“Do the Shins write catchy songs?” Don’t take this statement as “Do the Shins write good songs?” They do for the most part. I’m asking if any random blue collar slob walked into a karaoke bar and tried to sing any Shins song other than “New Slang“ could they nail even fifty percent of the right notes? I’ve probably heard “Phantom Limb” and “So Says I” hundreds of times but no way could I ever belt those tunes in a sing-a-long. This is a factor that has for years held me be back from loving The Shins. Their songs (or at least singles) are too complicated.
After 16 years and eight movies, pretty much everyone is in on the joke when it comes to the Fast and Furious series. We all know the first four fluctuated between kinetic messes and charming absurdity, and that the fifth through seventh are insanely entertaining. But eight is a lot of movies, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rarefied air the franchise is now breathing. This is how many Harry Potter movies there are (not counting Fantastic Beasts). This is double Hunger Games. We’re talking James Bond, infinite franchise territory. With that in mind, I’ve been looking for the right James Bond movie to compare F8 to, and despite the icy connection to Die Another Day, I think it’s Spectre.
I know, I know. I should probably be writing about the new Kendrick album instead of a month old Aimee Mann album. Oh, see what I did there? This album isn’t even a month old yet and feels way older. In fact, it’s not even three weeks old (our culture is screwed btw). But either way, these past couple weeks, Mental Illness has been a great “early morning” album for me, as it makes no attempt to hide its melancholy, but for that reason is a nice warm-up for whatever anxiety each day may bring. Continue reading
I’m a little hesitant to say it, but Hurray For The Riff Raff’s The Navigator might be the first album to come out of 2017 that I truly love. Granted, at first I was hesitant to give this album even a listen, due to a number of factors that now seem trivial. First of all, the sort of gimmicky name behind this project led by Alynda Segarra (which I’d never listened to). Then the fact that Segarra’s songs have been described as roots rock or Americana, which can’t help but remind me of all the Mumford wannabe’s of the early ’10s. While that kind of music usually can’t help but feel overly quaint or archaic, especially when we’re being forced to live so much in the here and now these days. Continue reading
Here’s the thing. I have a number of albums piled up that I’ve been enjoying, and I thought about just doing a long music catch-up post, in which I just do a bunch of short, uninvolved reviews, since apparently that’s perfectly acceptable now. Which of course comes from streaming being the norm now, and the fact that album’s that are more than a month old feel like relics of the distant past. Continue reading
Spoon is a good band.
This is probably about as close to an irrefutable fact that is not actually a fact but a mere opinion that you’re going to get from any 21st century rock music fan. Well, other than that Radiohead is a good band. But unlike Radiohead, Spoon have actually rocked since the 21st century began, or at least in their own conventionally unconventional way. And perhaps that’s what’s made them one of the great bands of the last two decades – their willingness to embrace rock tropes while undercutting and reconstructing what those tropes are in their own image. Continue reading
It has never been easy being The Wolverine. When we first met Hugh Jackman’s take on the character in X-Men, 17 years and 10 movies ago, Logan was a cage fighter who explained to a runaway little girl that it hurt to use his claws “every time.” He’s lost several loves of his life, some under pretty brutal circumstances. And let’s not forget all the pain and suffering caused by his involvement in the Weapon X program… Even though he forgot it, because it gave him amnesia. Old man Logan’s been through a lot, and now it’s time for him, and this version of the franchise, to finally come to an end.