CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

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Thursday, Jan 22, 2015
by PopMatters Staff
PopMatters seeks essays on the musical aspects, the influences, and the legacy of Radiohead's The Bends, with emphasis on the record's importance in the grand scheme of music.

Pitch Deadline: 4 February 2015
Final Deadline: 19 February 2015
Contact: Sarah Zupko and Brice Ezell
Email: /

In 1992, Radiohead emerged with the monster hit “Creep”, which they then followed up with the full-length LP Pablo Honey in 1993. While “Creep” got the band’s name out there in a huge way, few expected the quantum leap forward in songwriting that is The Bends, Radiohead’s era-defining 1995 sophomore album. For many, The Bends marks Radiohead’s single-greatest statement, the de facto alternative rock album that trumps even the highly acclaimed OK Computer (1997).

The Bends is 12 songs, perfectly arranged, each running three to five minutes. Together they form the blueprint on which so many rock bands owe their entire careers, particularly those in the alternative rock fold. Even though Radiohead would go on to substantially deviate from this format with records like Kid A and Amnesiac, the formula established by The Bends is a cornerstone of ‘90s rock music.

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Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015
PopMatters seeks essays speculating what the future holds for the prolific Joss Whedon, and topics in the Whedon cannon that deserve a closer look, for forthcoming eBook.

Pitch Deadline: 9 February 2015
Final Essay Deadline: 12 March 2015
Contact: Valerie Frankel and Karen Zarker
Email: /
Email subject line: What Can We Expect from Joss Whedon?

We all know and love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, The Avengers, and the other big Whedon projects. But what’s on the horizon? Giant Marvelverse movies and tie-in shows? What about the smaller, long-rumored projects like Doctor Horrible 2, Ripper, Wastelanders and The Serving Girl?

Whedon recently created Bellwether Studios to produce Much Ado About Nothing and In Your Eyes. Will he do more more Shakespeare, like Hamlet? Film his decades-old scripts, like Afterlife? What of the beloved superhero, Wonder Woman?

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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
by PopMatters Staff

PopMatters is looking for talented music writers.

We’re looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and past alongside a cultural generalist perspective with strong interests in many areas of culture.



Regular CD reviews run 500-700 words and display a knowledge of music history and real genre expertise, rather than simply “I like this” or “I hate that”. They should employ a smart look at the music within its larger cultural contexts. Capsule reviews run between 100-150 words and writers are expected to write both long reviews as well as capsules, and keep up with tight deadlines.

Feature pieces are in excess of 1,200 words and look at a particular artist, genre, trend or happening within the music world. They also look at the intersection between music and other cultural forms such as film, TV, multimedia, fashion, and politics. These pieces can include artist interviews and profiles of an exceeding smart and critical nature.

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Monday, Jul 21, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
PopMatters seeks essays (1,200 to 3,000 words, usually) about any aspect of popular culture, present or past.

(If you are interested in pitching a review of some specific current work or performance, please contact the appropriate section editor.) We prefer careful analysis of the chosen subject matter with the intention of supporting an original thesis; we aren’t particularly interested in articles that merely want to promote their subject. An assessment of what ideological work a given pop culture phenomenon performs (i.e. what has allowed something to become popular, what’s at stake in its popularity besides money, how it is situated in a historical or geographical context, etc.) is especially welcome. Ideally essays will draw on sophisticated interpretive strategies derived from a theoretically informed point of view, but will be presented for a general reader in lively, accessible language.

For examples of the diversity of topics and range of approaches we welcome, please have a look at PopMatters features and columns archives.

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Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
We regularly provide curated lists of books for review, which we will order for you upon requested assignment, and we also welcome suggestions.

Deadline: None. This is a standing call.
Contact: Karen Zarker
Email: zarker at popmatters dot com

PopMatters seeks intelligent and open minds to review books covering the entire spectrum of popular culture, from the big guns of the megapublishers to the edgy voices coming from the radical indie presses. Ideal reviews provide contextual commentary and bring an historical awareness to the article—PopMatters book reviews are far more substantial than the average “liked it / hated it” review.

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