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


Monday, December 20 1999

Best of 1999: Scott Sepich

1. Blur, 13 (Virgin)A lot of people really didn’t like this record. I’m obviously not one of them. Blur gets better and better with

Best of 1999: Steve Lichtenstein

1. Ben Folds Five, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold MessnerI think I could listen to “Army” every day, all day on a continuous loop. That being

Best of 1999: Brad Engler

1. Tom Waits, Mule VariationsEvery song just hits the nail directly on the head. The songs are instrumentally sparse yet always feel full of complexity. The

Best of 1999: Chris Angotti

1.  Outrageous Cherry, Out There in the Dark (Del-Fi)2.  Old 97’s, Fight Songs (Elektra)3.  Imperial Teen, What Is Not to

Friday, November 19 1999

Fighting the Hand that Feeds You (If the Body Wears a Microsoft Shirt)

In a Western setting, it seems that a central aspect of being a fan of someone or something always means being hungry for more of the same — it is not enough simply to be satisfied with what's already out there, and what originally made the fan become a fan, but there is a nearly unstillable hunger for continuous reaffirmation of one's reasons for being a fan, through new product.

Monday, October 18 1999

Why Does Pop Matter?

Reading a magazine called PopMatters, you would probably expect to find out why Pop matters? What is the purpose of Pop? Is there a difference between Pop and popular when we talk about culture? Is popular culture study a convenient excuse for wasting intellectual resources, or is it the most vital issue in contemporary society?

Sunday, January 1 1995

PopMatters Book Interview

You name it, Kevin Murphy saw it in 2001. And lived to tell the tale.

Understanding Reinvention

In 1993, Scott McCloud, best known for his sci-fi comics series Zot!, published his landmark volume Understanding Comics, which made waves in the academic discussion about

Awaking to the Terror of the Same Old Day: The Comics of Harvey Pekar

A talking head confronts the reader in a panel of American Splendor: On the Job (Dark Horse Comics, 1997). He’s a middle-aged blue collar intellectual,

Lone Star Comix Online

Austin, Texas — It’s a factoid I never seem to tire of: Austin was one of the major seats of the Sixties underground comix movement,

To Be or Not to Be in This Pair of Tights: Superhero Comics as Literature

Part 2 of 2  The new issue of Wizard: Guide to Comics, the fanboy zine extraordinaire, has a cover showing a character by the name of

To Be or Not to Be in This Pair of Tights: Superhero Comics as Literature

Part 1 of 2 Literature means never having to say you’re a genre. Being inside an insidious box molds literature into some pretty terrible moments. In

The Cut-Out Bin #7

Stan Ridgway's neo-noir Western, the heightened contradictions of 10cc, and Claudine Longet, the best of the broken-English chanteuses.

The Cut-Out Bin #6

This month, Conor Oberst's philosophical investigations, how Too Much Joy was cursed with comedy, and a humble offering from Styx's Dennis DeYoung.

The Cut-Out Bin #5

George Michael demands the impossible with Listen Without Prejudice, John Phillips's mid-'70s muse, and sweet suffocation from the Carpenters.

The Cut-Out Bin #4

Raunchy Minnesota country punk from Tulip Sweet, the Psychedelic Furs late-career resurrection, and why Dexy's Midnight Runners should not be seen as one-hit wonders.

The Cut-Out Bin #3

Fin-de-siècle paranoia from Archers of Loaf, Loverboy's mall-friendly poodle rock and Roger Waters's vision of how Live Aid may have prevented nuclear annihilation.

The Cut-Out Bin #2

Holly Beth Vincent, bluesy belter Genya Ravan, and the sublime idiocy of The Lost Boys soundtrack.

The Cut-Out Bin #1

post-Bunnymen guitar pop by the Wild Swans, the quintessentially quirky Canadian songwriter Jane Siberry, and soft-rock sleaze from ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch.

PopMatters Book Review

As far as weapons go, I think that writing about trangressing gender -- in whatever ways they do -- is a powerful weapon against ignorance and fear.

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