Recent Features
Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen

'Good on showmanship, but not sure about the singing,’ admitted Brian May, about the future Freddie Mercury. ‘Fred had a strange vibrato,’ chuckled Roger Taylor, ‘which some people found rather distressing.’

READ more
‘The Art of Immersion’: From Frank Rose’s Book on How Digital Generation Is Changing Our World

Alternate reality games such as Why So Serious? are a new kind of interactive fiction, one that blurs the line between entertainment and advertising, as well as between fiction and reality, in ways barely imagined a decade earlier.

READ more
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love: The Films of Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley's films bridged the world of art school vibes and workplace routines, elite snottiness and pedestrian punches, suburban angst and critical thinking finesse, and mixed-up politics and prolonged personality crises.

READ more
‘Reading Jackie’: When Literary Choices Become Biography

Despite her love of books, Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent a lifetime trying to prevent people from writing about her, sometimes with the accompanying threat of legal action. Her entire life was led with one arm thrust outward, eyes cast downward, keeping the world at bay.

READ more
When Did Trying to Be Good Start Feeling So Bad?

Now don’t get me wrong—of course I believe in saving the planet (at least until scientists determine if there are other inhabitable planets with better mobile phone service), but there's gotta be a limit.

READ more

20 Mar 2011 // 9:00 PM

Banksy’s Bare Wit-ness

Like Aristophanes in Ancient Greece, Mark Twain in 19th century America, or Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Banksy’s visual humor chastises power in its multiple manifestations by hauling it before the court of public opinion for a well-deserved flogging.

READ more
Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways

When halal turkeys sell for Thanksgiving, "Happy Holidays" drowns out "Merry Christmas", Easter egg hunts replace Mass celebrating the Resurrection, and sacred Catholic terms in Quebec serve only as swear words, culture has parted ways with religion.

READ more
‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ at 34: Still Thrilling After All These Years

What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind stand out to this day is that it isn’t the usual UFO tale of “us vs them”, like Spielberg’s later remake of War of the Worlds; rather, it's very much a story about Earthlings.

READ more
20 Questions: Hal Needham

When they first light that match, hold your breath! If you inhale, you'll suck in the flames. We'd all be wiser to heed the advice of Hal Heedham, author of Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life (February 2011, Little, Brown & Company)

READ more
Strong and Soft Opinions: Tony Judt, Public and Private

Like J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year, Ill Fares the Land and The Memory Chalet reveal the diverse cross-pollination of public and private speech. Ill Fares the Land ostensibly contains the strong opinions, The Memory Chalet the "soft" opinions.

READ more
20 Questions: David Anderegg

David Anderegg's 'Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America' (Tarcher / Penguin, now in paperback) calls for embracing the socially awkward yet intellectually gifted among us.

READ more
Marxism: The Music Theory That Never Goes Out of Style

How fitting that a post-punk band from the late '70s, fascinated by the Marxist metaphysics of modernity, would re-emerge to remind us that nothing new has happened in rock in decades. Of course Thom Yorke might disagree...

READ more
In the Oft-Reviled Genre of Memoirs, Here are Some Memoirs to Love

A subgenre has emerged that should placate memoirphobes and please memoirfiles: the artist-teacher memoir.

READ more
The Librarians and Barbarians of Laura Bush’s Memoir

Laura Bush largely avoided the public slanderings that Nancy Reagan endured and that, to a lesser extent, Michelle Obama is now enduring, even though George W. Bush himself was perhaps the most excoriated President in recent American history. The reasons have something to do with Laura Bush's literary sensibility.

READ more
Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City

The essays included in this fine, wide-ranging, thought-provoking volume take pains to remind the reader how every instance of urban dystopia – whether in Mexico, India, Africa or the United States – is shadowed by the particular history and legacy of its geography, culture, and society.

READ more

16 Feb 2011 // 9:00 PM

Solarian Absurdity

In his classic SF novel Solaris, Stanislaw Lem composes an ode to the absurdity of the human struggle for knowledge. No better is this struggle encapsulated than in the infinite expanse of space and in the discovery of new worlds.

READ more
Across the Yucatán with a Ragtag Carny Crew

A Mexican dispatch, by the sea and on the road with students, musicians, actors, wild children, and juggling LSD dealers. On the backpacker trail from Cancún to Mérida, we discovered we were not the only ones on a global prowl.

READ more
20 Questions: Kim Edwards

'Labyrinth walker' and award winning author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about allowing oneself to head out into uncertain territory -- be it in the middle of a lake or the middle of a story -- and see where the journey takes you. Her latest, The Lake of Dreams published in January.

READ more
Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

While Disintegration contains its share of frank, bracing, straight talk that dispels long-held notions about black Americans, one of Eugene Robinson’s underlying assumptions — that America persists in seeing black people as an experiential monolith — is not the defining absolute it used to be.

READ more
Punk Rock? It’s a Black, Jewish, Southern Thang

Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.

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

A Crooked and Unseen Highway: lowercase - "She Takes Me"

// Sound Affects

"The newest Between the Grooves series tackles Lowercase's Kill the Lights, a great marriage of slowcore and post-punk: raw, angry, sullen, and very much alive almost 20 years later.

READ the article