‘Dirty Deeds’ (Almost) Done for Real

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An ongoing controversy in the 1980s revolved around whether certain rock bands’ music inspired isolated, unstable listeners to commit heinous crimes. Perhaps the highest-profile of these cases was that of convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez. Ramirez, who came to be known as the “Night Stalker,” was convicted in 1989 for the murder of 13 people […]

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A Country Chat With Garth Brooks

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On March 27, the first part of my two-part blog on Garth Brooks appeared here. Today, I’d like to give you a behind-the-scenes look into the questions and answers that occurred at this “pep rally” to dedicate a new teen area at a Denver hospital. What follows comes from two different interviews—one where I had a […]

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Music Videos Shape Teens’ Values

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MTV doesn’t focus much on music these days. But the medium that the cable channel helped pioneer back in the 1980s, the music video, continues to exert significant cultural influence. Specifically, a new study conducted by researchers at Catholic University of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium, finds that some teens who watch music videos today are […]

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Unpacking Madonna’s Spiritual Beliefs

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Madonna’s 13th album, Rebel Heart, includes quite a lot of spiritual imagery—sometimes couching temptation in terms of a struggle requiring divine assistance, other times merging erotic sexual innuendo and religious iconography in deliberately provocative ways. In a lengthy new interview with Rolling Stone, the Material Girl talked about some of her spiritual experiences growing up, […]

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OneRepublic’s Positively Positive Portrait of Fatherhood

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Dads often take it on the chin in popular culture. Sitcoms depict us as forgetful, undependable, disheveled doofuses who mysteriously manage to snare pretty ‘n’ petite, omnicompetent wives. On TV and in movies, dads are often overweight, dim-witted, slow-moving targets of clichéd jokes, never mind that science has affirmed over and over again the critical […]

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The Media That Moved You (To at Least Click)

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Compilation of images for top-viewed media reviews on Plugged In

Movies were a big deal in 2014, with Christian movies jostling elbows with dystopian thriller movies. But so were TV shows, music releases and video games. We had more readers reading our reviews last year than ever before, and for that we’re grateful. Grateful that the hard work our team does matters to you. And […]

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What Tim Lambesis Is Learning Now That He’s Away From the Cacophony

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I don’t often think very much about metalcore music. If I’m listening to it (usually for this job), it’s kinda hard to think at all, brain-rattling as it is. And when I’m not listening to it (usually for everything else), I can’t seem to remember what I’m supposed to have learned from it while I […]

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What in the World Did He Just Sing? Or, How Plugged In Reviews Music

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Each week here at Plugged In, I review at least one music track and an album. And that can actually be kind of a tricky thing. Because music is such a deeply personal medium—in fact, I’d argue that music might just be the entertainment category that fans identify with the most fervently—we regularly get questions […]

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