Recent Features
“Play Four Chords and Try to Make It a Soul Record”: An Interview with the Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem's sudden rise to fame has been a bit of a whirlwind for the New Jersey-based quartet, but when Bruce Springsteen wants to duet with you on stage, perhaps it's time to acknowledge that you're on to something big ...

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Truck Drivin’ Songwritin’ Man

Trucking songs, with their heart-of-gold waitresses, foggy nights, heavy loads, and rolling tires, must hit some modern emotional sweet spot, and musicians on the road share a kindred spirit with truckers.

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The New American Spook Country

Spook Country is about America’s loss of innocence, its various ways of remembering the past, and an attempt to find a way of reconciling those memories with the present.

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The Devil’s Due: What Ed Brubaker Did to Reinvent Daredevil

Could Ed Brubaker have written the definitive version of a character renowned for its production of 'definitive' visions?

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28 Sep 2009 // 10:00 PM

Jay-Z: The Journey of an Icon

We can debate this greatest rapper business from now until the end of time. Let's just say Jay-Z is the greatest hip-hop icon ever, and call it a day.

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Bulletproof Within the Music: An Interview with David Gray

For his first new album in four years, David Gray decided to go for broke, sacking his entire band, calling up friends like Annie Lennox and Jolie Holland, and -- for the first time in a long time -- no longer being self-conscious about what he's doing, describing himself as feeling "liberated" now ...

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27 Sep 2009 // 10:00 PM

Creepy Crawly Ad Bots

‘Contextual ads’ generated by Web crawlers based on private email content might provide fresh, up-to-the-second advertising copy, but these so-called geniuses are no Don Draper.

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27 Sep 2009 // 10:00 PM

Hipster Straw Men

While hipsters make an easy scapegoat for the trivialization of our culture, they are merely a symptom of a fractured, niched, and disjointed culture.

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America’s Best Dance Crew: A Step Into the Limelight

America's Best Dance Crew judge Shane Sparks explains his show's unlikely beginnings, its ongoing significance, and what hopes lie ahead for crew-based hip-hop dancing...

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24 Sep 2009 // 10:00 PM

Hal Ashby: Hollywood Rebel

Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.

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Finding Steve Buscemi: The Perfect Understatement

It’s only when you internalize Steve Buscemi’s movies [they] become a part of your life in an extremely personal, emotional way.

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Envisioning a Better Future: Octavia Estelle Butler, 1947–2006

Octavia Butler’s work offers us a future that is different from the other visions we usually see in popular culture. Her future takes into account identity and culture, power and empowerment.

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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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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Supernatural Sets the Stage for Season Finalé With “There's Something About Mary”

// Channel Surfing

"A busy episode in which at least one character dies, two become puppets, and three are trapped and left for dead in an unlikely place.

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