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


Wednesday, July 17 2002

Hell to Pay by George Pelecanos

Pelecanos is a lifelong resident of the nation's capital who has observed gentrification erode whatever character or sense of continuity the environment once possessed.

A Great, Silly Grin: The British Satire Boom of the 1960s by Humphrey Carpenter

Satire's audiences have always tended to come from the very section of society that is being satirized.

Great Presidential Wit (I Wish I Was in the Book) by Bob Dole

If you had your doubts about Dole before, this will only confirm the worst of them.

Bad Fads by Mark A. Long

College students are often credited with the more bizarre fads which seem to have all been popularized briefly, then forgotten as soon as another trend hit the scene.

Tuesday, July 16 2002

Various Artists: Carte Blanche 3

Rock writers are cagey creatures. By profession, they sift through a more-than-average amount of music, encounter their fair share of crap, try to find something

The Sex Pistols: self-titled

As the Pistols geared up for the release of 'God Save the Queen', scores of youths, scattered around Europe and elsewhere, sensed the imminent revolution: They dismissed David Bowie and Gary Glitter as bourgeois, listened to 'Anarchy in the UK', and as the last act of defiance, wore safety pins on their school uniforms.

Jeb Loy Nichols: Easy Now

Growing up in Missouri, Jeb Loy Nichols loved listening to Hank Williams and Merle Haggard, but along the way Al Green and Jimmy Cliff weren’

I Am the World Trade Center: The Tight Connection

Pop Culture has a rule of 20s: take a pop phenomenon (music, book, movie, you name it) and in 20 years it stands a great chance

Doleful Lions: Out Like a Lamb

“With wasted ways and summer days / And frightwigs have eclipsed the moon / On stout and lime and evening time / And ‘I’ve been in this

Dolly Varden: Forgiven Now

If emotional honesty is your true measure of how good a CD is, then I urge you to check out the outstanding and resilient strains

Mark Douthit: Groove

This represents a new venture from fledgling label Hillsboro, a move from traditional to smooth jazz. It will probably pay off. Douthit is a respected

Appendix Out: A Warm and Yeasty Corner

Recorded in Chicago while the band was the opening act for Edith Frost, A Warm and Yeasty Corner is a lovely piece of work. Although

Monday, July 15 2002

Various Artists: The Amos House Collection, Volume II

It’s never easy to criticize a benefit concert or album, especially when there is a truly compassionate cause. If I were to strike down

Fairgrove: Good Luck

It’s not been an easy road for Seattle band Fairgrove. After they dropped an extremely promising debut EP in early 2000, In Defense of the

Fiver: Here It Comes

Having listened to Fiver’s newest release Here It Comes a number of times now, I can only say that I must be missing out

Chicago Underground Duo: Axis and Alignment

The Chicago Underground is a shape-shifting collective whose members play in various size ensembles. At the core of the group is the Duo, comprised of

Coldcut: 70 Minutes of Madness

Gather ‘round, young’uns, and heark to the tale I tell. It’s not a tall tale, nor yet a long one—it’s a

The Contrast: Mystery #1

The Contrast offers up a lot with this ambitious first major release Mystery #1, only now getting North American distribution, two years after its original UK

a-ha: Lifelines

Yes, them. The ones who did “Take on Me.” If you really stretch your memory, you might recall that they’re also the ones who

Friday, July 12 2002

1776 (1972)

Fortunately, the film doesn't take itself or the three leaders of the independence movement too seriously.

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