The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features
PopMatters’ 2017 Fall Film Preview: At Last, the Film Industry Awakens From Its Slumber

From Gary Oldman in The Darkest Hour to James Franco's meta-experiment Blade Runner: 2049 and Daniel Day-Lewis's final role, here are the movies you'll want to watch ... and a couple you might not.

READ more

28 Aug 2017 // 2:30 AM

Iron & Wine: Beast Epic

Sam Beam returns to his roots with a warm acoustic record which is often understated but packed with emotional power and arguably his strongest vocal performance to date

READ more
Akercocke: Renaissance in Extremis

After a decade in waiting, progressive black/death metal connoisseur Akercocke, returns with an enticing album of brutal intentions and twisted machinations.

READ more
Chris Speed Trio: Platinum on Tap

The ubiquitous saxophonist goes way forward and way back on this trio date.

READ more
Juiceboxxx: Freaked Out American Loser

Juiceboxxx offers a self-portrait of maybe the most energetic and gregarious loner "freak" ever to put an album on tape.

READ more
Time Travel Manga: What Would You Do If You Could Repeat the Past?

Time travel manga such as A Distant Neighborhood, Orange and Erased teach us a great deal about our shared humanity in these times.

READ more
‘The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains’ Is a Read You Won’t Regret

For a book about the worst of comic book bad guys, The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s good fun.

READ more
Literary Theory Gets Bloody in Laurent Binet’s ‘The Seventh Function of Language’

The Seventh Function of Language is either a grand farce or fashionable nonsense.

READ more
Do We Have to Explain Everything? Director Patricio Valladares on ‘Nightworld’

"...with my previous movie Downhill, that screened at FrightFest in 2016, a lot of people were bothered by the fact that I left things in the plot without explaining them."

READ more
Sleazy ‘Good Time’ Takes You to the More Squalid Precincts of the Human Spirit

This riveting crime thriller from the Safdie Brothers is like the slimy friend that knows all the best dives.

READ more

25 Aug 2017 // 7:01 AM

The Flipside #5: Chris Cornell’s ‘Scream’

In 2009, Chris Cornell took the biggest risk of his career, and by most accounts he flopped spectacularly. But does Scream look any better in hindsight?

READ more
Vic Mensa: The Autobiography

While it may not be his most innovative offering, detailed execution and honesty make it worthwhile.

READ more
Noah Preminger Talks About His Bold Jazz Protest Album, ‘Meditations on Freedom’

Protest music is both an empathizing artform and an empowering oppositional force. Saxophonist Noah Preminger has taken his own stand, releasing his sixth album on Inauguration Day.

READ more
Bodies of Water: Spear in the City

Bodies of Water describe themselves as a gospel group, but their sound is more indie rock meets soul than traditional gospel. And that turns out to be a really good sound.

READ more
The Jerry Douglas Band: What If

Dobro wizard Jerry Douglas returns with a virtuosic septet in tow on the jaw-dropping, highly enjoyable What If.

READ more
On Debut Novelist Sally Rooney’s 21st Century Adultery Novel for the Internet Age

Irish writer Sally Rooney's methodical, calculated, ultimately rewarding debut novel, Conversations With Friends, explores real love lost, found, and transformed.

READ more
Hammering Hard With Worthy Themes in ‘Generations Unworthy Thor & The Mighty Thor #1’

The life of two worthy souls become entwined in an all-too familiar, but still worthy narrative.

READ more
The British Museum, Hans Sloane, and the Visceral Stories of the Objects He Collected

Collecting the World captures the insatiable curiosity of Hans Sloane and his desire to collect and catalogue as much of the world as a man and a museum could.

READ more
Various Artists: Inner Peace - Rare Spiritual Funk and Jazz Gems

Collecting rarities from the vaults of Mainstream Records, Inner Peace acts as both a fine showcase for the label’s founder and producer Bob Shad, as well as a shag-carpeted aural time capsule.

READ more

24 Aug 2017 // 7:53 AM

Ben Gibbard: Bandwagonesque

Gibbard's tribue to Teenage Fandclub overcomes any aspect of mere novelty and stands proudly on its own.

READ more

24 Aug 2017 // 7:40 AM

A Giant Dog: Toy

A Giant Dog throws listeners a bone with Toy.

READ more
Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far From Over

The everywhere-at-once pianist has recorded with his sextet, using a bank of horns for the first time and touching several different modes. An album of surprise, tradition, and exploration. But it grooves too.

READ more
‘Blade II’ Pioneers the Marvel Sequel Yet Remains Hopelessly Outdated

If Blade reflected its time in 1998, Blade II, despite of-the-moment visual effects dazzling action, feels like a film from an earlier era.

READ more
‘Sekret Machines: Gods’ Reiterates: All Religion Is UFO Religion

With Tom DeLonge and co-author Peter Levenda playing “the role of an intellectual Indiana Jones”, Sekret Machines: Gods provides plenty of intriguing intel about the Phenomenon.

READ more
No ‘Idiot Brain’ Is an Island

If you want the human brain explained to you, it's best to consult an amateur comedian.

READ more
Junkies, Wannabe Artists, Criminals and Other Temporary Friends in ‘The Customer is Always Wrong’

Throughout all of Pond's graphic memoir/confessional, her funny, biting, and overall authentic voice is brought to life with her expressive ink and watercolor panels.

READ more
Everything Was Fine Until It Wasn’t: ‘The Ends of the World’

Connecting deep time with human time and the picturesque with the disastrous, The Ends of the World shows that there may be inescapable consequences for our history and habit of improvident behavior.

READ more
Paul Bergmann: Nothing at All

Paul Bergmann's sophomore release won't have you smiling, but it may grow on you nonetheless.

READ more
Richard X. Heyman: Incognito

Heyman's catchy guitar lines and pleasant vocals create an agreeable sound without ever getting buried under their own weight.

READ more
Still Those Songlines Sing: Tori Amos Talks About ‘Native Invader’

Tori Amos talks about some of the themes and inspirations behind her new record Native Invader, and why her upcoming tour will see her become “the rock ‘n’ roll Angela Merkel".

READ more

23 Aug 2017 // 2:30 AM

UNKLE: The Road, Part 1

UNKLE's James Lavelle alternates slow, contemplative material with faster, darker pieces to excellent, fulfilling effect.

READ more

23 Aug 2017 // 2:20 AM

Sannhet: So Numb

Without changing their identity, Sannhet travels deep within their core to further progress their unclassifiable sound on So Numb.

READ more
The Mynabirds: Be Here Now

The mix of force and sensitivity makes it a valuable statement in a difficult time.

READ more
De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin Is Far More Menacing and Relevant Today Than His Travis Bickle

What is it about Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy that made its menace too intense for audiences than other gangster dramas of the '80s?

READ more
‘ORAKL’ Brilliantly Breathes New Life Into Georg Trakl’s Poetry

Daniel Pantano is creator as much as translator, mixing and sampling the works of Georg Trakl in a collaborative endeavor.

READ more
‘The Poetry of Pop’ Takes a Scholarly Look at Lyrics Both Profound and Vapid

The Poetry of Pop is a testament to the power, craftsmanship, and worthwhile intent of even the most ostensibly thin tunes.

READ more
‘Sine Mora EX’ Builds a Beautiful Bullet Hell

There is a lot to look at that threatens your life in this bullet hell game before even considering how wicked everything else around you looks.

READ more
Machine Woman: When Lobster Comes Home

Machine Woman stakes her claim for best new techno artist on teeth-rattling, new EP.

READ more
Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude

The composer and drummer at the forefront of the New Jazz presents his trio—but the slow, deliberate, brilliant music is much more "jazz piano trio" music. It is a soundscape of astonishing detail.

READ more

22 Aug 2017 // 7:20 AM

Gordi: Reservoir

Gordi's debut seamlessly blends epic electronic soundscape with intimacy in lyricism and folk sensibilities, even if it pulls a little too often from Justin Vernon’s toolkit.

READ more
Conversation Peace: An Interview with Bruce Sudano

While "impostors to the throne" hold court, chart-topping songwriter Bruce Sudano searches for common sense and compassion on 21st Century World.

READ more
Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer: Not Dark Yet

Musicians and sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer duet together for the first time on an album that strongly covers and links songs with ease and style.

READ more
Maximal Minimal: The Legacy of Versatile Artist Tony Conrad

The former member of Lou Reed's The Primitives yearned to free himself of composition, to strive toward a new paradigm found in minimalism.

READ more
‘Goodbye, Things’, on Japanese Minimalism, Requires a Certain Maximalist Means

Sasaki's simplify-your-life minimalism plan requires a certain amount of disposable income to achieve.

READ more
Close Encounters of the 4th Kind with the Sun Ra Arkestra in San Francisco

Allen leads the Arkestra in building a steady groove with layers of rich horn melodies over a tribal beat, with a torchy female vocal about those feisty angels and demons on the cosmic plane.

READ more

21 Aug 2017 // 8:43 AM

Hollow Everdaze: Cartoons

Psychedelic pop '60s style meets '90s shoegaze in a record that sadly sounds like an album's worth of decent filler tracks without the singles or highlights.

READ more

21 Aug 2017 // 8:31 AM

Photay: Onism

Photay's full-length debut is is jam-packed with dense instrumentals that take inspiration from all over the world and all over the musical spectrum.

READ more
Dent May: Across the Multiverse

With his fourth full-length, tunesmith Dent May finally settles into a persona well-suited to his particular brand of technicolor retro-pop, resulting in one of the best pop albums of 2017.

READ more
Being Human: Rag’n'Bone Man and the Authenticities of Voice

Human fits alongside the works of Alabama Shakes and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, but can Rag'n'Bone Man's distinctive gospel-blues voice find a place on the American charts?

READ more
‘Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays’ Attempts to Escape the Progress Trap

Recovering the sacred for a secular mindset, Paul Kingsnorth restores the awe and the caution of the numinous.

READ more
The War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding

The War on Drugs have always had a way of conjuring sweepingly romantic images of the open road, but A Deeper Understanding finds them as desolate and far from home as they've ever been.

READ more
Sabahattin Ali’s ‘Madonna in a Fur Coat’: The Turkish Novel That Refuses to Die

Maureen Freely, president of English PEN, talks with PopMatters about this slim, decades-old romance that has emerged as a symbol of resistance in the face of brutal state repression.

READ more
Sziget Festival 2017: 25 Years of Love, Part 2

The 25th anniversary celebration of the great cultural events sees somewhat smaller crowds, promises major changes in the next quarter of a century, and the love keeps growing.

READ more
Chantal Akerman’s ‘Jeanne Dielman’ in Many Ways Strikes One As a Vermeer Painting Come to Life

This remarkable film shares many qualities with Vermeer’s paintings of domestic interiors in its obsession with frontality and its exquisite concern with the rich textures of Interior space.

READ more
Consumption, Performance, and ‘The Agony of Eros’

Byung-Chul Han argues that love, sex, and even theory are disappearing in consumer cultures because our systems of finances and behaviors erode the Other in favor of sameness.

READ more
‘Logan Lucky’ Is an Oftentimes Funny Mishmash of Absurdism and Realism

Filled with colorful characters and playful plot twists, this hillbilly heist proves that Steven Soderbergh still loves a good con game.

READ more
‘Brexit and the British’ Examines the Emotional State of a Divided Union

With tempers frayed and friendships tested following the Brexit referendum, it's easy to lose sight of what it means to be British at all.

READ more
Monk and Coltrane Return to Vinyl: A Conversation with Producer Nick Phillips

The classic 1957 studio encounters between a mature Thelonious Monk and an up-and-coming John Coltrane are now remastered for high-quality vinyl. The music deserves it.

READ more
Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

The immigrant punks of Gogol Bordello are back with odes to world wandering and anarchic party spirit on Seekers and Finders.

READ more
Ray Wylie Hubbard: Tell the Devil I’m Gettin’ There as Fast as I Can

Call him the people’s poet laureate of Texas. Ray Wylie Hubbard delivers another collection of spare, beautiful songs of grace and damnation.

READ more
Pyrrhon: What Passes for Survival

Technical death metal outfit Pyrrhon returns with their most captivating record in What Passes for Survival, establishing their position in the pantheon of the genre.

READ more

18 Aug 2017 // 2:00 AM

‘Narcos’ and the Trap of Tropicalism

How the Netflix original series Narcos “otherizes" Colombia and the Latin American through its single-story focus.

READ more
Legacy, Family, and Ninjas in ‘Marvel Generations: Wolverine & All-New Wolverine #1’

This comic is worth its weight in dead undead ninjas.

READ more
‘Arithmetic’ Delightfully Yields Anything But Obvious Results

What looks like a simple topic becomes a surprising trip into unexpected worlds in Paul Lockhart's beautifully executed Arithmetic.

READ more
Sziget Festival 2017: 25 Years of Love, Part 1

The iconic week-long festival in Budapest -- possibly the most diverse cultural event in the world -- welcomes its 8-millionth visitor and celebrates a quarter century of love and freedom.

READ more
A Nice Guy in Noirland Reaches ‘The Breaking Point’

This 1950 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not features John Garfield and director Michael Curtiz at their best.

READ more
The Way Is the Goal: A Revealing Talk with KMFDM’s Sascha Konietzko

"I was not musically inclined to begin with," says Konietzko, "I came to music from a technical point of view. Like ‘How do you make sounds like this. How do you make dub reggae?’"

READ more

17 Aug 2017 // 2:30 AM

Steven Wilson: To the Bone

With To the Bone, his foray into '80s progressive pop, Steven Wilson does something unusual: he writes happy songs.

READ more

17 Aug 2017 // 2:15 AM

Black Asteroid: Thrust

Rather than channeling misery, Thrust has a way of inflicting it.

READ more

17 Aug 2017 // 2:15 AM

The Accidentals: Odyssey

The Accidentals deftly blend a mélange of musical influences on their major label debut.

READ more
Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Myth, Truth, and Anger

Daniel Wolff examines how one tragedy in 1913 Calumet Michigan survived through the anger of topical folk music to be told by self-mythologized characters Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

READ more
‘Orphan Black’ Closes With a Reaffirmation of the Power of Sisterhood

The way Orphan Black always put women at the center of its story, never shortchanging their complexity for likability or easy solutions, is what will be most remembered and missed.

READ more
‘T2 Trainspotting’ Is Just ‘Porno’ Repackaged

Irvine Welsh’s pacey, gritty, but often daft, follow-up to Trainspotting receives another printing run, but to what purpose?

READ more
“To Penetrate the Fug of Things”: On Trump’s Response to Charlottesville

Rationality, in the moral sense, is an act of love because it is an attempt to bring the world closer, not drive it away. Rationality is not an inherent human trait, it is a choice.

READ more
Ann Powers’ ‘Good Booty’ and the Connection Between Eroticism and Popular Music

This is how American music got its sexual groove on.

READ more
‘David Lynch: The Art Life’ Pulls the Garmonbozia Directly Out of the Auteur Himself

This insightful documentary brings advanced closure to lingering questions we may have when Twin Peaks: The Return ends its triumphant televisual revival in September.

READ more
Oneohtrix Point Never: Good Time Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

One of the finest electronic musicians of this era continues his hot streak with the Good Time motion picture soundtrack.

READ more

16 Aug 2017 // 2:20 AM

KMFDM: Hell Yeah

KMFDM's 20th studio album is a stirring, brutal rally cry against fascism, conformity, and America’s new administration.

READ more
Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano: Compassion - The Music of John Coltrane

Two very different saxophonists revisit a rare set of tunes on an anniversary John Coltrane's death. Original, bracing, excellent.

READ more
The Relentlessly Hopeful Comedy of ‘The Last Leg’

Political comedy is necessary these days. But hope is even more so. Thankfully, The Last Leg provides both.

READ more
‘The Many Lives of Catwoman’ Captures the Many Influences of This Multifaceted Superhero

Author and comic book historian Tim Hanley explores the far more than nine lives of DC’s Catwoman in this thoroughly in-depth biography/cultural contextualization.

READ more
Franz Hessel’s ’ Reprinted Walking in Berlin’ Celebrates the Observant Urban Stroller

Reading Walking in Berlin is the next best thing to traveling back in time to visit the capital of the Weimar Republic as it was in 1929.

READ more
‘The Bold Type’ Is Fun, But It Could Go Bolder

Is the vibe of sincerity real in The Bold Type, or merely a veneer applied like a coat of pretty nail polish because suddenly, feminism is fashionable?

READ more
Roger Waters: Is This the Life We Really Want?

It’s not quite a lost Pink Floyd album, but it gives a sense of what they might sound like now.

READ more
Kasey Chambers: Dragonfly

Australian roots artist Kasey Chambers creates a stunning statement, bold and big and essential, with Dragonfly.

READ more
Dancing the Tango Through Mao’s Cultural Revolution With Argentinian Pancho and His Orchestra

On Shanghai dance halls of the late '30s and a vinyl tango artifact that survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

READ more

15 Aug 2017 // 2:30 AM

Grizzly Bear: Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear returns with Painted Ruins, the band's best album to date.

READ more
‘Stalker’ Warns of a World Where Escape Can Lead to New Forms of Imprisonment

Tarkovksy’s cinema dialogues with the current chaos of rising authoritarian regimes in the West and the threat of nuclear devastation as the United States and North Korea rattle their sabers.

READ more
Sacha Guitry’s ‘La Poison’ Is a Small, Sour Masterpiece of Provincial Satire

This is a very dark and sardonic explosion of all the polite conventions that grease society -- and other movies.

READ more
Circles Around the Sun Take Orbit at Terrapin Crossroads

It’s only the first song of the night, but the band is soon in “the zone” as they go on to deliver a sensational 30-minute opening jam.

READ more
Frank Turner Lives for the Show, and the Show Is Almost Always on the Road

While the gold standard for tour diaries may still be Rollins' Get in the Van, Turner's memories of more than a thousand gigs in The Road Beneath My Feet are entertaining and heartfelt.

READ more
‘The Devil’s Bargain’: Some Men Just Want to Watch America Burn

Joshua Green’s swift and incisive political war story tells how Steve Bannon's years-long nationalist insurgent campaign culminated in the election of Donald Trump.

READ more
Moon Diagrams: A Lifetime of Love

Moon Diagrams' debut merges an intriguing, genre-hopping beginning and end with a lackluster middle section of extended ambient dance tracks.

READ more
Dusty Springfield: The Complete Philadelphia Sessions - A Brand New Me

Two recording sessions separated by one album are compiled on this collection to represent the cohesive recordings Dusty Springfield made with production team Gamble and Huff.

READ more
I Wanna Destroy: An Interview with EMA

EMA talks with PopMatters about her new album Exile in the Outer Ring that tackles issues like the harmful effects of gentrification and the political divisions rife in our societies.

READ more
The Wordless Protagonist of ‘Leaf’ Doesn’t Save the World—Just Improves It

The absence of life-or-death consequences in Daishu Ma's debut graphic novel lowers the stakes while raising the novel’s quiet complexity.

READ more

14 Aug 2017 // 2:30 AM

Jay-Z: 4:44

Already one of the greatest rappers in history, this is the kind of late-career artistic gem that will cement Jay-Z’s place on rap’s Mount Rushmore.

READ more
‘Twin Peaks’ and Its Twisted Reflection

The return of Twin Peaks fundamentally reshapes the theme of the entire text, refashioning it into a meditation upon reflection, and the inability to know oneself.

READ more
‘Annabelle: Creation’ Assaults the Senses From All Angles

David F. Sandberg takes a straightforward approach to horror in this atmospheric, immersive, The Conjuring spinoff.

READ more
Crowd Pleasing ‘Step’ Brims With Humanity and Courage

Amanda Lipitz’s debut feature is an unrepentant hug in a world more accustomed to gut punches.

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

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article