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

Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy is a freelance journalist and an old media news junkie.


Sunday, February 2 2014

Breathe This Air: An Interview with Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins' Mercury Music Prize winning Immunity was an electronic masterpiece that was unlike anything people had heard before.

Monday, May 6 2013

Power and the Passion: An Interview with Midnight Oil

They were big in Australia, but as politics slowly began to inform their lyrics, the band soon began taking off worldwide, and now, with an epic two-disc retrospective out, Rob Hirst walks us through Midnight Oil's entire career, and what a journey it is.

Tuesday, October 4 2011

Exquisite Corpse: Guns N' Roses' 'Use Your Illusion I and II'

If there was a gravestone for MTV-style '80s metal, it would probably be Guns N' Roses' 1991 opus Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.

Tuesday, April 5 2011

The Importance of Being "Dead"

After 15 years as a band, seven albums and a record label of their own to boot, the members of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have proven themselves anything but predictable.

Tuesday, October 26 2010

Here's Looking at You, Kid: The Echoes of 'Kid A'

Most critics didn't give Kid A great marks upon its initial release. So, what has lead to such a drastic act of historical revisionism wherein we now call it the Album of the Decade? It seems that the album's influence echoes farther than we initially thought.


Wednesday, November 13 2013

Luscious Jackson: Magic Hour

Luscious Jackson's first album in almost 15 years was part of a fan-driven campaign. Unfortunately, much of Magic Hour will have fans likely wanting more.

Tuesday, July 16 2013

High on Fire: Spitting Fire

Despite the predicatable cliches and trappings of a double-live album, High on Fire's Spitting Fire provides a glimpse of a band near the height of its powers.

Sunday, June 9 2013

Boards of Canada: Tomorrow's Harvest

Returning after almost an eight-year absence, Boards of Canada release an album that is an excellent springboard for new initiates as well as giving longtime fans an album worthy of their previous artistic peaks.

Thursday, October 18 2012

Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream

Adhering to tried-and-true music principles, Kaleidoscope Dream manages to harken back to the sounds of R&B yesteryear and still sound it couldn't have been released in any year other than 2012.

Monday, January 16 2012

Various Artists: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2 CD Deluxe Edition)

The Coen Brothers' beloved soundtrack of '30s-era Americana gets an upgrade with unreleased tracks.


Wednesday, February 26 2014

A Strange Invitation: Ranking the Beck Albums

A coffee house fixture in Los Angeles, Beck nearly got lost in the deluge of alt-rockers with his left-field hit "Loser". Then his follow-up album put him in the category of musical visionary. Ranging from barely-contained chaotic works to seamless masterpieces, here are his ten best efforts.

Wednesday, February 12 2014

Ain't Talking 'Bout Love: Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

During a week where you're bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Thursday, October 3 2013

"Felina" Is One of the Best Episodes of 'Breaking Bad'

"Ozymandias" may be Breaking Bad's crowing achievement, but "Felina" gave audiences what they wanted, and it's mercifully devoid of pandering.

Tuesday, September 4 2012

The Top 5 Definitive Summer Movie Years

Be it providing the ingredients for a successful summer movie "recipe" or by opening new ways to roll out blockbusters, here are the top five "definitive" years for summer movies.

Thursday, June 7 2012

If You Choose Not to Decide: The 10 Best Rush Songs

Beloved by musicians and originally shunned by critics, Rush continues to win fans and even detractors well into their fourth decade of making music. With the Canadian trio's new album Clockwork Angels due for release in just a few days, Sound Affects counts down the ensemble's top ten songs.

The Dark Knight Rises - Trailer 3 (Mixed Media) [1.May.12]
God, I Hate Listening to This Guy (Sources Say) [7.Mar.12]
Evolution Calling: Tool - "Third Eye" (Sound Affects) [10.Oct.11]
Evolution Calling: Tool - "(-) Ions" (Sound Affects) [3.Oct.11]
Evolution Calling: Tool - "Eulogy" and "H" (Sound Affects) [22.Aug.11]
Evolution Calling: Tool - "Stinkfist" (Sound Affects) [15.Aug.11]
A Lingering Bell Rings in 'Saved by the Bell' (Channel Surfing) [26.May.11]
Here's to You, Michael Been (Sound Affects) [25.Aug.10]
Lauryn Hill Considered (Mixed Media) [29.Jun.10]
Girls Behaving Badly (Short Ends and Leader) [23.Jun.10]
Lady Gaga - "Alejandro" (video) NSFW (Mixed Media) [11.Jun.10]
Don't Blame Audiences for the Box Office Blues (Short Ends and Leader) [10.Jun.10]
Fade to Black: R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio (Sound Affects) [17.May.10]
De La Soul Is Dead: Long Live De La Soul (Sound Affects) [14.Apr.10]
The Posthumous Sales Bump (Sound Affects) [29.Mar.10]
All Hail the Winter Killers (Moving Pixels) [7.Mar.10]
Pitchfork: The Taste Maker (Sound Affects) [3.Feb.10]
Divorce Song: Guyville's Moment of Truth (Sound Affects) [15.Jan.10]
Slipped Disc: A.C. Newman - Get Guilty (Mixed Media) [13.Dec.09]
G.I. Joe A Real American Hero & Transformers (Consuming Consumables) [9.Dec.09]
The End of CDs Is Nowhere in Sight (Sound Affects) [24.Sep.09]
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