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Features > Books

Wednesday, May 23 2007

Redemption Song: Anger Was Cooler [1982-1984]

"(Joe) seemed this sad, lonely figure, confused with life, Hank Williams playing on his ghetto blaster in the background. I felt sorry for him." -- Mark Cooper, Record Mirror

Tuesday, May 22 2007

Redemption Song: Red Hand of Fate [1979]

Johnny Greene and a roadie... found a rehearsal room... (it) was at the rear of a garage, the kind of premises you might see in American gangster films as heists are planned... Here, hunkered together with no visible means of financial support, the Clash would rigorously write and rehearse the new songs that would emerge as London Calling, which time would judge one of the finest rock 'n' roll albums ever made...

Monday, May 21 2007

Redemption Song: Under Heavy Manners [1976-1977]

"... people like Joe Strummer... were like the punk intelligentsia, they were the thinkers... (Joe) knew all the cultural and literary references, all the revolutionary references, and he put it all into context... there's a lot more ideas (sic) in one of Joe's rhyming couplets than there are in some people's entire albums..." -- Don Williams

Sunday, May 20 2007

Redemption Song: Straight to Heaven [2002]

"...I learned that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke. I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all." -- Joe Strummer

Thursday, April 5 2007

Long Zoom: Interview with Steven Johnson

"My editor said, 'Yeah, it's like Emergence if the slime molds started killing people in chapter four.' And that became my mantra as I was writing it: 'Just think Emergence with killer slime molds and you're golden.'" PopMatters talks to Ghost Map author, Steven Johnson.

Wednesday, March 28 2007

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

David Sterritt looks at Sidney Poitier's fabulous comeback thanks to Oprah's golden touch.

Wednesday, February 14 2007

Permission to Follow: Interview with Juliet McMains

PopMatters talks to dancer and author Juliet McMains about how the forces driving DanceSport mirror American national identity: desire for both passionate abandon and steadfast rules, obsession with self-improvement and comfortable gender roles, and craving for a little thing called Glamour.

Monday, January 29 2007

Hardboiled to Hardcore: Interview with Walter Mosley

"It's amazing how we strain to maintain our dignity and end up like Colin Powell, the only one who knows what the f**k is going on, but is unable to tell it." PopMatters talks to Walter Mosley.

Sunday, January 14 2007

Readers’ Delight: 2006 in Books

This is not your average best-of list. Showing their pop colors, while maintaining (somehow) their indie, undergroup, hipster cred, PopMatters book reviewers select the best books of 2006.

Monday, November 20 2006

The Fuss About Pynchon

Cast aside synthetic substitutes, junk food for the soul, and take a bite of the pungent, organic mushroom offered up by the man from Oyster Bay, Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr.

Wednesday, November 15 2006

Louise Brooks at 100: Interview with Peter Cowie

"One learned to take with a pinch of salt some of her assertions about people from the silent period. Sometimes it wasn't just her memory failing, it was a liberal attempt to build history in her own image." PopMatters talks to Peter Cowie, author of Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever.

Thursday, October 19 2006

The Rural Hipster: Why We Need Chuck Klosterman

"Chuck Klosterman's denial of his own iconography merely lumps him in with the dozens of media effigies he's constructed over the years, which says a great deal about the cycles of fame and success." Josiah M. Hesse lets us in on why essayist Klosterman is 100% necessary.

Wednesday, September 27 2006

Story Just Wrote With Music: Interview with Doug Hoekstra

"I do believe that, that even when someone is "bothering" the coffee drinkers, you can look around the audience and find folks connecting and digging what he or she is doing, and from those connections, all sorts of good things emerge, immediately or further on down the road."

Monday, September 18 2006

Cult Fiction: Ayn Rand, Anais Nin, and the Feminist Backlash

However we choose to approach Nin and Rand, it is impossible to deny that they were both writers of great force, who dared to take on some of the defining issues of their time, and who refused to sacrifice the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of their thought for the relative safety of a party line. In that respect, they both approach the feminist ideal of self-determination and confidence; for that accomplishment, they deserve our lasting consideration.

Friday, September 15 2006

Bookmarks: Brief reviews of new and overlooked books

When French authorities arrested Jewish novelist Irene Nemirovsky on 13 July 1942, she had completed drafts of two sections of what was to be a five-part, somewhat symphonic novel detailing the effects of the war on ordinary Frenchmen.

Friday, September 8 2006

Bookmarks: Brief reviews of new and overlooked books

Philosopher, author and scholar of speculative fiction, Martin finds the avowedly down-to-earth are not on the solid ground they (very unreasonably!) presume. There's maybe evidence of design in the universe, but it supports no fundamentalist churches.

Thursday, September 7 2006

Behind Impetus Press: An Interview with Jennifer Banash and Willy Blackmore

'We founded Impetus Press because [we believe] there are a lot of readers who don't necessarily want to choose exclusively between highbrow and lowbrow, who want serious literary fiction that takes popular culture as its muse.' PopMatters talks to publishing house revolutionaries Jennifer Banash and Willy Blackmore.

Wednesday, September 6 2006

The Baseball Team Who Saved One Another: An Interview with John Albert

'There's nothing subversive about getting a Mohawk and walking around Silver Lake. When I was 16, if you got a tattoo, it was like, 'What the fuck are you doing?' There was nobody doing that. [Now] everyone is covered in tattoos. It means nothing. Dyeing your hair pink means nothing. Putting a metal post through your nose doesn't mean anything.' Jodie Janella Horn talks to John Albert about music, baseball, James Frey, and punk-rock death.

Friday, September 1 2006

Moby Dick: American Chowder

'Reduced to more practical terms, if Jazz music is gumbo -- and it is -- the archetypal American novel, with Moby Dick as its progenitor and arguably its apotheosis, is a chowder.' Sean Murphy takes a new look at an old classic.

Thursday, August 31 2006

Bookmarks: Brief reviews of new and overlooked books

Opera has undergone numerous revisions throughout its history, indeed ever since its inception in the late Renaissance. Gallo reminds us, albeit at a breathtaking pace, that it opera hardly an unchanging art-form with an ageless essence.

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