Recent Features
Rebels Wit Attitude: Beastie Boys

In this excerpt of PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Ellis discusses how Beastie Boys were not afraid to play the enemy within, often mocking the macho strutting of harder rappers.

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The Politics Inside Black Pop

Will black pop artists still see themselves as outsiders now that a black person is President? Will they use their cultural platform to criticize him if need be, just as they did to help elect him?

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The Best Mixtapes of 2008

The year's best mixtapes are full of the energy of crunk, unapologetic weirdness, a castle built of cartoon references, and raps about Bill O'Reilly.

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The Best Hip-Hop of 2008

A return to the mic nine years in the making, a hip-hop supergroup of sorts, and Tom Waits beatboxing: this year's top-shelf hip-hop is equal parts anticipation, teamwork, and wha?!

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11 Dec 2008 // 7:59 PM

Shameful Exposure

A fiery Kate Winslet saves morality tale in 'The Reader' while a similarly powerful Meryl Streep can't do the same for the overly certain 'Doubt'.

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11 Dec 2008 // 7:59 PM

Hong Kong Graffiti: Not for Lack of Inspiration

Subversive commentary should be thriving in Hong Kong. All the ingredients to spark graffiti are there -- the divides in social class, the thriving materialistic culture, and political antagonism with Mainland China.

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Look What the Cat Lady Dragged in

The so-called “crazy cat lady” seems to be one of few sexist stereotypes that remains alive, well, and somehow immune to politically-correct backlash.

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10 Dec 2008 // 8:00 PM

The Best Electronic(a) Albums of 2008

Ghosts, bugs, animals, tambourines, other channels, and Hercules: they're all part of the best electronic(a) music of the year.

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The Best World Music of 2008

Albums from India, Central America, Australia, Quebec, and Ethiopia are but a globetrotting fraction of the year's best music from around the world.

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The Campbellian Myth of Monkey Island

The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the '90s' best examples of interactive fiction, and it accomplishes this by using a variety of narrative and game design techniques to deliver a Joseph Campbell experience.

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The Best Metal Albums of 2008

It was a stellar year for metal, and an eclectic year, too: Norwegian prog-metal, goth-infused death metal, Swedish thrash, black metal, and stoner rock all make the list.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2008

There are many bands making music by their own means, on their own terms, enough so to be labeled “independent”. But in today’s music-industry climate, what does that independence mean?

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The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2008

Former (or current) members of the Dream Syndicate, Fleetwood Mac, and the Wallflowers are just a few of the best singer-songwriters stepping out on their own this year.

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20 Questions: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge warns PopMatters 20 Questions readers, "Pleasure is a cultural weapon. Use it wisely."

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CMAs and the End of Genre or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Kid Rock

This year's CMA winners point to a future where the only thing necessary to be classified as country is a desire to join in and sing.

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8 Dec 2008 // 8:00 PM

The Best of Britain 2008

British music in 2008 was for once every bit the match of its American equivalent, and tantalisingly suggested there's much more to come.

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In Praise of Older Women: The Best Records of 2008 by Women 45 Years Old and Over

The old music-industry adage is that if a woman doesn't have a hit by the time she's 22 years old, she should probably look for another career. That's obviously a load of blarney.

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8 Dec 2008 // 7:59 PM

Presidential Angling

Now that Barack Obama is America's 44th president, in the spirit of his predecessors, he might want to take up fishing.

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The Annihilating Feminine: Kate Winslet Gets Nasty in The Reader

In Winslet’s clever, low-key performance, all of the character’s ambiguousness remains intact, making Hanna her most complicated, mature creation to date.

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Rebels Wit Attitude: Talking Heads

In this excerpt from PopMatters' new book Rebels Wit Attitude, Ellis looks at the Talking Heads' art school intellectualism, pop melodies, funk rhythms, and the abstract humor that made them outsiders.

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