Recent Features
Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism

Chuck Eddy is one of today’s most entertaining, idiosyncratic, influential, and prolific music critics. This book features the best, most provocative reviews, interviews, columns, and essays written by this singular critic.

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Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.

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Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.

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5 Sep 2011 // 10:00 PM

Next Stop: Marijuanaland

Inside the making of Jonah Raskin’s journey through California’s Emerald Triangle -- one of the main fronts of the global drug war. Raskin not only describes himself as a chronicler of marijuana, but also a smoker who has a medical marijuana card.

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Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation

Can hip-hop change the world? From the south side of Chicago to the barrios of Caracas and Havana and the sprawling periphery of Sydney, Sujatha Fernandes grapples with questions of global voices and local critiques, and the rage that underlies both.

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Wherever He May Roam: Mick Wall Enters Night With a New Rock Bio

Besides writing the harrowing and hilarious drug memoir of his rock life, Paranoid, critic Mick Wall has written biographies on Iron Maiden, Axl Rose, as well as the definitive 2009 Led Zeppelin biography. He talks with PopMatters about his latest book, Enter Night.

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Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future

A up-close account of a city—and a world—at a thrilling and confounding moment in history, in which nothing can be counted as stable, from the sidewalk underfoot to Western assumptions about democracy and progress.

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Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal, and the Music of New Orleans

New Orleans' history is fraught with tragedy and triumph. Both are reflected in the city’s vibrant, idiosyncratic music community. This excerpt tells of but one of the city's musicians captured in this fine book; the somewhat curmudgeonly, terribly talented Gatemouth Brown.

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‘Red Shambhala’: Telepathy, Mental Powers, Electronic Surveillance & Mysticism in the U.S.S.R.

While the practical experiments of laboratories bent on superhuman creations failed as surely as did the subversive aims to spark revolt on the Mongol plains or in the Tibetan monasteries, the lesson of this unbelievable plot lingers in this thoughtful, instructive, and sad testament of grand hopes and puny fates.

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Steve Earle’s ‘I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive’

A been-there-lived-it-attitude and street-level redemption, all propelled by a songwriter's/storyteller's lyrical and narrative knack.

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Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-Hop

Joining authentic voices with a bittersweet narrative covering more than 50 years of fighting oppression through song, Keep On Pushing defines the soundtrack to revolution and the price the artists paid to create it.

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‘Shock Value’: What Men (and Boys) Really Fear

Jason Zinoman argues that the fantastic, Gothic monsters of the first half of the 20th century were replaced by a New Horror -- the monster right in front of your face.

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Alina Simone’s Indie Rock World Comes Alive in ‘You Must Go and Win’

Ukrainian-born musician Alina Simone traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. She begins her tale in a strange place called Kharkov.

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We Can Be Heroes: Talking ‘Supergods’ with Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison’s ability to make connections between seemingly humdrum events and grandiose ideas becomes infectious. Reading Supergods and immersing in his ideas gives one as much kick as a radioactive spider bite.

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Frustrated Fantasies: Misperceptions of Fandom and ‘Gone With the Wind’

The value of fandom is often underestimated. Rather than the stereotyped burnt-out housewives or socially inept teenagers that obsessively and indiscriminately consume popular culture, fans are active agents.

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No One Is Untouchable: Not Federico Garcia Lorca, Not Ai Weiwei

Governments tend to take on their worst form, to devolve to their most horrific manifestation, when they kill artists. Artists look out into the horrors of the world, and inevitably, the horrors sometimes reach back.

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Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s

In the early '80s, new wave’s most successful acts -- groups like the Cars, the Police, the Talking Heads, and newcomers the Go-Go’s -- had established themselves among the upper echelon of critically acclaimed and top-selling rock artists.

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The Hate for Southern Hip-Hop: Why So Serious?

The way some of us disparage Southern rap, you'd think rappers like Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame had recorded a record dissing Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane.

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An Honorable Escape: Georgette Heyer Remakes Jane Austen

Repetition -- of plots, characters, editions -- is not a disadvantage in romance book publishing industry. It's the very reason for being, though it must be carefully managed to prevent satiety.

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A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster

All his life Morgan Forster lived in a world imprisoned by prejudice against homosexuals. He was 16 when Oscar Wilde was sent to prison, and he died the year after the Stonewall riots.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Bad Graphics Are Still Impressive in ‘Spirits of Xanadu’

// Moving Pixels

"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.

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