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


Tuesday, August 13 2002

Farrah: Moustache

The “skinny tie” era of British pop calls to mind some very good times. Things were simpler, the harmonies flowed and there was no shortage

Dwindle: Expectance/Acceptance

For some reason, I feel a certain kinship with Minneapolis band Dwindle. I’ve been following them from the get-go, and always feel a little

Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow

In a record store not so long ago, I noticed the latest from El-P, Fantastic Damage, sitting on a shelf. A sticker on the front

Monday, August 12 2002

Muddy Waters: The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues

Muddy Waters came to Chicago in 1943, but didn’t have a hit recording until 1948’s “I Can’t Be Satisfied”. He learned his craft from

Peter Tosh: reissues

Every music writer has his or her favorite Underrated Artist, and mine happens to be Peter Tosh. I should probably pick someone more obscure for

31 Knots: A Word Is Also a Picture of a Word

They say first impressions are always important. I say first impressions are bogus. At least in this music business. For one could take a listen

16 Horsepower: Folklore

16 Horsepower is, in seven sentence fragments or less: pure bluegrass. Johnny Cash. A midnight field, full moon. The crackle of campfire on a dark mountainside.

Liars: They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top

Led by too much hype and too little talent, New York’s rock ‘n’ roll scene—the one that had been dead for a while—

Danny Frankel: Vibration of Sound

It is almost worth buying this record simply to disprove the claim that, in this increasingly corporate age, individualised, experimental music is a thing of

Calliope: Braille

On Braille, Calliope’s fourth album, the Michigan quartet tries to throw in a good bit of everything. There’s folky twang, melodic pop sheen,

Bis: Plastique Nouveau

People who watch The Cartoon Network regularly listen to Bis; they’re the band playing the theme song to the Powerpuff Girls. With the wonderfully

Friday, August 9 2002

XXX (2002)

Xander is a bad ass with a heart of gold.

24 Hour Party People (2001)

Tony Wilson lived for the explosive moment.

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)

Juni and Carmen's perspective, part convincingly ingenuous and part movie-kid calculated, organizes the film's general view of things.

Punchline (1988)

Explores a dark side of stand-up comedy, but relies on stereotypes rather than shedding new light on the subject.

The Good Girl (2002)

Into Justine's black hole of a routine walks Holden glowering, self-consciously poetic, urgent.

Contract Killer (Sat sau ji wong) (1998)

A diluted reissue of Tung Wai's Hitman.

Blood Work (2002)


Thursday, August 8 2002

The The: Infected / Mind Bomb

I love the current trend of record labels re-mixing, re-packaging, and re-releasing my favorite albums from middle and high school in order to win my

Ralph Stanley: self-titled

At night strange light will appear in marshes that flitters and dances for a few moments before it disappears. Known as will o’ the wisps,

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