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


Sunday, March 9 2003

Pigface: Easy Listening

The Clash. Nine Inch Nails. Gravity Kills. Sister Machine Gun. Bile. Moby. Revolting Cocks. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Meg Lee Chin. Hate Dept. Public Image

New Wet Kojak: This Is the Glamorous

It seems cheap to quote press releases, but sometimes they possess infinite wisdom. In the one accompanying New Wet Kojak’s latest, This Is the

Kristin Hersh: The Grotto

Lots of attention has been given to Kristin Hersh the person-leader of Throwing Muses, young mother, hallucinating bipolar teenage songwriter, alt-rock role model—but not

DJ You DJ Me: Can You See the Music?

Oh, I had a pan ready for this one. I asked for it because I kind of liked DJ You DJ Me’s track on

The Datsuns: self-titled

Yeah, another one of those bands. Do we really need more of this stuff, this revival of raunchy guitar riffs, fuzzed-out solos, and blatant worship

The Delgados: Hate

When Tchaikovsky decided to end the “1812 Overture” with a crescendo of cannons, who knew it would influence followers until today? After all, as good as

The Dent: Farewell

For a band that works hard and gets better over time, the hope is that each new release might be the one to propel them

Saturday, March 8 2003

Tears of the Sun (2003)

To its credit, Tears of the Sun's action here is somber rather than thrilling; you can root for the SEALs, but the toll on them is visible.

The Safety of Objects (2003)

For Esther (Glenn Close), Paul's coma makes him safe to love: he'll never leave her, never get in trouble worse than what he's in now.

Bringing Down the House (2003)

It's like an episode of Bewitched, only longer, and with a feisty black woman instead of a white witch.

Wednesday, March 5 2003

Throwing Muses: self-titled

Hersh fans will have plenty of new material to salivate over. Only time will tell whether Throwing Muses is indeed the final swan song.

Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones

One of the hallmarks of the Ramones’ long and storied career was their unquestioned consistency. The leather jackets and jeans, the mop-top ‘dos, and of

Various Artists: Respond II

Post 9/11 pronouncements on the death of irony may have been grossly exaggerated. In spite of a scare (because of a scare?), those urbane and always

Supergrass: Life on Other Planets

Not the recycled refrain of Oasis. Not the edgy ambition of Radiohead. Not the moody shoe-gaze of Blur. Not the epic glam of Spacehog. Somewhere,

Pas/Cal: The Handbag Memoirs

The Handbag Memoirs, a six-song EP-sized slice of indiepop fun, comes from a somewhat unlikely source, a Detroit area band named Pas/Cal. While most

The Microphones: Mount Eerie

If you are the kind of person who can’t see the forest through the trees, you are not going to enjoy the Microphones’ latest

Mark Knopfler: The Ragpicker’s Dream

When Paul Simon penned the classic opening line “the Mississippi Delta is shining like a National guitar”, he captured the essence of his personal journey

Idlewild: The Remote Part

Idlewild don’t just want to be a good little indie band. They want to be huge, and their latest CD, The Remote Part, is an unabashed attempt at serious mass popularity.

Tim Easton: Break Your Mother’s Heart

Tim Easton is the sort of singer-songwriter who, if he is fortunate enough, has a long and hard road ahead of him. Like most alt-country

Devendra Banhart: Oh Me Oh My ... The Way the Day Goes by the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Love

He wasn’t, if you believe the press release, really going to release this record at all. The story goes that teenaged Devendra Banhart was

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