Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Tuesday, September 24 2002

The Moonglows: The Best of the Moonglows (20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection)

Fifty years ago, a Cleveland deejay named Alan Freed hosted a radio program called the Moondog Rock and Roll Party. Freed believed that white audiences

Kevin Mahogany: Pride and Joy

Before Kevin Mahogany emerged in the mid-1990s, male jazz singers had become a nearly extinct species, with no heir apparent to the giants: Jimmy

Midtown: Living Well Is the Best Revenge

Pop-punk is an almost inherently funny thing. The term alone is contradictory: if you’re so “punk”, then you shouldn’t care about pop sensibilities.

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti

Choosing the best record of all time, the top record or your favorite record is impossible for anyone. For a music critic, it is quite

Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Star Band: Things to Come

Dizzy Gillespie loved big bands. Although he will forever be primarily remembered as Parker’s co-revolutionary, their joint ventures actually formed a tiny fraction of

The Gloria Record: Start Here

It finally happened. Indie has broke into the mainstream, mainly due to the popularity of Chris Carraba’s Dashboard Confessional (which, of course, defied my

Monday, September 23 2002

David Weiss: Breathing Room

If, as I would like to imagine is the case, the jazz shelf of your record collection is heavily populated with Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley,

Slum Village: Trinity (Past, Present and Future)

Slum Village’s sound is that of seduction. No, they’re not R. Kelly-imitating wanna-be playboys, but hip-hop aural interior decorators with a knack at

Maserati: The Language of Cities

There’s something about instrumental rock music that makes the music slippery, hard to get a hold of. It’s purely about sound, with none

The Icicles: Pure Sugar EP

There’s something very special about the Icicles. The Grand Rapids, Michigan group has created an EP here that’s every bit as sweet as

Hello From Waveland: Strangeways

Hello From Waveland are a firebrand of a live band—dressed in vintage suits, the four-piece exudes more energy than most punk bands you could

Hrsta: L’éclat du ciel était insoutenable

Mike Moya, the man behind Hrsta, has been doing great work for some time in Montreal. He’s a founding member of godspeed you black

Mary Ann Farley: My Life of Crime

After her 1997 debut disc, Daddy’s Little Girl, Mary Ann Farley was a critical success among peers and her influences. Sharing the stage with Squeeze,

The Sopranos

While reality hounds might say that this is exactly how banal contemporary mob life is, they might also remember that a stamped certificate of authenticity doesn't inoculate drama against tedium.

Push, Nevada

In Push, Nevada, producers Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey have come up with a show that is, oddly, both original and formulaic.

Life With Bonnie

You would be hard pressed to find a sitcom debuting this season with more people rooting for it than Life With Bonnie.

Greetings from Tucson

Greetings can't decide if it's comedy because of being Mexican American or in spite of Mexican American -- and that's one thing working in its favor.


Firefly is more complicated in its framing story and moral dimensions than the usual sci-fi or Western fare.


The shots are close (is that her hand in his pants?), the cutting is speedy, the soundtrack is kicking: just above the din of the engine, the Vines wail.


As I watched Everwood, packed with numerous poignant moments, my own strongest feeling was a longing for South Park's biting critique of 'quiet little mountain towns.'

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