Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Wednesday, September 18 2002

Rock of Ages

Let's face it: you have a musical past and it can't be buried.

Tuesday, September 10 2002

The Racial Lessons of 9/11

Unlike Arab-Americans, the flag that African-Americans know is so heavily drenched in blood and tears that it can never flutter lightly anywhere. Looking at how Arab-Americans use flags reminds me of the Biblical story when the God of Moses instructed the Hebrews to mark their doors with blood so that the wrath of God bypasses their homes.

A Conversation with Lewis Lapham

At his office in Lower Manhattan, Lewis Lapham, the editor of 'Harper's Magazine', took time this week to discuss the nation's reaction to September 11, his problems with the current caretakers of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and the onslaught of media coverage that threatens to obscure the real truths of 9/11.

Thursday, September 5 2002

Marty Beckerman is Stronger Than You

In the land of milk and honey, Beckerman sets out to sour an oversexed youth contingent.

Tuesday, September 3 2002

MTV Video Music Awards

Axl Rose delighted mature viewers but left much of MTV's new target audience -- those who think the Backstreet Boys are old -- thinking the 40something's antics were a bit sad.

Tuesday, August 27 2002

Hip-Hop and the New Jazz Funk

For some reason (possibly the urban secularism of both forms) jazz and hip-hop have generally made sympathetic partners.

Wednesday, August 21 2002

To: Big Five Re: Download Sites

In a perfect world, the Big Five would all go to bed one night and wake up to find the Internet had been destroyed while they were sleeping. What they don't realize is that the Internet is their salvation.

Thursday, August 15 2002

Creating Audiences: Reeling 2002: The 21st Chicago Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival

Reeling 2002 provides an opportunity to investigate how audiences create their movies and how movies create their audiences.

Wednesday, August 14 2002

World Domination . . . Almost: An Interview with Ash

It’s the same old story, really. Band that’s huge in Britain and in other countries across the globe, try as they might, can’

Dylan Revisits an Old Burial Ground

While Newport reveled in going against the grain it was never a place for musical revolutions. That is why Dylan made such a big splash when he used it as a place to introduce his new sound. But now, there is no establishment.

Tuesday, August 13 2002

Fans Gather for the Rising, While a Beleaguered City Is Shut Out

Bruce Springsteen is said to have saved rock and roll. Despite the fact at 52 he remains one of the most engaging performers in the history of the genre, it's not his to save anymore.

Monday, August 5 2002

The Singers and the Songs

It's a pretty good time to be a jazz vocalist -- particularly a female one. If your name is Diana Krall, it is of course even better.

Sunday Singing: The Black Gospel Quartet

The intricate four-part harmonies that were the bedrock of the black gospel quartet tradition, were honed over centuries in the work songs that enslaved blacks incorporated into their daily activities as exploited laborers. These harmonies have always had a 'public' visibility that connected them more to the secular world, though so many of the narratives were 'other-worldly', which would also include visions of emancipation and a return to the 'homeland'.

“Warm? Cool? What’s the Difference?”: Reevaluating ECM

Is there anything common linking these artists? A sound? An aesthetic? A philosophy? I don't really think so. All they have in common is their brilliance at playing jazz music, and having once been signed to the same label.

Monday, July 29 2002

Playing Ball: Spearhead Frontman Michael Franti Takes to the Streets

Michael Franti has made a life ignoring conventions. Maybe it stems from a formative childhood, a black boy adopted by white parents. Maybe it arises from an unwillingness to merely regard music as an frippery, an entertainment, merely a dramatic gesture

Living on a Lover’s Leap: An Interview with Canadian Singer/Songwriter Dan Bryk

Dan Bryk's songs have a distinct quirkiness that all have their own separate charm.

Wednesday, July 24 2002

The Second Summer Reading List: Books of the Non-Essential Variety

A Brief Summer Reading List, Fiction for Women“Literature: proclaiming in front of everyone what one is careful to conceal from one’s immediate circle.”—

Monday, July 22 2002

Reality Slights

That first U.S. 'Big Brother' may not have made 'great television,' but the cast and producers of 'Big Brother' -- whether they intended to or not -- offered a positive take on about human nature.

Friday, July 12 2002

In Conversation with Mark Kano of Athenaeum

"I like anything with a good melody, and a meaningful lyric. This probably isn't very hip of me, but I think the Indigo Girls are my favorite group of all time", says Mark Kano of Athenaeum.

Manchild Revisited: Race Crusader or Falling Star?

We're talking mucho bucks and financial strategy and public image when all is said and done. It's big-time scumbag business.

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