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

Life Savers

Most of us stumble into a work of art. We may read a book because we

Tuesday, September 13 2011

The Cavedogs’ Joyrides for Shut-Ins

During the summer of 1995, my life working in a lumber mill was a living hell. The little-known debut album from the Cavedogs, Joyrides for Shut-Ins, was the life jacket that got me through it.


Wednesday, June 29 2011

Last Night a Trap Boy Saved My Life: T.I.‘s Urban Legend

I realized I couldn't seek comfort in the music me and Daddy shared. I needed something raw, music that would hit me in my chest where only natural, involuntary muscle movements indicated I was still, technically, alive.


Monday, May 30 2011

Defending the Imperialist

Ours (Canadians) is not an in-your-face passion-filled ‘clutch your breast in pride’ existence. We are but a country of high hopes and slow lopes, of lofty dreams and starry visions, of mighty pragmatism and irreproachable logic.


Sunday, February 27 2011

What Was So Great about the Clash, Anyway?

So how does someone go from anti-nuke activist to serious foreign policy maven, student protester to midlife bourgeoisie, and feel the same way about "The Only Band That Matters"?


Thursday, January 20 2011

The Stigma of Synth: My Secret Life with Depeche Mode

With no girls to flirt with or ask out, how was an all-male prep school boy going to step outside the shadow of his favorite leather-bearing, lipstick-wearing band and establish his heterosexuality? Easy. Take his fandom into the closet and deny, deny, deny.


Monday, November 1 2010

Ray Bradbury Wrote Me Back

My affinity for Ray Bradbury's work is rooted in his "accidental novels", as well as in the collections that plunder what is seemingly a limitless vault of manuscripts.


Wednesday, March 24 2010

The Cure for the Sleepless Nights Blues

Something had to knock this sleepless child out and put her in a blissful somnambulistic state. That something turned out to be the raucous guitar musings of Texas-born blues guitarist Johnny Winter.


Wednesday, January 27 2010

My Rufus Wainwright Story

Mom died a few days later, and I made my Rufus Wainwright story the focal point of her eulogy.


Wednesday, November 4 2009

Leaving Las Vegas and Leaving for Good

Using Ben in Leaving Las Vegas as a gauge to measure myself against, my life wasn’t anywhere close to as bad as it could be, but people who thought they had better control of their drinking than me still fuck their lives right up, so....


Wednesday, September 23 2009

Christy McWilson: What Dudes Won’t Tell

I felt like a schmuck for holding my notebook in front of me like a choir girl and for stopping mid-song to cry, but I felt better when I remembered how McWilson feels when she first plays a new song.


Wednesday, October 22 2008

Pink Floyd and the Girl on the Floor

If Roger Waters existed, if Pink Floyd existed, there was a tiny margin of hope, a filament of promise thinner than jeweler’s wire.


Wednesday, July 16 2008

Life Savers: Girl Talk

Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) made me do something I never thought I would again: enjoy pop music.


Thursday, June 12 2008

Stranded in the Middle of Nowhere: One Adolescent’s Experience of Gregg Araki

Recently popularized for the success of Mysterious Skin (2006), filmmaker Gregg Araki has exposed the Gen Y-er longing for tenderness in a world drowned in pop culture and violence to movies such as Nowhere, the personal savior of the 26-year-old Justin Dimos.


Monday, June 9 2008

Spinoza’s Ethic

Mathers explores how the Ethic was a life saver not in the sense of sustaining him through dark periods, but by changing his sense of what life is.


Tuesday, May 6 2008

Guster’s “Jesus on the Radio”

Ramisetti realizes that a simple love and appreciation for a song is all that matters in the end -- how it finds you, and how it moves you -- even when it comes from a random YouTube video.


Thursday, May 1 2008

Snap!: “I’ve Got the Power”

In the unlikely form of a Snap! album, Popek reveals how an ephemeral dance track helped her discover both hip-hop and the understanding that all music is for everyone.


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