, don't let them drop that atomic bomb on me. At least not until we've had a chance to talk about a 1962 masterpiece by composer Charles Mingus. Counterbalance delivers the jazz this week.
'Dark Souls', 'Dead Space', and the Future of Action/Horror
The template of Dark Souls is more sustainable in the long run as an action/horror franchise.
Before 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Begins, Flicker Alley Is Delivering the Goods
The greatness of Flicker Alley’s 2014 Blu-ray release of the 1923 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame is evident even before the disc is slid into the player.
Nicolas Cage Is Jolted Back to Life in 'Joe'
Nicolas Cage jolts back to life for David Gordon Green's Joe, a Southern thriller and character study that asks more of him than grimacing or wigging out.
Off Course by Michelle Huneven
If you haven't yet read a Michelle Huneven novel, what are you waiting for?
The Bad Plus: The Rite of Spring
The "power jazz" trio reinvents Stravinsky's avant-garde classic in a wholly new way. And darn if it doesn't sound fresh!
Lots of Dads in the NFL in 'Draft Day'
The good dads theme culminates in the image of the biggest, bestest dad of all, Roger Goodell on the stage, calling out the names of hopeful young men whose lives are changed forever by his pronouncement.
Joan Osborne: Love and Hate
Love and Hate offers songs that are mature, but not aged, worldly, but not cynical, in a soundscape that flows with no forcing and no faltering.
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Cinephilia Culture and the Fear of Missing Out
There just isn't enough time in the human lifespan to see all the films one 'should'. So why not just declare the death of the cinephile?
Comic Book Story Storage
Each Wednesday comic selections have been made and it’s easy to end up with a sizable stack of new material each week. Fully absorbing, appreciating, and retaining every panel of every issue is challenging, if not impossible.
Learning from 'League of Legends' URF Mode
Experimenting with broken design lets you examine the ways small changes could have profound effects on play. We are all better for having played an unbalanced version of a well designed game.
Loss of Faith But Not Loss of Interest in God: 'The Theology of Samuel Beckett'
In his publisher John Calder's view, Samuel Beckett retreats in his later texts, as did God from Genesis.
Kenneth Calhoun's 'Black Moon' Will Keep You Awake
At first glance, Black Moon might appear to be just another variation of the zombie theme, but it isn't: this novel is written for adults.
Caetano Veloso: Abraçaço
The final recording of a collaborative trilogy, Abraçaço sees the seemingly ageless septuagenarian inventively fusing the Tropicália style with an indie pop sensibility.
Colin Firth Is a Haunted WWII Veteran in 'The Railway Man'
As the torture scenes in The Railway Man focus on waterboarding, you're reminded that Japanese waterboarders were executed by Allied victors, and may pause to ponder the current debate over American waterboarders.
OFF!: Wasted Years
No longer an event, a new record from this hardcore revival act won’t turn the tide for punk rock. While the rest of the band bashes away, veteran Keith Morris prattles on about what we already know.
A General, a Princess and Two Greedy, Dim-Witted Peasants
The Hidden Fortress is more "accessible" and "entertaining" than Rashômon, but Kurosawa's artistry is ever present.
Pure X: Angel
The third album from the Austin-based indie rock band peels back the layers of reverb that colored their first two albums. What's underneath is, sadly, all too conventional.
Inventions: Inventions
Inventions places Eluvium’s lush, electronic ambience alongside Explosions in the Sky’s sense of space and tension.
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.