2016, Music

Coloring Book (2016) by Chance the Rapper

I must admit that I have no idea what differentiates a mixtape from an album when everything is digital. Is it aesthetic? Is there some aesthetic thing here I’m missing that makes this a mixtape not an album? I’m sure there is.

1964, Movies

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964, Ray Dennis Steckler)

The movie begins with a fortune teller getting her minion to attack someone she doesn’t like very much. Though everything about the scene doesn’t work well – the lighting, the audio, the acting – at least it makes you think that his hilariously titled film with have some action. Alas, that is now what happens.

2016, Music

The Dream is Over (2016) by PUP

I have seen PUP live at least once. My friends loved them. I thought they were fine but punk is never really been a genre I was super into live (compared to say, jazz). But listening to this, I think the appeal is very much as a live act. Maybe that’s because I’m a horrible …

2016, Music

Lemonade (2016) by Beyoncé

Despite her ubiquity, I have never listened to Beyoncé solo album. Years ago, I listened to two Destiny’s Child albums which were better than I thought they would be. Needless to say, we’re a long way from there. (Obligatory mention of the fact that, if Beyoncé is the age she says she is, we’re exactly …

2021, Movies

The Rescue (2021, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi)

This is an absolutely incredible documentary about the 2018 rescue of a Thai soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand. It’s one of those documentaries that succeeds simply because the story it is telling is so unbelievably incredible. I was vaguely aware of this at the time – I don’t watch the news – …

2016, Music

I Had a Dream That You Were Mine (2016) by Hamilton Leithauser, Rostam

I have never listened to the Walkmen or Vampire Weekend yet here I am listening to an album that is a collaboration of two of their members. I’d ask “How did I get here?” and tell you but you don’t care about that.

2005, Movies

Insecticidal (2005, Jeffery Scott Lando)

Stray thoughts: There are so many times when the action of the bugs doesn’t quite match the action of actors. I understand why this has a reputation for being terrible, it is certainly just an atrocious film. It’s not all-time bad necessarily but it’s pretty brutal. But I was mildly entertained which I can’t say …

2011, Movies

The Ordinary Skier (2011, Constantine Papanicolaou)

This is a “TV quality” documentary about the extreme skier Seth Morrison that is very clearly made by someone who makes ski films and not documentaries. (It was produced by Oakley so maybe I should say “brand-sponsored promotional film quality” instead.)

Basketball, Sports

Odds of Every NBA Draft Pick Turning Into a Star

What are the odds that your team’s pick in this year’s draft will turn into a star or even a franchise player? Now, more than ever, it seems like any draft position could potentially result in a franchise player, with Jokic only the most extreme example. But that’s not really true. The #1 pick is …

1924, Movies

Sherlock Jr. (1924, Buster Keaton)

This is a pretty classic Buster Keaton film about a film projectionist’s dreams of a better life. It’s got at least one pretty wild stunt (well, a group of stunts) in the dream sequence and it is also just notable for that whole dream sequence, which is pretty wild for 1924. SPOILERS though it’s 100 …

2016, Music

Teens of Denial (2016) by Car Seat Headrest

I have literally never heard of this band. And now, somehow, I’m listening to their 11th album. There is reason, but it’s not really important. For me the struggle is knowing literally nothing about this band and their career to date.

2024, Music

Of the Last Human Being (2024) by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

I had an opportunity to see a reunited Sleepytime Gorilla Museum this winter. In order to do so, I would have had to rent or borrow a car, or convince a friend to drive me, and get a hotel room. This, apparently, was too much for me (and very close to a trip) so I …

2016, Music

“Awaken, My Love!” (2016) by Childish Gambino

I am familiar with Donald Glover primarily from Community. More recently I have begun (slowly) watching Atlanta and we briefly started Mr. and Mrs. Smith. What I’m saying is I know him entirely as an actor. I think I may have heard one of his hits at some point but I don’t remember which song …

1987, Books, Non-Fiction, Society

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (1987) by Simon Schama

I picked this book up because I thought Citizens was great, not because of any particular interest in this subject. That turns out to be a problem because Schama assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the reader about Dutch political history and some knowledge Dutch cultural history. Fortunately, there’s the internet now. But that didn’t exist …

2018, TV

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018)

I am a huge fan of Larry Sanders. I think it’s one of the greatest shows in the history of television. But, outside of that, and having suffered through What Planet are You From? I really didn’t know a lot about Garry Shandling. I can tell you that this 4-hour-plus miniseries, made by one of …

2024, Music

Kronos Quartet Live at Koerner Hall Thursday May 9, 2024

I am somewhat familiar with the Kronos Quartet but more by reputation than actually knowing their music. I have heard a few of their recordings – particularly Tan Dun: Ghost Opera – but hardly very many, with many on my list that I’ve never been to. But when I saw they would be here, on …