Thursday, March 5 2015
Les Blank's intimate documentaries are staged when time slows and music, food, and community come together.
Tuesday, February 3 2015
It's no accident that country is considered a white genre; it became white over time, and minimizing issues of race has been a key component of maintaining this whiteness.
Tuesday, January 20 2015
Fourth Word truly is a world unto itself, a vision of avant-garde experimentation that influenced numerous composers in its wake.
Wednesday, December 10 2014
Italian rapper Mondo Marcio turns the bass on Musica da Serial Killer into a weaponized element. Never before have the sensations of death, dread and groove been so synonymous in music.
Wednesday, November 12 2014
The “true” codes of the Western hero, as borne out in an excavation of the subtleties in major films of the canon, are really more perverse than moral, more calculating than artless.
Monday, October 20 2014
The romantic sentiment that rock was better in the past and has, as they say, given up the ghost, is a charming but misguided notion.
Tuesday, September 16 2014
Drummer Matt Johnson shares his reflections 20 years later on working with Jeff Buckley and recording what turned out to be a masterpiece, 1994's Grace.
Monday, September 15 2014
Drawing from 20 years worth of reviews and books, in addition to new interviews with those involved in Jeff Buckley's music, David Chiu looks back on Grace, which two decades later remains just as impactful.
Thursday, August 21 2014
Movies create iconic, mythical teacher figures who, in two or so hours, do both more harm and more good than any actual human could achieve in a lifetime.
Tuesday, August 19 2014
The goal of indie rock is to make something real, even at the expense of decades of music tradition.
Thursday, August 14 2014
Being in the orbit of a group of eccentric artists helped to create a transformative year for Cockburn that would further his path toward becoming a world renowned solo artist.
Tuesday, August 5 2014
Blur's masterpiece The Great Escape examines the costs—for young lovers or pop stars—of trusting in stasis.
Monday, July 28 2014
Whether by chance or by careful planning, there is an observable pattern to intros and outros in albums. PopMatters breaks down 18 of them.
Friday, July 25 2014
The Auteurs transcend the music of their time and place and subvert the notion of Britpop, Britishness, and the whole darkness of humanity.
Wednesday, June 25 2014
Although some comix generally avoided the topic, many artists and writers signaled their opposition to the Vietnam War in creative and daring ways.
Monday, June 23 2014
They started out with great songs. Then they made amazing music videos. Now, their songs serve as soundtracks to viral meme-fodder and little else.
Tuesday, June 3 2014
If Days of Open Hand is an album of dreams, then there's surely the awareness of awakening, a consciousness hovering outside of the songs that is longing to be identified.
Monday, June 2 2014
Over 25 years after its release, the band and the video’s director reflect back on a song full of promise.
Wednesday, March 19 2014
A film like Sixteen Candles suggests that wealthy teenagers are not immune to life’s harsh caprice, and that no amount of affluence can cure high school’s sense of alienation and anxiety
Monday, March 3 2014
There’s something to be said for escapism, for the armchair-travelling Michael Franks’ music offers.
Monday, November 18 2013
Ghostface Killah rose through the ranks of Wu-Tang Clan, paid his dues, and deserves his rightful place as the savior of the Wu-Tang regime.
Monday, October 28 2013
Celebrating its silver anniversary,The Nephilim is one of the UK goth scene's masterpieces, a seamless, hour-long trek into a surreal land populated by chiming guitars, hypnotic bass, found samples, and occult themes.
Wednesday, July 17 2013
One year on from the phenomenal success of Joss Whedon's The Avengers isn't it time to reconsider his most unlikely Avenger, the Hulk? Particularly the lavish treatment offered the Hulk in auteur Ang Lee's 2008 outing The Incredible Hulk.
Sunday, June 9 2013
"There are things known. There are things unknown. And in between are the Doors."
Wednesday, June 5 2013
In 1998, Seattle rock group Harvey Danger had a hit song with "Flagpole Sitta", a hyper-literate alt-rock dissection of the stupidity of the modern age. They were written off as one-hit-wonders. Two years later, they released one of the best albums of the decade. No, really.
Tuesday, May 21 2013
While Broadway gets Motown and Daft Punk gets lucky, more than 25 artists and producers explore why Diana Ross and Nile Rodgers still turn us "inside out".
Monday, May 20 2013
While Broadway gets Motown and Daft Punk gets lucky, more than 25 artists and producers explore why Diana Ross and Nile Rodgers still turn us "inside out". Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the chapters in this story.
Sunday, May 19 2013
While Broadway gets Motown and Daft Punk gets lucky, more than 25 artists and producers explore why Diana Ross and Nile Rodgers still turn us "inside out". Stay tuned tomorrow and Wednesday for the rest of the chapters in this story.
Tuesday, May 14 2013
Kathryn Schulz’s failure to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork, as professed on Vulture.com, is a contemporary case study for how not to assess literature.
Wednesday, May 1 2013
Here comes another adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Why should this one succeed where its predecessors have failed?
Tuesday, March 12 2013
Groundbreaking in its form, length, packaging, lyrics, and concept, the work remains one of the most significant and beloved albums of its genre 40 years onward.
Tuesday, May 29 2012
Martin Scorsese's singular, absurdist comic nightmare from 1985 demands a second (and third) look.
Thursday, February 16 2012
Woody Allen's early career is a window into his development both as a filmmaker and as an artist. Rarely are an early filmmaker's works so rewarding, where even the most lighthearted farces can be poignant and brilliant, even for a moment.
Wednesday, January 4 2012
Howard smokes cigars, uses profanity, indulges in pornography, and drinks. Despite his downfalls, Howard is not a villain by any definition of the word. If anything, these imperfections make him more human than any of his Hollywood alien peers.
Monday, December 5 2011
Jackson's film is as unwieldy and difficult as it is gripping and moving, expanding upon the exotic spectacle of the original while simultaneously steering the tale into the realm of tragic lament.
Wednesday, November 30 2011
This film is keenly aware of the myriad meanings embedded in its cinematic myth and sets about re-contextualizing and commenting upon the implied politics while offering extravagant thrills and tragic, classic romance.
Tuesday, November 29 2011
The 1976 King Kong updates this modern myth’s meanings for a vastly different social, economic, and cultural milieu, but it does so with a leaden obviousness that undermines its conclusions.
Monday, November 28 2011
Everything Pete Townshend did up until 1973 set the stage for Quadrophenia. It’s all in there: the pre-teen angst, the teenage agonies and the post-teen despondency.
Sunday, November 27 2011
Like many of the Hollywood blockbusters that followed in its footsteps, King Kong was a barometer for its troubled times, a clear crystallization of many lurking social anxieties in Depression-era America.
Thursday, November 10 2011
Pink Floyd is perhaps the first truly underground band that cultivated a sound that was too remarkable to remain obscure. They willed themselves to be huge, and their influence is undiminished today.
Sunday, October 23 2011
Moving Pictures is, without any question, not only Rush’s masterpiece, but one of those rare albums that epitomizes an era. It's a template of sorts for the way rock albums were made in the early '80s.
Tuesday, October 18 2011
It was during the period between the Rodney King beating and subsequent court verdict that Ice Cube cut Death Certificate, a chilling glimpse into the anger and frustration South Central Angelinos were feeling.
Monday, October 17 2011
In the context of Primal Scream's prior and subsequent career, Screamadelica is a miracle.
Friday, October 14 2011
Even now with all our understanding and acceptance of genre-mashing, Massive Attack’s opening salvo remains as bold and eclectic, as utterly assured a musical message as it was upon release.
Wednesday, October 12 2011
My Bloody Valentine's Loveless stands as an album of (at least) equal importance to Nirvana's Nevermind, garnering a great deal of its importance for the way that it offers a gender-bending sonic style that severed the entrenched connections between the electric guitar and masculine phallic power.
Tuesday, October 11 2011
Pretty much everyone under the age of 35 views U2 as a bunch of overzealous assholes, but this 25-year-old can't help but still blast the group's 1991 masterpiece.
Monday, October 10 2011
Listening to De La Soul Is Dead means immersing oneself inside a funny but terrifying universe, where brutality and self-destruction exist side by side with smart-ass jokes and sex talk and good music.
Wednesday, October 5 2011
On Out of Time, R.E.M. wasn't too big to be cool -- yet.
Tuesday, October 4 2011
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.
Monday, September 26 2011
Released alongside Nirvana’s Nevermind, the importance of Pearl Jam's Ten has been somewhat overshadowed by that record. Here is a young band, barely together for a year, yet confident enough in it style and aware of its strengths to release a cohesive debut album that would serve as a fine indicator of its potential.
Thursday, September 22 2011
This essential box set from Davis's second quintet, represent the last purely jazz sounds we get from Miles, his final statement on the music he grew up on and would soon outgrow.
Sunday, September 11 2011
After 9/11, the Strokes offered rock escapism, three minutes at a time and they were not just a rock band, they were a New York rock band.
Monday, August 29 2011
Richard Linklater's Slacker commemorates its anniversary and finds an audience outside of twenty-somethings.
Tuesday, June 21 2011
By desperately trying to create an authentic piece of art, Caden Cotard, the central character in Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, ends up dooming himself to live what Heidegger calls an inauthentic life.
Thursday, May 19 2011
The economic system has only one purpose, which is to create wealth. In the market’s language, this is the only “good". If evil exists, then it must be loss, which is the opposite of the good. For Gordon Gekko, this is the only morality which exists.
Thursday, May 12 2011
On the 30th anniversary of his death, has Bob Marley's activist legacy been overshadowed by a manufactured Legend?
Monday, February 14 2011
Nearly 30 years later, Trans remains the most baffling, bizarre, and misunderstood project in Neil Young’s oeuvre. Here’s why it’s great.
Wednesday, February 9 2011
In an uncanny way, Spiderland expresses our experience of sleep and musically contains all of its characteristics as noted by sleep researchers, moving from the uplifting and bizarre logic of dreams through to the possible psychosis that sleep resembles, while on the way touching on its sensory and restorative aspects.
Sunday, November 7 2010
I didn't have much faith in something as colorful, fun and, yes, decidedly feminine as Sex and the City to begin with, and the reviews stubbed out any remaining hope I had for this movie. Not only was it purported to be bad, but it was also deemed unacceptably offensive to Muslims. How could they all be wrong?
Thursday, February 25 2010
I’m not certain if it says more about J.D. Salinger, Jethro Tull or me, that when I think of the ultimate coming-of-age treatise from the trenches, it’s not a novel but a trio of albums.
Sunday, February 21 2010
Emerging from the West Coast punk scene in the late '90s, the Blood Brothers helped redefine hardcore before abandoning the genre in favor of a damaged brand of art pop all their own.
Tuesday, October 20 2009
Magazine's The Correct Use of Soap is such a wayward, iconoclastic record, so willfully out of kilter with its own time, that its sound-world and emotional landscape remain unique in pop.
Wednesday, September 30 2009
The day will come when Spare Time Machine is revered as the masterpiece it is by the crowd it deserves. Luckily, Tomi Paajaanen and James Spectrum have this happy pill to keep them sane until that day arrives.
Thursday, September 17 2009
Over time, "Sympathy for the Devil" has been treated with huge fanfare and has become the common denominator fan favorite, but in actuality "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" gets to the core of what the Rolling Stones were.
Monday, September 14 2009
In anticipation of a reunion tour, the two albums produced by the original Sunny Day Real Estate lineup get remastered and repackaged with extra tracks and expanded liner notes. They are ripe for revisiting.
Wednesday, July 8 2009
Mingus Ah Um sounds like the 20th Century: it is a self-portrait of a man who helped define the direction of post-bop jazz, commenting on the country that created him.
Tuesday, May 26 2009
Warts and all, the ambitious push to expand video game storytelling found in Final Fantasy VIII deserves a closer look at this too-often neglected franchise entry.
Tuesday, May 5 2009
Dismissed as too depressing in 1988, Mickey Rourke's self-penned turn in Homeboy brings an aura of sorrow more nuanced and poetic than that of his celebrated performance in The Wrestler.
Sunday, March 15 2009
With deluxe reissues of Radiohead's first three albums in stores next week, PopMatters takes a look back at Pablo Honey, The Bends and Ok Computer.
Thursday, February 26 2009
I have spent half my life being an R.E.M. fan, and I’ve consumed just about every album in their catalogue. So, at this point, I feel confident saying that Monster is unfairly maligned, and truly stands as one of their best.