Born in Manchester and raised east of London, Iain Ellis spent his formative years playing, performing, and consuming a heavy diet of punk rock music and football. In 1986, the young man went west to find his dreams in Bowling Green, Ohio. Instead, he picked up a PhD in American Culture Studies, writing his dissertation on 1980s American Punk Culture. In 2000, he traveled further west, settling in Lawrence, Kansas, where he currently teaches English at the University of Kansas and performs in his band The Leotards. You may also enjoy his books, Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists and Brit Wits: A History of British Rock Humor.
Sunday, January 11 2009
In this excerpt from PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Iain Ellis discusses how Nirvana were a rocking perfect storm of punk’s attitude, metal’s riffs, and pop hooks.
Sunday, December 14 2008
In this excerpt of PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Ellis discusses how Beastie Boys were not afraid to play the enemy within, often mocking the macho strutting of harder rappers.
Sunday, December 7 2008
In this excerpt from PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Ellis looks at the Talking Heads' art school intellectualism, pop melodies, funk rhythms, and the abstract humor that made them outsiders.
Wednesday, September 17 2014
Long before Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, H.L. Mencken was America's most notorious satirist of religion. And thus began the battle for the soul of America.
Thursday, June 19 2014
Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.
Friday, April 25 2014
Our prophet explains that we may know what gravity is, but we don't know the cause of it, thus, “What if it is He, pushing us down with His Noodly Appendages, that causes this force?”
Thursday, February 20 2014
Plotting exposure, parody seeks to unveil rather than to mask, to offer truths where it finds lies, deceit, or hypocrisy. So why has religion proven particularly prone to this means of comedic put-down?
Monday, January 13 2014
The life of Life of Brian tells us much about a period when disparate cultural values were battled over in a dramatic tug-of-war on the frontlines of society -- and for Monty Python, the threat of prison loomed.