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


Tuesday, July 16 2002

I Am the World Trade Center: The Tight Connection

Pop Culture has a rule of 20s: take a pop phenomenon (music, book, movie, you name it) and in 20 years it stands a great chance

Doleful Lions: Out Like a Lamb

“With wasted ways and summer days / And frightwigs have eclipsed the moon / On stout and lime and evening time / And ‘I’ve been in this

Dolly Varden: Forgiven Now

If emotional honesty is your true measure of how good a CD is, then I urge you to check out the outstanding and resilient strains

Mark Douthit: Groove

This represents a new venture from fledgling label Hillsboro, a move from traditional to smooth jazz. It will probably pay off. Douthit is a respected

Appendix Out: A Warm and Yeasty Corner

Recorded in Chicago while the band was the opening act for Edith Frost, A Warm and Yeasty Corner is a lovely piece of work. Although

Monday, July 15 2002

Various Artists: The Amos House Collection, Volume II

It’s never easy to criticize a benefit concert or album, especially when there is a truly compassionate cause. If I were to strike down

Fairgrove: Good Luck

It’s not been an easy road for Seattle band Fairgrove. After they dropped an extremely promising debut EP in early 2000, In Defense of the

Fiver: Here It Comes

Having listened to Fiver’s newest release Here It Comes a number of times now, I can only say that I must be missing out

Chicago Underground Duo: Axis and Alignment

The Chicago Underground is a shape-shifting collective whose members play in various size ensembles. At the core of the group is the Duo, comprised of

Coldcut: 70 Minutes of Madness

Gather ‘round, young’uns, and heark to the tale I tell. It’s not a tall tale, nor yet a long one—it’s a

The Contrast: Mystery #1

The Contrast offers up a lot with this ambitious first major release Mystery #1, only now getting North American distribution, two years after its original UK

a-ha: Lifelines

Yes, them. The ones who did “Take on Me.” If you really stretch your memory, you might recall that they’re also the ones who

Friday, July 12 2002

1776 (1972)

Fortunately, the film doesn't take itself or the three leaders of the independence movement too seriously.

Reign of Fire (2002)

There's probably something to be said here about guys and competition and pointy weapons.

Real Genius (1985)

Whereas most teen films collapse into a mindless sequence of witless one-liners and antiquated sight gags, Real Genius remains effervescent and engaging.

Road to Perdition (2002)

The perfectly grim surface evokes eons of pain, as well as a highly stylized contemporary sensibility, not so much cynical as skeptical and self-aware.

Ghost Sweeper Mikami: Sharon Becker, Angora Deb, Wayne Grayson - PopMatters Film Review )

There is one huge difference between Mikami and Buffy -- Mikami is strictly in it for the cash, possessed of an all-consuming greed that makes for real comedy . . .

Gangster No. 1 (2000)

Gangster No. 1's style and plot are stale.

Thursday, July 11 2002

Various Artists: Fields and Streams

Fields and Streams, the newest compilation album from Olympia, Washington’s Kill Rock Stars label, is overwhelming: New tracks by 45 indie artists, about two and

The Psychedelic Furs: The Psychedelic Furs / Talk Talk Talk / Forever Now

Forget about the Psychedelic Furs. The history of 1980s music has largely been written, and the Furs are minor characters, at best. They weren’t

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