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


Wednesday, September 4 2002


Cornelius seems like an unaffectedly magnetic performer—charming and adorable without being fey or foppish, radiating rock-god confidence without being arrogant. I get the sense

Life of Pi: A Novel by Yann Martel

In the best tradition of all good literature, it "shows," but never "tells.

Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence by Gerard Jones

In fact, everything in 'Killing Monsters' works, placing it in sharp contrast to the endless sky-is-falling rhetoric of the last few decades, which seems designed for no other purpose than make us fear both the media and our own children.

Dr. Tatiana’s eEx Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson

I'm appalled by the behavior of the young iguanas of today: I keep encountering groups of youths masturbating at me.

Crocodile Soup by Julia Darling

The themes of loss, isolation, and desperation are ripe with possibility, and yet Darling's treatment of these topics often leaves the reader cold.

Tuesday, September 3 2002

Wayne: Music on Plastic

No one knows when, why, or even how it happened, but rock music has silently slipped into cult status in the last couple of years.

Aimee Mann: Lost in Space

The front door slams shut behind you, the sound echoing throughout the empty apartment. It’s quiet except for the sound of rain outside the

Junior Kimbrough: You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough

Just about five years ago, David “Junior” Kimbrough was watching TV in a Holly Springs, Mississippi housing project when a heart attack struck and killed

Dropsonic: Belle

If there’s one thing that can be said for Dropsonic, it’s that they truly rock hard. Another band to land on the 54 40’ Or

Brand New Sin: self-titled

It seems that every time I review a metal CD, I have to go on a big, lengthy diatribe about how dead nu-metal is, how

Mary J. Blige: Dance for Me

After the success of her last album, No More Drama, Mary J. Blige has become more of a crossover urban pop star than an R

Atmosphere: God Loves Ugly

The atmosphere of Atmosphere’s God Loves Ugly is dark. Slug, the Minneapolis hip-hop group’s lone MC, is an amalgam of angst, bitterness and

Friday, August 30 2002

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1973)

Ziggy falters as a visual experience, a conspicuous failing considering its spectacle-obsessed subject.

Tokyo Revelation (Shin Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku) (2002)

But too soon, it's back to more possessions and double-crosses and a baffling scheme.

Red Hawk: Weapon of Death (2002)

It's all just so wonderfully corny.

feardotcom (2002)

Udo Kier stumbles down a dark New York subway stairway, his face sweaty and deeply shadowed, his eyes popping in that Udo Kierian way.

Thursday, August 29 2002

The The: Soul Mining

The band whose name drives SpellCheck nuts reexamines its history, finally, thankfully. After sitting on one of the most prolific catalogs of modern rock for

Sleater-Kinney: One Beat

I can’t remember where I actually saw it, but I could have sworn that one major-paper reviewer likened the sound of Sleater-Kinney’s newest

Chuck Prophet: No Other Love

In 1990, Chuck Prophet cut Brother Aldo, his first solo record. Recorded shortly after he left Green on Red, a cow punk outfit from San Francisco,

Laura Nyro: Live: The Loom’s Desire

You either get Laura Nyro or you don’t. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t really even try, because you’re going to

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