Monday, March 9, 2009

Friends and Enemies: Welcome to Popular Influence.

Hello internet homies and soon-to-be internet homies!
My name is Max Pearl. I'm a WICKED loyal Bostonian (despite the city's flaws), a syndicated journalist with contributions to the Boston Globe and the Boston Weekly Dig, and I was the owner + author of the successful Arts and Culture blog, Under21inBoston.

Alright people, so I'm writing this blog to fill a major internet void that I've been tracking for the past year or so. Not only do I want to give popular culture and popular music the critical, analytical, academic kind of eye that it never gets (well it either gets content-less commentary from Perez, or inaccessible musings from stodgy professors of Media Studies), but I want to devote this blog to giving BIG UPS to artists, musicians, and thinkers that synthesize radical, deviant ideas with some of the best parts of popular influence.

You'll be getting as much critical analysis of the popular sector's Top 40 selections (through a lens of culture, race, gender, sexuality, etc.) as you will be getting samples of unapologetically inaccessible electronic and experimental music, and clips from my favorite fashion shows and magazines.

I'll keep a focus not only on the culturally marginalized, but the geographically marginalized, with an emphasis on the sights and sounds of the global underground. I'll try to avoid essentialism and orientalism and appreciating non-Western ethnicities just for the sake of being non-Western.

Thus, maybe we will begin to find that the realms of marginalized and mass-mediated culture are not so clearly delineated, and that each influence each other, with marginalized and stereotyped voices everywhere on your radio dial, and cultural run-off from the Disney Channel into your favorite subcultural domains.

Let me start this off by offering up some links to digital realms that I love and respect! I'll be posting downloads, photos, mixes, and more links in the future... Check it:

-Negrophonic (DJ /Rupture's blog about Third World [domestic + international] popular music)

-Anti-Gravity Bunny (A Boston-based music blog devoted to the intersection of experimental and popular music)

-Electronic Explorations (An awesome music blog devoted to the out-there electronica sounds of Dubstep, Minimal Techno, Idm etc.)

-Flaunt (A spectacularly avante-garde fashion magazine based out of America)

-Basstown (A sophisticated Techno/Dubstep blog by friends that throw the bangin'est Boston parties, including the Basstown residency @ Great Scott, and Make it New @ The Middlesex Lounge)

-The Wire Magazine (A British magazine devoted to experimental, electronic, and hardcore arts and culture)

-Wayne&Wax (Equal parts academic and indulgent meditations on contemporary dance music, culture exchange + inequality from Brandeis' coolest professor)

Blogroll + improved layout to come s00n!


  1. academic _and_ indulgent? now that's a false dichotomy if i've ever seen one ;)

    thx 4 putting me in the mix. curious to see how u build the convo here. gwaan --

  2. at times academically rigorous, at times simply an indulgence for readers!

  3. Sounds like this has the potential to be as cool as, if not cooler than, Under 21. Thanks for throwing a link out there. Much appreciated, as always.

  4. Glad to see you're blogging again!

    I know you cover music and not theatre, but if you're interested in the synthesis of marginalized culture with mass-mediated culture, make sure to check out Spring Awakening when it plays the Colonial April 28-May 24th. It's based on a nihilistic piece of literature which was banned for 100 years and maintains its anti-establishment tone while at the same time medicating us with catchy psudeo-punk pop. It's actually kind of brilliant (I saw it twice in NYC) how the creators chose to walk this line.