Review: Christian Lopez – Red Arrow

2017 has been a miraculous year for young talent in the country/roots music space. From Colter Wall to Tyler Childers to Lindsay Ell, a fair chunk of the best albums in those genres this year have been made by twenty-somethings. Add Christian Lopez to the list. At 22 years old, Lopez is just crossing the boundary between youth and adulthood. His brand-new sophomore record, Red Arrow, is all about making the journey.

A crisp collection of roots-pop songs, built on a foundation of catchy melodies and organic instrumentation, Red Arrow is as immediate a record as you’ll hear this year. That might be a surprise, given Lopez’s youth. Shouldn’t a guy who’s only been on the planet since 1995 still be learning the ropes of this whole album-making thing? Apparently not. While Lopez is young, he’s not inexperienced. He’s been touring tirelessly for the past few years, building a following largely on the back of hard work and strong word of mouth. And it also can’t hurt that he’s made his first two albums with two of the best and most respected producers working in roots music right now.

Jordan Peele Developing Nazi Hunting TV Drama

The Hollywood Reporter:

Peele is set to executive produce the drama The Hunt, a 1970s-set Nazi hunter drama from Sonar Entertainment. David Weil is on board to pen the script and exec produce alongside Peele. A network is not yet attached; insiders stress the project is already drawing interest from several potential bidders.

Inspired by true events, The Hunt follows a diverse band of Nazi hunters in 1970s America as they set out on a quest for revenge and justice — tracking and killing hundreds of Nazis who, with the unconscionable help of the U.S. government, escaped justice and embedded themselves in American society.

Nathan Fielder: How the Cult Comedian Rules the Outer Limits of Awkward

Andy Greene, writing for Rolling Stone:

Television has never seen anything quite like Fielder, who grew up in Vancouver as a gawky kid who loved to perform magic tricks, then went on to get a business degree from the University of Victoria. Nathan for You manages to make use of both his love of magic and his business acumen, as well as his natural social awkwardness. On the show, he “helps” mom-and-pop shops with schemes that can border on offensive – like when he convinced haunted-house visitors that they’d contracted an autoimmune disease “a step below AIDS” in order to give them a real scare. Other bits are hilarious, sophisticated illusions: To promote a petting zoo, he made a video in which a pig appeared to rescue a goat from drowning. In reality, it was a scheme involving divers and other underwater props, but most of the big morning shows played the clip, believing it was real.

Nathan for You returns tonight. I’m ready.

Frank Turner’s Campfire Punkrock

Frank Turner has announced a “Campfire Punkrock” event next year. It’s a four night all-inclusive event. After the initial backlash at calling something like this “punk,” Frank issued the following statement to NME:

Like Peter Buck, Melissa Auf der Maur, Todd Rungren, Richard Thompson and many others before me, I’m doing a Music Masters camp next summer in upstate New York, in amongst the rest of my regular touring schedule. It’s an all-inclusive package, four nights full bed and board in a resort, so it might not be for everyone, but it’s just one small event among everything else I’ll be doing next year – releasing a new record, with the usual run of tours, festivals and benefit shows that comes with that.

I work hard to make sure that what I do is accessible to everyone. If I don’t see people at the camp, there will be plenty of other shows where we can hang out.

I sure don’t miss the days of arguing over what’s punk or not.

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Meet the Font Detectives Who Ferret Out Fakery

Glenn Fleishman, writing for Wired:

What does international political corruption have to do with type design? Normally, nothing—but that’s little consolation for the former prime minister of Pakistan. When Nawaz Sharif and his family came under scrutiny earlier this year thanks to revelations in the Panama Papers, the smoking gun in the case was a font. The prime minister’s daughter, Maryam Sharif, provided an exculpatory document that had been typeset in Calibri—a Microsoft font that was only released for general distribution nearly a year after the document had allegedly been signed and dated.

A “Fontgate” raged.

The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Matt Bellinger

Jason Heller, writing about the passing of Planes Mistaken for Stars’ Matt Bellinger:

A basic obituary isn’t enough to sum up a life, let alone one that had as much impact as Matt’s.

When I met Matt in 1998, I had yet to even dream of being a journalist. Back then, I worked the cash register at Wax Trax, while Matt and the other members of Planes lived in Peoria, Illinois, where they had grown up. Their singer-guitarist, Gared O’Donnell, visited Denver frequently in the ’90s to see his mom, who lived in Colorado.