In Case You Missed It: March 20 – April 2, 2016–The Site That Wouldn’t Die

Published on April 2nd, 2016 in: Comedy, Comics, Current Faves, Film Festivals, Horror, ICYMI, Interviews, Movies, Music, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, TV |

By Less Lee Moore

You can’t kill us; we’re already undead.

At Popshifter, sometimes shit happens. And when it does, we soldier on.

We’re sad to lose one of our favorite writers, Laury Scarbro, this week. She’s just got too much going on in her non-Internet life and must take a hiatus.

We’re also sad to see another one of our fave writers take a hiatus: Jeffery X Martin has a new writing job (Yay! Congratulations!) that’s taking up most of his time these days and so he won’t be around as much as he used to.

These two departures mean that some of our content will be disappearing: the daily Today In Pop Culture column and our weekly recaps of Outsiders. I thought it best to let you know what was going on in case you wondered why they suddenly disappeared.

That said, if anyone would like to pick up the mantle of Today In Pop Culture or finish the rest of the season of Outsiders (four more episodes), I would gladly welcome your contributions.

And now, to the news!

Brad Henderson went to SXSW and all he got was a case of food poisoning. OK, he also saw some good movies, too, one of them being the Hicksploitation throwback My Father, Die. Not so good was recent home video release Intruders, which was a missed opportunity that I wish I had missed. You can always go back to 1977 and watch Count Dracula, the BBC production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Louis Jourdan, though, which I revisted in this month’s Frightful Flashback on Rue Morgue. You can also read my examination of the nature of evil as told through three different interpretations of witches on Everything Is Scary, those being Penny Dreadful, The Witch, and The Devils. By the way, happy one-year anniversary to Everything Is Scary where we do the responsible thing and contemplate the void every week.

The small screen is exploding these days! Besides new episodes of The Walking Dead, Broad City, and WGN’s Outsiders, Netflix has just premiered the second season of Daredevil, which Tim gives high marks, and Trailer Park Boystenth season, which Tyler will be covering over the next week or so.

Whenever someone complains that there isn’t any good music these days, you just send them over to Popshifter, OK?

Besides the latest (and hopefully not the last) Iggy Pop album Post Pop Depression (which is awesome); there’s also Robbie Fulks’s Upland Stories, which Melissa describes as “exquisite;” West Of Here, the sophomore release from The Currys; and a trio of excellent—and very different—albums from women-fronted bands: Davina and the Vagabonds, Margo Price, and Bleached.

HHBTM has been putting out some quality music lately, including the punky Versus album from Eureka California and the retro yet timeless Crystal Café from Witching Waves. But if you enjoy “kick-ass, groove-heavy, instrumental synth-rock unit inspired by 1970s and ’80s horror movie soundtracks,” you might enjoy Wolfmen of Mars’ latest, DANGER! PERIL! THREAT!

Tim takes a look back at Sepultura’s Roots album, while I take a look forward at a couple of new videos: “Phantom Freighter” from the sci-fi, industrial-influenced Pop. 1280 and “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)” from shoegazers Dirty Sidewalks.

Finally, Brian Baker chatted with actress Karen Allen at the recent Toronto ComiCon and she had some things to say about that upcoming Indiana Jones movie.

Until next week, Popshifter fans!

Music Review: Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression

Published on April 1st, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

I followed my shadow and it led me here
What is the problem if I disappear?
—Iggy Pop, “In The Lobby”


There’s Iggy Pop and then, there are The Stooges. Or at least, there were, since Iggy himself is the last surviving original member. And while Iggy’s solo work has always been distinctly different from his work with The Stooges, a look at his discography reveals a history of playing well with others: David Bowie, Steve Jones, Ivan Kral, Whitey Kirst, Glen Matlock, James Williamson, and others. Post Pop Depression is the latest in a long line of Iggy Pop collaborative albums, this one with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Dean Fertita, as well as Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.


New Video: Pop. 1280, “Phantom Freighter” + European Tour Dates

Published on March 23rd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, New Video |

By Less Lee Moore


On first blush, Pop. 1280s album Paradise feels like some sort of quasi-industrial throwback to 1984, but it’s something else entirely. Sure, there are drum machines and samples, but frequent touches of echoing piano, spidery Goth guitar, and sitars give the songs a surprising sense of depth and breadth.

Singer Chris Burg’s pronounced growl provides gravitas to lyrics that would sound at home in a Philip K. Dick novel: gritty science fiction that’s dirty and uncomfortable.

The band’s latest video, for the surly and sensational “Phantom Freighter,” captures this vibe visually with an aesthetic that pays homage to early David Cronenberg and George A. Romero. And what is that green stuff?

Paradise was released by Sacred Bones on January 22. Be sure to check out the band on their upcoming European tour.

European Tour Dates:
04/15/16 – Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang
04/16/16 – Berlin, Germany @ ACUD
04/17/16 – Halle, Germany @ Chaiselongue
04/19/16 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ De School
04/20/16 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ ACU
04/21/16 – Tournai, Belgium @ Water Moulin
04/22/16 – Bruxelles, Belgium @ Magasin 4
04/23/16 – London, United Kingdom @ The Shacklewell Arms
04/24/16 – Leeds, United Kingdom @ Headrow House
04/25/16 – Paris, France @ Batofar
04/26/16 – Rennes, France @ BAR’Hic
04/28/16 – Madrid, Spain @ Siroco
04/29/16 – Zaragoza, Spain @ Las Armas
04/30/16 – San Sebastian, Spain @ Le Bukowski
05/01/16 – Gigor, France @ Gigor Electric
05/02/16 – Clermont Ferrand, France @ Raymond Bar
05/04/16 – Milano, Italy @ Ligera
05/06/16 – Pordenone, Italy @ Pn Box
05/07/16 – Marina di Ravenna, Italy – Hana-Bi
05/08/16 – Verona, Italy @ Centro Avanzi
05/09/16 – Zagreb, Croatia @ AKC Attack
05/10/16 – Wien, Austria @ FLUC
05/11/16 – Budapest, Hungary @ Müszi
05/12/16 – Prague, Czech Republic @ 007

Video Premiere: Dirty Sidewalks, “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)”

Published on March 22nd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, New Music, New Single, New Video |

By Less Lee Moore


Last Christmas I discovered a song that quickly became part of my annual holiday playlist: “It’s Xmas (And Everyone Is Miserable)” by Dirty Sidewalks, a Seattle-based band who traffics in the kind of poppy shoegaze that put bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on the musical map. The undeniable hooks and straightforward attitude of the track won me over immediately.

Now Dirty Sidewalks have a new video: “Hey Girl (I Wanna Be Your Man)” is the B-side to the band’s recently released vinyl single, “It’s Getting Better.”

Filmed with a low-budget glitter aesthetic, the video suits the song’s sweet yet snarly charms perfectly and features subtle nods to both the Reid brothers and My Bloody Valentine. Singer Erik Foster sounds enough like his shoegazing forebears to reel you in, but Dirty Sidewalks have an appeal that’s all their own, and one that will keep you coming back for more.

If you like what you see (and hear), be sure to pick up the “It’s Getting Better” single, available on both black vinyl and white vinyl from No-Count Records.
Dirty Sidewalks have a full-length album planned for the summer, so follow them on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.

In Case You Missed It: March 13 – 19, 2016–SXSW Reviews & Music News

Published on March 19th, 2016 in: Comedy, Film Festivals, Gaming, Horror, ICYMI, LGBTQ, Movie Reviews, Movies, Music, Music Reviews, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore

Let Haircut 100 make you happy.

Our tireless SXSW Film Festival correspondent Brad Henderson has returned to bring you reviews of all the genre films playing at this year’s SXSW. First up, is The Greasy Strangler, which is as gross and weird as its title suggests. Look for more SXSW movie reviews next week on Popshifter!

Everyone has been talking about 10 Cloverfield Lane and Jeffery braved the multiplex to bring you this non-spoilery yet mega-praiseworthy review.

Both Jeffery and I loved Baskin, the Turkish horror flick from Can Evrenol that opens in theaters and VOD on Friday, March 25. Hopefully you will love our (also non-spoilery) reviews.

Stepping outside of the horror genre for a moment, Jeffery also checked out the unexpected delights of the new Pee-wee Herman movie called Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Joe Manganiello obviously needs to take on more comedy roles.

Another premiere on Netflix this week is the much-anticipated second season of Marvel’s Daredevil. I’ve got the scoop on the first seven episodes of the season over at Biff Bam Pop.

In some exciting and unexpected TV casting news, Andy Burns at Rue Morgue reports that Canadian punk rock and acting legend Hugh Dillon is going to be on the new season of Twin Peaks next year. Yet another reason to tune in, as if you needed any.

Sachin has two Lucha Underground recaps this week because last week’s episode, “Death Comes In Threes,” threw him for a loop, and not necessarily in an enjoyable way. The good news is that the show has recovered quickly with the excellent “Life After Death.”

Another show that had a stellar episode was Outsiders, which as Laury reports, finally got some serious character development and plot momentum with “Weapons.” And on The Walking Dead, we’re still in “The Same Boat” in terms of zombies, people dying, and not actually seeing Negan’s face.

So much music this week! Melissa has reviews of three of this week’s best releases: a spectacular album from Grant-Lee Phillips, the crazy Americana compilation Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music from Numero Group, and a brilliant reissue of the already-brilliant and woefully underappreciated Pelican West by Haircut 100. And from S. Elizabeth at Dirge Magazine, a gorgeous analysis of the equally-gorgeous Full Circle from HÆLOS.

More music news comes from Unicorn Booty’s NOW HEAR THIS! where you can find out about Michelle Obama’s new single (WHA?!), The Pet Shop Boys, and Malcolm McLaren’s annoying son.

Look for reviews of new releases from Dirty Sidewalks, Iggy Pop, and Lust For Youth soon on Popshifter.

In gaming news, you might be interested in this report about how one of the reps for Oculus Rift is a straight(-up) douchebag.

Fannibals got a hint of this in Hannibal’s second season (Achilles + Patrocles 4 LYFE), here’s more evidence that Greek mythology is way gayer than you thought.

What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Speaking of Greek mythology, we discuss Caligula, in addition to the Ides of March, St. Patrick, Wings, and Perry Como.

In Case You Missed It: March 6 – 12, 2016–Divorced Dad & Deadly Whales

Published on March 13th, 2016 in: Blu-Ray, Canadian Content, Comics, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Feminism, Horror, ICYMI, Movies, Music, Netflix Reviews, TV |

By Less Lee Moore

Iggy Pop has a new album out March 18, along with Northless, Lust For Youth, and Soft Fangs. There’s also the Wayfaring Strangers compilation and a reissue of Haircut 100’s Pelican West.

It’s time to spring forward with pop culture news.

Tyler Hodg has finished watching all 13 episodes of Fuller House on Netflix and we’ve got the reviews to prove it. What’s the verdict? Is the show good, bad, or somewhere in between? You’ll have to read to find out.

Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine, filmed on an iPhone and focusing on the life and struggles of a transgender sex worker, is currently on Netflix, but you should also check out his short film Snowbird.

Divorced Dad may not be on Netflix (yet), but it’s something you should see. Here’s the problem: it’s not available yet! The new webseries from the Astron-6 collective (Manborg, Father’s Day, The Editor) is still seeking funding to finish the series, but for now, here’s a teaser trailer. (P.S. I’ve seen the rough cuts of a couple of episodes and I laughed until I thought I was going to throw up. It’s that weird and funny.)

At Popshifter, we watch TV so that we can talk about it, then you can read about it, and you can then feel better about all those thoughts you’re having and feelings you’re feeling. This week, we’ve got two episodes of Broad City, and while “Rat Pack” may not be as tight as “Game Over,” the show continues to be one of the funniest on TV. Outsiders finally gives us the character development we’ve been waiting for, while The Walking Dead gives us welding, crying, but still no sign of Negan.

New music reviews this week include the deep freeze of Northless’s Cold Migration EP, the emotionally raw yet gorgeous Let A Lover Drown You from Penny & Sparrow, a preview of Soft Fangs’ The Light (out on March 18), and one you might have missed: Voivod’s Post Society EP.

There were lots of movies to think about this week. Ron Howard’s tribute to Jaws and Moby Dick, In The Heart Of The Sea, hit home video this week and while Jeffery thought it was a beautiful waste of time, I had more positive thoughts on the film. Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Volume One, however, left no doubts in Tim’s mind: it’s a must-see, must-own box set.

We all have that one friend who hasn’t seen those iconic classic films that everyone else has already seen. At Unicorn Booty, that person is Matt Baume. Witness his reaction to his first viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You might also enjoy his liveblog of the first time he watched Hackers.

It’s OK to admit that you are a fan of Archie Comics. If you haven’t been keeping up with the students at Riverdale High out of a lack of time or fear of public shaming, there has been some news. Did you know that Jughead came out? He’s not gay, but… well, you should read about the full details for yourself. Also on the Archie news front is this fascinating podcast called Radio Free Riverdale hosted by Torontonians Lucy Cappiello and Evan Munday. This week’s episode features the podcast’s first ever special guest, comedian Adam Wilson.

In other comics news, Marvel seems to be making greater strides towards gender inclusion. Here’s our own Laury Scarbro with some thoughts on what this might mean for the future of comics.

What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Frankenstein, The Incredible Hulk, Barbie movies, The Fillmore, and songs about telephones.

Today In Pop Culture: The Incredible Hulk Crushes It On TV

Published on March 10th, 2016 in: Comics, Movies, Today In Pop Culture, TV |

By Less Lee Moore


Although actor Mark Ruffalo is the one many now associate with The Incredible Hulk, thanks to the Avengers series of movies directed by JJ Abrams, it’s not the first time the green rage monster has appeared onscreen.

Eric Bana portrayed Dr. Bruce Banner and The Incredible Hulk in Ang Lee’s much-derided 2003 Hulk movie (remember the Hulked-out poodles?). When that film didn’t thrill audiences like they hoped, Marvel tried again, this time in 2008 with Edward Norton as the titular character and Louis Leterrier (The Transporter) behind the camera. Although both films doubled their budget in ticket sales, and received about the same amount of critical acclaim, the latter film was much more popular with audiences, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes.


In Case You Missed It: February 28 – March 5, 2016–Twitter Trolls, TV & More

Published on March 5th, 2016 in: Blu-Ray, DVD, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Feminism, ICYMI, LGBTQ, Movies, Netflix Reviews, Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore


This week was part February, part March, and jam-packed with pop culture.

Twitter recently vowed to fight harassment online. Naturally racist and misogynist trolls were outraged, which is hilarious considering their constant whining about “social justice warriors” being outraged on Twitter. Here is an excellent report on the whys and wherefores of this new announcement and whether or not it stands a chance of being successful.

Speaking of controversy, did you know that a straight Christian man posed as gay for a year and then wrote a book about it? It’s pretty illuminating.

If you haven’t been paying attention, our own Tyler Hodg has been faithfully recapping every episode of the new Fuller House series on Netflix. So far, the show has been wildly uneven, but might finally get it right around episode 10. Too bad there are only three more to go…

Also in TV news, Lucha Underground picks itself up after a not-so-great episode from last week (though Sachin warns that we shouldn’t mention Sexy Star vs. Kobra Moon ever again), Outsiders still refuses to develop some of its characters for some reason, and The Walking Dead introduces a new insufferable character named Gregory. Oh, and (spoiler alert) Rick kills someone. Again. (Can’t take that guy anywhere.)

If you’re looking for some old movies you might have missed, Jeffery’s here to help. Check out the new Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 1 collection from Arrow or The Bees from Vinegar Syndrome, which includes not only bees but also John Saxon.

Everyone’s been talking about Deadpool lately, but why? As Laury reports, it might just be the comic book movie that will change the game. It got her to become a Ryan Reynolds fan, after all. Wrestling aficionados will be interested in new documentary The Sheik, which Jeffery notes that at times feels more scripted than your average wrestling match.

New music this week gets reviewed by Melissa. It includes the self-referentially titled but ultimately disappointing Music To Listen To Music To from La Sera and the much more enjoyable Poison & Medicine from Marc Stone, who hails from New York but has a shockingly good grasp on New Orleans and the blues.

It’s 2016 and that might mean a new Lana Del Rey album is in the near future. But what if you’re still not sick of listening to Honeymoon yet? Matt Craven explains why it might be her secret masterpiece.

Perhaps the only kind of music more divisive than LDR or rap is country. You might be a country music fan if you like even one of these 16 tunes.

What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? The Bermuda Triangle, The National Anthem, King Kong, The Salem Witch Trials, and how Leap Year fits into the space-time continnum.

The Official Popshifter Podcast, Episode #09: Cults

Published on February 26th, 2016 in: Movies, Music, Podcasts, True Crime, TV |


Welcome to Episode #09 of The Official Popshifter Podcast, “Cults! or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Manson Family.”

The reemergence of cults into popular culture leads hosts Less Lee Moore and Jeffery X Martin into a conversation encompassing The Veil, Lana Del Rey, Charles Manson, matriarchal societies, and more.

In Case You Missed It: February 14 – 20, 2016

Published on February 20th, 2016 in: Feminism, Horror, ICYMI, LGBTQ, Movies, Music, Reviews, True Crime, TV, TV Reviews |

By Less Lee Moore


We are thrilled to publish a Retro Review of The Zombies’ classic Odessey and Oracle album from none other than esteemed musician, Lenny Kaye!

The Witch, which has received an overwhelming number of positive reviews, opened on February 19. Far be it from me to tell you how to live your life, but I think you should go see it. Here’s why.

There’s been yet another death in the music world this week: Vanity, who most will remember as a Prince protégé and the singer for Vanity 6, but who also delighted movie and TV audiences in Action Jackson and Miami Vice, respectively. Unicorn Booty has the scoop on this, the return of Orphan Black, Kendrick Lamar’s secret stash, and much more.

It’s February, and that means it’s Women in Horror month. Maybe Angela Lansbury’s role on Murder, She Wrote wasn’t straight-up horror, but it’s still iconic. Did you know that she’s going strong at 90 years old? It’s true. Just last year, she reprised her role as Madame Arcati in the play Blithe Spirit, which toured North America. Here’s a great list of nine of the best Murder, She Wrote episodes.

There’s been a lot of talk about Silence of the Lambs recently, as the 25th year of its release approaches. While it’s still criticized for its depiction of trans and gay people, the character of Buffalo Bill was a composite of several real-life serial killers, including Ed Gein. Although most crimes are still committed by straight folks, as this article points out, freaky sex crimes and murders are equal opportunity. Here’s a list of ten scary but true gay psychopaths.

We’ve got TV recaps on Popshifter, y’all! The new episode of The X-Files (which is probably my fave yet in this tenth season), Outsiders (where you’ll learn about a “pitfight”), and Lucha Underground (spoiler alert: it involves baby oil).

What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Turntables, flying cows, Modern Art outrage, King Tut, and cats.