Monday, March 26 2007
It's impossible to listen to music in a vacuum, to take the sound of a band on its own merits. There are so many outside factors at play – reviews, friends opinions, larger cultural influences . . .
Sunday, March 25 2007
True metal believers or a mousse-abusing joke? Begrand explores how Manowar, one of the most polarizing and contradictory metal bands of all time, can simultaneously flaunt Spinal Tap-isms and ignite a crowd of 30,000 screaming fans.
Thursday, March 22 2007
The news, television, and films all reinforce the idea that there is something wrong with even the hint of homosexuality.
Speech involves saying something individual in a rigid system of conformity. Music seems to attempt something similar -- or, more appropriately, people attempt something similar through music.
Wednesday, March 21 2007
The world’s two most dominant forces will usher in new regimes in 2008. Thompson offers insights into the next Russian presidential election and its diverse cast of players.
Tuesday, March 20 2007
With Fight Club, whether he intended to or not, Palahniuk has shown us that fascism can be created right before our eyes, almost invisibly, and we won’t even see it happening.
Caught in the cultural clash between east and west, Pamuk struggles to balance his political beliefs and astonishing international literary success in a way modern Turkey can accept.
Monday, March 19 2007
Maybe the sun has set on the days of the cassette tape, a format that made you work for your music. Huff, feeling nostalgic for the "fast forward" and "rewind" buttons, makes his own theoretical cassette mix of oddball hip-hop tunes.
Sunday, March 18 2007
Each child named with a presidential surname is in fact a living memorial to that president. So if we count these living memorials, we'll know who the best US presidents really were.
Thursday, March 15 2007
Animated Soviet Propaganda, a recently released collection of cartoons the Russians commissioned to indoctrinate children with the presumed moral superiority of communism, reminds us how nice it is to have prejudices aroused and confirmed.
Wednesday, March 14 2007
Extreme was the nature of the Macc Lads' music, as was the nature of reactions to it. Within their deftly created insular world, traits of civility, sensitivity, and compromise were anathemas. Therein lay the foundation of their punk-inspired wit.
Tuesday, March 13 2007
Are celebrity “girls” really the only gender that’s “gone wild”? Or has the media gone mad -- and misogynistic?
Our intrepid traveller summarizes many journeys past, as she prepares for another in Bengal.
Monday, March 12 2007
If hip-hop is an art, or a larger entity such as a culture, then we must be able to assess it. No body survives unchecked, so what sets hip-hop apart? As its producers and participants, fans and Stans, we must be able to navigate conversations about our actions.
Having grown up as the only girl in a three boy household, I was quite adept at Atari, Sega, Nintendo, Playstation, etc. But nothing could have adequately prepared me for the enslaving lure of Warcraft, aka Warcrack.
Sunday, March 11 2007
As wild-eyed Rob (John Cusack), in High Fidelity, explains that his chaotic collection of LPs is not organized alphabetically, nor chronologically, but autobiographically, so, too, many toy collectors amass and display their plastic trinkets in an effort to compile something of a three-dimensional, pop cultural autobiography.
Thursday, March 8 2007
Spurred on by a couple of anniversaries, a new podcast "Traneumentary", and plenty of memory, Layman reflects on the music and meaning of John Coltrane.
Wednesday, March 7 2007
American sports fans may consider themselves a more level-headed bunch than their seemingly always rioting European equivalents, but they excel at hurtling vitriol at 'out' gay players.
What you say about yourself is also, by implication, an argument about the world around you – whether you would have it be or not.
Tuesday, March 6 2007
Without venturing to psychoanalyze Art Garfunkel’s unconscious fixations, I’d say there are times when you can, in fact, tell a book by its cover -- and one of them is when it’s covered in protective plastic.