Recent Features

2 May 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Pope of Satire

Judging from the worried silence that met Stephen Colbert’s satirical comments about the current president, it seems he stepped over the line from his trademark truthiness that entertains to plain-old truth (or perhaps taboo) that his audience did not want to hear. As comedy routines go, this one died fast.

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20 Questions: Dave Barry

Dave Barry was born in Armonk, New York, in 1947 and has been steadily growing older ever since without ever actually reaching maturity -- a condition which he struggles with in heart-rending detail and bare-his-breast honesty in his newest book, I'll Mature When I'm Dead.

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20 Questions: Kim Severson

Food writer Kim Severson’s latest is Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life. Her ideal guests at the Ritz, she tells PopMatters 20 Questions, would be Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucille Ball.

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High Stakes Criticism: An Interview with Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus on Van Morrison, the yarragh, the blues, the memoir, race, authenticity, imagination, his career and what constitutes 'high stakes' criticism.

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Cracking the Spine: The Lovely Bones

The author's 'heaven' is a concrete and unexpected place with"lumbering women throwing shot put and javelin"; whereas the filmmaker's interpretation changes 'heaven' to something like a garish, 3-D Hallmark card.

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Neurocriticism and Neurocapitalism

The cutting-edge of literary studies uses brain scans and evolutionary psychology to fashion a science of reading, but these techniques have already been at work crafting the latest and most invasive phase of capitalism.

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21 Apr 2010 // 9:00 PM

The History of White People

Evolutionary biologists reckon that all living peoples share the same small number of ancestors... thereby making nonsense of anybody’s pretensions to find a pure racial ancestry.

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Isn’t This Where We Came In?

Have you ever combined the first and last sentence of a novel or a song? The results are often amusing, and sometimes revelatory.

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Unbound: A True Story of War, Love, and Survival

Delegates of the Sixth Chinese Communist Party Congress in 1928 declared that it was of the “greatest importance to absorb... peasant women into... the revolutionary movement.”

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Greil Marcus on Van Morrison: When That Rough God Goes Riding

This is the story of a burly monk in shades, of flesh chasing the divine, of a voice ecstatic in southern blues and gospel and Celtic mysticism.

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20 Questions: Steve Almond

Steve Almond, who’s latest book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life (13 April) talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about high ideals for literature – and how sexy William Shatner is.

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Backyard Fiction a.k.a. the Great American Myth of Suburbia

Suburban discontent in Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, John Updike's Couples and Richard Ford's Independence Day. The idea or myth of suburbia is just as real as the actual shopping centers, schools, etc.

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20 Questions: Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky is a Renaissance man whose work should be read, learned from, and admired. His latest, Eastern Stars publishes this week. He tells PopMatters 20 Questions why he’ll take rebels over saints any day.

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Hellraisers: They Lived This Way Because Nobody Else Could

These guys were geniuses at life: living fully on their own terms, and after all the broken glass, bludgeoned livers, and wrecked relationships, the sum shined brighter than the scattered bits and pieces.

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Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow

When composer W.C. Handy published the first major collection of blues songs in 1926, reimagining pop tunes as folk songs, he explicitly framed the blues as folk music.

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“A Fanatical Fan with Fanatical Opinions”: An Interview with Jim DeRogatis

Noted pop music critic Jim DeRogatis discusses much with PopMatters, including getting into fights with Wayne Coyne, why Lou Reed is frustrating to talk to, and why Lollapalooza is Wal-Mart ...

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My Times in Black and White

Gerald Boyd's memoir illustrates that sometimes, those who preach the loudest about diversity and tolerance are in fact the least capable, when it comes down to it, of tolerating any diversity at all.

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20 Questions: Anne Lamott

Everyone in Anne Lamott's books is sort of screwed up, but she stocks them with an irresistible humor and core decency. Her latest, Imperfect Birds, releases 6 April.

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Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular

This book comes very close to being a faithful mirror of the endlessly fascinating Harry Smith and, like its subject, will provoke, educate, and entertain in equal measure.

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Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training

There’s a time, from when someone dies to when they magically pop up at the funeral or the cemetery or as a bag of ashes, that remains a black hole, invisible to the rest of the world, and everyone’s happy with the arrangement.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Hozier + Death Cab for Cutie + Rock Radio 104.5's Birthday Show (Photo Gallery)

// Notes from the Road

"Radio 104.5's birthday show featured great bands and might have been the unofficial start of summer festival season in the Northeast.

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