thank u (faletinme be mice elf again)

Ariana Grande – thank u, next

Perhaps it’d make sense that the warm reception of this album was what finally compelled me to break down and listening to Ariana Grande, after mostly feeling indifferent about her. But, that’s not quite the case. I listened to Grande’s 2018 album Sweetener, and liked it just fine, but it didn’t really stand out that much from your typical Top 40 stuff. Not that there’s much that stands out from most Top 40-oriented music enough for me to want to listen to 40 minutes worth of it from one artist. Continue reading

See A Little Light

Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

“What do you want me to do?” asks Bob Mould on his latest album Sunshine Rock. My answer: “whatever the hell you want”. Bob Mould owes rock fans absolutely nothing at this point. He helped give the world the blueprint for alternative rock with his first band Hüsker Dü, perfected straight-up alternative rock with his band Sugar’s Copper Blue album, and then has gone through a bit of a resurgence with some of the best, most pure music of his career in the 2010’s. And yet, the man still delivers. Continue reading

Rokk Talk Ep. 18: I Love it Loud

Do you believe in Rock and Roll? Well if you do and if you like the taste of cold gin, you’re gonna love this special episode of Rokk Talk. This week, John, Colin, and respected journalist/personal trainer/rock god Matt Carstens reflect on seeing KISS on their “End of the Road Tour”. Is the show worth a deuce? You’ll have to listen to find out!

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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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