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Television

Power Struggle in Beauty Pageants: On 'Mrs. America' and 'Miss Americana'

Television min-series Mrs. America and Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana make vivid how beauty pageants are more multi-dimensional than many assume, offering a platform to some (attractive) women to pursue higher education, politics, and more.

Hilary Levey Friedman
Recent
Music

How Does Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' Fit in with The Current Political Climate?

Like an alchemist, Taylor Swift turns stray thoughts and abject emotions into global cultural touchstones—and into piles and piles of cold, hard cash. What do her fans get out of it?

Music

Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' Tour Is an Unstoppable Pop Spectacle

It's almost ridiculous how awesome and extravagant Taylor Swift's Reputation tour is.

Music

Taylor Swift: Reputation (review)

Maybe in a couple of decades when we look back at Taylor Swift's Reputation, we'll see it for what it is: a solid if unspectacular set of pop songs.

Evan Sawdey
Music

Taylor Swift's Talent Remains Intact on 'Reputation', Her Most Focused, Most Cohesive Album Yet

The double-edged sword of success — and the fame and fortune that have accompanied it to stratospheric levels for her — inform many of the songs on Reputation, possibly the most anticipated album of the always-intensive fall season.

Randy Lewis
Music

The Flipside #7: Taylor Swift's '1989'

With "Look What You Made Me Do" and other songs soon to be plastered over the airwaves, the Flipside boys look back on Taylor Swift's 1989 and whether it lives up to its reputation.

Brice Ezell and Evan Sawdey
Music

The 58th Grammy Awards: Authenticity Is the Hardest Thing to Fake

Amidst the numerous deaths of pop music icons, we thought the Grammys might do something soulful this year. Lamar and Howard, at least, gave us what we needed.

Television

Guessing the Grammys 2016: Expect Weirdness

Speculating on the nominees' odds in a dozen big categories.

Music

PopTalk: The Poptimism and Rockism Debate

In 2015, the "poptimism vs. rockism" debate has inspired a rash of thinkpieces and Twitter arguments. Is this debate actually saying anything, though?

Brice Ezell, Evan Sawdey, Nathan Stevens
Music

Ryan Adams by Taylor Swift: Authoring '1989'

Even if you've never heard Swift's original performances, you're hearing them when you listen to Ryan Adams perform 1989.

Music

Ryan Adams: 1989

Save a few tweaks here and there, Adams' 1989 never gets too bold, his covers sounding more like curiosities than clever reinventions.

Music

Is Taylor Swift the New Michael Jackson?

Is Swift’s 1989 having the biggest impact on the pop culture landscape since Michael Jackson’s Thriller?

Jon Bream
Music

Apple Changes Its Tune for Taylor Swift: What Have We Learned?

Taylor Swift: “This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.”

Ryan Faughnder
Music

From the Bleachers to Cheer Captain: The Devolution of Taylor Swift

Whereas universality and populism mark Taylor Swift's early years, with her recent LP 1989 she has become the cheer captain she once railed against.

Michael Green
Comics

The High Art of Disownership in 'Death Sentence: London'

Death Sentence: London is quite possibly the most important work of 2015.

Music

PopTalk: The 2015 Grammys, "True Artistry", and Meme Culture

The latest PopTalk podcast takes a look at whether or not, as Kanye West suggests, the Grammys and awards culture in general can or should care about "true artistry".

Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell
Music

Guessing the 2015 Grammys

PopMatters predicts a night of newcomers, huge sweeps, and some love for two theme songs from 2013.

Music

Pop Unmuted Podcast: Feminism in 2014's Pop Music

On Episode 7 of Pop Unmuted, we talk about women in pop music in 2014, covering Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and some of our personal favorite moments.

Music

The Best Albums of 2014

From Polish black metal to mind-blowing progressive R&B and electronic music, 2014's best albums certainly have something for everyone.

Music

Taylor Swift: 1989

A 40-foot Taylor Swift stomps through Manhattan in chelsea boots and a pencil skirt, bodegas and halal carts crumbling under her heels, waving one enormous pinky finger to Jay and Beyoncé as they cower in their Tribeca penthouse.

Music

Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" is Catchy, Fun, & Full of Id

Few can deny that Swift is a talented songwriter, but there are only so many times she can attack her "haters" before that trope feels as worn as a months-old US Weekly still sitting on the top of your toilet.

Music

Pronounced Dead: The Art of Cultural Assassination

Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?

Music

Ranking the Performances: The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Was music’s biggest night worth staying up all night for? Read on to find out.

Music

Justin Moore: Off the Beaten Path

Moore gives us a bunch of fun-loving, good-timey tunes with some great guitar licks along with...well...a couple songs that are wince-worthy.

Music

Guessing the 2014 Grammys

Predictions and behind-the-scenes info on who will win the 2014 Grammys in ten major categories.

Film

The Month In Pop Entertainment: November 2013

Feast on a cornucopia of entertainment options this month.

Performing Arts

I Read the News Today, Oh, Boy

Listening to the NRA's Wayne LaPierre speak around the massacring of children without missing a beat, it's easy to agree with Lewis Black that this century is starting to look just as physically dangerous as the last one—even if, as Steven Pinker claims, it's actually more peaceful.

Music

Why the Grammys Matter

So your favorites didn’t win, huh? Get over it. Bashing the Grammys is too easy. Try recognizing them as markers of what is happening in the music industry, not on your iPod.

Music

The 2013 Grammys: Rating the Performances (video collection)

See all the night’s performances in order from best to worst.

Music

Guessing the 2013 Grammys

It’s the Super Bowl of music, and we’re guessing who will be the MVPs.

Music

In Defense of Being Fed Up with Irony

At what point did it become so important for us to be ironic and sarcastic? When can we finally move past our judgments and witticisms and just begin to play things straight?

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