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Sunday, November 27 2011

Simon Reynolds Redux: A Conversation from the Past About Post-Punk

Simon Reynolds discusses Joy Division and The Ramones, sex and politics, and punk's blatant localism and latent racism around the time of the release of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.


Sunday, November 13 2011

Symbolic Weight & the Def Jam Aesthetic

A coffee table book about rap does not sound too "hardcore" or "gangsta", does it? Well, that's because it's not. What it just might be is sincere.


Tuesday, November 1 2011

Before There Was ‘The Exorcist’, There Was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’

Once again, the film industry came in and took a perfectly creepy book and upped the sensationalism because nothing can ever be too shocking in Hollywood.


Sunday, October 23 2011

Michael Moore vs. Jon Stewart: The Self-Destruction of the American Left

Michael Moore is a populist and Jon Stewart is an elitist. The blind liberal embrace of the superficial smugness of Stewart and detachment from the heroism of Moore is the most powerful and convincing illustration of the suicidal tendencies, moral bankruptcy, and spiritual decay of the American left.


Thursday, October 20 2011

The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.


Wednesday, October 19 2011

Geniuses Are People, Too

Creative geniuses don’t succeed despite their flaws, they succeed because they are flawed.


Monday, October 17 2011

Pavement Art: When Destruction Is as Important as Creation

While some celebrate art through its destruction, we can ponder the impetus to buy, sell, own and store art away.


Tuesday, October 11 2011

Mohawks and Korans: Taqwacores Punk Mash-up

The Taqwacore movement seizes space in the punk narrative and social fabric, which allows Muslim voices to take root and explore their own version of rebellion.


Thursday, September 29 2011

Chuck Eddy Will Piss You Off with ‘Rock and Roll Always Forgets’

Buy this infuriating and brilliant book. But get it in softcover. You'll be throwing it against your wall.


Thursday, September 15 2011

Epistolary Rex, The Sharp Hunger for Letters: Conversations with Peter Case

A poetic series of ruminations between a journalist and his subject, a folk-hero rebel rocker, who celebrate years of friendship by exploring the rocky, jolting, and quasi-spiritual experiences that shaped both of their lives.


Monday, September 12 2011

Transforming the Metamorphosis

While Atanes's film comes across as somber and unintentionally funny, and the Capaldi film is bizarre and outright amusing. Both do a brilliant job of capturing the surreal, dark mood that The Metamorphosis is cocooned in.


Sunday, September 11 2011

We Piss Anywhere: ‘Sympathy for Mick Jagger’

Mick Jagger is the devil; the avatar for the swaggering, fatally self-assured hedonist who will piss anywhere with a cocky smirk written all over his face that only confirms there is nothing you can do to stop him.


Thursday, September 8 2011

Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.


Wednesday, September 7 2011

Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.


Thursday, August 11 2011

‘Red Shambhala’: Telepathy, Mental Powers, Electronic Surveillance & Mysticism in the U.S.S.R.

While the practical experiments of laboratories bent on superhuman creations failed as surely as did the subversive aims to spark revolt on the Mongol plains or in the Tibetan monasteries, the lesson of this unbelievable plot lingers in this thoughtful, instructive, and sad testament of grand hopes and puny fates.


Sunday, August 7 2011

Steve Earle’s ‘I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive’

A been-there-lived-it-attitude and street-level redemption, all propelled by a songwriter's/storyteller's lyrical and narrative knack.


Thursday, August 4 2011

‘Shock Value’: What Men (and Boys) Really Fear

Jason Zinoman argues that the fantastic, Gothic monsters of the first half of the 20th century were replaced by a New Horror -- the monster right in front of your face.


Sunday, July 24 2011

Frustrated Fantasies: Misperceptions of Fandom and ‘Gone With the Wind’

The value of fandom is often underestimated. Rather than the stereotyped burnt-out housewives or socially inept teenagers that obsessively and indiscriminately consume popular culture, fans are active agents.


Friday, July 22 2011

No One Is Untouchable: Not Federico Garcia Lorca, Not Ai Weiwei

Governments tend to take on their worst form, to devolve to their most horrific manifestation, when they kill artists. Artists look out into the horrors of the world, and inevitably, the horrors sometimes reach back.


Sunday, July 17 2011

The Hate for Southern Hip-Hop: Why So Serious?

The way some of us disparage Southern rap, you'd think rappers like Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame had recorded a record dissing Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane.


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