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PopMatters Picks: The Best (and Worst) in Show 2007

Dan Deacon (Photo: Myla DalBesio / Flavorpill)

In the past 12 months, we have gone to house shows, club shows, theater shows, arena shows. Here's the best and the worst 2007 had to offer.

Edited By: Megan Milks and Andrew Phillips

Writers: Brent Baldwin, Chris Catania, Nick Gunn, Ryan S. Henriquez, Matt Mazur, Kevin Pearson, Zach Schonfeld, Shain Shapiro, Steve Stirling, and Adam Williams

In the past 12 months, we, the PopMatters Events staff, have gone to house shows, club shows, theater shows, arena shows -- slackjawed, we’ve sat through historic collaborative events, mind-bending art-school productions, and embarrassing awards-show travesties alike. As usual, some were flat-out wastes of time, especially later, when we then had to spend precious hours painfully excreting the cogent-est of copy explaining exactly why so-and-so stunk (I dunno, maybe because it just friggin' did!!). Of course, many performances were heart-pounding, soul-stirring memorials to what music can be, should be, and, in some cases, actually is.

Groundbreaking music or no, a show is still a show, and the show must go on. From our experience, it looks like mirrorballs, a multitude of geometrically arranged drum sets, and flying high heels are some of the best ways to leave your mark. With that in mind, we now present to you our Best (and Worst) in Show of 2007...

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.

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'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
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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
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