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

 

Latest Posts

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

Chan-andel-ler Bong. Drink the fat. Phil Spiderman. The Miami Vice soundtrack… does it ever stop being funny? Even if it did lose its edge towards the end, Friends remains, well, TV perfection. Especially in those early seasons when the insights into relationships and the mid-‘90s, mid-20s, what-do-we-do-with-our-lives struggle ruled every episode. This isn’t the first complete series release, but it’s certainly the prettiest (so far, anyway). Included here: a gorgeous scarlet box with six flip-book DVD cases that chronicle the ever-changing hair-dos of the Friends cast; a 60-page booklet containing contents and information about the set; 40 discs containing all 236 episodes of the show, as well as featurettes, quizzes, photos, gag reels, and heaps more. This is the ultimate collection for Friends adorers. [Amazon]


 


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

In jazz, it’s dangerous to your reputation to be too popular; we critics prefer the obscure and the daunting.  Particularly since jazz became a self-conscious “art form,” a musician’s legacy has been better served by a frown or an addiction that by a wide swath of joy. If You’ve Got to Ask, You Ain’t Got It, a three-disc compilation of the finest music made by jazz pianist, composer, and singer Thomas “Fats” Waller, has arrived to blow that algorithm sky-high.  It is a mighty blast of joy and a hurricane of artistry, as fresh and light and sublime today as it was 70 years ago.  If you have the slightest interest in jazz or the American pop song tradition, this box set should be your best friend and companion deep into the cold weather.  It’s a warm blanket and a life support system, a perfect holiday gift and a cherished friend on a long slushy drive.  It’s a perfect smile to last you all night long. [Amazon]



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

Everybody knows somebody who loves Michael Jackson.  Say what you will about ‘The King of Pop’ (it’s all been said before), you’ve gotta love his moves, or at least, someone you know does.  His transformations – as a singer, dancer, and boogie man—are captured in these singles which span his career from 1979’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” to 1997’s “Blood on the Dancefloor”.  One side of the CD is audio; flip it over for the DVD and a kick-ass lesson in how to dance.  Each boxed set is numbered, giving this sharp little present that extra bit of caché. [Visionary: The Video Singles]


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006

At one time, Wonder Showzen was the new “it” phenomenon – a corrupted kid-vid concept brilliantly realized and abstractly insane. It was Pee Wee’s Playhouse if that magnificent man-child Paul Reubens’ porn store persona had run the show, a sensationally sick perversion turned into a proto-pedophilic playtime. After a brilliant first season, some feel that creators Vernon Chatman and Johnny Lee went overboard in series two, going for simple Red State targets with their unabashedly political take on Hee Haw, Horse Apples. But the fact is that no other recent series has taken on the sacred cows and untouchable taboos of our pro-child society as astutely and caustically as this definitive dada-esque satire. Get both DVD sets now before some state wises up and bans this genuine genius effort all together. [Amazon]


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 12, 2006
by PopMatters Staff

Matthew Ryan
From A Late Night High Rise


“And Never Look Back”
“Babybird”


 


“From the first wave of symphonic keyboards to the last utterance of good advice FROM some accidental RF, From a Late Night High-Rise is a masterful rumination on mortality and morality. It’s an epic to behold.

 


Matthew Ryan has wandered around the edges for years now. Originally perceived as an alt-country troubadour, Ryan has slowly made his case for a more adventurous and cinematic American Singer/Songwriter. You get the feeling he doesn’t care much for anything that resembles a hollow victory. He’s clearly chosen the hard way. From major labels to small labels to indie labels to DIY and back again; he continues to follow some stubborn compass that keeps him quietly searching for his version of perfect weather in a song. All the while amassing a loyal following, a growing resume of film and television placements and a mountain of critical acclaim.

 


From a Late Night High-Rise is a movie without film, it’s a novel without a book. It’s absolutely beautiful, precise and unflinching. It’s music that glows like a city from high up in an airplane—first appearing alien, then blooming completely human. Shaken by the sentencing of his brother to 30 years in prison and the death of a dear friend, Ryan took to recording and writing songs on his Korg D16 Porta Studio to cope with his grief. “Follow the Leader”,“Gone for Good”, “Love Is the Silencer”,“Victory Waltz” and “The Complete Family” were all recorded at home. Those recordings were the seeds that would become From a Late Night High-Rise.”—00:02:59 LLC



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.