The Pick: TRON: Legacy

Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday were pleasant and free of family fighting. This week we’re talking about a different kind of family – a cyber family. Yes, after talking about the original Tron last week, we’re returning to the grid to talk about Sam Flynn’s odyssey to retrieve his long-lost father played by who else but Jeff Bridges, man. We compare how this sequel stacks up to the original, as well as the movie’s early, flawed use of de-aging technology. Weird stuff, man. Continue reading

2010s Music Rediscovered: Same Trailer Different Park

Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park (2013)

Before we head into Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate to talk about the debut album by Kacey Musgraves. First, because Musgraves sings about her family and humble beginnings quite a bit on Same Trailer Different Park, while “Merry Go ‘Round” stands (in true Kacey fashion) as a disarmingly funny/sad depiction of an All-American fucked up family. Then there’s the fact that Musgraves is releasing a Christmas special on Amazon this Black Friday. It’s been quite meteoric how she’s made a steady transition from the country music world to widespread cultural likeability, but Same Trailer Different Park already hints at what would make her a crossover country star well-suited for the 2010s. Continue reading

2010s Music Rediscovered: Transcendental Youth

The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth (2012)

After having a consistently great and prolific ’00s, the 2010s were a little more hit-or-miss for The Mountain Goats. Granted, The Mountain Goats are a fairly cult-y band, so you could say that the band as a whole are a little hit-or-miss. Meaning their music hits you in a soft gooey part of your gut that reminds you how beautiful it is to be a weirdo, or John Darnielle’s voice is a just a little too nasally and his songs are a little too heady to do much for you. Either way, I’m sure there’s some debate among fans, but for my money, Transcendental Youth still stands as the band’s best album of the decade. Continue reading

The Pick: Tron

This week, we’re hackin’ into Master Computer as well as Disney+ by reviewing 1982’s Tron. It’s a film that’s far from perfect, but also far ahead of its time in terms of its visuals and emphasis on the limitless possibilities of computers. It’s not just a fun conversation, but the episode even sees John making a new friend named Bit. Happy listening, users. Continue reading

The People’s Albums: 2010s Edition

As I make my way through 2010s music, I figured I’d take a break from mere reviews to do a bonus People’s Album of the best selling album of this particular decade. The ‘10s were much less a decade of blockbuster album releases than the ‘00s or ‘90s before them for a number of reasons. The death of the monoculture, major record labels’ shifting influence, and physical media’s decline all made it hard to put out an album that simply everybody was listening to. Not to mention the effects that streaming had on how people consumed albums, or whether they bothered to listen to entire albums at all. It made for a weird decade for the album’s cultural relevance, and yet despite that, there were still a few that managed to break out and capture people’s ears, as well as their money. Continue reading

2010s Music Revisited: Smoke Ring For My Halo/Slave Ambient

Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo / The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient (2011)

It’s interesting that both Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring For My Halo and The War On Drugs’ Slave Ambient sat with Radiohead’s King of Limbs just outside of my Top Ten Albums of 2011. First, because they’re both quite a bit better than several albums that made my top ten that year (remember Cults?). But also because Philly boys Kurt Vile and Adam Granduciel used to be bandmates in The War On Drugs just a few years prior, while 2011 marked a kind of turning point for both of these mainstays of 2010s indie rock. Continue reading

2010s Music Rediscovered: New Amerykah Pt. 2: Return of The Ankh

Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Pt. 2: Return of The Ankh (2010)

It was only in the last few years that I started to really get into Erykah Badu, but from what I can tell, it’s been a weird decade for her. She started the decade off strong, releasing this follow up to 2008’s New Amerykah Pt. 1, but then for the rest of the decade managed only to release a mixtape in 2015, while a new album may await us in 2020. However, she still managed to retain her relevancy through extensive touring and festival appearances, while the kind of laid-back neo-soul she once harbored into the mainstream managed to stay in fashion over the course of the 2010s. She also managed to stay in the limelight (unfortunately) because she defended all-around great guys like Hitler and R. Kelly in public, but I guess it’s hard to give too much credence to any of Badu’s weird personal opinions when she’s always seemed to be living on a planet all her own.

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