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

 
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Thursday, Jul 6, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest


Releasing: 7 July 2006 (wide)
Cast:  Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stellan Skarsgard, Bill Nighy
Director: Gore Verbinski


Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos


Releasing: 7 July 2006 (limited)
Cast:  Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Shep Messing, Werner Roth, Giorgio Chinaglia
Director:  Paul Crowder, John Dower


A Scanner Darkly


Releasing: 7 July 2006 (limited)
Cast:  Keanu Reeves, Mitch Baker, Robert Downey Jr., Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson
Director: Richard Linklater



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Friday, Jun 30, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


White Whale —"The Admiral"
From WWI on Merge Records
In White Whale’s maiden voyage, WWI, all glory and honor is theirs. Amassing the power of the Big Star with the fury of the Sabbath (Black) and the mesmerizing wiles of the Badfinger, the gentlemen of White (F-in’) Whale are not afraid to ask the musical question “What’s an Ocean For?” Beware ye Decemberists and those who would set the Arcade (a)Fire, the Okkervil River can not contain the enormity of White Whale.



Sufjan Stevens —"The Henney Buggy Band"
From The Avalanche on Asthmatic Kitty
As 2005 came to a close, Sufjan returned to the old, forsaken songs on his 8-track like a grandfather remembering his youth, indulging in old journals and newspaper clippings.  The gathering that followed would become the setting for the songs on The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album.



The Charlatans UK —"Blackened Blue Eyes"
From Simpactico on Sanctuary Records
Simpatico. finds The Charlatans UK returning to the sound that made them UK chart toppers and festival headliners for many years, proving once again that they are still a vital force. No longer using his falsetto, lead singer Tim Burgess is in fine form as he continues to find the sweet spot where Dylan-inspired diatribes meet unstoppably contagious melodies – both obsess him.
 

Camera Obscura —"Let’s Get Out Of This Country"
From Let’s Get Out of This Country on Merge Records
Kicking off Camera Obscura’s brand new CD, Let’s Get Out Of This Country, “Lloyd” sets the table for nearly 40 minutes of pure pop bliss.  A wide variety of influences are in play – from Jimmy Webb to Lloyd Cole, from Connie Francis to Skeeter Davis; from the Supremes to the work of David Lynch - with the band crafting each into a sound that is uniquely their own.


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Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


Superman Returns


Releasing: 28 June 2006 (wide)
Cast:  Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey
Director: Bryan Singer
PopMatters review: Superman Returns


The Devil Wears Prada



Releasing: 30 June 2006 (wide)
Cast:  Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Tracie Thoms, Adrian Grenier
Director: David Frankel


Strangers With Candy



Releasing: 28 June 2006 (limited)
Cast:  Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director: Paul Dinello
PopMatters review: Strangers With Candy


Who Killed the Electric Car?



Releasing: 28 June 2006 (limited)
Cast:  Martin Sheen, Dave Barthmuss, Jim Boyd (II), Alec N. Brooks, Alan Cocconi
Director: Chris Paine



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Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


FEATURED ARTIST
The Ark
It’s PopMatters’ favorite band of the year so far.  Direct from Malmö, Sweden… glam is back, baby.
“Clamour for Glamour” [MP3]
multiple songs [MySpace]
multiple songs [player]
PopMatters review: State of the Ark
PopMatters interview: State of the Ark
PopMatters live review: State of the Ark


The Ark - Clamour for Glamour


The Ark - Father of a Son


Talkdemonic:
“Mountaintops in Caves” [MP3]


Giardini Di Miro:
“Othello” [MP3]


Beautiful New Born Children:
“Do the Do” [MP3]


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Friday, Jun 23, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


The Dr. Octagon Chronicles


DJ ESE featuring Bisc1 “Perfect World” (Life During Wartime Mix)
[MP3]


The Return of Doctor Octagon, Chapter 8: Dj ESE & Bisc1 “Perfect World” (Life During Wartime Remix)


Rob Sonic, Mike Relm, The Gray Kid and the staff of OCD stood behind the front door staring at it. Behind them, staring along with them via webcam were the other members of the Decipher project. It was time for an epic battle, and they all knew it. They wanted to believe from everything that had happened that Dr. Octagon was trying to present mankind a path to a better world, and this pesky alien tribe of Gorillas was trying to prevent him, and so they must fight. But was it all that simple? The facts seemed so confusing. Yet, they knew the time had come…


Rob clutched his sledgehammer tighter. Mike slowly twisted his nunchuks. Gray Kid slipped his razor-edged money clips out of his pocket, into his hands. Behind them, the monitor screens stared back at the scene, but the people behind had disappeared.


Rob kicked open the door, and the battalion of vigilantes stormed the yard outside only to be greeted by the sweltering stillness of a late Los Angeles evening. No Gorillas in sight. Only darkness. Silence.


They headed to the curb and looked down the street to the west, into the ocean. A faint rumble could be heard as something emerged on the horizon. Hummers. Big, huge, gigantic hummers.


Disciple 908 was right: the Gorillas were headed straight for OCD HQ, presumably for the master recording in the mp3 player that appeared mysteriously eight weeks ago. The Decipher crew had not only lead the Gorillas right to it, but had now been drawn out, like pawns in a chess game, away from the very item they have sworn to protect. Mike Relm and Gray Kid raced back inside the building to retrieve the mp3 player and keep it guarded. Rob Sonic and OCD staff stood ready to face the oncoming onslaught when gusts of wind picked up around them.


Looking up, they saw a stealth bomber arriving, hovering high above them. Small figures jumped out of the airplane and sped toward the ground with jetpacks. Rob gave a sigh of relief when he realizes that its members of the Money Fight and Cassettes Won’t Listen. As Drake landed, he ran to Rob and explained, “That’s Kid Loco’s plane. He powers it with some strong skunk… damn that plane flies high and light!”


With the reinforcements, the Decipher crew’s morale surged and they gathered to barricade the building. The Hummers approached closer and closer. The crew held their positions. The first Hummer screeched to a halt in front of the building. The crew held their positions. The front doors opened… and out popped a brown hi-top sneaker with neon blue stripes. It wasn’t Gorillas - it was DJ Ese and Bisc1 of Embedded Music.


“We don’t have much time,” announced Ese. “My guy’s got a pressing plant locked down in Simi Valley - let’s get the masters there and dupe Dr. Octagon’s message a.s.a.p. With packaging, we can flood the streets with them in a few days. That’s going to be the only way we can protect ourselves from the Gorillas.” With cheers of approval, everyone piled into the Hummers as fast as they could. At last, the Decipher crew could commit, with fair certainty, that Dr. Octagon’s message was good, no longer evil, and must be disseminated widely towards the betterment of the world.


As they drove off, a lowly intern in the back of the last Hummer in the caravan, turned to look out the back window at the OCD HQ building for one last time. He gasped; “who is that boney figure on the rooftop? He’s wearing a labcoat with a stethoscope around his neck, and seems to be holding the head of some black hairy creature in his hand.” The intern shook his head and looked again…


Dr. Octagon had disappeared…

DJ ESE featuring Bisc1 “Perfect World” (Life During Wartime Mix)
[MP3]


Previous Chapters:
Catchdubs “Al Green” (Chapter 2, Verse 908 Remix)
[MP3]
“A Gorilla Driving A Pick-Up Truck” -  Kid Loco (Banana Loco Remix) [MP3]
Cassettes Won’t Listen “Aliens” -  Hearing Aid Remix [MP3]
A Gorilla Driving a Pick-Up Truck -  Rob Sonic Road Rage Remix [MP3]
The Gray Kid Al Greezy remix [MP3]
Al Green: The Gray Kid Al Greezy remix [MP3]
Mike Relm 20-minute Return of Dr Octagon megamix [MP3]


The Return of Dr Octagon hits stores June 27th.


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