In my review of Transformers: The Last Knight, I brought up the Writers Room, the surprisingly talented group of people tasked with turning the aging toy-themed movie franchise into a Marvel-style cinematic universe. Well, as much as the MCU seems to be the sole vision of Kevin Feige, the truth is they had something like the Writers Room of their own, back in the day. It was called the “Marvel Creative Committee” and has been implied to be the source of everything bad that ever happened.
Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
I’ve liked Philadelphia indie rockers Hop Along for a while now, but I think I’ve only recently cracked the code as to what makes them special. And that’s that on first listen they seem like the most typical amalgam of what an indie rock band would be expected to sound like: the crunchy guitars, the sneaky rhythmic patterns, the token lady lead singer surrounded by bearded bandmates. But when you actually listen to them closely, there are a lot of things that make Hop Along less than typical: the odd song structures, the leftfield brazenness, and a lady lead singer whose explosive vocals are far more raw and uncompromising than pretty much any lead singer going right now. Continue reading
Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
Sometimes, there are albums that are so easy to love that you don’t really have words to sufficiently describe your feelings for them. But, I suppose that gets at what is remarkable about Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, as it aims to capture a feeling that so many songs fail to. Which is a kind of love song ensconced in calmness. The other Kacey Musgraves albums I’ve heard seem to have a kind of slight neuroses to undercut all of Musgraves’ pangeant girl charms. And here, she seems completely comfortable with being herself, as well as with the idea of falling for somebody that gets her even if she doesn’t entirely get (or care) why. Continue reading
Frankie Cosmos’ Vessel is the kind of record I feel obligated to write about (since the last Frankie Cosmos album was my #3 album of 2016), but I’m not sure what to write about it. There really isn’t anything particularly different about it from the minutely awesome The Next Thing. Greta Kline’s songs here are just as simultaneously hushed and pulsating as ever, while she still seems quite overwhelmed by the world outside her bedroom, with little desire to do much else other than write a concise, poppy song about it. Continue reading
U.S. Girls – A Poem Unlimited
Much like in life, the hardest thing as a music fan is to constantly keep yourself open to new things. I know I’ve heard numerous times that your early 20s are about the time that people stop listening to newer music, and of course, I’m a few years into this constant struggle. But even if you are someone like me, who finds themselves seeking out new artists, these new artists often end up sounding something like Car Seat Headrest or Courtney Barnett. Who are great, for sure, but they’re not too far off from other artists you’ve loved in the past. Continue reading
You know, we’ve been talking about this tenth anniversary week for a long time. The problem is, we’d always end that conversation before coming up with a concrete plan for what to do. This Mildly Pleased Hall of Fame idea isn’t that fleshed out yet, but I think we’ll use it to enshrine media that specifically we all like. Meaning it’s not going to be the best stuff of all time, but the stuff that most represents our tastes. I had originally envisioned doing something like this years ago as a video essay series, but that’s a lot of work. So instead, I’ll merely write about a movie that has become the centerpiece of an annual tradition at the blog: The Edge.
Some people seize the moment, while others wait for the moment to seize them. In the Fall of 2016, Jeff Rosenstock seemed to be doing a bit of both when he released his break-out solo effort WORRY. at a precise moment in time when all anyone with half a brain could do was worry. After years of playing in various punk bands with a fiercely DIY-aesthetic, Rosenstock finally seemed to be taking advantage of all his skills at once, by releasing an album that seemed to embody all the anxiety and frustration that would befall America a mere 3 weeks after its release. Which is why despite WORRY. making a respectable #7 on my top ten of 2016 list, it was undoubtedly the album from that year I kept listening to the most while clenching my way through the dregs of 2017. Continue reading