CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

Columns > Culture

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.


Monday, November 4 2013

Does Tinder Transform Dating Culture?

Tinder’s popularity is proof that people are turning to social media technologies to increase their chances of finding a mate... or at least a friend for the night.


Thursday, October 31 2013

‘Evay and ‘Earty Birthday Wishes to Rise Above Records

In 1988, Lee Dorrian founded UK record label Rise Above. A quarter century later, the label is one of the ‘eavisest and ‘eartiest around, filled with as much tuning in and dropping out as doomy drop-tuning and whigging out.


Tuesday, October 29 2013

Power Up: Janelle Monáe, Afrofuturism, and Plurality

While most pop singers bounce from one marketable persona to another, Janelle Monáe stands her ground in this Afrofuturist vision she's been creating for about a decade. Other pop artists are tourists; she's building a city.


Tuesday, October 22 2013

How That Flawed Man Flew: Beyond the Myth of Charlie Parker

Chuck Haddix's new biography of the great alto saxophonist unearths fresh details of his early life—and helps us to see more clearly his genius and his tragedy.


Monday, October 21 2013

The Silence of Distortion: An Interview with Nicolas Winding Refn and Peter Peter

PopMatters speaks with director Nicolas Winding Refn and composer Peter Peter about the long overdue release of Peter's score to Refn's 2010 Middle Ages brooder, Valhalla Rising, and its undulating dark ambient music.


Friday, October 18 2013

Pussy Riot and the Art of Political Pranks

Why has the West taken such interest in Pussy Riot? Would our reactions be so different if a similar incident occurred in one of our major cathedrals, synagogues, or mosques?


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