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


Tuesday, March 20 2001

Neil Michael Hagerty

It was a real joy to see Mr. Hagerty play his guitar.

Monday, March 19 2001

Steve Earle / Stacey Earle

20 March 2001: Dave's on Dickson - Fayetteville, Arkansas.

    Various Artists: The Amos House Collection, Vol. 1

I don’t own many compilations that I’d call “essential”. They’re usually not that kind of animal; I mean, how often do you

    Various Artists: Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel

Ah, the concept album. The drool and cringe factors on this topic run to pretty severe extremes. Many love it—bring on the operatic drama!

    Various Artists: Beats and Pieces Volume Two

Most BBE compilations are themed, either presenting the favourites of leading DJs or exploring the lesser known tributaries of the various genres mentioned above. With

    Luther Thomas Human Arts Ensemble: Funky Donkey Vol. 1 & 2

At the risk of over-simplification, I think it is possible to detect two distinct trajectories within the Free Jazz movement from its beginnings at the

    Toadies: Hell Below/Stars Above

Back in 1994, when grunge was enjoying its hey day, Toadies released their debut album Rubberneck, quickly selling over a million copies based on the strength

    Silent Poets: To Come

Good to see Japan’s Silent Poets getting an American release through Atlantic picking up on their output for the innovative Parisian label, Yellow. What

    Seafood: Surviving the Quiet

I’ll let you in on a little bit about me. I’m bored with everything in my stereo at the moment. My music purchasing

    Sunshine: Velvet Suicide

Heavy on the post-punk elements yet lacking the “aura” of true greatness, the Eastern European trio Sunshine has recorded a thoroughly good bunch of songs

    Powderfinger: Odyssey #5

You don’t really hear what all the fuss is about until you’re well into Odyssey Number Five‘s third track, “The Metre”. Then,

    Old 97s: Satellite Rides

Over the last handful of years, the Old 97s have gone from playing rock-ish country music to slightly country-ish rock music, to pop-ish rock that

    Ohgr: Welt

Last Saturday night I went to a “goth party” on a boat in Chelsea Piers, New York City. This goth barge contained three floors and

    Mumble & Peg: All My Waking Moments in a Jar

The first moments of Mumble & Peg’s All My Waking Moments in a Jar declares “This is pointless” and “Mumble & Peg hates you”

    The Mary Janes: Flame

With their country-tinged blend of indie-folk rock, The Mary Janes may not be for everyone, but their music is executed with such intelligence and heart,

    Linus of Hollywood: Let Yourself Be Happy

Anyone who has had a song featured on the Dude, Where’s My Car? soundtrack gets my stamp of approval. Not that I ever saw

Delinquent Habits: Merry Go Round

Delinquent Habits were all over MTV in 1996 with “Tres Delinquentes”, a snappy hip-hop track with a hook supplied by mariachi trumpets. At the time perceived

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Best of the Complete Columbia Recordings

In hindsight, it’s easy to assume the albums Miles Davis made with John Coltrane and the rest of his fabled first quintet between 1955 and 1961

Black Box Recorder: The Facts of Life

Its Gallic flavor notwithstanding, 'The Facts of Life' serves up a wonderful slice of traditional English miserablism. Like Pulp and Blur, Black Box Recorder has mastered a pop culture aesthetic inextricably linked to the post-war decline, one that turns complaining about how dreadful everything is into a supremely ironic, comic art form.

Tim Buckley: Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology

Tim Buckley died of a heroin overdose in 1975 at age 28. During his lifetime he recorded nine studio albums. He was a uniquely gifted singer whose

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