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Friday, March 7 2014

The Funniest Man Who (N)ever Lived: Alan Partridge

For over 20 years, Alan Partridge has shared his life with the British public and fans have embraced him, warts and all. Now, his first feature film is coming to America. Back of the net!


Thursday, March 6 2014

The Holy Trinity: Genesis

During this three album stretch, Genesis evinced as much growth and glory as any of their prog brethren, and the banner they raised still casts a huge and heavy shadow over everything that followed.


Wednesday, March 5 2014

A Melancholy Never Far Away: An Interview with Jóhann Jóhannsson

PopMatters speaks with Jóhann Jóhannsson about his latest venture into music for cinema, his moody and melancholy score for the police thriller, McCanick.


Thursday, February 27 2014

Pussy Riot Isn’t the Only Band Rocking on Russia

From clever Soviet-era symphonies to current black market recordings, Russian musicians have a long history of working around the state's culture of censorship.


Monday, February 24 2014

Blood, Bugs and Gore: ‘Gears of War 2’, Postpartum Edition

Gears of War is not about narrative. It's about gut instinct. Pure, primal, primitive emotion. It paints on a big canvas, and uses thick brushstrokes, but the result is an unfiltered, expressionistic roar. It's just like a newborn baby.


Friday, February 21 2014

A User’s Guide to Parody Religions: Dudeism, Invisible Pink Unicorns, and Americhrist Ltd.

Plotting exposure, parody seeks to unveil rather than to mask, to offer truths where it finds lies, deceit, or hypocrisy. So why has religion proven particularly prone to this means of comedic put-down?


Thursday, February 13 2014

You Can Achieve Greatness! Harnessing Your Pop Culture Spirit Animal

Just as our bodies are made of recycled stars, our thoughts are spawned from bits of songs and books and movie dialogue. So what happens when your star gets old?


Friday, February 7 2014

Et Tu, Utah?

The battle for gay marriage rights in Utah is turning so ugly and complicated that it will make the battle in California look like a trip to Disneyland.


Thursday, February 6 2014

The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.


Monday, February 3 2014

Selling Japan: How Much Is a Nation’s Culture Worth?

Via the billion-dollar Cool Japan Fund Inc, Japan is aiming to become one of the world's dominant culture forces. But can a national culture be commodified so easily?


Friday, January 31 2014

How Can a Listener Ignore the Influence of the Market on the Beautiful Art of Jazz?

Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.


Tuesday, January 28 2014

Soul Train: The Hippest Nostalgia Trip in America

Soul Train was more than entertainment for black America. It was inspiration and validation. Questlove gives us another ride.


Friday, January 24 2014

What Will We Become? R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8”

In 2008 Michael Stipe introduced "Driver 8" as "a song that represents the dream of the United States of America and what it may become in the next three days." What did he mean, and has that dream come true?


Wednesday, January 15 2014

Is He a Friend of Dorothy? Is She a Dragzilla?

Who knew that every time I mowed the yard and stuck a Kelly green bandana in my back left pocket to wipe my sweaty brow, I was also advertising that I'm a male prostitute for hire?


Wednesday, January 8 2014

How Live-Streaming Social Media Websites Complicate the Male Gaze

Teenagers use social media to escape the control of authority figures, engage in sexual behavior with peers, and entertain anonymous strangers. Is this a problem?


Thursday, December 19 2013

How the Paparazzi Everyman Is Failing Our Entertainers, Failing Ourselves

Negative encounters with the media, which play out in the media, are the highly visible effects of broader cultural shifts that are occurring regardless of celebrity status.


Monday, December 16 2013

Can an Afghanistan Songbird Be Forever Outlawed?

Afghan musicians have always been adept at finding ways to preserve and advance their music regardless of the political or economic climate.


Friday, December 13 2013

No Place to Live if You’re Gay

We Americans may get disapproving looks for our "I'm not gay but my girlfriend is" t-shirts, but we don't worry that we'll be thrown in jail and tortured. Yet, in 76 countries in the world, that's a real possibility.


Wednesday, December 4 2013

Trapped in a Car Driving Through the Desert with Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘A Taste of Cherry’

As civil liberties were absorbed by the religious state and exacting codes of conduct were implemented with brutal force in Iran, Kiarostami used his canvas to show hope to his countrymen.


Thursday, November 14 2013

What If God Doesn’t Hate Fags After All?

Both James Alexander Langteaux and Mary Griffith have become leading voices in the discussion about how one can align a deeply personal relationship with God and support the LGBT community. Yet, neither wanted the job.


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