Latest Blog Posts

by Michael Barrett

2 Jun 2015

Unfairly cast aside  as tasteless during its time for its depiction of homosexuality, Staircase is a serious film in need of a second critical appraisal.

Time has not only been kind to Staircase; it’s also been illuminating. Directed by Stanely Donen and scripted by Charles Dyer from his play, the entire drama consists of Richard Burton and Rex Harrison playing an old gay couple sniping at each other in elaborately bitchy dialogue—which pretty much describes the currently acclaimed Britcom Vicious with Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

In 1969, mainstream critics found the movie tasteless. In the post-Stonewall era, gay activists like Vito Russo in The Celluloid Closet found it embarrassing because, in the context of just about zero depictions of homosexuality in cinema apart from cross-dressing psychos and suicidal sissies, the movie relies on the stereotype of the effeminate, limp-wristed, campy, mother-dominated queen instead of a politically preferred image of butch “mainstream” types. It was the era when one character in the supposedly progressive and groundbreaking The Boys in the Band asked “Why do we hate each other so much?” Films like Staircase and Robert Aldrich’s The Killing of Sister George were bleak instead of validating, and activists didn’t want that any more than they wanted movies about drag queens (even though there really were drag queens at Stonewall).

by PopMatters Staff

2 Jun 2015

PopMatters is looking  for a few part-time sales reps to sell in-category and brand advertising for the site.

These are perfect positions for people who work at other magazines in specific markets who want to add PopMatters to their rosters, MBA students, and people with relationships in the entertainment industries who are looking for extra income. These are commission-based positions.

Familiarity with PopMatters editorial is a must, as is a full understanding of our publishing mission.

Please send your resume to PopMatters Editor & Publisher, Sarah Zupko at at editor (at) popmatters.com and Managing Editor, Karen Zarker at zarker (at) popmatters.com. Email subject line: PopMatters Advertising Sales Rep.

by Brice Ezell

2 Jun 2015

The sing-along chorus  of the National Parks' 'Monsters of the North' is now met by a stunning lyric video replete with sharp nature images.

Photo: Justin Hackworth

In August 2015, the Provo, Utah band the National Parks will release their sophomore LP Until I Live. As the lyric video for album cut “Monsters of the North” reveals, however, this seven-piece outfit has already readied itself for the summer months. With elegant typeface laid atop a string of beautifully photographed nature imagery, “Monsters of the North”‘s lyric video feels like a whole summer rolled up into three minutes and 52 seconds. Combine that with a chorus that’s perfect for road-trip singalongs and you’ve got a fine aural/video pairing.

by Brice Ezell

2 Jun 2015

The Delaware-based Teen  Men have a new, self-titled LP out next week. You can stream the playful and melodic Teen Men exclusively on PopMatters.

Photo: Jessica Scarane

Teen Men take their name from a Playboy advert dating back to the ‘60s. The opening tune of their new, self-titled LP, “Hiding Records (So Dangerous)”, begins with a phrase that sounds like an alternate take on the Rugrats theme. From this, one can reasonably infer that “playful” is among the adjectives one can pin on the Delaware-based quartet. Yet this slightly goofy creativity exists not merely for the purpose of giggle-inducing; rather, it’s another dimension to Teen Men’s multi-colored sonic canvas. To hear these colors in play, you can stream Teen Men in full below.

by Brice Ezell

2 Jun 2015

The lush indie  folk of the new album by North Carolina's Songs of Water, Stars and Dust, is an enveloping musical experience.

In a short feature on American Songwriter, the North Carolina septet Songs of Water were asked what their turn-ons and turn-offs are. Their answer was simple:

Turn-Offs: false pretense

Turn-Ons: authenticity

These folks aren’t joking. One listen to Stars and Dust, the group’s gorgeous new LP, and you’ll find nary a hint of the former and the plenty of the latter. With a lush, emotional musical landscape that more often than not evokes the feel of a film score, Stars and Dust is a complex journey from beginning to end. From the piano-driven beauty of album highlight “She’s Only Sleeping” to the wide-eyed wonderment of closer “Chiaroscuro”, you’re bound to get lost in the many paths Songs of Water take. Stars and Dust is an apt title; by the time the album reaches its conclusion, you’ll have journeyed to the stars from the dust, and then back again.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Staircase' Is Gay in a Melancholy Way

// Short Ends and Leader

"Unfairly cast aside as tasteless during its time for its depiction of homosexuality, Staircase is a serious film in need of a second critical appraisal.

READ the article