Spectrum Culture

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Spectrum Culture
Type of site
Online magazine
OwnerDavid Harris
Created byDavid Harris (based in Portland, Oregon, US)
Launched2008; 12 years ago (2008)
Current statusActive

Spectrum Culture is an online music, film, food, and print media webzine that provides weekly reviews and a variety of special features in these areas. It is characterized by its in-depth and sometimes irreverent cultural criticism of both indie and mainstream cultural topics. Spectrum Culture's work has been featured on the official websites of various artists,[1] films,[2] and restaurants[3] across the internet.

It is also a featured reviewer on music aggregator sites Cloudspeakers.com[4] and Any Decent Music.[5]


Spectrum Culture was founded in October 2008 by David Harris, who had previously served as the managing editor for the Film section of Tiny Mix Tapes. Harris is the site's editor-in-chief.[6] Spectrum Culture's staff contributors are located throughout North America. Writers are free to write for any of the site's sections, but each writer focuses primarily on his or her area of expertise within one section. Current solo artist and former Hold Steady member Franz Nicolay has contributed to the Music and Film sections.


Spectrum Culture publishes music, film, food, and print media reviews and features. New music[7] and film[8] and film reviews are published daily, while a new feature in each section is published several times each week. New albums, films, and books are rated on a 1.0 to 5.0 scale.[9]


Spectrum Culture's Music section offers daily reviews of both new indie and mainstream albums. Recurring special features in this section include interviews,[10] ,[11] concert reviews[12] music festival reviews,[13] and re-examinations of previously released or underappreciated albums that now deserve re-appraisal.[14]

The site also publishes other features, including Year-by-Year,[15] which revisits a specific genre or musical era and chooses the song from each year that most clearly defines that topic; and Playlist,[16] which looks at an artist's entire recorded output and chooses the best song from each of that artist's albums.


Similar to the Music section, Spectrum Culture's Film section provides daily reviews of indie and mainstream films as well as revisits of previously released films.[17]

The section also has multiple recurring special features, such as Oeuvre,[18] which is published weekly and reviews a film director's work in chronological order; Film Dunce,[19] in which a staff member watches a classic film for the first time and reviews it; and Career Assessment,[20] which humorously looks at the career highs and lows of actors from seminal films.


Spectrum Culture's Food section is split between reviews of restaurants throughout the country and staff member recipes.[21] An emphasis is placed on eclectic or otherwise unique restaurants.[22]


The Print section is Spectrum Culture's newest addition and provides one new article each week. This section includes upcoming book reviews,[23] revisits of previously published works[24] (similar to the Music and Film sections), or interviews with a published author.[25]

Social Work[edit]

In 2009 Spectrum Culture organized a musical benefit for JOIN,[26] a Portland, Oregon-based charity that works to help transition that city's homeless into permanent housing. The concert included performances from Ramona Falls, Jason Webley, and K Records founder and former Beat Happening frontman Calvin Johnson.[27]


  1. ^ "Spectrum Culture Review of Tom Waits". tomwaits.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  2. ^ "Spectrum Culture Review of Revanche". janusfilms.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  3. ^ "Spectrum Culture Review of Waffle Window". wafflewindow.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  4. ^ "Spectrum Culture on cloudspeakers.com". cloudspeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  5. ^ "Spectrum Culture on Any Decent Music". cloudspeakers.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  6. ^ "Spectrum Culture Staff". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  7. ^ "Spectrum Culture New Music Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  8. ^ "Spectrum Culture New Film Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  9. ^ "Spectrum Culture Ratings Scale". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  10. ^ "Spectrum Culture Interview". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  11. ^ "Spectrum Culture Interview". roadburn.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  12. ^ "Spectrum Culture Concert Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  13. ^ "Spectrum Culture Festival Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  14. ^ "Spectrum Culture Revisited". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  15. ^ "Spectrum Culture Year by Year". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  16. ^ "Spectrum Culture Playlist". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  17. ^ "Spectrum Culture Film Revisit". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  18. ^ "Spectrum Culture Oeuvre". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  19. ^ "Spectrum Culture Film Dunce". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  20. ^ "Spectrum Culture Career Assessment". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  21. ^ "Spectrum Culture Recipe". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  22. ^ "Spectrum Culture Restaurant Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  23. ^ "Spectrum Culture Book Review". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  24. ^ "Spectrum Culture Book Revisit". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  25. ^ "Spectrum Culture Author Interview". spectrumculture.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  26. ^ "JOIN Benefit". Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  27. ^ "JOIN Charity Event". portlandoctopus.com. Retrieved 2010-04-22.

External links[edit]