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


Monday, August 21 2000

Various Artists: Reggae Over Africa

In the United States, reggae and the rasta lifestyle have become trendy. White teenagers grow fat dreads, wear Bob Marley tie-dyed shirts and jam on

Zebrahead: Playmate of the Year

The band hired several Playboy models to appear within the context of their CD booklet—a photo shoot that the all male group made sure

Riptones: Buckshot

Elvis may have been King, but his guitar player, Scotty Moore, was a major contributor to the kingdom. The “sound” of those classic Elvis singles

Maria McKee: Ultimate Collection

A waif-ish pixie with a tornado-sized voice, Maria McKee burst onto the international stage in 1985 with her band Lone Justice. You’re forgiven if you

Lolita Storm: G-F-S-U

On G-F-S-U (Girls Fucking Shit Up), Lolita Storm proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Brighton rocks, albeit with a little help from Berlin—in the

Chris Knox: Beat

From his native Invercargill, New Zealand (described by that noted travel writer, Keith Richards, as “the asshole of the world”), to France (where he was

Elastica: The Menace

Elastica, the pop-punk band that became a poster child for Britpop in America back in 1995, has been best known of late for their disappearing act.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads: All the Best, Mate: Live

In 1977 I was 14 when my much older brother returned from law school in San Francisco. I have always said that he was responsible for my

Cleopatra: Steppin’ Out

While British sister act Cleopatra earned comparisons to the Spice Girls with their pop-focused 1998 debut, the trio are aiming to capture fans of TLC and

Buffalo Tom: A-Sides from Buffalo Tom (1988 to 1999)

The notion that Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20 and The Wallflowers can achieve Brontosaurus-heavy radio rotation while Buffalo Tom remain in the shadows

Wednesday, August 16 2000


It's been said about a thousand times that electronica needs a face before it can become a part of the US pop music mainstream.

Monday, August 14 2000

Wheatus: self-titled

Columbia Records took a huge risk when they let one of their newest finds, Wheatus, make their label debut all by themselves. The group, which

Victoria Williams: Water to Drink

I was first heard Victoria Williams’ music on the benefit album, Sweet Relief. What a beautiful and glorious album. With a cast of artists from

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee: Absolutely the Best

Country blues is the primitive, acoustic grandpa to much of what passes for blues these days. While theories abound regarding the origins of the blues

Tommy Sims: Peace & Love

Over the years Tommy Sims has worked with the likes of Garth Brooks, Joan Osborne, and Amy Grant. However, lovers of top quality music should

Sunna: One Minute Science

Sunna have quite the pedigree. Frontman Jon Harris played on Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and this debut is released through Massive’s Melankolic imprint, home

Relative Ash: Our Time With You

I hate to have to invoke a tired cliche, but here goes: Looks can be deceiving. Did that hurt too much? Hope not. Anyway, my

O.P.M.: Menace to Sobriety

O.P.M. may have good intentions to deliver a hip-hop mixed with pop punk sound, but they do nothing more than rethread other bands

Madredeus: Antologia

Now this is gorgeous music. Over the past few years, North Americans have had a chance to hear more Portuguese music than ever before. From

Marisa Monte: Memories, Chronicles & Declarations of Love

Marisa Monte, Brazilian pop diva, has a voice like honey—it’s syrupy and at times sickly sweet. Her sultry mezzo soprano voice is what

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