Music

Linda Draper - "Shadow of a Coal Mine" (MP3) (PopMatters Premiere)

Singer-songwriter Linda Draper pens lean and spare songs full of atmosphere with elegant, every-note-in-the-right-place instrumentation.

Draper's latest record is Edgewise, which released last week and notably rekindled her musical passions. “With this album, I feel I’ve come full circle,” she says. “I feel myself returning to the roots that originally sparked my enthusiasm for music.” Today we present the premiere of her second single from the new record, "Shadow of a Coal Mine".

“I've always been fascinated with songs that are written from the perspective of the ‘bad guy,’” she says is regards to “Shadow of a Coal Mine". "Johnny Cash always did this incredibly well, and so when the lyrics started pouring out for this song, I decided to construct the perspective as if the bad guy (or ‘girl,’ as it were) was me.”


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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