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


Monday, August 27 2001

Sunny Ledfurd: The White Disk

“SL you guys rock, i love guys and i just wanted to say when you guys get big PLEAZ dont chang cuz most singers, groups,

    B.B. King: Here and There: The Uncollected B.B. King

BB. King once said that “the blues is an expression of anger against shame and humiliation”. Given the source of this definition (that amiable gentle

The Ivory Coast: Clouds

Clouds is one of those albums that frustrates the listener’s critical capacities. You spend half your time trying to decide if you actually like

Heavenly: Heavenly Versus Satan

Heavenly obviously recalls an earlier era in independent rock since Heavenly Versus Satan is the domestic re-release of the band’s 1990 album. Still, a bit

Club 8: self-titled

Club 8 have the elements that mark the most memorable pop music, from Astrud Gilberto to Stephin Merritt: a sense of style, a remarkable vocalist, atmosphere,

Circulatory System: self-titled

If the eponymous debut from Circulatory System looks like an Olivia Tremor Control CD, it’s because it almost is. The first thing you might

Butthole Surfers: Weird Revolution

Gibby Haynes began the Butthole Surfers’ 1987 masterpiece Locust Abortion Technician with an exchange between father and son in which (before ending with a bombastic exhortation

Madonna Live: Drowned World 2001

The difference between Em's lyrical violence against women and Madonna's battered video self-portraits is that in Em's songs, violence against women is always nasty, ugly, and despicable (contrary to those who would claim he 'glorifies' it), unlike the video-screen Madonna of 'Drowned World', who is bloodied and bruised but nevertheless glamorous.

Sunday, August 26 2001

    J.J. Johnson: The Eminent, Volume One

When trombonist J.J. Johnson died in April of this year, the obituaries were respectful, his place in jazz history was duly acknowledged and his

    Rodney Jones: Soul Manifesto

Who’s got the funk? Well, this month’s answer to that age-old question is Blue Note. Not jazz-funk, mind you, or any new-fangled variant,

Five: Kingsize

For such a good pop album, it’s a shame the band is no longer. You heard right. The superboy band Five has disbanded. Here’

Eric’s Trip: The Eric’s Trip Show

In the rush to sign bands in the wake of Nirvana and Teen Spirit, many mediocre nouveau heavy metal bands signed major label deals and

City High: self-titled

I thought I would hate City High when I first read about them. Look at the ingredients—an over-hyped, MTV-driven, debut set from a teen-oriented

Friday, August 24 2001

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

In his latest film, Woody Allen moves in slow motion. Actually, the whole of The Curse of the Jade Scorpion appears to be creaking and shuffling, like it's been made by zombies.

Tuesday, August 21 2001

    The Mockers: Living in the Holland Tunnel

Fans of pure pop often act like they’re a tiny breed of specialist music lovers, obscured by mainstream commercial acts and forced to justify

Monday, August 20 2001

    Various Artists: Space Jazz

Labeling something jazz or rock or rap or blues or anything else is a tad arbitrary. It’s been a long time since genres of

    Shannon Wright: Dyed in the Wool

As a singer, songwriter and musician, Shannon Wright has an extreme intensity about her at all times, whether she’s playing a rock song with

    Velvet Crush: In the Presence of Greatness / A Single Odessey

Sometimes, when I close my eyes and wish real hard, I enter another world. There, things are pretty much the same as here, but everything

    Uriah Heep: The Best Of - The Millennium Collection

In rock’s long and illustrious history, there has never been a band greeted with more critical hostility than the UK progressive rock act, Uriah

    Seven Channels: self-titled

While popular music may be an important cultural force, no rock band has saved the world. Even groups who incorporate socially conscious messages into their

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