2018 Music Reloaded: Honey

Robyn – Honey

Much like Cat Power, Robyn was an artist I’d long neglected listening to much before this year, and I’m quite glad I made this correction. Of course, my newfound appreciation for Robyn has coincided with my more recent openness to straight-up pop artists, perhaps because the tastes of music critics have pushed me in this direction. But whatever the case, Robyn is the rare kind of pop star who seems to have gotten better with age, though despite some amazing moments, I’m not sure that Honey quite matches her last release, the unstoppable Body Talk. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Wanderer

Cat Power – Wanderer

Cat Power is an artist whom I’d neglected to really give the time of day for many years. Though that may be because the first time I tried listening to one of her albums was back in 2006 with her album Jukebox, which was a cover album, and therefore not necessarily the best introduction to her. But in the wake of Cat Power’s latest release I decided to check out some of her other albums, and compared to those, Wanderer is a nice late-career entry in her catalog, but not really much of a revelation. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Kiss Yr Frenemies

illuminati hotties – Kiss Yr Frenemies

Upon first listen, this album had a fair amount working against it. The first being that its title (and the band’s name) seem almost like a parody of what boomers assume millennial-speak sounds like. Then you listen to them, and they sound a bit like the kind of precious cutesiness that Gen-Xers probably think millennials turned indie rock into. Which I don’t think is necessarily wrong, but also doesn’t get at how funny, candid, and catchy this album is. Continue reading

Roma-rama

Roma

I suppose I can take a break from these year-end music reviews to talk about a movie for once, since I just saw one of my absolute favorites from this year. Which means that yes, I’m one of those snobs who opted to see Roma on the big screen instead of waiting to watch it on Netflix in less than a week. And do I stand by that decision? Well, considering it’s one of the most absorbing and beautiful filmgoing experiences I’ve had in a while, I do. Though I do at the same time realize convenience is always a decisive factor in life, and really, seeing Roma on any-sized screen will be doing yourself a favor. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Look Now

Elvis Costello – Look Now

My relationship with Elvis Costello’s music is probably not that unique to a lot of rock stars of his generation and their fans. Because I would easily put Elvis up as one of my favorite artists ever. His music meant a lot to me during high school, seeing as I was this awkward geeky kid who thought he was smarter than everybody, but was deathly afraid of revealing this fact. So it blew my mind to discover this guy who made geekiness punk rock, all while sharpening his lyrical wit like a finely serrated knife, ready to pierce through every note he sang in his signature snarl. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Boygenius

Boygenius – Boygenius EP

It’s hard to say if the inherent brevity of this EP is what makes it frustrating, or what makes it seem even better than if it was a full album. Because getting to hear Lucy Dacus, Julian Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers all singing and playing together on one compact release is kind of perfect in a way, if a little fleeting. With three performers like this, all formidable forces in their own right, you have to guess that this isn’t going to grow into a full-time gig for the three of them. That combined with the fact that Boygenius was seemingly recorded over the course of a week, makes it all the more confounding that they sound so darn comfortable playing with each other. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Fall Into The Sun

Swearin’ – Fall into the Sun

Being the younger sibling seems hard. Being the older sibling of a more successful younger sibling working in the same field as you seems harder. This is the plight of Allison Crutchfield, who has carved out a respectable career with her band Swearin’ before they broke up and she pursued a solo career before reforming the band and releasing a new album this year. All the while, her sister Katie rose to further and further prominence with her band Waxahatchee. But that doesn’t seem to really weigh on Allison Crutchfield too much, considering she’s played and toured with her younger sister band, and generally seems to have the kind of close-knit relationship that one could only hope for with their own family members. Continue reading