Recent Features
Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in America’s Loudest City

An oral history of Detroit and its music told by the people who were on the stage, in the clubs, the practice rooms, studios, and in the audience, blasting the music out and soaking it up, in every scene from 1967 to today.

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Caroline Leavitt at a Crossroads: ‘Is This Tomorrow’

New York Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt discusses her new novel about a family who must brave the hostile status quo of '50s American suburban life while being as different from their neighbors as possible.

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Sounds of War: Music in the United States During World War II

While Dinah Shore, Duke Ellington, and the Andrew Sisters entertained civilians and G.I.s with swing and boogie-woogie, Fauser shows it was classical music that truly distinguished musical life in the wartime United States.

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Country Music Ain’t Black & White: ‘Hidden in the Mix’

These explorations of the African-American presence in country music are welcome at a time when country music is treated, by insiders and outsiders, as a purely white genre, and exceptions to that are treated as aberrations, gimmicks or novelty songs.

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That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick: National Lampoon & the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream

Ellin Stein’s book goes behind the jokes to witness the fights, the parties, the collaborations—and the competition—among this fraternity of the self-consciously disenchanted.

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‘It Begins and Ends With Love’: A Conversation with Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan

Best-selling author and transgender activist Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses her new memoir in a conversation that explores the transformative power of storytelling, the redefinition of family values, and the radical potential of love.

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20 Jun 2013 // 10:15 PM

Hidden in the Mix: The African American Presence in Country Music

Revealing how music mediates both the ideology and the lived experience of race, Hidden in the Mix challenges the status of country music as "the white man’s blues."

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Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman.

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Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Matters

George R.R. Martin's series looks and feels like a historical drama, except the audience doesn't know how the story will turn out. Martin's 'fantasy' is preoccupied with power -- its relations, differentials and dynamics -- because he's interested in the way 'history' is really made.

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God Hates You, But Fred Phelps Doesn’t

The Pastor of Westboro Baptist Church is one of the most hated men in the US. That's OK with him, because he thinks that God hates you more than you hate Fred Phelps.

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6 Jun 2013 // 10:35 PM

Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation

Is Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, Japanoise? Is it even music at all?

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A Ton of Feathers: Behind Enemy Lines with the Sonnet

Without doubt, the sonnet offers rich terrain for rhetorical hijinks and abbreviated exposition. You might rightly ask then, why entrust such a tightly-wound machine to muddle-headed poets?

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30 May 2013 // 10:45 PM

The Groove Is Everything

Digital music makes sense to me. But dragging a needle through the grooves of a slab of vinyl and Led Zeppelin IV coming out? Now that's witchcraft befitting the Devil's music.

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A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley

The supreme irony of Robert L. Ripley’s life, which was dedicated to exalting the strange and unusual, is that he may have been the most amazing oddity of all.

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The Great Gatsby Re-Incarnated a la Don Draper and Barack Obama

It’s human nature to Gatsby-ize others, whether it’s for the pleasures of unsatisfied curiosity, or slander, or just plain sport.

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Meeting the Novelist: An Interview with “Flat Water Tuesday’s” Ron Irwin

"Ron Irwin's protagonist is not only a prodigious oarsman, but a lover of two memorably realized women," Nobel Laureate for Literature J.M. Coetzee writes. But the real story goes much, much deeper.

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The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon

As the apotheosis of feminine charm and American careerism, the stewardess subtly bucked traditional gender roles and paved the way for the women's movement.

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The Shock of the Old:  Art Historian Alexander Nagel on His New Book, ‘Medieval Modern’

New York University art historian Alexander Nagel talks with PopMatters about how art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is tied to modern and contemporary art in more ways than we might think.

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16 May 2013 // 10:15 PM

Mojo Hand: The Life and Music of Lightnin’ Hopkins

In a career that took him from the cotton fields of East Texas to the concert stage at Carnegie Hall and beyond, Lightnin’ Hopkins became one of America’s greatest bluesmen.

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In Defense of the Greatness of the Gatsby

Kathryn Schulz’s failure to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork, as professed on Vulture.com, is a contemporary case study for how not to assess literature.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" Is Cute but Spooky

// Short Ends and Leader

"This flick is a superficial but eye-popping survey for armchair nature tourists.

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