Western State of Mind

William Tyler – Goes West

William Tyler’s last album of contemplative instrumental country/folk, Modern Country, has surely ended up being one of my most listened to albums of the past few years. This is because Tyler’s brand of spacey, unobtrusive guitar work is very easy to put on in the background when you’re working/writing, which I often find myself doing. Now, I’m not sure that that makes for the best music to actually write about, but I guess we’ll see what I can come up with… Continue reading

No Need To Remind Me

Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

I am almost always skeptical when an indie rock artist decides to make their “dance-pop record”. I am also almost always wrong about this skepticism. With Remind Me Tomorrow, the latest release from this typically guitar-based singer-songwriter, I had an inkling that once again I’d be eating my words in regards to this slight sonic reinvention. Because late last year, Sharon Van Etten released the fantastic single “Comeback Kid”, a song that is weirdly catchy and anthemic, yet still has that undercurrent of regret and melancholy that seems to run through all of Van Etten’s music. Continue reading

Freaky Fridays: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

Tomorrow, the entire Mildly Pleased staff is seeing Kiss on what has been sold as their final tour ever. I couldn’t be more excited. Yet if you asked me how I felt about Kiss I would also be the first person to tell you they suck. Call it a guilty pleasure but despite all of the shitty things about Kiss—the egos, the greed, the Kiss Casket—I love their theatricality and more importantly their music. Few acts in the annals of rock have so successfully merged pop songwriting with heavy metal. Fewer have done it while wearing capes and breathing fire.

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