The People’s Albums #12: Metallica

Since it’s March 31 and we still haven’t had a single post all month, here’s an obligatory People’s Album entry to keep this from being the first completely postless month. Though don’t worry, word on the street is that we’ll be a little more active on here in the month ahead.

Album: Metallica (The Black Album)
Artist: Metallica
Release Date: August 12, 1991
Copies Sold In U.S.: 16 million Continue reading

Nomadder Where You Go

Nomadland

I can’t even remember the last time I reviewed a new movie on this blog, but let’s see if I still remember how to do it. This isn’t to say that there haven’t been a lot of good movies to come out post-pandemic, since we were able to put together our Top Ten Movies of 2020 lists without it feeling like we were scraping the bottom of the barrel. But it’s still been a while since I’ve seen a movie that has affected me enough that it was able to transcend the fact that I was still stuck at home watching it, even though it’s a film featuring the expanse of the American West that you’d prefer to see on a big screen. But whatever format you’re seeing it on, aside from the prettiness of its natural imagery, Nomadland is also filled with a ton to chew on in terms of its themes, topicality, and of course empathy. Continue reading

Compare/Contrast: Heaux Tales/Ignorance

Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales / The Weather Station – Ignorance

It’s hard to say what new music will look like in 2021. You would think that there may be a dearth of album releases due to the pandemic making it harder for musicians to collaborate in the studio over the past year. Though unlike film and TV, music doesn’t rely as much on large groups of people for creative fulfillment, and as we even saw in 2020, some artists are perfectly capable of writing and recording worthwhile material while in isolation. So for that reason, I think 2021 won’t be the greatest year for music or anything, but I don’t think it’ll be a complete wasteland the way movies were in 2020 and TV will almost surely be this year.

I can’t verify whether both Jazmine Sullivan’s and The Weather Station’s new albums were recorded during lockdown (though I know Heaux Tales was), but their introspective nature certainly checks off what we want out of music these days. They’re two albums that are among the most critically lauded albums of the year so far (though I suppose Heaux Tales is technically an EP), while also being probably my two favorite albums of the still-young year. They’re not that similar of sounding albums, as they’re coming from two artists that inhabit two very different spaces of the music world (Sullivan coming from the mainstream R&B world, while The Weather Station comes from the artier side of indie-pop). However, they feel worth comparing to me because they both see two artists in similar stages of their careers finding their sounds in truly revelatory ways. Continue reading

The People’s Albums #13: Saturday Night Fever

It looks like I took off 2020 completely from doing any installments of The People’s Albums, but I’m still so close to finishing out this seven-year journey that I just gotta keep pushing. Also, after catching up with The Bee Gees: How Do You Mend A Broken Heart? and the film Saturday Night Fever this past week, I finally feel ready to assess this cornerstone of the disco movement.

Album: Saturday Night Fever (The Original Movie Soundtrack)
Artist: The Bee Gees / Various Artists
Release Date:
November 15, 1977
Copies Sold In The U.S.: 16 million Continue reading

Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2021

2020 was a weird year for movies, to put it mildly. 2021 will most likely be just as weird, as we look forward to films that will mostly be available on streaming while still holding out hope that a few choice releases will make their way to theaters by the end of the year. While the circumstances have changed, Sean and John once again compile their lists of their most anticipated movies, while I take a look at the movies that probably won’t be any better than they were before having their release dates pushed back. This podcast is always a fun one, and as per usual we’re joined by our old friend Matt Carstens. Continue reading

Sean’s Top 10 Movies of 2020

As the others have said, 2020 was a tough year for the movies. I guess I’m more like Colin than John, as I didn’t have the discipline to build a ritual around trying to keep up with new releases. That’s partly because I do already have a movie watching tradition – I try to watch something with my dad every Tuesday – and the types of movies we’d watch are the ones that got delayed to 2021 and beyond. Actually, the last time I went to a theater was a dad Tuesday; we saw The Gentlemen at one of those weird dine-in cinemas. That movie wasn’t particularly memorable, but I do remember stocking up on canned goods at the supermarket on the way home per his advice. Last year sucked.

That said, coming up with a theme for this year’s list wasn’t that hard at all. Please enjoy my favorite 2020 movies about overcoming grief!

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Colin’s Top Ten Movies of 2020

I’ll be honest. I was pretty checked out on new movies for basically all of 2020, though I suppose so was America. It was a bad year for movies, just as it was a bad year for any industry that relied on large groups of people coming together. So looking at my list, I think I saw 80% of these in the last month, though it’s true that most years cram a bunch of their best movies into the end-of-year award cycle period. Still, because all of these are new to me and because I didn’t get to see any of them in a theater, I can’t say I’m all that attached to them. Though that’s not to say that they weren’t worth catching up with, as I’m certainly glad I did. Continue reading