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


Tuesday, August 27 2002

The Action: Rolled Gold

The Action were a George Martin-produced soul-pop band in mid-‘60s England, musical brothers of the early Who, The Small Faces, and the Zombies. Despite

Monday, August 26 2002

Various Artists: Dressed in Black:  A Tribute to Johnny Cash

If there’s anyone deserving a birthday extravaganza with lots of presents, it’s Johnny Cash, whose 70th birthday has been garnering serious—and well

Various Artists: Departures: Global Expeditions in Nu Jazz + Broken Beats

Is there a worse name for a sub-genre of music than “nu jazz”? The answer, it turns out, is yes—now some folks have taken

Doug Powell: The Lost Chord

“I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”—Frederich Nietzsche, from Thus

Palomar: Palomar II

The songs of Palomar are beyond peppy, blasting into full-blown exuberance. An infectious energy runs through all the NYC band’s material, fueled by who-knows-what

The Naysayer: Heaven, Hell or Houston

The Naysayer, as a band, is mostly a vehicle for the talents of Texas singer/songwriter Anna Padgett. However, the fact that its other members

Mingus Big Band: Tonight at Noon . . . Three or Four Shades of Love

Even the greenest of instrumental amateurs knows that which separates a good jazz musician from the rest of the pack is an intimate understanding of

Heather Myles: Sweet Talk & Good Lies

It’s been 10 years since Heather Myles released her debut album on Hightone records. The album, Just Like Old Times, has a few potential singles

Thursday, August 22 2002

Various Artists: Porno Chic 2

A real problem with compilations is the likelihood of them containing, if they are any good, tunes you already have at least once. Less of

Wondermints: Mind If We Make Love to You

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus—and in this world of unlikely longshots, some people do by and large win big lottery jackpots. It’

Sing-Sing: The Joy of Sing-Sing

It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since Lush’s final album, Lovelife. After bursting onto the scene in the early 1990s

Puffy AmiYumi: An Illustrated History

I am hereby requesting a ticket for a one-way flight to Japan -– anywhere in Japan would do. After listening to Puffy AmiYumi’s ‘An

Blue Mountain: Tonight It’s Now Or Never

It’s rare that you hear a band going out on the top of its game rather than grasping at lost musical straws as it

Undisputed (2002)

Masculinity, integrity, brutality: Walter Hill's usual themes.

Simone (2002)

Viktor sees his most attractive, resourceful, and prolific self in Simone.

Serving Sara (2002)

'My job sucks,' says Joe (Matthew Perry) at the beginning of Reginald Hudlin's peculiar romantic comedy.

One Hour Photo (2002)

Neatly, ominously, the film composes a bleak vision of Sy's consumption of and by his culture.

I’m Going Home (2001)

I'm Going Home not only retains its heart, but expands it until the film's emotional power is almost too much to handle.

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.

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