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

2018 Music Reloaded: Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams

I’m now realizing these reviews might be less of a look back at 2018 music than a look back at Fall 2018 music that I forgot to review. Because looking back, I feel like I kept a pretty good handle on writing about most of the notable music I encountered this year, though that feeling may be almost entirely indebted to this post. Though, whatever season of 2018 we’re talking about, there weren’t any albums that sounded anything quite like Fucked Up’s Dose Your Dreams, an album that stretches the boundaries of what a punk album can accomplish, and in an era when very few bands seem interested in exploring those boundaries. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Chris

Christine & The Queens – Chris

Well, the end of the year has reared its head once again, and that leaves us here at Mildly Pleased staring down the barell of end-of-year list season. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been posting top tens of the year lists for 10 years now. But if there’s one thing that we’ve seen change in the past ten years, it’s how other sites have gradually pushed their top ten lists further and further up the calendar. Now, I can’t say I’ve seen any major lists pop up yet, but I feel like they could come flooding in at any moment, but for now, we’ll get started with our shortened reviews of stuff we forgot to review earlier in the year that may have a chance of cropping up on a list or two. Continue reading

Rokk Talk Ep. 16: The Song Remains The Same

After a long Dave Matthews-induced hiatus, Rokk Talk is back! On this episode John and Colin talk about Led Zep– er, Greta Van Fleet. Which by extension devolves into a conversation about Led Zeppelin, “new” classic rock, self-awareness, and forging your own sound (or failing to). You’d think a band with so little originality wouldn’t provide enough fodder for an hour-long podcast. But much like the rest of the internet, we couldn’t resist spending a decent amount of time breaking down whether this band sounds too much like their very obvious influences. Continue reading

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C.A.T.: Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine (1992)

Is Rage Against The Machine any good? This is a question I’ve often asked myself ever since listening to them as a mid-‘oos high schooler. The answer then seemed to be “yes”, though it may have been partly because they were a fun band to groove along to when I was first learning to play drums. However, they seemed much less good during the late ’00s/early ’10s of my college years, which may have been due to my budding indie rock snobbery. Meanwhile, they’ve sounded pretty darn good to my ears the last two years. Which is to say, how good this band sounds may all be correlated to the political climate of the time. Continue reading