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


Monday, September 17 2001

    Tweaker: The Attraction to All Things Uncertain

Nine Inch Nails really had something going in 1989 with the gut-wrenching, soul-sucking album, Pretty Hate Machine. Fast forward 12 years, and Trent Reznor is still hard

Telefon Tel Aviv: Fahrenheit Far Enough

There is some electronic music that is meant for ass-shakin’ at the club: big fat beats that get the rump rockin’, hyperkinetic rhythms, fast-paced spacey

    Squeeze: Greatest Hits

Squeeze were never cool. One viewing of their atrocious videos proves that they could not compete in the image wars of the early 1980s. Their

    Superchunk: Here’s to Shutting Up

I missed out on punk rock. Sure, I listened to Social Distortion on my friend Pat’s tape deck, got into old Clash tapes in

Jennifer Paige: Positively Somewhere

1998: Toni Braxton files for bankruptcy. Titantic becomes one of the biggest films in history. Frank Sinatra dies. Swing dancing becomes the country line dancing of

    Owen: self-titled

The lights go down. The spotlight hits the stage. A crowded room of indie-rock kids clink their glasses of single malt beverages. A buzz of

    Beaver Nelson: Undisturbed

A bright Gerber daisy on his jacket is not enough to distract you from the intensity of Beaver Nelson’s piercing stare. Yet the photograph

    Money Mark: Change Is Coming

Mark Nishita, a.k.a. Money Mark, is a hard man to pin down. If you recognize the name, it’s most likely because of

    The Mad Capsule Markets: OSC-DIS (Oscillator in Distortion)

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: My clients, the Mad Capsule Markets, are accused of many things. The prosecution has tried very hard to paint

    John Mayer: Room for Squares

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you . . . John Mayer! Now, just be quiet a moment. You’re going to love this guy! You’re going

    Melochrome: Stay a Little Longer

Melochrome really lives up to the “mellow” in its name on Stay a Little Longer. The sophomore effort from the Chicago dream-pop unit is a

Yo-Yo Ma: Classic Yo-Yo

It’s safe to say that Yo-Yo Ma has been classical music’s most successful goodwill ambassador of the last decade. His unparalleled technical virtuosity,

    Brad Mehldau Trio: Progression—Art of the Trio Volume 5

The sleeve notes to Progression aren’t going to do much for jazz’s reputation as too highbrow for its own good consisting, as they

    Milemarker: Anaesthetic

Something about Milemarker’s previous album, Frigid Forms Sell, just never sat right with me. Actually, I should make that a couple of “somethings”—the

Live: V

The year is 1994. The moment the world heard “I Alone”, there was almost an audible moment of silence. Wow. Where did that come from? Who

Gerald Levert: Gerald’s World

Gerald Levert is arguably the most consistent R&B vocalist of this generation.

    Al Kooper: Rare & Well Done: The Greatest and Rarest of Al Kooper

Everyone knows Al Kooper in one form or another. If the name isn’t instantly recognizable, then Kooper’s long list of musical contributions and

    Diana Krall: The Look of Love

Yes, Diana Krall is beautiful, a jazz pinup in the most classic sense. With her latest effort, The Look of Love, it is difficult to

Macy Gray: The Id

What Gray possesses is a distinct voice and even more distinct personality that has given her the kind of visibility that she could have never imagined-the gawky brown girl with the squeaky voice has perhaps “queered” our perceptions of “The Diva”.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci: How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci are often tagged as a Britpop band, mainly, it seems, because they play a sometimes quirky brand of indie fare that happened to come to the attention of English listeners during the '90s amid the Cool Britannia hype and hoopla . . . [however the] sound of GZM clearly challenged the Englishness that dominated Britpop and questioned the terms of its urban, largely male, rock hegemony.

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