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


Thursday, August 22 2002

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002)

The apotheosis of a very good band, Sam Jones' I Am Trying to Break Your Heart begs the question of whether merely very good bands deserve to be deified.

Harvard Man (2001)

Harvard Man's refusal to pass judgment on characters' drug use is troubling.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

The Adventures of Pluto Nash is a whole lot of nada.

Wednesday, August 21 2002

Tricky: Tricky: A Ruff Guide

Many words and phrases have been used to describe the artist currently known as Tricky (A.K.A. Adrian Thawes). Among those terms are pioneer,

Tegan and Sara: If It Was You

Tegan and Sara Quin’s debut album from 2000, This Business of Art, wasn’t overly spectacular, but it was pleasant enough to warrant attention from

The Trouble with Sweeney: Play Karen and Others

When music editors sit down with take-out Thai, ephedrine, and their spent youth at the end of this year and they are scratching their nicotine

Trabant: Moment of Truth

Why does it sometimes seem that putting musicians in a room full of guitars and drums inevitably brings out their dark, brooding instincts while a

Big Jack Johnson with Kim Wilson: The Memphis Barbecue Sessions

Just the word “barbecue” flares out like a “cultural flashpoint”, enticing some devotees to lick their mental chops and recall that one special place smoking

Calvin Johnson: What Was Me

Calvin Johnson has one of the more distinct singing voices you’ll hear, unbelievably deep yet sonorous. It betrays his presence with the first breath;

DJ Cheb i Sabbah: Krishna Lila

Don’t let the “DJ” tag in front of his name fool you; Cheb i Sabbah’s latest album Krishna Lila is not a DJ

Paul Westerberg

S E T    L I S T High TimeMr. RabbitPsychopharmacologyWaiting for SomebodyAchin’ to BeIf Only You Were LonelyBest Thing That Never HappenedLet the


In 1992, Television basically wrote the book on how to make a reunion work. Draw from your past without being a slave to it, appear on

90 Day Men + Prosaics

Photo credit: Leslie Torre 90 Day Man Vs. Prosaics Only once have I nearly gotten into a fight at a rock show. PJ Harvey, last fall:

Nick Lowe + Bill Kirchen

S E T    L I S T There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Sits Down at the Conference Table)Soulful WindWhat’

Norah Jones

Newcomer Norah Jones poured her voice into the dinner theater at Bimbo’s night club in San Francisco with all the force of a flash

Drive-By Truckers

My True South, Or, Kick Ass with the Drive-By Truckers Once upon a time, there was Carl Perkins. Not so long after that, there was

DJ Spooky

The tactic for judging movies was long ago boiled down to three or possibly four main criteria: the story, the acting, the directing and the

Snobbery: The American Version by Joseph Epstein

Snobbery can be mocked, but at its core, it is a weak, malicious vice that shows our worst.

The Russian Debutante’s Handbook by Gary Shteyngart

To answer the question of 'What is America?' It could be a hamburger, a hot dog, a shiny Cadillac, and a pretty young woman underneath a palm tree, or all of these.

Nigger by Randall Kennedy

If hip-hop is as American as apple pie, then the language it uses, a language that some call coarse and others call authentic has become the currency of hipness and modernity.

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