The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
Paul Verhoeven’s Authenticity Came to Light at Chicago’s Logan Arcade

Some works by Paul Verhoeven, a director known for satire, were shown in an ironic setting this summer. The result was an earnestness soaked in blood.

READ more
Vince Staples: Summertime ‘06

The Long Beach rapper steps out with a coming-of-age story on his bold debut album full of stark beats and penetrating lyrics.

READ more
Various Artists: Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City: Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77

A newly-reissued compilation from the Latin music explosion of the 1970s with names familiar and obscure.

READ more

6 Jul 2015 // 2:15 AM

In Camera: Era

The short-lived East London band captured the pessimism and angst of late '70s Britain.

READ more

6 Jul 2015 // 2:10 AM

Yukon Blonde: On Blonde

Yukon Blonde are a band that focuses on simple indie pop, and with On Blonde they succeed in just, and only, that.

READ more
‘The Girl Who Knew Too Much’ Will Please Fans of Agatha Christie

An old-fashioned Christie-styled mystery, Evil Eye/The Girl Who Knew Too Much will give thriller aficionados much to enjoy.

READ more
The Nuclear Family Explodes in ‘Mislaid’

Nell Zink's characters represent and confront most of the "-isms" and phobias related to the “Other” that still plague not only the USA, but the entire world.

READ more
Barenaked Ladies: Silverball

Barenaked Ladies’ well-tailored tongue-in-cheek delivery is by a radio-friendly sound that places its emphasis on sentiment and sincerity.

READ more
Ashley Monroe Is on Her Biggest Winning Streak Yet

Country music star Ashley Monroe gets up close and personal, discussing the emotional rollercoaster that went into creating her latest release, The Blade along with her creative process and her role within the music business.

READ more
Joel Plaskett: Park Avenue Sobriety Test

These blues are cast as irrational, but also related to the pressures of aging; awareness of death, what can manifest itself as mid-life crisis.

READ more
‘Amy’: She Was All About the Music

As sad as Winehouse's story may be, Amy is gorgeous and provocative, too.

READ more
It’s Good to Be Afraid of Pablo in ‘Escobar: Paradise Lost’

Benicio del Toro is perfect as the infamous drug lord. He looms in frames even when he's off to the side, pressed into a lower corner or out of focus.

READ more
It’s a Stripper Road Trip in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

Channing Tatum and his crew of (ahem) “male entertainers” are still looking for a place to belong in this big-hearted, fast-paced sequel.

READ more
Barb Jungr Transformed the Music of Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen for City of London

Two superb and dynamic Barb Jungr shows, both revisiting the work of three of her favourite artists, were among the highlights of this year’s City of London Festival.

READ more
Trolling the Man of Steel: Superman #41

Superman #41 feels less like a blockbuster movie and more like a teaser trailer.

READ more
Down by the Riverside: Thelonious Monk’s High-Water Mark

The Complete Riverside Recordings comprises 15 discs' worth of raw material to sift through, a formidable task with endless rewards.

READ more
Kacey Musgraves: Pageant Material

A sumptuous dive into classic country that's also an exploration of identity, growing and exploring the idea of self within the sentimentalized past and our social-media-driven present.

READ more

30 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Is Gender Out of Fashion?

Sex and Unisex, a history of fashion trends offers insight into changing notions of gender – and raises the possibility that the concept has outlived its usefulness.

READ more

30 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Miguel: Wildheart

Wildheart is the sound of Miguel fully coming into his own , but we're still left feeling engaged but not thrilled, satisfied with the night out but lacking the impulse to text him back the next day.

READ more
The Grateful Dead Are Dead, Long Live the Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead didn’t seem to give a damn about the American dream and yet seems to have lived it—well, parts of it, anyway.

READ more
RP Boo: Fingers, Bank Pads, and Shoe Prints

If listeners can immerse themselves in the repetition, let go, and stop fighting it. The results can be transcendent.

READ more

30 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

No Joy: More Faithful

Shoegaze revivalists No Joy deliver their best work yet with the transcendent More Faithful.

READ more
‘Prime Cut’ Is Proof That the ‘70s Is American Cinema’s Greatest Decade

Like many great American films of the '70s, Prime Cut tackles major social issues through the lens of realism.

READ more

30 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

Moullinex: Elsewhere

Elsewhere is an ebullient escape to wherever it is you would rather be.

READ more
Ryan Montbleau: Growing Light

After a decade of touring together, Growing Light becomes the Ryan Montbleau band’s swan song, a fact attested to in the liner notes. If indeed that is the case, they’re exiting on what’s arguably their greatest work to date.

READ more

29 Jun 2015 // 10:01 AM

Mud, Sweat, and Beers: Four Days at Download Festival

In which our correspondent bravely chronicles the exhaustion, rain, and euphoria of one of Europe's biggest music festivals.

READ more

29 Jun 2015 // 9:56 AM

Trails and Ways: Pathology

World beats and poetic lyrics vie in up-tempo dance songs on this debut album

READ more
Furiosa Returns in ‘Mad Max - Furiosa #1’

But is it the Furiosa we know and love?

READ more
‘Her Story’ Asks You to Learn Your Story

The game only ends when you let it end, when you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten all of its story, or when you’re simply satisfied with its story.

READ more
“Feeling the Notes”: An Interview with Anderson East

With his album Delilahon the horizon, Anderson East talks with PopMatters about the lead single "Satisfy Me" and connecting in the Nashville music scene.

READ more
‘While We’re Young’ Satirically Skews Gen Xers and Millennial Hipsters

While We’re Young is less about "acting your age" and more about embracing your authentic self.

READ more

29 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Refused: Freedom

On their first studio album in 16 years legendary Swedish hardcore band don’t lose a step in their mission to hybridize punk with anything they can.

READ more
Matt Pond PA: The State of Gold

The State of Gold fulfills the dark mandate of the adult alternative genre, encouraging listeners to consider the virtue of all things beige.

READ more
Good Old War: Broken Into Better Shape

Despite their seemingly inexplicable handle, Good Old War proves to be anything but belligerent.

READ more
‘Broadchurch’ Retains Its Suspense and Offers Another Excellent Season

Broadchurch not only continues to draw in and engage viewers, it also finds a way to add even more interest in its second season, making for a wholly satisfying series.

READ more
A Wicked Sense of Humor Veers Heavily Towards the Sadistic in ‘Crow Fair’

If sometimes flawed, often confusing and always marked by challenging style, Thomas McGuane's Crow Fair remains a remarkable offering from one of America's finest writers.

READ more
Ben Lee: Love Is the Great Rebellion

Ben Lee’s latest album unfolds as possibly his most seductive set yet, even despite its series of heady observations.

READ more
Barrytown: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Yacht Rock

Two things helped me appreciate the Dan: the first is getting older. That goes hand-in-hand with caring less about the opinions of others.

READ more
At Folsom Prison: Every Dream and Every Crisis Means the Rise

Nervousness and talent make the band’s third album a brilliant departure point from which to venture into unknown territories.

READ more
‘Max’ Abides by the “More Is More” Mantra

In Max, more is more: more emotional crises, more stereotypes, more action are all spun as if by a centrifuge of formula then spewed onto a big summer screen.

READ more
‘Ted 2’ Is Smarter and Smuttier Than Your Average Bear

Ted 2 is uproariously funny, with just enough sprinkling of social satire to stretch this already thin premise into a satisfying sequel.

READ more
‘A Little Chaos’ Is Too Orderly

The few proto-feminist inklings in Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos wither away by the end, trading in chaos for the usual order.

READ more
Have We Colonized the Night? Or Has Neoliberal Capitalism Colonized Us?

Bright Eyed: Insomnia and its Cultures has us wondering if our work-obsessed society, which valorizes sleeplessness, is inventing new technologies to keep us perpetually "on".

READ more
Tyga: The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty

Tyga's infatuation for ancient Egyptian royalty seems more like a cursory interest rather than a man looking at peers.

READ more
What’s So Funny About Atheism?

Since New Atheists have done a stand-up job of elucidating the illusions of religious belief, why not point out some of the logical absurdities of atheism?

READ more

26 Jun 2015 // 2:19 AM

Motopony: Welcome You

Motopony's sophomore effort skillfully explores interesting and varying sounds, creating one of the most interesting indie albums in recent memory.

READ more
Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City

Going hand-in-hand with the ongoing museum exhibit of the same name, A New Music City does an outstanding job defining the sweeping influence of Dylan and Cash throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

READ more
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard: Django and Jimmie

Comfort is the way here, but there’s also an ongoing obsession with age, the passing of time and the surprises that come with it.

READ more
‘The Bridge’ Shows a Forgotten Side of Nazi Germany’s Final Days

The Bridge, which tells the story of the Volkssturm in the final days of the Nazi party, is classic work of art.

READ more
Thore Pfeiffer: Im Blickfeld

When it comes to the Kompakt league of ambient music, Thore Pfeiffer is more on his way there than having fully arrived.

READ more
‘Calcutta’ Is a Vivid, Sensitive, and Perceptive Literary Portrait of the City

The author presents a balanced, if occasionally slow-paced, portrait of his birthplace, detailing his travels and memories of Calcutta over a two-year period.

READ more

26 Jun 2015 // 2:02 AM

This Perfect Band: An Oral History of Dagoes

They were Australia's punk rock goofballs, stumbling into a scene they loved before defining a legacy all their own. This is their story.

READ more
Four Great Things About ‘Nonplayer’

It's been four years since the release of the first issue of Nonplayer, but it's been well worth the wait.

READ more
‘Dope’ and the Adventures of Nerds in the Hood

The kitchen-sink plotting of Rick Famuyiwa’s antic retro-nerd teen comedy borders on the desperate, but its brash, can’t-box-me-in spirit wins out in the end.

READ more
How Messy Was Their (Black) Sabbath

Mick Wall’s style is dry, simple and direct to the point of quasi-simplification, but the final result is brilliant and definitely written for a very specific niche.

READ more

25 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Bully: Feels Like

Alternative rock nostalgia gets a sunny facelift on Bully's debut full-length album.

READ more

25 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

KEN Mode: Success

A little anti-social rage never hurt anybody.

READ more

25 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Amara Touré 1973-1980

Amara Touré was once the toast of Senegal and 1973-1980 is a succinct and comprehensive way to play catch-up.

READ more
Susie Glaze and the HiLonesome Band: Not That Kind of Girl

The fourth album from the neo-traditionalists finds them continuing to mine and hone their Celtic and bluegrass influences to appealing and dynamic effect.

READ more
‘God Help the Girl’ Is a Belle and Sebastian Jukebox in Movie Form

With its mix of silliness and seriousness, and music and melodrama, God Help the Girl is top-to-bottom charming.

READ more
The Textones: Midnight Mission, Cedar Creek

Although the Textones' two discs attracted only a passing glance originally, they’ve received belated recognition since.

READ more
Exposing the Dark Side of Philanthro-capitalism

In The New Prophets of Capital, Nicole Aschoff makes clear that there is something new, pervasive, and anti-democratic going on that we ignore at our peril.

READ more
What Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’ Is Really About

At the core of Neutral Milk Hotel's highly acclaimed 1998 album is an exploration of love and the process of unity and separation.

READ more
Eilen Jewell: Sundown Over Ghost Town

Jewell combines her thoughts on home (her own and the ones she's seen on her travels) into this sharply-observed set of songs.

READ more
AFI Docs 2015: ‘The Storm Makers’

Set in Southeast Asia, The Storm Makers underscores how war and genocide produce layers of legacy through the experience of a woman who was a victim of sex trafficking.

READ more
‘The Escapees’ Is Equally Preposterous and Poetic

At turns poignant and silly, The Escapees is a lesser picture by Jean Rollin, one devoid of his fanciful surrealism.

READ more
A Parallel History of America Through Filmmaker Debra Granik

Sure, Debra Granik helped direct Jennifer Lawrence to her first Oscar nod, but her new motorcycle documentary gives her oeuvre a theme: films about the neglected and disenfranchised in America.

READ more

24 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Desaparecidos: Payola

Desaparecidos find giddy joy as they tear the establishment to pieces.

READ more
Smokey: How Far Will You Go?: The S&M Recordings, 1973-81

How Far Will You Go? collects the proto-disco glam rock sides from these out and proud iconoclasts.

READ more
The Vaccines: English Graffiti

Once touted as the Next Big Thing, the English band have done even better and become their own thing.

READ more
Nadifa Mohamed: Writing the Lives of Somalia’s Women

The complex psychology of pre-war Somalia, and the endurance of its women, is vividly portrayed in The Orchard of Lost Souls.

READ more

24 Jun 2015 // 2:10 AM

Alesso: Forever

Alesso assists the EDM/radio pop crossover with a melodramatic and aimless debut album.

READ more
Is Growing Up Such a Good Thing?

Adventure Time and Philosophy takes us on a journey to the land of Ooo in search of truth.

READ more
Wes Montgomery: In the Beginning

For Montgomery and those of the era, music was one of the dominant ways in which black Americans could show their pride and sense of accomplishment.

READ more
R.D. Reynolds, the Monday Night Wars, and the Death of World Championship Wrestling

It was going to be a powerhouse alternative to the World Wrestling Federation, but through mismanagement and unforeseen rivalries, Reynolds' book follows the league from its inception to its final tap-out.

READ more
The 2015 Contact in the Desert Conference Looked Up to Space for Answers

For most attendees of the Contact in the Desert convention, the question was not whether Earth is being visited, but rather, who is visiting?

READ more
A Giant-Sized Teaser in ‘Justice League of America #1’

A triple-sized story that has limited substance, but a lot of style and even more potential.

READ more
AFI Docs 2015 + HBO: ‘Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014’

As Requiem for the Dead shows, the clues that signal the violence committed by gun-bearing killers found on social media are missed until it's too late.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 7:00 AM

Prick Me, Do I Not Bleed?

Are feminists like Leora Tanenbaum oversensitive?

READ more
Meditations in Sound: The Jazz Africana of Pharoah Sanders

Exploring the realms of African mysticism, Pharoah Sanders walks an extraordinary path through the hinterland of jazz music's otherworld.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool

Werewolves of London come to huff 'n' puff and generally blow your house down.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:20 AM

Son Lux: Bones

Son Lux only offers the bones of something once promising.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:15 AM

Dave Douglas: High Risk

If there's truly any justice, High Risk will serve as a template for the future electro-jazz.

READ more
‘Bank Shot’, ‘Cops and Robbers’, and ‘Harry in Your Pocket’ Capture the Evolution of Heist Films

Starting in the '70s, heist and caper films evolved from the high-society champagne crime of the '30s and '40s to gritty, realistic robbery pictures.

READ more
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Power in the Blood

Sainte-Marie takes the world personally and demands attention be paid to her concerns. What’s more, she’s fun!

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

The Banality of Destiny

Fateful Ties is exhaustive and exhaustingly catalogued history of the US' aggressively narcissistic relationship with China.

READ more

23 Jun 2015 // 2:05 AM

Dylan Stark: Heartland

An ambitious, modernistic debut with epic scale.

READ more
Jean-Luc Godard: A Montage of Attractions

The montage approach that Jean-Luc Godard celebrates in his films would become the driving force behind Historie(s) du cinéma.

READ more
‘Madame Bovary’ Infantilizes Gustave Flaubert’s Protagonist

We are left feeling about Madame Bovary much as Emma Bovary feels about her life: disappointed.

READ more
John Constantine Walks His Path Alone in ‘Constantine the Hellblazer #1’

Constantine's back, and up to old tricks.

READ more
Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2015: ‘(T)Error’

As compelling as (T)Error's restless images are, the film never lets you forget what you can't see, what's deliberately hidden, and what's receding from view even as you look.

READ more
Charting the Universal Evolution of Pop Music With ‘The Underground is Massive’

From rags to riches, the ghetto to the festival grounds, the story of electronic music is the story of modern art in America: vibrant, fruitful and progressive -- until it becomes a commodity.

READ more
Let the Music Move You: A Conversation with Eden’s Félix de Givry and Sven Hansen-Løve

Mia Hansen-Løve's Eden is a love letter to modern dance music (with a Daft Punk subplot), but its star and co-writer discuss its surprisingly realistic origins.

READ more
The Orb: Moonbuilding 2703 AD

The Orb sail over the moon on this one, making electronic greatness look easy as ever.

READ more
The Fall: Sub-Lingual Tablet

Long in the tooth but not without vitality, Mark E. Smith and the Fall are predictable, but satisfactory, on their new album

READ more
The Mothmen: Pay Attention!

This music is not pretty. It’s definitely not pop. But we're paying attention.

READ more
‘Hammer’ Introduces One of Blaxploitation’s Most Popular Figures

Significant for its launch of Fred Williamson's career, Hammer is a typical entry into the blaxploitation fold, a cauldron of genre tropes that never really reaches a boiling point.

READ more
Rocky Votolato and Chuck Ragan: Kindred Spirit

Kindred Spirit serves as a fine introduction for two artists clearly ready for prime time.

READ more
Penguin Prison: Lost in New York

Penguin Prison's second album is serviceable dance-pop, but lacks personality.

READ more
‘A God in Ruins’ Perpetuates the Deep Sadness in Atkinson’s Writing

Kate Atkinson's characters, from private investigator Jackson Brodie to Teddy Todd, are often lonely people with surprising secrets.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

PopMatters is on a short summer publishing break. We resume Monday, July 6th.

// Announcements

"PopMatters is on a short summer publishing break. We resume Monday, July 6th.

READ the article