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Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

Recent
Music

Gorillaz: The Singles Collection 2001-2011

Tracklist-wise, The Singles Collection 2001-2011 may as well have been constructed by Wikipedia.

Music

Hip-Hop's Laboratory of Language

What do William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Ice Cube, and Ghostface Killah have in common? Finally, they all appear in anthologies.

Music

Strictly Global: A Source for Music Videos on Broadcast TV

The kind of show you wished MTV would make.

Reviews

Mos Def and DOOM: 13 February 2010 - Chicago

Mos Def and DOOM's Chicago appearance was a colossal failure, and writer Georg Garret dissects what led to a night of bitter disappointment for fans.

Georg Garret
Music

There's a Message in the Music

Hip-hop can, and should, promote the historical and cultural ideals that underscore the value of historical awareness.

Music

Robert Glasper Loves the Groove

On the eve of his third Blue Note release, Double Booked, jazz pianist Robert Glasper discusses his stylistic bifurcation, MC skills, and -- inevitably -- Michael Jackson's legacy.

Reviews

Next Day Air

For all its speed and commotion, Next Day Air is a movie you've seen before.

Film

Summer of Same: May 2009

May's titles include the fourth films in two aging franchises, more Pixar perfection, and the reboot of a TV series from 40 years ago. And they say there are no new ideas.

Featured: Top of Home Page

M. Ward, The Decemberists, Mos Def...

Film

The New Classics - The 30 Best Films of 2008

Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.

Television

In Prison My Whole Life

In Prison My Whole Life works through the contexts and details of Mumia Abu Jamal's experience, connecting it to other moments in recent American history.

Reviews

Cadillac Records

In the ambitious and cluttered Cadillac Records, Leonard Chess redistributes income among his artists, but the point is not lost on any of them that he decides who plays when and even how to play.

Someplace So Good
Music

Various Artists: Be Kind Rewind

Sprawling, breezy lite-funk mixed with classics by Billy Preston and Booker T. & the MGs. Definitely worth rewinding.

Film

Be Kind Rewind

A set of relationships -- father and son, past and present, fiction and something like history -- forms the foundation of Be Kind Rewind, another gently antic film by Michel Gondry.

Television

Prince Among Slaves

Prince Among Slaves establishes its focus -- on the contrast between slavery, as barbaric idea and industry, and one individual's integrity and strength of will.

Reviews

FEST FLASHBACK: Splendour in the Grass 2006 feat. Sonic Youth, Mos Def, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Is any show worth an 18 (or even 38) hour trip? With acts like Sonic Youth, Mos Def, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scissor Sisters, and Brian Wilson on the bill, PopMatters' Nick Gunn was willing to go see for himself...

Nick Gunn
Reviews

Splendour in the Grass 2006

We drove for 18 hours, but others came from Melbourne (38 hours round trip) and Western Australia (unspeakably far away) to pay their respects to the gods of rock.

Nick Gunn
Film

16 Blocks (2006)

Richard Donner's latest buddy-action flick is thick with wrong decisions.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Dave Chappelles Block Party (2006)

Block Party sustains a balance between good-natured light-heartedness social commentary.

Dante A. Ciampaglia
Reviews

Black Star (Mos Def and Talib Kweli): 28 November 2005 - Washington, DC

What do you do when the mold that breaks the mold needs breaking?

Wills Glasspiegel
Reviews

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

For all its possibilities -- and its crazily pleasant animations --the movie takes a more or less conventional narrative shape.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2004)

The very process of documenting freestyle is at once contradictory and ambitious, futile and crucial.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Ford Prefect (Mos Def) wanders into the film of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a little late, and in no hurry.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

The Woodsman (2004)

Director Kassell says, 'There's Kyra Sedgwick beating the shit out of Carlos Leon. I love this scene.'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Woodsman (2004)

Walter (Kevin Bacon) lives in a world perpetually gray.

Cynthia Fuchs
Music

Mos Def: The New Danger

Mos Def's desire to expand the boundaries of hip-hop is admirable, but The New Danger too often feels like it's taking hip-hop backwards, not forwards.

Dave Heaton
Film

The Italian Job (2003)

As soon as John utters the words 'last job' to his darling girl, his fate (like the film's) is sealed.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Italian Job (2003)

As soon as John utters the words 'last job' to his darling girl, his fate (like the film's) is sealed.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Brown Sugar (2002)

Brown Sugar can blur lines between mainstream and margin, mix up the spirits, just as hip-hop -- so-called real hip-hop but also, in its way, brashly commercial hip-hop -- has always done.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews
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