Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Hip-hop, R&B, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Texts, Lies, and Subtweets

Monday, March 9 2015

Royalty and Rebels in ‘Princess Leia #1’

Princess Leia begins an important part of her journey towards becoming a true rebel.


History Works Against Andrew Keen’s Latest Diatribe Against the Internet

The internet economy has changed the world, and Andrew Keen (still) isn't happy about it.


Game of Thrones, Episode 2: The Lost Lords

Game of Thrones is giving us something different in the adventure game genre. We are finally engaging with intrigue.


Too Much Is Adrift in ‘Every Man for Himself’

In his examination of the social isolation caused by capitalism, Jean-Luc Godard wanders too far off into the cerebral.


‘The Uncanny Reader’ Conjures Up Dreadful Pleasures

If death haunts fewer of the stories collected here than one might imagine, it's because there are things worse than death.


Ambiguously Yours: The Late Works of the Late Otto Preminger

Hurry Sundown, Skidoo, and Such Good Friends welcome you to a world of crowded frames and uncertain tones.


Between the Grooves of Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’

PopMatters begins its look back at Radiohead's The Bends today. Here we examine The Bends track by track, examining it from angles spanning the cultural to the theoretical.


Madonna: Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart has a profoundly human element to it, one that paints Madonna more as a person than a product, which is in and of itself a minor miracle.


Fawn Spots: From Safer Place

Moments of calm within the hurricane rush of massed vocals and guitars, from a young York, England, punk trio.


Tom Paxton: Redemption Road

In some ways, the line from his first album in 1962 to this one is straight and short, especially when one considers that Paxton has released more than 50 discs over the years.


Mourn: Mourn

Mourn condense the essence of Sleater-Kinney and PJ Harvey into an impressive bite-size debut.


Georg Breinschmid: Double Brein

Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid has done it all on one release, a miracle to be shared by all.


Friday, March 6 2015

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Is a Landlocked Version of ‘The Love Boat’

If you liked the first one, you'll love this return trip. All others should perhaps consider booking their entertainment lodging elsewhere.


‘Chappie’ Offers up Rave Rap Ridiculousness and Little Else

Chappie is a weird combination of science fiction and South African rage-rap culture that's so off key, you can't see the good for the god-awful.


With ‘Unfinished Business’, Vince Vaughn Can Kiss the Rest of His Career Goodbye

Unfinished Business is like a juggler given too many divergent elements to manage.


Judging Comics by Their Covers: Comic Books, Text, Paratext and Context

Comics covers may not always reflect what's inside, but it's difficult to see covers as distinct from the books they adorn.


‘Rebels’ Argues for Freedom As Pop Culture

Rebels is the book I was waiting for Brian Wood to attempt. Since long before Local, since before Northlanders since even before DMZ. It’s the story of the American Revolution, told in a way that only Brian Wood can.


Vulnerability Becomes Strength When Sleater-Kinney Takes D.C.

The crowd is riveted to the intensity of the performance; some barely moving as they watch the stage, almost reverent in their witness. Sleater-Kinney has walked out onto the ledge with us and back. Again.


Great Movies With Terrible Sequels: Sequels so Bad They’re Scary

Sometimes the most successful and acclaimed films are marked and marred by the absolutely worst sequels imaginable.


‘The Francois Truffaut Collection’ Captures the Director’s Finest Hours

These eight films collectively demonstrate a master filmmaker with a total understanding and command of cinematic language.


The Rezillos: Zero

Seminal Scottish punkers show they’ve still got what it takes.


Camper Van Beethoven: New Roman Times

Expanded re-issue of CVB’s 2004 epic New Roman Times remains ambitiously thrilling.


‘Vanessa and Her Sister’ Is Enchanting

Those of us who write only wish for half of author Priya Parmar’s talents, whose writing is a lovely, lilting thing.


In Tall Buildings: Driver

Driver is heavy on melodies and breezy in its effortlessness. It's the kind of album that moves in different ways during different times and reveals aural layers on multiple listens.


JJ Grey & Mofro: Ol’ Glory

JJ Grey and Mofro provide a connection to the past and a time when talent and tenacity moved the music forward.


Ralph Stanley: Cracker Barrel Presents Ralph Stanley: A Man of Constant Sorrow

A "new" CD of Ralph Stanley duets provides an easy metaphor for how music is currently sold.


Thursday, March 5 2015

Phases of Moon Knight

Last month’s Moon Knight #12 saw the conclusion of the second arc of the book. But with two different creative teams and two different approaches, is this even the same book? Or an under-the-radar reboot?


Fragmented History Is Beautifully Reconnected in ‘1913: The Year Before the Storm’

Florian Illies embraces the importance of moments as he peers into a fragmented past to offer something that is simple yet monumental.


Searching for Value in All the Wrong Places, Or How to Put Away Childish Things

More than fetishizing his prizes, the collector fetishizes his own obsessiveness and glorious blindness to the machinations of what non-collectors call “real life”.


Spending Time with ‘Les Blank: Always for Pleasure’

Les Blank's intimate documentaries are staged when time slows and music, food, and community come together.


‘Maison Close’ Brings the Dark Side of 1870s Paris to Vivid Life

Maison Close might not quite uplift you; but, then again, many of the best and most realistic series on television usually don’t.


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday

Noel Gallagher may not be completely chasing yesterday, but he certainly isn't moving forward.


Gill Landry: Gill Landry

The Old Crow Medicine Show member stretches his solo songwriting muscle on his self-titled release.


William S. Burroughs’ Ugly Spirit, Resurrected

Barry Miles' work depicts a complicated human being and visionary artist who has too often been dehumanized and made one-dimensional.


Pops Staples: Don’t Lose This

The deep, rich sound of Pops’ guitar captures the immense spirit of a human being that cannot be seen in the physical manifestation of a man.


Kid Ink: Full Speed

Kid Ink is a major label rapper, and Full Speed is his collection of major label rap song facsimiles.


Martin Callingham: Tonight We All Swim Free

Martin Callingham plays it safe with a series of watery folk numbers that might soothe but are too slack and too nebulous to exert any real power.


Wednesday, March 4 2015

‘Batgirl #39’ and the Burn of a Social Media Reboot

Batgirl began her stay with the kind of bang that could only come from being anointed by social media. In this issue, we see that fake love begin to unravel.


Pop Punk Powerhouse

As in any scene, bands form, break up, and share the stage with each other, and the strong sense of community felt by the Lookout alums runs through the pages.


From Tehran to Tel Aviv: Of Crime and the Cities

Akashic Noir series continues to serve up delightful and disturbing gems that offer remarkable insights into the world’s great (and not-so-great) cities.


Learning to Relax: An Interview with Dan Deacon

The world's most popular Wham City wonk who transcended his viral video notoriety to make transcendent pop music loves Less Than Jake. He also has a stress addiction, and his new album Gliss Riffer all stems from, of all things, a mixtape.


‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Fails to Rise Above Mere Bodice-Ripping

Like all adaptations of this classic work of erotic literature, this film misses the mark in capturing any of the poignancy of the novel's fluid and lyrical prose.


Of Montreal: Aureate Gloom (take 1)

Aureate Gloom is a soliloquy to anyone willing to listen, an intense affirmation of the confusion that comes with change, and of the uncertainty that comes with difficult choices.


Of Montreal: Aureate Gloom (take 2)

Aureate Gloom is momentarily great, but it becomes infuriating in a instant.


Parquet Courts: Live at Third Man Records

What is essentially a live-version of Sunbathing Animal takes the hardest working group of lazy-bones in music to places new and exciting... just before it heads back to places familiar and boring.


Charlie Winston: Curio City

The chromatic wash of a futuristic energy glistens over the Brit's latest offering, but stirring beneath are the time-honored signatures of classic pop music.


Capsule: Waverunner

Waverunner provides a definitive answer to the question "what would it sound like if a veteran Japanese pop producer made an EDM album?"


Christian Lee Hutson: Yeah Okay, I Know

Christian Lee Hutson stretches his songwriting muscle on Yeah Okay, I Know, but gets bogged down by a dreary overall delivery.


Tuesday, March 3 2015

“Spider-Gwen #1” Grants a True Second Life

Gwen Stacy takes on a new role and crafts a new legacy for Spider-Men and Spider-Women alike.


In ‘Ghettoside’ Murder Isn’t Just a Crime, It’s a Disease

Reporter Jill Leovy’s intimate and intricate story of murder in Los Angeles is part crime epic and part call to arms about a crisis decades in the making.


Everything Has Changed, Nothing Has Changed: Music in a Post-9/11 World

The attacks of 9/11 may have caused a noticeable shift in the lyrical content of musicians and even sonic changes in the short term, but, in the end, normalcy finds a way to settle in.


Like Gangbusters!: An Interview with S

Jenn Ghetto is well known for co-founding Carissa’s Wierd. Now as 'S', Ghetto has crafted an indie heartbreak record inspired by Katy Perry.


The Upside of No-See Me: Invisibility and ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’

For Buffy, turning invisible allows her to indulge all her worst impulses; but in doing so, she realizes that she is not embracing life, but fleeing it.


Women Run the Street Showdowns in ‘Woman They Almost Lynched’

This woman-centric western isn't a lost masterpiece, but rather an entertaining and sometimes fascinating pleasantry.


Purity Ring: Another Eternity

Purity Ring reinforce their pop charms by tightening their formula on their sophomore album, moving one step closer to pop perfection.


Moon Duo: Shadow of the Sun

Shadow of the Sun’s fondness for repetition doesn’t come at the sacrifice of the element of surprise.


Amy Speace: That Kind of Girl

Amy Speace’s latest album is one that has the potential to take her over the top.


Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

A hard-edged evocation of the free blues spirit of Charlie Parker by a modern saxophonist with the spirit to get Bird right.


Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India

Bollywood takes an acid trip in The Rough Guide to Psychedelic India.


Monday, March 2 2015

Love and Claustrophobia in ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’

Fassbinder's stifling drama about the sufferings of dependence is high camp, where the sparks fly with radiant colours.


Robin Wright Makes ‘House of Cards: Season Three’ Shine

Its plotholes are not as obvious as they were in Season Two, but Season Three's real strength lies in Clarie Underwood, and her journey makes the best case for House of Cards' staying power yet.


In ‘John Carter, Warlord of Mars #4’ a Warrior may Change His Metal

Marz and Malsuni manage the difficult task of remaining true to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs while producing a story that seems fresh and new.


Animal Liberation Orchestra + T Sisters: 13 February 2015 - Solana Beach, CA

ALO won’t likely be skipping San Diego again any time soon if the crowd reaction on this night was any indication.


‘The Guilt and the Shadow’: Very Dark Fluff

The Guilt and the Shadow is more of a tone poem than a puzzle game.


‘The Devil Wins’ Gives Us the Honest Truth About Lies

This is an interesting historical survey of how Christian theologians have handled the thorny issue of truth and lies.


‘Who We Be’ and the Optics of Culture, in Living Colors

Jeff Chang's cultural history tackles how race has played out across the last 50 years, and counting, of American culture.


Coming Back to ‘Coming Home’: An Interview with Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell

PopMatters' exclusive interview with Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell celebrates the legacy of a pop music masterpiece, I'm Coming Home (1973).


Kelly Clarkson: Piece By Piece

With her latest, Kelly Clarkson proves that what doesn't kill her (and that voice) only makes her (and that voice) stronger.


Marc Almond: The Velvet Trail

The former Soft Cell frontman's latest rejects pop convention for an album-length singer/songwriter collaboration


Ryan Culwell: Flatlands

If Flatlands was a movie, it would have better been entitled Badlands given its barren settings and austere atmosphere.


Grooms: Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair

Although Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair has a fairly distinct color scheme, it deviates enough to resist the pastel end of the indie rock rainbow.


Doomtree: All Hands

For all the lip-service they pay cooperation, Doomtree's members fight against nobody so much as each other on this dilute offering.


Friday, February 27 2015

‘The Lazarus Effect’ Is an 88 Minute Excuse for Exposition

Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.


‘Focus’ Is a Romantic Comedy With Dimension

This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.


Jeff Lemire on the Coming-Through-Slaughter of ‘Descender’

The interview with creator Jeff Lemire on his newest book Descender, which releases in March.


‘Maps to the Stars’ Brings Back Some Classic Cronenberg Horror

While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.


The Hays Code Nightmare Has Come True. Ain’t That Grand?

The '30s era Hays Code limited significantly what artists could express and what audiences could see. Today's LGBT media has blasted through all that.


Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for March 2015

Get a sneak peek of some of March's most compelling new releases, including albums from Courtney Barnett, Purity Ring, and Lightning Bolt.


Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press

Ethel Payne's gripping accounts of black life in post-World War II America provided critical information that was largely missing from mainstream journalism.


‘Lucy’ Entertains Despite Its Stupid Science

Lucy's idea of science is akin to a stoner complaining about how math doesn't really exist, but it does have an audacity that many sci-fi thrillers in the present day lack.


Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition)

Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin's first last album, represents the most grandiose expression of these Brits at the height of their powers.


Steve Gunn and Black Twig Pickers: Seasonal Hire

The rough carpentry of these songs lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs.


Sonny & the Sunsets: Talent Night at the Ashram

This noble experiment often overextends its reach, but does so with such charming confidence you can’t help but enjoy its ramshackle pop confections.


Jellyfish: Bellybutton / Spilt Milk

Expanded re-mastered releases of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk with live cuts and demos from power pop cult band Jellyfish.


Universal Togetherness Band: Universal Togetherness Band

From 1979 to 1982, Andre Gibson's band recorded countless tunes with audio engineering students at Columbia College. Universal Togetherness Band compiles a tight cross-section of those recordings, showing the band's tight chops and expansive taste.


Thursday, February 26 2015

‘Bluebird’ Makes for a Thoughtful Examination of Distraction

Every character in Bluebird reminds us of how we might deliberately distract ourselves, in ways that simultaneously buffer and generate pain.


Don’t Want to Miss This Thing: An Interview with Aerosmith

Aerosmith has released concert DVDs before, but with Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014, they are on the silver screen for one night only. Tom Hamilton tells us about the hits, the fits, and the pursuit of naughty bits.


How ‘Descender’ Draws a Map of All of Sci-Fi

Released next Wednesday, Descender's a game-changer. Here's why.


Two Troubled People = Explosive Chemistry

Along the way to Preparation for the Next Life's dramatic conclusion, there's a good deal of lovely, Nabokovian-like descriptive writing.


Weapons Drawn! Perspectives on Charlie Hebdo

Questioning cartoons, satire, and the role of the media after the Charlie Hebdo assassinations.


Death and Childhood Hover Over Guy Maddin’s ‘My Winnipeg’

The comic mythologizing of Winnipeg becomes conflated with an urge for Maddin to mythologize himself.


Drake: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

At the peak of his game, Drake has begun to embrace the darker sides of success.


The Pop Group: Citizen Zombie

In an age of band reunions where anything is possible, we now have the Pop Group’s first album in 35 years.


Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

Iyer’s trio returns for its ECM debut, a sharp rhythmic workout that continues this musician’s brilliant run.


Elana James: Black Beauty

The Hot Club of Cowtown fiddler Elana James makes it a point to let her folk flag shine high and mightily on Black Beauty.


Louise Goffin: Songs From The Mine

Goffin understands the importance of keeping everything simple, from the music to the sentiments expressed.


Wednesday, February 25 2015

Beyond Good and Evil: “Multiversity: Mastermen #1”

Mastermen is a masterwork. A perfect 10. The greatest issue yet in this stunningly good series. Bravo, Mr. Morrision! Bravo!


Minae Mizumura’s ‘A True Novel’ Makes for a Truly Engrossing Tale

This deeply engrossing and sophisticated Japanese novel unpeels itself in multiple nested narratives over its 855 page length.


Songs of Imploration and Love: The Music of Tajikistan

For centuries, Tajikistan has seen just about every monarchy, kingdom, religious faith and culture sweep through its land, leaving an indelible impression on its people and music.


“Songs I Can Sing Ya”: An Interview with Andy Kim and Kevin Drew

He was the man behind hits like "Sugar Sugar" and "Rock Me Gently", but Andy Kim discovered something about himself in the creation of It's Decided, his emotional new album created with Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.