The Amazing Pudding
More Recent Features

19 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

The current fad for all things New York New Wave has come to us via the NYC “hipster” scene, a scene defined by self-absorption and

READ more

19 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Photo credit: Kelly Davidson At first I thought Joe’s Pub was an odd venue choice for the Dresden Dolls, self-described as a “Brechtian punk

READ more

19 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Not everyone likes Belle & Sebastian. When Leo backed out of a birthday party to attend their final European gig of 2003, an annoyed friend helpfully

READ more

Here's 10 more watershed moments of the past year whose impact will most likely be felt long after Dick Clark's balls drop on New York City and Los Angeles.

READ more

Here's 10 more watershed moments of the past year whose impact will most likely be felt long after Dick Clark's balls drop on New York City and Los Angeles.

READ more
	Various Artists: Livin’, Lovin’, Losin’: Songs of the Louvin Brothers

The Louvin Brothers—Charlie and Ira—area rightly considered one of the great duos in country music history. From their remarkable harmonies and musicianship to

READ more
	Muddy Waters: Muddy Mississippi Waters Live

Everybody’s got a favorite bluesman story. My current favorite about Muddy Waters is set far in the distant past, just slightly after the time

READ more
	The Who: Tommy [Deluxe Edition]

Thirty five years ago, Pete Townshend embarked on an ambitious creative trek. Only in his mid-twenties, the Who’s chief protagonist sought to expand upon

READ more
	Jeff Ott: Will Work for Diapers

The two-disc Will Work for Diapers features 15 new songs from Fifteen frontman and political activist Jeff Ott. The album also contains re-workings of Fifteen songs

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	The Offspring: Splinter

After a three year hiatus from their last recorded effort, the Offspring had an opportunity to close out 2003 with a killer album. They could have

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Isolation Years: Inland Traveller

When was the last time you listened to a handsaw solo that opened a CD? Right from the start, you realize that Isolation Years’ debut

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Chris Gestrin: Stillpoint

The first aspect that you notice about pianist/composer Chris Gestrin on the album Stillpoint is that he likes to play with the aesthetics of

READ more
	Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Cassidy: Immortal Memory

Lisa Gerrard has been known more for her incredible work with Dead Can Dance than anything else. Still, her soaring solo work continues to create

READ more
	Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs: Revelations, Epiphanies and Fast Food in the Western Hemisphere

“I am a collector of things / And all of the pain it brings”, Guided By Voices mainman Robert Pollard sang two GBV box sets ago,

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Torque (2004)

Along with Will Yun Lee, Jay Hernandez provides bookends of street-cred color for pretty white star Martin Henderson.

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

It's a yuletide tale with all the trimmings: a trinity of homeless people, an infant foundling, the glittering lights of a snowy metropolis, Tokyo-cum-Bethlehem.

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Osama (2003)

The first film to be made in Afghanistan since the reported removal of the Taliban, Siddiq Barmak's Osama concerns the regime's many offenses.

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

My Baby’s Daddy (2004)

The high concept of My Baby's Daddy has three men and three babies trading reaction shots.

READ more

15 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Along Came Polly (2004)

Though plainly Ben Stiller's vehicle, Along Came Polly features an endearing, oddly delicate performance by Jennifer Aniston.

READ more
	Various Artists: West Side Chicago Blues

The chances are good that just hearing the phrase West Side Chicago Blues makes Magic Sam come to mind. One of the major figures of

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	James Yorkston: Someplace Simple EP

It has become commonplace for artists to release interim recordings between full-length albums. As fans we hope to catch either a glimpse of the future

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Weevie: Nighty Night—Deep Soul in Dub

The chill-out mix CD is the generic exotica collection of the early-21st century. Everybody’s got one out, be they American, European, or British,

READ more
Mice Parade: obrigado saudade

Ambient music and easy listening can exist dangerously close to one another’s borders.

READ more
	The Minders: The Future’s Always Perfect

A fortuitous meeting between the Minders’ chief songwriter, British ex-pat Martyn Leaper and Apples in Stereo leader Robert Schneider led to the release of the

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Rickie Lee Jones: The Evening of My Best Day

Coming out of semi-retirement a few years ago with a heartfelt album of cover songs, Rickie Lee Jones promoted it by playing a radio station

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Chuck Berry: Blues

“If you tried to give rock and roll another name,” John Lennon once said. “You might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’” True enough, perhaps, but though

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:03 AM

PopMatters speaks with Color Bars' Gerald Slevin about the new disc, the music business at large, and that often-hallowed New York scene. Just what is it about that city that makes it so musically special?

READ more

PopMatters Comic Book Feature by Michael David Sims - PopMatters' Multimedia Editor examines the recent tumult surrounding the firing & subsequent rehiring of Mark Waid, writer for Fantastic Four.

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

This is the kind of wish fulfillment that orphans dream about.

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

The 'Alternate Universe' concept has gone from a novelty to a requisite in modern comics.

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

The only thing that made this endeavor worthwhile was the fantastic art.

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

It's a story about superheroes without many of the usual trappings.

READ more

Max Barry has been called this generation's answer to George Orwell. But how bleak is his vision of the future, really? PopMatters books critic Nikki Tranter investigates.

READ more

Japanese popular culture now exerts a significant economic (and, by extension, political) force on the world markets.

READ more

14 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Are South African critics indeed displeased that Coetzee won, or is their kind of smarmy sensationalism going on, like a backhanded nod of national pride?

READ more
South Park: The Complete Third Season

In a world filled with bumbling and ineffectual adults, the boys are each other's only source of support and information.

READ more

13 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

S.W.A.T. (2003)

S.W.A.T. knows what it is, namely, an expensive, hyper-actionated, CD-selling, multi-raced and multi-buddied flick.

READ more

13 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Out of Time (2003)

The fact that Matt is a black man only makes these several lines of pursuit more complicated and more resonant.

READ more
Mad Love: The Films of Evgene Bauer: Vera Karall, Vitold Polonskii, Vera Dubovskaia - PopMatters Fil

Those who can see through the opulent décor, costumes, and chiaroscuro lighting will find some film-buffy delights.

READ more

13 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

The Man on the Train (L’Homme du train) (2003)

This may be the first film in history in which a man trying on a pair of slippers carries emotional resonance.

READ more

13 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary (2002)

Though she swears that she has come to believe in Hitler's inherent evil, she also uses the word 'love' several times to describe her one-time feelings for him.

READ more
L’Auberge Espagnole (2002)

Like many 24-year-olds, Xavier has a jumble of ideas in his head.

READ more
Various Artists: Festival in the Desert

More than anything else, the Festival in the Desert is a symbol of unity and peace between nomadic tribes. The Tamashek of northern Mali and

READ more
	Mountaineers: Messy Century

Some of the best debut albums come from young artists who grow up in remote, soul-crushingly mundane settings, who spend all their time holed up

READ more

12 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Ray Mason Band: Idiot Wisdom

Veteran roots-rocker Ray Mason is at it again. In a life rich with music (he’s also part of the alt-country band Lonesome Brothers), he

READ more
	Branford Marsalis: Romare Bearden Revealed

Love him or hate him, it’s difficult to deny that Branford Marsalis is an excellent musician. From his PhD dissertations in Art Blakey’s

READ more
	John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers: A Hard Road [remastered]

More an acquired taste than a mainstream sensation, John Mayall nonetheless merits mention in the annals of pop music’s most important artists. By dedicating

READ more
	Lucky Boys Confusion: Commitment

No band in recent memory has matured more between its first and second albums than Lucky Boys Confusion. The group’s 2001 major label debut, Throwing

READ more

12 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz: Part II

This here’s the sequel (that is, quickie cash-in followup) to Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz’s enormously successful Kings of Crunk album. It

READ more

12 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Striptease: From Gaslight to Spotlight by Jessica Glasscock

With surprisingly little attention paid toward the concept of the 'male gaze,' Glasscock, instead, frames her retrospective around the impact that these women have had on culture, both selectively and in entirety.

READ more
Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Reviewers should never reveal that critical plot pivot early in most suspense thrillers when the reader should stop and think about the protagonist's course of action. The 'give away point' you could call it.

READ more

12 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Mailman by J. Robert Lennon

Mailman's double life offers a penetrating critique of American social hypocrisy, embroiled in its own weird narrative, reluctant to respond to much outside of itself, and forced, eventually, to go on the run in search of escape from itself and the world it has made.

READ more
The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s: A Gay Life in the 1940s by Ricardo J. Brown

Three men with little in common save their sexual preference for other men and, because of the times in which they came of age, the need to keep that a secret from most of society.

READ more
Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan

Who but 'a manipulative egoist' could have created so much enthralling cinema? And who but 'a shriveled soul' would have wanted to?"

READ more
	Various Artists: Blues From Up the Country

In celebrating their 50th year releasing jazz and blues, Delmark is offering a budget-priced series that is not to be missed. Blues From Up the

READ more

10 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	The Pearlfishers: Sky Meadows

When Art Garfunkel released his 2002 album, Everything Waits to Be Noticed, a journalistic colleague of mine praised it to the heavens as a work of

READ more

10 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On [SACD Hybrid]

Let’s get this straight: this is no review of Gaye’s classic 1973 classic homage to “sex between consenting anybodies”. As spiritual and compassionate as

READ more
	Firewater: Songs We Should Have Written

There’s a circle of Hell reserved for music lovers that consists of nothing but bad covers of good songs. At first, seemingly harmless choices

READ more

10 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	The Frantic Flattops: Hi-Fi Honey Revisited

Every few years since the Stray Cats made it cool back in the early ‘80s, rockabilly makes a big “comeback”. Everyone goes nuts and floods

READ more

10 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Jesse Cook: Nomad

Jesse Cook and his flamenco guitar playing has been known in some parts of the world for a few years now, but he only seemed

READ more

10 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Closure: self-titled

Tonic and Nickelback are just two of the bands Closure attempt to ape on their self-titled debut album, as they try to take bits of

READ more

The movies were as dismal as the times. A year clouded by a slumping economy, lost jobs, broken alliances, a new war, reconstruction blues, SARS,

READ more

If the films shown at the New Czech Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music are any indication, to this day Czechoslovakia is a country of dueling emotions and opposite impulses.

READ more

In a year of blockbuster sequels, self-important prestige pics, and uninspired indies, the real film finds were few and far between. Here are the unexpected

READ more

The year’s cinematic output had everything to do with the complex cultural climate. Fearing mortality, yearning for connection, and lusting for vengeance appeared again

READ more

9 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

I love making lists, especially wish lists. And so I relish the opportunity to make a Top 10 of 2003 films as it will remind me to

READ more

It’s curious that something as seemingly random as a year’s worth of movies can somehow take on its own semi-coherent themes. Following 2001 (the

READ more

Judging by the horror films released in theaters and on video in the U.S. during 2003, the genre is undergoing yet another renaissance.

READ more

With the nearest cinema more than half an hour from my house, I have to really want to see a movie to make the journey. Who wants to add the waste of gas and good hour or so on the road to the money already spent on tickets and popcorn? My limited time at the movies, though, means I enjoy the experience more than if I took it for granted.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Raekwon: The Lex Diamond Story

Oh, it kicks off something lovely, no doubt. On the blade-concise “Pit Bull Fights”, over a frenetic bassline and itchy trigger horns, the Chef stakes

READ more
	Paula Kelley: The Trouble with Success or How You Fit into the World

Imagine grandiose, baroque pop, fully orchestrated with strings, horns, and a choir fronted by what sounds like a little girl’s voice. It’s actually

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Kill Hannah: For Never & Ever

Androgyny sells! Tight pants, tight shirts, snazzy scarves, wristbands, shoes, and of course, lots and lots of eyeliner. Boys who imitate girls attract more girls.

READ more
	Jimi Hendrix: Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Jimi Hendrix

Recently, Rolling Stone ran a feature on the one-hundred greatest guitarists of all time, and though it was worth flipping through to see who made

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Terry Hall & Mushtaq: The Hour of Two Lights

Terry Hall’s a man who’s not afraid to flirt with different musical genres, or to stay in any one musical incarnation for too

READ more
	Howie Day: Stop All the World Now

I had Australia for weeks—months maybe—before it struck me. The first few listens, I just wasn’t impressed; but when that one listen

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Dakona: Perfect Change

Vancouver’s Dakona have taken the typical route to releasing a major-label debut—I only hope they don’t end up like the majority of

READ more
	Thad Cockrell: Warmth & Beauty

Yep Roc have has some of the best Americana artists coming out from its roster, including Caitlin Cary. Thad Cockrell, while not exactly in the

READ more
	The Bevis Frond: New River Head

With the preponderance of ‘60s-rock influences on current indie music, it’s hard to remember how irrelevant the whole tradition was held to be in

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Paycheck (2003)

Michael (Ben Affleck) doesn't set out to control anything: he just wants to get paid.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Power Trip (2003)

The real villain, as Power Trip portrays it, is the corrupt Georgian government, led at the time by Eduard Shevardnadze.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Monster (2003)

Aileen is a terrifying specter, precisely because she's neither only a victim nor only monstrous. As Theron plays her, she swaggers and rationalizes, trusts and fumes.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

Nothing drains the life from great art like a well-intentioned attempt to explain away its mysteries.

READ more
Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

The actors are left with little to do but hustle from scene to scene: pratfall, pathos, hug, repeat.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Chasing Liberty (2004)

Chasing Liberty is another vehicle made to fit Mandy Moore's development as an artist.

READ more

8 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Big Fish (2003)

Edward is less obviously an outsider than Burton's other Edwards (Scissorhands and Wood), but equally filled with a winning sense of wonder.

READ more

What's most notable about the top stories in the world of sports for 2003 is how much they have in common with the controversies of years past. Racism, homophobia, and sexism all bubbled to the surface this year, just as they have done and will lamentably continue to do in the future.

READ more

7 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Then, at Christmas, I received my first video game . . . Suddenly I wasn't watching Harrison Ford act out Han Solo or playing with a tiny plastic doll of Han Solo: I was Han Solo.

READ more

You don't have to dress up, watch your weight, or worry about that zit on your chin, and you get paid a great chunk of change.

READ more

Has anyone the right to take an existing document and resurrect it in this manner?

READ more

7 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

NCAA March Madness 2004

As the game embodies the hoopla and excitement of college sports, it equally reflects its cultural politics.

READ more

7 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

While some would say that all art is political, and video games, as an art form, must then also be political, they would have to dig awfully deep in Double Dash!! to find politics worth discussing.

READ more

7 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Karaoke Revolution

It was only a matter of time before the likes of such a game was created. Something about getting to make an ass out of oneself in front of a crowd really thrills people.

READ more
Final Fantasy X-2

If FFX-2's consideration of feminine identity is schizophrenic, so too is its game play.

READ more

7 Jan 2004 // 1:00 AM

Conflict: Desert Storm II: Back to Baghdad

While creators of war simulations often strive for painstaking realism and historical accuracy, their earnest efforts inevitably come up short. Conflict: Desert Storm II is no different.

READ more

6 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Wellwater Conspiracy: self-titled

In a year in which releases from Broken Social Scene and the Postal Service garnered much deserved attention and admiration, it isn’t difficult suspending

READ more

6 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	Underworld: Underworld 1992 - 2002

Perhaps one of the most influential British music acts to ever hit the global dance scene, Underworld‘s long-awaited double disc anthology Underworld 1992 - 2002 contains 16

READ more

6 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	T-Love: Long Way Back

The most pathetic branding exercise in the history of hip-hop was the low rent Hatfield and McCoys of the East Coast/West Coast divide. Sadly,

READ more
	Small Brown Bike: The River Bed

When I first discovered punk rock as an awkward teenage kid, there would be no limit to the shows I would attend. In the summer,

READ more

6 Jan 2004 // 11:00 PM

	The Slackers: Close My Eyes

The axis of numerically ascending street and avenue. A Sabrett’s hotdog and a Coke stolen from a Manhattan cart. Christmas drinks in a Queens

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

'Hopscotch' is Anchored in Walter Matthau's Playful, Irascible Personality

// Short Ends and Leader

"With his novel, Hopscotch, Brian Garfield challenged himself to write a suspenseful spy tale in which nobody gets killed.

READ the article