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


Tuesday, June 18 2002

Take 6: Beautiful World

When Take 6 dropped their self-titled debut in 1988, contemporary R&B and gospel were both at crossroads and the idea of an a cappella gospel

Soul Coughing: Lust in Phaze: The Best of Soul Coughing

You don’t really know the band. You might think you do, but you don’t. In fact, chances are good you’ve not only

Kleenex Girl Wonder: After Mathematics

Under the moniker Kleenex Girl Wonder, hometaping wunderkind Graham Smith has been churning out records for the pop underground with startling prolificacy since the mid-‘9

I Muvrini: self-titled

In a small village of 50 inhabitants in northern Corsica, two brothers, Jean-François and Alain, learned to sing from their father, Ghjuliu Bernardini, himself a

Dirty Vegas: self-titled

It’s not a bad way to break into the music biz: a couple friends run into each other at an airport, they decide to

Camber: Wake Up and Be Happy

With their debut and sophomore releases on Deep Elm records, NYC four-piece Camber found themselves in the uneasy position of being in possession of a

Bodega: Without a Plan

Whenever you see a band listed as being reminiscent of Paul McCartney, or called “McCartneyesque”, you know what you’re going to get: great melodies,

Trading Spaces

The dynamic concept intrigued me from the start, but if the participants and crew weren't enjoying themselves, well, it would be like watching Martha Stewart.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

As to the rejection of my understanding of the connection between lesbianism and witchcraft on 'Buffy', I have never said that BVS's creator or writers made a conscious (and consciously homophobic) decision to directly cast lesbianism as social pathology and physical addiction.

Monday, June 17 2002

The No-No’s: Let Your Shadow Out

The No-No’s have a chip on their shoulder about the size of Portland. Well, it is Portland, actually—Portland, Oregon—the place they call

Christy McWilson: Bed of Roses

Christy McWilson is often described as the queen of Seattle While it’s true her version of country is not anyone’s idea

The Mountian Goats: Ghana

John Darnielle writes lots of songs. However, unlike, say, Bob Pollard, who also writes lots of songs (half of which are brilliant and half of

Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio

I’m likely not the only Iron Maiden fan who lost track of the band after 1992. In the four years that followed 1988’s Seventh Son

Steve Earle: Sidetracks

Sidetracks is Earle’s collection of what he calls “stray songs”, songs that never made it to albums, or which can only be found on obscure compilations, soundtracks, or import editions of his albums.

The Commodores: Live!

Call it the R&B equivalent of the old Paul McCartney joke, but somewhere around the time Lionel Richie found himself swimming in hit

Claudia Acuña: Rhythm of Life

With mainstream jazz yet again struggling for sales there is almost a cynical logic to this release. Verve are the most commercially astute of the

Saturday, June 15 2002

Eminem: The Eminem Show

Since Eminem has worked overtime to stir up trouble, all this attention isn't surprising. But it can also be depressing: for the most part, responses to Eminem are all about containing a perceived threat, making Eminem ordinary.

Johnny Cash: Ride This Train

From the moment he took his first Benzedrine tablet in 1957 until his attempted suicide in Nickajack Cave 10 years later, Johnny Cash's musical output was more fertile and prolific than at any other period in his career.

Thursday, June 13 2002

Sonny Boy Williamson: The Real Folk Blues / More Real Folk Blues

“It’s all folk music to me. I never heard no cows singin.’” —Attributed to Sonny Boy Williamson Every once in awhile, in the oceans

The Meat Purveyors: All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail

A weird little trend that’s been growing over the past few years has been bluegrass bands covering tunes from other genres, and in that

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