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


Tuesday, April 30 2002

Megadeth: Killing is My Business . . . and Business is Good!

In 1983 and 1984, as hard rock bands were starting to dominate record sales, such as Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Def Leppard, and Quiet

Isaac Freeman and the Bluebloods: Beautiful Stars

While listening to Beautiful Stars, Isaac “Dickie” Freeman’s first solo album, there is much at which to marvel. Most obvious is Freeman’s basso

Monday, April 29 2002

Elliott Smith: either/or

“Drink up baby / Stay up all night / With the things you could do / You won’t but you might / The potential you’ll be / That

Poster Children: Zero Stars: A DVD Tour Diary

Within the last several years, the pretense of the low budget, independent cinematic hybrid, an integral element of the superinformationhighway for cutting edge, experimental art,

Mark Olson & The Creekdippers: Pacific Coast Rambler

I interviewed Victoria Williams once; she washed dishes while she talked to me on the phone. It wasn’t meant as an insult, and the

N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton

Let’s assume, just for fun, that the Beatles are the most influential group in the history of pop music. That would make N.W

Bob Mould: Modulate

Change is hard; change is necessary, yet change ultimately is good. If change scares you, stay inside and keep playing your old Hüsker Dü,

Life Without Buildings: Any Other City

There’s a thin line between art and pretentiousness, between being challenging and needlessly inscrutable. Radiohead have crossed the line so often that they’ve

Amy Jane: Wide Open

Ever see the old Monty Python “Dennis Moore” sketch? You know, the one where John Cleese plays a Robin Hood figure who steals from the

Richard Hell: Time

Richard Hell can walk down the street in New York City’s East Village without being recognized. He rides the subway, eats at understated restaurants

Death Cab for Cutie: The Stability EP

In 2000, when Death Cab for Cutie released We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes, the follow-up to 1998’s promising debut Something About Airplanes,

Thursday, April 25 2002

Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

On one level, 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' is a lush pop album, though notes of dissonance constantly intrude, interrupting and complicating the pop sound; on another, it is an exploration of the barriers to communication.

Dexter Romweber: Chased By Martians

Musical meaning is measured in millions. Pampered, mega-sloth Mac-Poodles are led around the electronic cage on invisible leashes by giant invisible corporate owners and applauded

Pepito: Migrante

Pepito is a two-person band from San Francisco who just may have made the debut album of the year. They traffic in the ambiguities and

Masters of the Hemisphere: The Permanent Stranger EP

Bren Mead and Sean Rawls, dual leaders of Athens’ Masters of the Hemisphere, are eternal indie-pop pranksters, whose cache of irresistible hooks is dwarfed only

Nik Kershaw: To Be Frank

Wouldn’t it be good if everyone knew how good Nik Kershaw really is? Nik Kershaw is one of the most criminally unappreciated songwriters of

Darren Hayes: Spin

Back when I was first discovering music, good pop was relatively easy to come by. Everything, to me, was new and fresh, enticing and electric.

We Are Going to America (1992/2002)

We Are Going to America offers a fragmented and personal interpretation of the immigrants' experiences.

World Traveler (2001)

World Traveler returns to the 'problem' of Cal's appearance, as several characters... remark on his beauty.

The Scorpion King (2002)

The Rock is a star, straight up.

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