Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 

Latest Posts

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The latest tune by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is, unsurprising for these guys, a retro-minded piece of rock and roll.

Those who remember the psychedelic color washes of Oasis’ “Shock of the Lightning” are sure to feel right at home when watching the latest music video by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, “In the Heat of the Moment”. The tune is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming sophomore LP, Chasing Yesterday. The album finds Gallagher producing and writing all the music.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
Nashville musical mystic Stone Jack Jones has released his newest single, "Circumstance", a song where a lone banjo gives way to rising and falling verses, with spectral vocals creaking throughout a long-rotten homestead on late autumn winds.

After an eight-year musical hiatus, Nashville musical mystic Stone Jack Jones released his third album, Ancestor, earlier this year. Describing his music in a recent mini-documentary on the making of Ancestor, Jones noted, “Despite my nature and inclination to disappear into the dark, my friends have the tendency to rouse me and lead me towards the light. Without them there would be no story told.”


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
This will intrigue those who value the creative freedom of the genre, alienate those with conservative views of the genre, and confuse anyone expecting the typical Hollywood affair.

Johnny Yuma (1966) begins with three Spaghetti Western goons riding out of a desert and approaching a colorless Mexican farmhouse where our hero, the shiny faced Johnny Yuma (Mark Damon), is holed up. The goons have the grimy mugs of Sergio Leone’s classic villains, but they aren’t frightening. Their grimaces are kind of funny and the eye patch of the leader seems rather like a clown’s prop. Next to the candy-corn eyed Yuma, however, they are believable enough. 


When they try to bully Yuma into giving them his horse, he invites them in to talk business. They enter the house to a series of slow drum-rolls, and Yuma uses his reflection in a mirror to bait their bullets before shooting them down with his own. He then hooks-up, in a broom closet, with the easily impressed Mexican mistress of the house, before riding off in his flamboyant red shirt into the beautiful desert setting while the memorable title song, composed by Nora Orlandi, tells us of his greatness.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
P.T. and The Shining engender obsession not by chance, not by contrivance, but by carefully and expertly placing the building blocks for our own self-constructed labyrinth, our playful search for meaning in art.

I love the scene in The Shining when Jack Torrance at his absolute craziest is outside the door where his wife and son are hiding. Right before he slams his axe into the door and before the iconic line “Here’s Johnny” is spoken, he plays the role of the Big Bad Wolf: “Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin? Well then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.” He is about to murder his family in a terrible fashion, and his big terrifying taunt is a line from a classic children’s story. It’s a freakish manifestation of fatherly behavior, calling upon a classic bedtime story to chill you to the bone in a film drenched in father-son psychosis.


The Shining begs for this level of minute theorycrafting and analysis. It is packed to the brim with weird inconsistencies, impossible machinations, and bizarre references. At one point during the film, Jack reads a magazine in a hotel lobby, and if you look closely, it’s an issue of Playgirl, a pornographic magazine. Exploring the minutiae of the film and its various themes is like exploring the labyrinth of hedges just outside the Overlook Hotel. The search for meaning in art is itself engaging and inherently playful.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
We have an amazing contest for our readers featuring Cinda Williams Chima's Heir Chronicles series and an OontZ Angle speakers, as well as a 3-month subscription to Spotify.

The Heir Chronicles series by Cinda Williams Chima keeps readers glued to their seats through riveting fight scenes, deadly political machinations, burgeoning romance, and the unfolding intrigues of a contemporary magical world.


 
—ENTER TO WIN—
 

Chima‘s final book in the series is The Sorcerer Heir, which released this week via Disney Hyperion. The Sorcerer Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to hate) from the earlier installments.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.