Recent Features
20 Questions: Max & Jason

Al 'Gore’s Boys’ and Current TV producers and hosts Max Lugavere and Jason Silva chat with PopMatters 20 Questions about enthusiasm-inducing people and things.

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29 Jan 2009 // 8:00 PM

Art Imitates Death

One of the misconceptions that Graeme Thomson deals with in his book I Shot a Man in Reno is that music about death is somehow out of the norm. In fact, death finds its way into pretty much every type of music.

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Needles in the Haystack

To supplement our list of favorite 25 singles, we offer a quick look at a handful of under-appreciated gems in the Motown catalog.

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What It Was Like

In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?

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Killing for Coal: An Interview with Thomas G. Andrews

Andrews' book distinguishes itself from conventional labor histories by going beyond sociological factors to look at the total physical environment and the role it played in the lives of both labor and management, and how it would lead to the Ludlow Massacre of 1914.

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A Perverted Perception of Movies

The success or failure of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema hinges greatly on what one thinks of Slavoj Zizek's free-range associations on desire, blood, human waste, castration, and social control in films.

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Metabots and Deconstructicons: Transformers Goes Postmodern

I am happy to report that after 25 years, the 'Transformers' franchise has finally gone postmodern… no thanks to 'Transformers Energon'.

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Yesterday’s Dreams: Motown in the 1980s

The music of Motown's third decade does not quite deserve the close attention that the label's first two decades warrant, but even a cursory look at the label in these years reveals that things weren't all bad.

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What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Liberation from the Motown Sound

When Obie Benson of the Four Tops brought him a song he had co-written with Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye found something that had reflected the way he had been feeling ever since Tammi Terrell's death -- anger, sadness, and disillusionment about his friend's death and the chaotic world around him.

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‘Art’: A Diminished Magnificence

Has any other art, even literature or music, ever exceeded the visual arts in its ambition, its richness, and its sheer beauty?

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Onward, Christian Soldiers!

With references to Biblical verses emblazoned on his eye-black, Tim Tebow embodies the American ideal of the God-fearing warrior.

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These Are the Breaks: The Motown Sound’s Influence on Hip-Hop Sampling

For any influential group in the hip-hop game, specifically in the early 1990s, Motown's stamp of approval and its variety of subsidiaries were undeniably influential.

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Twirling the Dial: My Motown Memories

For those of us in tune with the sounds of the genre-redefining decade, a transistor radio was the seminal social sidekick. We loved listening to that little mono wonder, its tiny shrill speaker sparking a hundred journeys directly into the center of our mind.

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27 Jan 2009 // 7:59 PM

Superheroes Versus Comics

There can be no doubt that the summer of 2008 stands as a high-water mark for superheroes. But in the wake of a superhero renaissance and the growing cultural legitimacy of the genre, the question must be posed: Has the superhero genre evolved beyond the comics medium?

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Where the Frak is All My Money?

Battlestar Galactica is like Wall Street—it’s hard to tell Cylons from humans, especially when it comes to galaxy-size Ponzi schemes.

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Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead

If "I've Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying" could work as a slogan for Motown, the song itself works as both a dance song and a tearjerker.

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Manufacturing Motown

Like the nameplates on the auto industry's productive output, Motown's headline acts were brand identities under which cultural commodities were sold.

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The Big Shoulders Ball: Celebrating the Inauguration, Chicago Style

A busload of Chicago's best and brightest independent musicians storm the nation's capital on the eve of the Presidential inauguration and a former Chicagoan turned Washingtonian discovers that maybe you can transport the spirit of the Windy City -- if only for one night.

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No Girl So Sweet and ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’

At first fearing a British Amelie, Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky surprisingly became Mazur’s favorite film of 2008.

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Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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