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


Monday, September 24 2001

    Billy Bob Thornton: Private Radio

The Starlight Lounge is a familiar archetype in the American imagination—a poorly lit bar with red velvet-textured wallpaper, where the stale air is thick

    Tenacious D: self-titled

Man, it is finally here! The long-awaited, most triumphant release of what could possibly be the most important album of the year! Nay, the decade!

    Spiritualized: Let It Come Down

The personal nature of these songs is what really sets 'Let It Come Down' apart from anything Spiritualized has done before. It's as though J. Spaceman has realized that once you're in deep outer-space, the only way to escape is to come back home.

The Soul Brothers: The Rough Guide to the Soul Brothers

It’s kind of a legend, at least in pop music terms. Paul Simon is having the third or fourth of his mid-life crises, driving

Sugarbomb: Bully

Try for a second to imagine guitar-based pop as commercially viable again. Imagine for a second that major record labels, y’know, those Snake Oil

Stars: The Comeback EP

Stars is a four-piece electronic pop band currently based in Montreal. At the Darla records site, Stars vocalist Torquill Campbell describes their last CD, the

    Soulstance: Truth, Simplicity and Love

Italian cool meets Bossa Nova with a little touch of jazz-house. Cinecitta soundtracks get the Jazzanova treatment. Bebel Gilberto goes Abstract Lounge. Any of the

    Suicide Machines: Steal This Record

Am I listening to the right CD? I’ve had to check at least twice, but yep, there it is on the sleeve—this is

Matthew Ryan: Concussion

If you’ve read Rick Bragg’s memoir All Over but the Shoutin’, it’s impossible to hear a song like Matthew Ryan’s “Night

    Rambient: So Many Worlds

Rock and electronic music have a very shaky relationship. Early on in their career, the Chemical Brothers put big beat on the map and successfully

    The O’Jays: For the Love

It has been a good year for soul music. Not only have the neo/nu coterie all dropped solid releases but, for the first time

    Naked Music NYC: Reconstructed Soul

It’s not hard to spot a Naked Music head in a crowd of house aficionados—there’s something about the way they walk, the

Marathon: The Year of You

Atlanta rockers Marathon may consist of the quartet of Mike Roberts, Chuck Carrier, Tim Turnbow and Dan Morris, but with vocalist Carrier writing every song

    The Microphones: The Glow, pt. 2

That act of disrupting, of throwing off expectations, is key to the Microphones’ music. It’s even more central to the songs’ musical constructions than

Los Straitjackets: Sing Along with Los Straitjackets

Surf Wrestlers Attack AM Standards! To be truthful, it’s hard to listen to anything these days. There’s so much instability in the world

Lifestyle: Frontier

Close. Very close. The first couple songs on this EP are a lot like having that girl you had a crush on all through your

Joe Jackson: The Best of Joe Jackson: The Millennium Collection

In 1979 I was in high school and a convert to the music that was quickly becoming dubbed “new wave”. Having already cut my teeth on

The Handsome Family: Twilight

As I was thumbing through the liner notes to the Handsome Family’s new album Twilight, I came across the following two sentences. “I don’

Jim Hall: Jim Hall and Basses

A great idea this. Take Jim Hall, the quiet experimentalist of the jazz guitar, and a man with almost 50 years of thoughtful and innovative work

Coleman Hawkins: The Hawk in Hi Fi

If you understand and appreciate the importance of Coleman Hawkins to the jazz world, you probably already have this disc. The man basically invented the

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