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

Andrew Gilstrap
Image: Andrew Gilstrap

Andrew Gilstrap is a freelance writer living in South Carolina, where he’s able to endure the few weeks each year that it’s actually freezing (swearing a vow that if he ever moves, it’ll be even farther south). Aging into a fine curmudgeon whose idea of heaven is 40 tree-covered acres away from the world, he increasingly wishes he were part of a pair of twins, just so he could try being the kinda evil one on for size. Musically, he’s always scouring records for that one moment that makes him feel like he’s never heard music before, but he long ago realized he needs to keep his copies of John Prine, Crowded House, the Replacements, Kate Bush, and Tom Waits within easy reach.


Wednesday, December 15 2010

The Best Fantastical Music of 2010

The more you look, the more examples of the fantastic you find in music this year.

Wednesday, December 17 2008

The Best Americana Music of 2008

It did seem -- perhaps because of the genre's traditional real-world concerns -- like a lot of the year's best Americana releases sensed the storm clouds gathering.

Monday, December 17 2007

The Best Americana of 2007

If 2007 didn't invite any gripping controversies, it was certainly filled with competitive comparisons -- between young and old, past and present, and among splintered factions -- and both surprising hits and disappointing misses. All in all, a dynamic and at times resurgent year for the broad scope of Americana.

Tuesday, August 21 2007

The Film Crew: Deep Think

Hollywood After Dark, Killers from Space, and a conversation with Mystery Science Theater 3000 alumni and The Film Crew member, Kevin Murphy, about RiffTrax and other stuff.

Thursday, March 10 2005

So I Get This Disc

Protecting an artist's copyrighted work is one thing; using invasive software is another.


Monday, July 29 2013

Crowdfunding and Me

When it comes to crowdfunding, there's no easy way to talk about the money.

Thursday, May 30 2013

The Groove Is Everything

Digital music makes sense to me. But dragging a needle through the grooves of a slab of vinyl and Led Zeppelin IV coming out? Now that's witchcraft befitting the Devil's music.

Tuesday, April 9 2013

What Comes After the Jason Molina Is Gone Blues?

The late Jason Molina was never anything but honest about his trials and errors, his long dark blues, and his farewell transmissions.

Sunday, February 10 2013

If It Dances, It's Probably from This Is American Music

This Is American Music is thriving in these challenging times because it hasn't lost sight of its core purpose: to champion good music, especially from its Southern surroundings, and to do it because it knocks you on your ass with emotional recognition or gets your ass up and moving because the music rocks so hard.

Thursday, October 11 2012

Sing a Sad Song

If you're hooked on the sad song, you never stop looking for the next good one.

Art Imitates Death [29.Jan.09]
Righteous Paths [8.Jun.08]
Resurrections [22.Jul.07]
Wild Abandon [24.Sep.06]


Monday, April 13 2015

Calexico: Edge of the Sun

Seeds of experimentation and collaboration planted long ago bear some of the best fruit of Calexico's long career.

Thursday, April 2 2015

'Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXXII' Gets 'Marooned' With Bad Cinema

Despite what seems a one-note premise, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 legacy has thrived because of the deep love and relationship the cast has with movies.

Wednesday, April 1 2015

6 String Drag: Roots Rock 'n' Roll

This fondly remembered alt-country band comes back in an impressive way.

Sunday, March 29 2015

The Mavericks: Mono

Recording in mono might seem like a back-to-basics move but the Mavericks never forgot what they were about anyway.

Thursday, March 26 2015

Joe Pug: Windfall

Pug fought through some tough times to produce this optimistic, rewarding record.

Joe Pug: Messenger [18.Feb.10]
Soulsavers: Broken [16.Aug.09]
David Sedaris [10.May.09]
Ira Glass [5.Apr.09]
Son of Rambow [7.Sep.08]
Pretty in Pink [24.Aug.08]
The Hold Steady [24.Aug.08]
King Corn [25.Jun.08]
Be Kind Rewind [18.Jun.08]
Kid Rock [20.Mar.08]
Knocked Up [25.Sep.07]
Kung Fu Hustle [30.Jul.07]
Poison: Poisond [4.Jun.07]
Slayer (2006) [19.Feb.07]
Tom Waits [1.Aug.06]
Kate Bush: Aerial [16.Nov.05]
Wilco [27.Oct.05]
The Notwist: 12 [31.Jul.03]
Damien Rice: O [1.Jul.03]
Raul Malo: Today [22.Oct.01]
Ryan Adams: Gold [10.Sep.01]
Odds Off [31.Dec.94]


Thursday, April 23 2015

'Get in Trouble' Doesn't Trouble Itself With Literary Convention

Kelly Link's imaginative, sometimes challenging, stories follow their own rules but they never take the easy way out.

Wednesday, January 29 2014

Party Dolls - "Love Wars Baby" (stream) (Premiere)

It's only fitting that the Party Dolls' new album Love Wars Baby will drop on Valentine's Day.

Thursday, November 7 2013

The District Attorneys - "Savoir Faire"' (video) (Premiere)

"Savoir Faire" is our first glimpse of the new material from the District Attorneys.

Wednesday, October 20 2010

First Aid Kit - "Ghost Town" (video)

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: Season 3 (Consuming Consumables) [9.Dec.09]
Music Day 4: Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (Notes from the Road) [23.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: Solange (Notes from the Road) [23.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: Dexter Romweber Duo (Notes from the Road) [23.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: Ha Ha Tonka (Notes from the Road) [23.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: Earlimart (Notes from the Road) [22.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: Dead Confederate (Notes from the Road) [22.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: 13ghosts (Notes from the Road) [22.Mar.09]
Music Day 3: Jail Guitar Doors Showcase (Notes from the Road) [22.Mar.09]
Music Day 3: Alela Diane (Notes from the Road) [21.Mar.09]
Music Day 3: Southeast Engine (Notes from the Road) [21.Mar.09]
Music Day 4: The Rosebuds (Notes from the Road) [21.Mar.09]
Music Day 3: Six Degrees of Memphis Party (Notes from the Road) [21.Mar.09]
Music Day 3: The Thermals (Notes from the Road) [21.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: The Avett Brothers (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: The Wrens (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: Daniel Johnston and the Hymns (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: The Heavenly States (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: The Donkeys (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: Oh Susanna (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: Primal Scream (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 2: 43 Songs For 43 U.S. Presidencies (Notes from the Road) [20.Mar.09]
Music Day 1: NPR Showcase (Notes from the Road) [19.Mar.09]
Music Day 1: Grant Hart (Notes from the Road) [19.Mar.09]
Music Day 1: Joe Pug (Notes from the Road) [19.Mar.09]
Music Day 1: Ezra Furman (Notes from the Road) [19.Mar.09]
Music Day 1: Glossary (Notes from the Road) [19.Mar.09]
Paul Westerberg's 49:00 (Sound Affects) [22.Jul.08]
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