Before we jump headlong into Criterion month, here’s a look back at the best of pop culture from 2018 so far. Things move fast these days, so if you blink, you might miss a great album or movie or television show, or maybe even a quality video game. Here, John, Sean, and Colin try to catch you up on the best stuff from this year, while making no bones about the fact there’s probably plenty of stuff they just didn’t have time to catch up with. Here’s to more great pop culture to distract us from the interminable hellscape that is 2018!
Harlan Ellison died this week and it’s a drag. Harlan Ellison was a mad genius. We hear the word “Genius” thrown around a lot when great artists and entertainers die but I want to emphasize the “mad” part for Ellison. Harlan Ellison was one of the most gifted speculative fiction writers of the 20th century. He was also batshit insane. This was a guy who mailed bricks and dead gophers to editors that pissed him off. A guy who belittled fans that asked him dumb questions and a guy who would sue at the drop of a hat.
Let’s face it. These days, there’s a lot of content out there. I can’t say this is the sole reason that there haven’t been a ton of music, TV, and movie reviews this year on Mildly Pleased, but it certainly doesn’t help. So as we reach the mid-year point and an ensuing podcast at the end of this month, I thought I (and maybe Sean and John?) would take a look at the pop culture from this year that we didn’t get around to reviewing, and believe me, there’s a lot.
First off, I’ll take a look back at the music from 2018 that I never got around to reviewing. We usually do year-end wrap-up reviews in December, but I’m sure there are plenty of albums that might not even stick around in my memory long enough to see the light of late 2018. Which is a shame, because there has been a lot of great music in 2018. The stuff I like the most I’ve most likely already reviewed. But there’s still plenty of good stuff that I just never got around to talking about. Until now. Continue reading
So far, my reaction to this new Courtney Barnett record has been “this is really good, but not that exciting”. Which is a pretty shitty reaction, considering anything really good should be appreciated at face value for its really good-ness. But, maybe chock it up to the fact that Barnett released an unsurprisingly solid collaboration with Kurt Vile last year, and therefore it feels like it hasn’t been that long since we’ve heard from her, despite the fact that it’s been three years since her tremendous 2015 solo debut. Continue reading