Recent Features
Now and Then, Smells Like Teen Spirit: The Death of Kurt Cobain

There was a stretch when Nirvana was the soundtrack for our Friday nights. No, check that. There was a stretch when Nirvana was our Friday nights.

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If You’re Going to San Francisco…

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival perfectly captures the dangerously unstable compound called rock music right before it exploded and permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

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Various Artists: Factory Records: Communications 1978-92

Factory Records was as influential in design, sound production, and defining what a label could be as it was in music.

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Not So Sci-fi

The terrifying, 'it could happen today' message of this story is best told in the Atwood's book, rather than the film version.

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My Mass Email to Friends upon Hearing of the Death of Stephen King*

*every word is true as of this writing, except, thankfully, Stephen King is not dead.

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A Gonzo Eulogy for Hunter S. Thompson

Thirty-three years after Hunter S. Thompson took us on a trip to Las Vegas for the macabre funeral of the American Dream, he placed a well-aimed Colt .45 bullet in his brain, saying farewell in a typically loud fashion.

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The Buffalo Lies Bleeding: Some Thoughts in Memory of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Thompson was a writer who I admired, dismissed, combated, and loved, often all at the same time. He was the first writer who made me fall in love with the idea of becoming a writer.

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Bob Norman Ross: Teacher, Painter, Optimist (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995)

His way of gently exhorting the view at home to “be brave” when they were deciding what to do first, to not be afraid of that terrifying gulf that confronts every artist when you can do anything or nothing was peacefully encouraging.

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23 Sep 2009 // 9:59 PM

Christy McWilson: What Dudes Won’t Tell

I felt like a schmuck for holding my notebook in front of me like a choir girl and for stopping mid-song to cry, but I felt better when I remembered how McWilson feels when she first plays a new song.

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Michael Jackson: A Thriller in His Own Right

The pulse of the world has skipped a beat. The world is in a state of shock -- you, the indomitable Michael Jackson, is dead.

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Luther Is Drag: The Death of Vandross

Luther took full ownership of the music. He loved the music and massaged fans’ eyes, ears, and sentiments with his arrangements, taking the plain, factory-produced, mundane regular pop hit to new, unfounded heights.

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Jack on Fire: Jeffrey Lee Pierce, 1958–1996

He was as unlikely a candidate to don the mantle of rock and roll cliché as anyone; he was just a child's drawing of abject gloom, a stocky fireplug frame, dark, insomniac eyes skittering beneath the damp straw tangle of his anime-angular hair, an upside-down sorrow-mouth.

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Double Dutch: An Appreciation of David Byrne

His Luaka Bop label was the bridge between Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music and Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club. His early dance music collections show up on all the cool kids’ iPods. He helped make Alison Krauss and Robert Plant pitchable, let alone profitable.

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The Frontier Doctor’s Fancy ‘Queen of the Cimarron’

Frontier Doctor's church-prescribing gumdrop-toting hero comes face to face with the unthinkable: a tough-talkin' hard-done bad-girl with money on her mind (gulp).

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Maximum Carnage: A Look Back

I was a kid when I first read Maximum Carnage and it became my favorite comic book series. How well does the story hold up over time? Is it still as good as I remember or was my innocent childhood love misplaced?

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My Love-Hate Relationship with River Phoenix

From the moment that he appeared on screen in the film -- with a cigarette balanced between his fingers and the close-cropped haircut of a little boy -- media outlets had him pegged as the James Dean of the '80s.

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Foxified Culture: Incurable Optimist Michael J. Fox

How can I start an honest discussion about what Fox has meant to me? How can I pull him apart from my 28 years of experience in this world?

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Bea Arthur’s Subversive Sexuality

I would always rank Bea near the top of my desired celebrity conquests, alongside more conventional choices like Natalie Portman and Jenny Lewis.

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Killing the Pain: Mourning the Death of Andrew “Test” Martin

Did my cheers contribute to his eventual demise? Did my persistent taunting and raging encouragement urge him to push himself too far, breaking his muscle and bones that ached with a pain that would not shrink?

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Brazilian Funk and Cuban Soul Heat Up the Northern Climes

A killer samba beat and an irresistible Cuban Sway: Brazil's futuristic Otto and Cuban expat Alex Cuba deliver soulful sounds.

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More Recent Features
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Call For Papers: Celebrating Star Trek's 50th Anniversary

// Announcements

"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.

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