Pop Girl Summer

Taylor Swift – Lover / Lana Del Rey – Norman F***ing Rockwell!

I’m well aware that these will be very cold takes, considering these are two pretty huge albums that got the hot take treatment upon their release a few weeks ago. However, I couldn’t help but feel the need to compare and contrast these two albums, considering they have a lot in common, as well as a lot of differences in terms of how their pop star creators have navigated their careers up until now. Also, I’m not sure that they’re albums that are all that conducive to the “hot take” treatment, considering their breadth and ambition. Continue reading

The Pick: It Chapter Two

This episode we’re making our first foray into reviewing a movie currently in theaters on The Pick, as we take a look at It Chapter 2. John shares with us not only his thoughts on the film in question, but also its relation to the book it’s based on, the 1990 made-for-TV adaptation, and the Stephen King-iverse in general. The movie is a bit of a long, semi-indulgent mess, so it seems only appropriate that this is our most epic episode of The Pick yet. Continue reading

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The Pick: Body Heat

We’re back with a very sexy episode of The Pick in which we’ll be talking about Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 directorial debut, Body Heat. We’ll discuss the film’s noir motifs, excellent performances, twisty-turny plotting, and copious amounts of sweat. Also, we introduce a new segment where we’ll be giving our own individual “Little Picks” to supplement the big pick of the week. Continue reading

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Som Rise, Som Set

Jay Som – Anak Ko

Is it just me, or did indie rock get a lot dreamier over the course of this decade? Perhaps blame it on some of the more influential bands of the decade who literally put “dream” in their album titles (ahem, War on Drugs, Beach House), or just blame it on drugs in general. But it seems that more and more bands have embraced a flurry of hazy guitars and half-comprehensible lyrics that harken back to shoegaze, but with less of the inherent noise. Jay Som proved on her last album that she could embrace the noise with stand-out track “1 Billion Dogs”, but here she plunges deeper into some dreamier jams. Continue reading

Still Plenty of Passion

The Hold Steady – Thrashing Thru The Passion

That’s right. It’s 2019 and I’m still writing about The Hold Steady.

Which does bring up the question: at what point do you give up on a band you loved in college who might have passed their expiration date? Well, I find this happening less and less these days, considering streaming makes casual listening incredibly easy, which is exactly the kind of listening perfect for an old favorite of yesteryear. Meanwhile, the bands that never really mattered to you that much will fade regardless, while the ones you truly loved will have gained enough of your trust that you’ll continue listening to them into your dreaded thirties. Continue reading

Center of Attention

Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold

Sometimes, you just wish the art could speak for itself. But alas, we live in a time where that rarely happens. This especially comes to mind when talking about Sleater-Kinney’s latest, The Center Won’t Hold, which ended up being the last album recorded with drummer Janet Weiss before she exited the band prior to the album’s release. So while listening to it, one can’t help but take into consideration whether the new sounds explored on the album caused a rift in the band’s, well, center. Then when you also take into account that Weiss was injured in a potentially career-ending car accident last month, it feels as though a bit of a gray cloud hangs over The Center Won’t Hold. Continue reading

The Pick: A Face In The Crowd

After ringing in this new podcast by reviewing Olympus Has Fallen, this week we’re talking about a movie that’s a little less, well, dumb. A Face In The Crowd saw legendary director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg teaming up once again after the success of On The Waterfront. As we discuss, A Face In The Crowd didn’t make quite the same splash as that classic, but now feels more and more ahead of its time with each passing year. We’ll also discuss the merits of Andy Griffith’s larger than life performance, the early rise of television, and try to get to the bottom of what exactly Vitajex is.

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