Friday, September 26 2014
Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.
Thursday, September 18 2014
Long before Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, H.L. Mencken was America's most notorious satirist of religion. And thus began the battle for the soul of America.
Wednesday, September 10 2014
Drugs. We LGBT folk certainly seem to like them. We use them at higher rates than heterosexuals, and we really like to mix them with sex. What a shame they're killing us.
Thursday, August 28 2014
Surely even Dirty Harry needs a break from cinematic violence, some time off at Walden Pond. Though I doubt its tranquility would deter him from picking off the sparrows.
Thursday, August 21 2014
The music of the Caucasus is powered by national ardour and ritual. All that's needed is an open and willing audience to accept the undisclosed gifts it brings.
Thursday, August 7 2014
By grounding the violence of his barely veiled speculative fiction in the here-and-now, James DeMonaco risks inciting an audience beyond the walls of the cinema.
Wednesday, August 6 2014
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima forever altered popular culture, and the earliest traces of that tectonic shift can be found in an obscure government report and newsreel about the event.
Wednesday, July 23 2014
Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.
Monday, July 21 2014
Recent films from the action-masala genre project India as a global sheriff, replacing a toothless West as an expression of muscular nationalism.
Friday, July 11 2014
Women in jazz can sing about their same-sex experiences, while men tend to stay deeply in the closet. Odd, considering the genre once embraced such dalliances.
Wednesday, July 2 2014
A furious mix of hip-hop beats, Arabic primal screams and punk-rock guitars, Taha brilliantly battles against the ideologies of both Western and Arab traditions.
Wednesday, June 25 2014
A homophobic doctor, writing in 1914, helped NFL player Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on TV 100 years later.
Tuesday, June 24 2014
The 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song highlights one of the worst trends in a global society: culture boiled down to a sort of triumphant universal human-ness.
Monday, June 23 2014
The record industry makes huge efforts to reissue rock CDs, but nowhere near as much effort for hip-hop CDs.
Friday, June 20 2014
Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.
Tuesday, June 17 2014
The Washington Post film critic wasn't wrong in wondering aloud about the impact Hollywood can have on the typical young male.
Friday, June 13 2014
A recent Planet Money episode about worker analytics provokes two things: a memory of a troubling past, and troubling vision of the future of work.
Tuesday, June 10 2014
Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?
Friday, May 30 2014
What was Van Vechten really writing about during the Harlem Renaissance; black culture as it existed in its own right, or how he viewed it through his own complicated prism?
Thursday, May 22 2014
I used to think stealing was subversive. Now I know I had it backwards.