Music

The Way-Back Machine: 20 Years Ago (videos)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Oddly, a lot of things that happened 20 years ago this week are either similar to or have connections to current events.

On TV, Newhart aired one of the most memorable series finales, a fact that many publications have mentioned this week. Airing their series finales this week were Ghost Whisperer, Melrose Place, and Lost, among others. Family dramedy Life Goes On was renewed for a second season, just as current family dramedy Parenthood has.

At the movies this week is MacGruber, based on Saturday Night Live’s parody of the MacGyverTV series. In 1990, it was in its fifth season.

The #1 song was “Vogue” from Madonna’s Like a Prayer album. Not only was its music video recently parodied on FOX’s Glee, but the cast’s album of Madonna covers is currently selling well.

This is probably just a coincidence, but it is still a little eerie. Are there any more connections to 1990 going on this week that I missed? If so, comment about it below!

Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.

Film

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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