The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
The Semblance Structure of Cruelty in Felipe Cazals’s ‘Canoa’

Canoa teeters between an overriding aestheticization of violence and a perverse registering of the real.

READ more

29 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Wire: Silver/Lead

On their 16th album, Wire sound more like themselves than ever, yet refuse to become complacent.

READ more
R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner: Make It Be

Lo-fi legend and power pop genius collaborate on a one-of-a-kind LP that tickles the brain as often as it tickles the funny bone.

READ more
The Mavericks: Brand New Day

The music evokes the broad empty landscapes, sleepy cantinas, and heavy-eyed senoritas of the mythical past where the differences between bad hombres and honest men were not always clear.

READ more
Lecherous Gaze: One Fifteen

Lecherous Gaze continues earning its genre-jumping wings, one hyphen at a time.

READ more
The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 3, 60-41

Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends. It's the 100 best classic progressive rock songs.

READ more
Like Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ Is Flawed But Unconventional

Christina Ricci plays Zelda as a woman walking willingly and half-knowingly into disaster.

READ more
Martin Scorsese Gives His Own Voice to ‘Silence’

Martin Scorsese's quiet religious epic gives a definitive take on a book that thrives in its ambiguity.

READ more
Caitlyn Jenner, Rachel Dolezal, and the Shifting Boundaries of Identity

Transracialism may and may not be as legitimate as transgenderism in the modern push for fluidity of identity categories.

READ more
Mind-Melding Meetings Between Jesters and Kings: Elvis and Nixon, West and Trump

Where Elvis meets Nixon is the narrative of a poor boy smothered by the star-making machinery, Kanye meets Trump is a mixture of bi-polar manic depression, hubris, and misdirected energies.

READ more
Aimee Mann: Mental Illness

Happily, all is not melancholy here. The songs’ characters may be unloved and disturbed, but aren’t we all?

READ more
Rodney Crowell: Close Ties

On Close Ties, Crowell sees his own failures and acknowledges that he may not have changed as much as he should have.

READ more
Sebastian Barry Balances Beauty With Horror in ‘Days Without End’

Dramatizing an omnipresent American imperial force, this picaresque yarn speaks for its perpetrators and victims.

READ more
Orchestra Baobab: Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng

Orchestra Baobab celebrates life and embraces change on a joyful tribute to a late lead singer.

READ more
The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 2, 80-61

Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends. It's the 100 best classic progressive rock songs.

READ more
‘T2 Trainspotting’ Is a Transcendent Blend of Nostalgia and Reality

T2 Trainspotting knows its roots in the Angry Young Men movement and acknowledges its sentimentality. But it has something more important to say.

READ more
‘The Good Fight’ Offers Jarring Developments in “Social Media and Its Discontents”

In this episode ambiguity ramps up to 11, Maia doesn't know who to trust, and hate-speech is amplified, and confronted.

READ more
‘Hokusai x Manga’ Explores the Roots of Manga

'Hokusai x Manga' traces the influence of popular Japanese visual art, from the 17th century forward, on contemporary manga.

READ more
The 100 Best Classic Progressive Rock Songs: Part 1, 100-81

After gamely attempting to track the 25 best old-school progressive albums of all time, it's inevitable we turn our attention to the best songs of the genre.

READ more
‘The White King’ Boldly Embraces Film as an Incomplete Form

Here are two storytellers that seemingly trust and embrace the cinéliterate audience to extrapolate, to understand, of their own volition.

READ more
Evoking Kerouac: Dumbsaint’s Cinematic Opus ‘Panorama, in Ten Pieces’

Guided by Kerouac's philosophy of life, Australian post-metal band Dumbsaint's film conveys a residential underbelly present in David Lynch's films.

READ more

27 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

Pharmakon: Contact

Contact is the rare noise album that strives for connection rather than just confrontation.

READ more
Mathew Lee Cothran: Judas Hung Himself in America

Mathew Lee Cothran’s Judas Hung Himself in America is a worthy addition to the electro freak-out canon, and a vital album for our time.

READ more
Craig Brown Band: The Lucky Ones Forget

If good songwriting and twangy songs are your wheelhouse and you don’t mind some off-kilter singing, Craig Brown Band might be worth your time.

READ more
Jazz, Loss, and Understanding in ‘I Called Him Morgan’

While exposing the fragments and fault lines of memories, I Called Him Morgan tells the stories of Helen and Lee Morgan. It's also a story of storytelling.

READ more
‘Frantz’ Unfolds Elegantly Into a Haunting Meditation on Xenophobia and Acceptance

Franz Ozon again proves to be a most singular voice in world cinema with this deceptively haunting romance mystery.

READ more
‘Life’: A Mainstream Action Fare or a Ridiculous Monster Movie?

Stylistically, Life owes more of its inspiration to David Cronenberg than Ridley Scott.

READ more
All Hail the King: Chuck Berry Reinvented Music, and America

After Chuck Berry, rock music would forever be a gumbo of competing and complimentary source points, but his first-person flights of fancy still represent its most undiluted potential.

READ more
Peter Silberman: Impermanence

Antlers' frontman Peter Silberman releases the solo LP Impermanence which works wonderfully as a peaceful protest among louder glitchier new releases.

READ more
Daniel Brandt: Eternal Something

Daniel Brandt commits himself to his vision and challenges the expectations behind typical song composition to produce a sound all of his own.

READ more
‘Life’: Wait, Haven’t We Seen This Before?

Life disregards its genre predecessor, Alien to the detriment of the film.

READ more

24 Mar 2017 // 8:24 AM

Mastodon: Emperor of Sand

Emperor of Sand is by no means a bad album, but there's little here that the band hasn't already explored.

READ more
The Microscopic Septet: Pioneers Across Jazz Boundaries

In the '80s, "The Micros" mixed tradition and avant-garde jazz with impunity and almost got famous doing it. Today they're just playing the blues.

READ more
Identity Is a Provocative Spectre Throughout Noel Malcolm’s ‘Agents of Empire’

In Noel Malcolm's important microhistory, we encounter complex individuals who appear resistant to simple categories, generalizations, or identifications.

READ more
Capping Off a (Somewhat) Extraordinary Journey: ‘Extraordinary X-men #20’

To go from the brink of extinction to a friendly baseball game is a journey that requires a lot more than 20 issues and a crossover event.

READ more
Will Johnson: Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm

Complex and incongruent, the songs of Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm linger like a West Texas wind, proving us all saints.

READ more
A Breezy Visit With Arthur Conan Doyle and His Most Famous Creation

With Arthur and Sherlock, Michael Sims seeks to answer how Arthur Conan Doyle went from modestly successful physician to world-famous writer of detective stories.

READ more

23 Mar 2017 // 2:59 AM

The Show Must Go Wrong

From Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction to the 2017 Academy Awards, the gaffe reveals that the system is not just broken; breaking is the system.

READ more
‘Allied’ and the Tired Fumes of Nostalgia

Despite an appealing cast, Robert Zemeckis' WWII romance relies too heavily on its influences and too little on engaging drama.

READ more
Chuck Berry’s Defiant, Ground-Shaking Rock

The late Chuck Berry's biggest hit may have undermined one of his greatest talents: his gift for storytelling.

READ more
Anthrax: For All Kings (7-Inch Box Set)

A set like this is less about the music and more about having something that says, "I am a fan, and this is the proof".

READ more
Red Baraat: Bhangra Pirates

Stripped-down production and intricate arrangements let Red Baraat get the party started on Bhangra Pirates.

READ more
Samantha Fish: Chills & Fever

Chills & Fever finds Samantha Fish injecting a dose of Detroit-bred garage rock into her paradigm of Memphis soul, Delta blues, and Motown R&B.

READ more
What Is It About Teens Behind Closed Doors That Scares Us So?

Jason Reid’s Get Out of My Room! takes us inside the private enclaves of the adolescent being, revealing both individual and collective anxieties and expectations.

READ more
‘Dirk Gently’ Season One Violates the Spirit of Its Source Material

Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently books were popular with fans, but this new BBC series strays too far from the spirit of the material to be considered a true adaptation.

READ more
‘Song to Song’: Malick On Repeat

Terrence Malick retreads familiar motifs and themes in yet another nebulous navel-gazer.

READ more
‘Song to Song’ Revels in the Chaos of the Austin Music Scene

With layered character development to accompany his typically arresting visuals, auteur Terrence Malick may have finally found a palatable balance between his visual and narrative poeticism.

READ more
‘A Little History of Economics’ Provides a Charming Overview of the Dismal Science

Niall Kishtainy, writing for a general audience, provides a breezy stroll through economic thought, from Plato to Thomas Piketty.

READ more
Green Day’s ‘Revolution Radio’ Tour Wallops Audience at Barclays Center

Billie Joe and co. are on the road for a supercharged tour -- and Trump is only stoking their fire further.

READ more

22 Mar 2017 // 9:01 AM

Béla Fleck: Juno Concerto

For his second foray into classical composing, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck enlists the help of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to bring to life the concerto inspired by his son, the titular Juno.

READ more
Formation: Look at the Powerful People

South London quintet, Formation, release a debut packed album with rich grooves tailor made for the dancefloor, but their socio-political ambitions fall disappointingly short.

READ more

22 Mar 2017 // 8:38 AM

Pallbearer: Heartless

Pallbearer’s third album Heartless exists outside of easy genre signifiers. This band is in a league all their own.

READ more
The Old Dominion in Song: Clipse and the Virginia Schism

Though the trappings may be different, the rhetoric layered beneath Lord Willin’ is a borrowed form of dubious justification that reeks of the Virginia slave system.

READ more
Spending the Night: Three Old Dark Houses Give Up Their Secrets

Chamber of Horrors, A Game of Death and Invisible Ghost bring '40s black and white thrillers to Blu-ray.

READ more
‘Welcome to Night Vale’ Is a “Welcome” Introduction to a Strange New World

Although it takes a while for the heart of Welcome to Night Vale to be revealed, it's ultimately worth the journey.

READ more
Born Anew: An Interview with Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash

Once a member of the mighty, shifting Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Nash now branches out on his own in gloriously unexpected ways.

READ more
Speed Bumps Are Dumb, and Other Thoughts on ‘Traffic’

Everybody hates traffic, but what should we do about it?

READ more

21 Mar 2017 // 9:30 AM

It’s Not Easy to Love Netflix’s ‘Love’

A hip, East L.A. backdrop, an indie soundtrack, fashionable faces -- yet Love is shockingly archaic in its depictions of heterosexual relationships.

READ more

21 Mar 2017 // 9:29 AM

Ed Sheeran Is Essentially the English Ginger Drake Now

÷ is the final step in Sheeran’s shift from baby-faced ginger kid whispering about class A’s over acoustic guitar to England’s version of a man who constantly refers to himself as "The Boy".

READ more
The Most Hated Woman in America: An Interview With Filmmakers Irene Turner and Tommy O’Haver

PopMatters spoke with writer Irene Turner and director Tommy O'Haver during SXSW 2017 about the remarkable life and death of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

READ more
Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things

Craig Finn's new album continues to differentiate his solo material from the Hold Steady, but without Tad Kubler's guitar heroics as a buffer, his lyrics can be pretty harrowing.

READ more

21 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

Anjou: Epithymía

Epithymía is ambient music at its grandest scale, molding a sense of sublime wonder through its six tracks.

READ more
Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Loafer’s Hollow

For their latest avant rendering of jazz and culture in a broader sense, MOPDTK take on trad jazz in a decidedly non-traditional manner, using literary titans from Pynchon to Joyce to Vonnegut as source material.

READ more
This Will Be the Last Time You Hear from Me: John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester

Universal Harvester won’t shock you or stay with you for a long time, but like most found footage movies, it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat along the way.

READ more
Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes

The British indie pop collective are still going strong ten years after their debut album. Their latest shows the remarkable consistency of their songcraft.

READ more

21 Mar 2017 // 2:02 AM

Natalie Hemby: Puxico

In the case of Natalie Hemby, she takes an old trope in dedicating an album to a small town and making it new again, all by her own means.

READ more
‘The Good Fight’ Goes Meta in “Stoppable: Requiem for an Airdate”

The return on Elsbeth Tascioni marks the best The Good Fight episode yet, even if that means Maia might be getting played by her father.

READ more
Sting Wraps up North American Leg of ‘57th & 9th’ Tour on Winteriest of Nights

Sting went back to rock on his latest album. His enjoyable tour covers the entirety of a phenomenal musical career.

READ more

20 Mar 2017 // 9:00 AM

Chuck Berry, O.G.

Chuck Berry was a black man who spent the majority of his career entertaining white audiences with music more deeply rooted in black culture than they ever thought to ponder.

READ more
There Is Only One Reality, and It’s Analog

Digital dystopians beware: the analog counterrevolution is here.

READ more
DeadPhish Orchestra Soars Over the Hills and Far Away in the Bay

There’s only band that actively seeks to mix Phish and the Grateful Dead together like Reese's Pieces and that’s the DeadPhish Orchestra.

READ more

20 Mar 2017 // 3:00 AM

The Improbable Birth of American Rock Writing

Paul Williams, the 17-year-old founder of Crawdaddy!, believed that rock 'n' roll could reach the aesthetic, political, and social equal of any other art form.

READ more
Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me

A Crow Looked at Me is a masterpiece in the manner of A Grief Observed and “She Will Find What is Lost”. These works create a special communion between creator and observer.

READ more

20 Mar 2017 // 2:20 AM

A7PHA: A7PHA

Alt-rap veterans Doseone and Mestizo combine for A7PHA's debut record, an experimental album that will challenge and bemuse many listeners but remains deeply original and technically fantastic.

READ more
Ruthie Foster: Joy Comes Back

Like all of Foster’s albums, this one contains a diverse selection of bluesy material with a folk-rock edge and a gospel bottom.

READ more
Science, Creativity, and Imagination (and the Earth)

Earth partners something even more unlikely than pumpkin and coffee or Nutella and bacon: an English professor and a planetary scientist.

READ more
The Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Fifty years on, the Grateful Dead’s debut gets the deluxe reissue treatment along with an early, previously unreleased live performance.

READ more
‘Personal Shopper’ Dancing With the Camera

Maureen's (Kristen Stewart) ongoing dance with the camera seduces you, because it is, after all, a dance with you.

READ more
‘After the Storm’ Is a Moving Story About People Trapped Between the Past and the Future

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest domestic drama, this one about a spiraling writer and the family he’s disappointing, is tightly observed as always but slighter than usual.

READ more
25 Classic Beatles Songs

They're not necessarily the “best songs” in their storied catalogue, but these are the songs through which (perhaps) we might gain the deepest appreciation for their popular genius.

READ more
‘Raw’ Feasts On Forbidden Flesh, Tastefully

Underneath all of Raw's blood and viscera is a carefully crafted weave of progressive and primal ideas that will keep you thinking long afterward.

READ more
Donald Byrd: Love Has Come Around - The Elektra Records Anthology 1978-1982

Donald Byrd’s late ‘70s/early ‘80s studio albums are sliced and diced in this newly issued collection of the most forgettable era of his otherwise illustrious and well-regarded career.

READ more
The View From There: Joan Didion’s ‘South and West’

Joan Didion went on the road 50 years ago. The trenchant observations, however fragmentary, are timely.

READ more

17 Mar 2017 // 8:27 AM

Lusine: Sensorimotor

Lusine strikes the same synapses as Tycho. That is Lusine's music feels designed to accompany visuals.

READ more

17 Mar 2017 // 8:12 AM

Pontiak: Dialectic of Ignorance

The Carney brothers’ latest album fumes with ominous portent but still holds on to the hope of a hopeless romantic.

READ more

17 Mar 2017 // 8:02 AM

Shobaleader One: Elektrac

Shobaleader One defy the expectations of what a band can do with electrifying reinterpretations of Squarepusher tracks.

READ more
Farewell Songs and New Beginnings in Late Night TV

How late night TV talk shows move on musically.

READ more
Colm Mac Con Iomaire Brings Pastoral Tranquility to Muldoon’s Picnic

NYC's Irish Arts Center hosts a regular literary/musical salon curated by poet Paul Muldoon and will offer free books on St. Patrick's.

READ more
The Enemy Within (and Beyond) in All-New Wolverine #18

Tom Taylor channels the spirit and passion of "Enemy of the State" and succeeds.

READ more
Being on TV Can Be Scary: Satire, Bassem Youssef and Jon Stewart on ‘Tickling Giants’

Daily Show producer Sara Taksler submits that comedy is a good way to reach supporters. But viewers can also be divided by fear.

READ more
‘Variety’ Is a Fascinating, Inviting Exploration Into the Concept

Analogous to the elements (i.e., atoms) generating the varied world around us, so too the elements of language can be rearranged to create a vast number of meanings.

READ more

16 Mar 2017 // 8:25 AM

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Curious Legacy of Outkast

When it comes to hip-hop, everyone remembers who kicked down the front door -- but no one remembers who opened the windows.

READ more
Kath Bloom: This Dream of Life

We're all dreams, evaporating before each other's eyes, within Kath Bloom's complicated folk, transcendent but grounded in human weakness.

READ more

16 Mar 2017 // 7:55 AM

Auto-Tune In or Out?

Those who would doubt the influence of music technology on the development of pop music need to remember that rock music would not be possible without the invention of the electric guitar.

READ more
Methyl Ethel: Everything Is Forgotten

Methyl Ethel might not forge anything very unique in their introspection, yet their power to possess still manages to yield results.

READ more
Lawrence English: Cruel Optimism

Lawrence English's Cruel Optimism is a noise-ambient gem and a work of pained beauty.

READ more

16 Mar 2017 // 7:30 AM

Ed Sheeran: ÷

There are plenty of fine songs here, as long as you can see them through the knobs and faders.

READ more
Swinging Two Hammers: ‘The Man Who Could Cheat Death’ and ‘The Skull’

Two British horrors with iconic stars about doctors who can't heal themselves and the women who love them.

READ more
City Plans and Vulcan Hands: Spiral Stairs’ Scott Kannberg Speaks

Doris and the Daggers is the first release from Spiral Stairs since 2009. Scott Kannberg explains what took so long. Spoiler? Life.

READ more

15 Mar 2017 // 2:30 AM

The Shins: Heartworms

Heartworms is a sonic course correction from 2012's Port of Morrow, but the songwriting is still spotty, so it's simply too little, too late.

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

The Moving Pixels Podcast Becomes the 'Beholder'

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to think that we would never be complicit with the dictates of an authoritarian regime, but Beholder reveals how complicated such choices can become.

READ the article