Recent Features
Symbolic Weight & the Def Jam Aesthetic

A coffee table book about rap does not sound too "hardcore" or "gangsta", does it? Well, that's because it's not. What it just might be is sincere.

READ more
‘Pulphead’: A Sharp-Eyed, Uniquely Humane Tour of America’s Cultural Landscape

An exhilarating tour of America’s popular, unpopular, and at times completely forgotten culture. Sullivan shows us—with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that’s all his own—how we really (no, really) live now.

READ more
Before There Was ‘The Exorcist’, There Was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’

Once again, the film industry came in and took a perfectly creepy book and upped the sensationalism because nothing can ever be too shocking in Hollywood.

READ more
Chic, Le Freak: Why Nile Rodgers Is the Guv’nor

Nile Rodgers is undoubtedly one of the architects of contemporary pop, yet the Chic man, über-producer and guitar legend has not always received full praise -- he's even had his records dynamited. However, according to Steve Jansen, Rodgers has never been anything less than the Guv'nor.

READ more
The Beatles in Hamburg: The Stories, the Scene and How It All Began

When the Beatles went to Hamburg in 1960, in the company of gangsters and prostitutes they changed their sound, wore black leather, lost their bass player, sacked their drummer, developed a vast repertoire of raucous rock ’n’ roll songs, and fashioned a new hairstyle.

READ more

24 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Rapper and Mystic: Two Sides of Charles Bukowski

Like all mystics, Bukowski felt strongly that man’s way of living was insane, that we are asleep if we accept, blindly, the pointless, soul-destroying, undignified, unmanly nature of the nine-to-five.

READ more
Michael Moore vs. Jon Stewart: The Self-Destruction of the American Left

Michael Moore is a populist and Jon Stewart is an elitist. The blind liberal embrace of the superficial smugness of Stewart and detachment from the heroism of Moore is the most powerful and convincing illustration of the suicidal tendencies, moral bankruptcy, and spiritual decay of the American left.

READ more
The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.

READ more
A Rocket in My Pocket: The Hipster’s Guide to Rockabilly Music

This the story of rockabilly music, the primal ‘50s howl of rockin'rage. With roots in country, blues, folk, hillbilly, R&B, boogie-woogie and other Deep South forms it was young people's music, wild and primitive, and despised by adults and the country music establishment.

READ more

19 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Geniuses Are People, Too

Creative geniuses don’t succeed despite their flaws, they succeed because they are flawed.

READ more
Pavement Art: When Destruction Is as Important as Creation

While some celebrate art through its destruction, we can ponder the impetus to buy, sell, own and store art away.

READ more

13 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Beethoven in America

Beethoven is in American commercialism and the black power movements. He’s in film and theater, disco, country, rock and rap. To examine Beethoven on American soil is to examine America itself.

READ more
Mohawks and Korans: Taqwacores Punk Mash-up

The Taqwacore movement seizes space in the punk narrative and social fabric, which allows Muslim voices to take root and explore their own version of rebellion.

READ more
Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll

From pivotal concerts by local legends to controversial visits from international rock superstars, clashes with state censors and government-sponsored rock festivals, this work encapsulates the thrills and frustrations experienced by Chinese rockers.

READ more
20 Questions: William Shatner

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, Cultural Icon Extraordinaire. Shatner Rules. Like all great American actors – he’s not American. We’re not even sure he’s human. We’re certain, however, that he’s The Captain of Everything -- not least PopMatters 20 Questions.

READ more
Michael Moore’s ‘Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life’

Capturing the zeitgeist of the past 50 years, yet deeply personal and unflinchingly honest, this memoir takes readers on an unforgettable, take-no-prisoners ride through the life and times of Michael Moore.

READ more
How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior

Bad behavior is the entry point for a brilliant cultural romp as well as an anti-civics lesson. "Shove your rules," says scandal, and no doubt every upright citizen, deep within, cheers the transgression—as long as it's someone else's head on the block.

READ more
Chuck Eddy Will Piss You Off with ‘Rock and Roll Always Forgets’

Buy this infuriating and brilliant book. But get it in softcover. You'll be throwing it against your wall.

READ more
The Collision of ‘Roadside Picnic’ and ‘Infinite Jest’

We have love and jealousy and revenge. All this from a McArthur grant recipient with a reputation as one of the most challenging and polarizing writers of his generation. What's going on?

READ more
Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America

Acclaimed author Tom Piazza follows his prize-winning novel City of Refuge and the post-Katrina classic Why New Orleans Matters with a dynamic collection of essays and journalism about American music and American character, in Devil Sent the Rain.

READ more
More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

READ the article