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Music

Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica' and the Altered State

In the context of Primal Scream's prior and subsequent career, Screamadelica is a miracle. It's a rock record about discovering Ecstasy, rave culture, and the music that went with it.

Recent
Music

Singing the Virginia Blues: An Interview with Gio Washington

Washington's album Son of Pain is a lost treasure of R&B; an album rich in bluesy Southern drawls, honeyed harmonies and street-smart rhythms.

Interviews

Dope Opera: Azeem Talks with PopMatters About His West Coast Hip-Hop Classic, 'Garage Opera'

In 1999, Azeem recorded his underground classic Garage Opera, hip-hop's equivalent of garage rock.

Music

Chasing the Jester's Ghosts: "American Pie"

In light of the March 2017 announcement of "American Pie" being preserved in the Library of Congress, let's not forget other songs of the '70s that matter just as much.

Television

White by Northwest: 'Twin Peaks' and American Mortality

"White" and "weird" series such as Twin Peaks and Wayward Pines speak to an American history haunted by colonialism and racism.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Television

The Reluctant Superhero: The Guilty Walk of David Banner

The Incredible Hulk offered a number of metaphors for both post-war guilt and issues of white masculinity.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Music

Hormonal Rush: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Shakespears Sister

In 1992, Shakespears Sister released Hormonally Yours, a bizarre, moonlit excursion into gothic glam-pop, featuring a host of songs beamed in from the galaxies of sci-fi.

Television

The Reluctant Superhero: Marvel TV in the '70s

Before the rise of the MCU, Marvel attempted to bring some of its most famous superheroes to television.

Thomas Lalli Foster
Television

Queering the Sponge: The Transcendent Queerness of 'SpongeBob SquarePants'

Despite being rooted in nostalgia, the reemergence of SpongeBob could very well be linked to a longing for a yet-to-be-realized queer future.

Daniel Spielberger
Television

Dreams, Diaries, and Getting Down: Individualizing the Past Through Youth and Nostalgia

Despite its limitations, television can help viewers make sense of and shape both the world and the struggle for social change.

Mabel Rosenheck
Music

Jon Brion's Meaningless: An Appreciation

Jon Brion is well known as a successful composer of film scores, but his 2001 self-released album, Meaningless, a lost power-pop classic, should be better known.

Dylan J. Montanari
Film

Freak Like Me: The Misunderstood Brilliance of Tom Green

Tom Green's brand of comedy allows viewers to embrace their own inner freaks.

Mark Matousek
Music

Principled Pleasure: Janet Jackson's 'Control' at 30 Still Commands Respect

A masterpiece of self worth-themed contextual pop proves our idiocy for downgrade shaming her to the status of "wardrobe malfunction".

Music

Always Cry 4 Love, Never Cry 4 Pain: Prince's 30-year 'Parade'

On Parade, Prince allows an openness to ideas and collaboration to a degree he’d never experienced before, and it brings out the best in him.

Music

The Glorious, Quixotic Mess That Is the Beatles' 'White Album'

The crabbed, irate, confounding nature of the Beatles' White Album -- a hard dose of reality compared to the fantasy offered the year before -- fit well with the zeitgeist of 1968.

Music

The Day the Specials Kicked Their Doc Martens Boots Against the Door

The ska revival kicked to life by the Specials blended previous subcultural styles in their own Cuisinart: Kingston, Jamaica, Mod, Skinhead and Jamaican rude-boy.

Erik Hage
Film

The Resolution of a Lifespan: James Dean in 'Giant'

In Giant, James Dean plays a character so desperate to belong that he winds up becoming a perverted reflection of it.

Devin Abbott
Music

Tori Amos' 'Boys for Pele': 20 Years of Fire

It’s been 20 years since Tori Amos slammed down the gauntlet and set her piano afire, willing and possibly eager to sacrifice anyone who spurned her to writhe in Pele’s eternal flames.

Music

X = Why? Annette Peacock's 'X-Dreams'

In 1978, legendary music artist Annette Peacock released X-Dreams, a phantasmagorical exercise in harnessing the slipstreams of dreamed noises.

Music

Paul McCartney's "War" and "Peace"

Paul McCartney recently re-released two of his albums from the early '80s: Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, making this the perfect time to reconsider a critical period in his career.

Anthony Cusumano
Music

Cole Porter in the Age of AIDS: The 25th Anniversary of 'Red Hot + Blue'

Today's pop culture is as intolerant as ever of aging and illness but Porter’s great wit remains ideal for expressions of love, solace, and desire in the age of AIDS.

Lesley Chow
Film

Order, Chaos, and Faith: The Themes and Form of 'The Dark Knight'

Originally a story about the perils of combating organised crime, The Dark Knight makes several radical departures that frequently result in the main characters being split among tonally disparate contexts whose relevance to each other is not always immediately evident.

Thomas Meehan
Music

Pet Shop Boys' 'Behaviour' 25 Years Later

Behaviour is an important album with incisive songwriting and mature, sophisticated arrangements. The gamut of human emotion running through the fabric of 10 songs that are highly polished and real. It’s due for a serious reassessment.

Film

A Different (and Better) Shade of Grey: Reconsidering '9 1/2 Weeks'

Given the mainstream’s preoccupation with kink, it may be time to give 9 ½ Weeks the credit it deserves as a pioneering meditation on desire and power.

Desirae Embree
Music

The Case for the Velvet Underground's Sterling Morrison

Even as the Velvet Underground has graduated from cult favorite to part of the '60s canon, guitarist Sterling Morrison has largely faded from public view.

Richard Buxton
Film

The Beatles Are Pent-Up Prisoners of Their Own Notoriety in 'A Hard Day's Night'

Over 50 years after its release A Hard Day's Night is regarded as a minor classic. It's easy to forget, however, that no one thought the film would ever achieve such stature.

John Firehammer
Music

The Return of the Great White Boss, Bruce Springsteen

The seven albums in this Collection capture the tension inherent to Springsteen's ultimate transformation into a global megastar.

Mimi Dent
Film

'Rocky IV' Is a Cold War Montage With a Robotic Heart

Rocky IV is a Cold War-themed fairy tale, with a hero who overcomes monumental trials and defeats evil monsters so that we can all live happily ever after.

Rui Lopes and Maria Brock
Music

The Cathedral and the Shrink’s Office: 'All Things Must Pass' vs. 'Plastic Ono Band'

All Things Must Pass and Plastic Ono Band are the best of the post-Beatles albums because they demonstrate the opposing modes in the ways we exist.

Sam Buntz
Music

"Why Don't You Try Writing Your Own Songs?": 'The Bends' and Its Cover Songs

Three unique takes on tracks from The Bends, spanning the stripped-down acoustic to the full-fledged orchestral, represent how these songs still have the power to stun two decades later.

Scott Elingburg
Music

Radiohead's 'The Bends' and the Escape from Alternative Nation

While OK Computer is important in its own right, The Bends transformed Radiohead from being a potentially indistinguishable Alternative Nation contributor to a band who has redefined the term "rock" for the past two decades.

Music

The Leap: The Universe of Difference Between 'Pablo Honey' and 'The Bends'

In jumping forward from the lackluster Pablo Honey, Radiohead finally started becoming the Radiohead that is idolized today.

Music

This Is Our New Song: 'The Bends' and the Reformation of Alternative Rock

The Bends was the genesis of Radiohead’s perceptive, forward-thinking tendencies, which would go on to inspire countless musicians in myriad ways.

Music

'The Bends' and the Blazing of a Trail Into the New Millennium

Amidst a transformational time in the post-Vietnam and post-Reagan eras, The Bends represented a transition between the tumultuous latter half of the 20th century and the new millennium ahead.

Vance Martin
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