On January 12, 1999, Britney Spears hit the music scene with …Baby One More Time. Boy bands, Britney Spears, and company ruled the late 90s and early 2000s with their music. The title track dropped in October 1998, which gave fans a taste of what to expect. It also helped blast Britney into her celebrity status. It’s the only track I can imagine having such a big impact from the get-go. Wouldn’t it have been odd for them to have the lead single be literally any other song on the album? That’s sure how it feels now, anyway.
Radar State is a new powerhouse band that consists of Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids, Josh Berwanger of The Anniversary, and Adam Phillips of The Architects. Each of these guys has been in the game for quite some time. The Get Up Kids’ Something to Write Home About turns 20 this year, to put things into perspective.
Strays feels like a cohesive album even with the tradeoffs at lead vocals. No matter who is singing, you get what this album is all about. “What’s a Rebel” is a jam that feels like it could be a summer anthem. As soon as the hook comes in, energy courses through you. I found it hard to sit still while listening to the song because it just makes you want to jump. If I were sitting while listening to it, I’d either have my head bobbing along to the beat or had my feet bouncing up and down. It’s just that catchy.
I made sure that 2018 was the year I finally made my way through The Sopranos. I finished the final season just before the year ended. It was quite the trek and nicely timed given that The Sopranos Sessions was set to release this month. After finishing the show, I jumped into the book and went on the wild ride all over again.
It took me much longer to get around to writing something up on my new podcast than I intended, but here we are. Chat Sematary is my new Stephen King podcast. I’m breaking down his bibliography and many of the adaptations that followed. As of right now, I have roughly 10 episodes in the bag and four that you can listen to now (five if you want to include the trailer).
For the most part, I’ll be experiencing a lot of his novels for the first time. I had read a handful out of order when I first started reading his works and then I decided to start from the top and run through them in the order of release. That led me to the idea for this podcast and it’s going to be a lengthy process. Right now, there are roughly 150 episodes to plan out. That number will change as King continues to release novels, short stories, and novellas and as more adaptations come out.
If you’re a King fan, even in the slightest, you just might find something to enjoy with this podcast. I’m not going to claim to be an expert on his works and how everything ties in, but I’m having a lot of fun discussing everything. I’m also always open to having new guests on the podcast, so if you or anyone you know might be interested, get in touch with me on Twitter.
Michael Azerrad is no stranger to writing about music. He’s the author of Our Band Could Be Your Life, and he recently released Rock Critic Law. The latter is a book that includes 101 unbreakable rules for writing badly about music, as the subtitle notes. The book is an extremely quick read as the rules are presented in tweet-length format.
Halloween Unmasked is my kind of podcast. I’m three episodes in on it, and it feels like a new take on film podcasts. Usually, I’m listening to pop culture podcasts that are discussion-based (and mostly hosted by dudes). I listen to shows like Fatman On Batman (now branded Fatman Beyond), The Watch, and Channel 33, which has a lot of sub-shows within its feed. I listen to a lot of shows from The Ringer.
Bad Rabbit’s Mimi brings you seven jams that are perfect for the summer. I’ve been a fan of the band for a while now and they continue to be consistently good. Even if you’ve never heard of the band before, Mimi isn’t a bad place to start. It instantly let’s you know that this band is looking to have a fun time with their music.
Not only do Bad Rabbits have fun, but they blend genres together in a way that flows well. In a way, this is a bit of an experimental album for them, too. All seven songs revolve around a character, Mimi. You see the progression of them meeting, struggling, and more throughout the record. In “F on the Job,” things don’t go so well for our storyteller as he finds himself (rightfully) in jail.
Deezy Violet and Alex Mojaverian make up the duo Sad Baxter. Out of Nashville, TN, the vocals from Deezy instantly made me feel like she could fit right in with the riot grrrl era of bands that reigned in the Pacific Northwest. The instruments give off a garage punk vibe, but the vocals squeeze in some pop elements. “Love Yew” is instantly catchy and a great choice to kick off So Happy.
If you’re a fan of The Menzingers, Lost In Society is a band that you should be listening to. The punk trio signed to Wiretap Records for their latest release, Eager Heart. The EP consists of five songs that fly by, and I mean that in a good way. This band rips.
I remember seeing Lost In Society live for the first time at Programme Skate and Sound in Fullerton, CA. By day, the store sells skateboards and vinyl, but at night, they put on some great shows. Right away, the band’s live show impressed me. They have so much energy and that transfers to the new EP.
When Yellowcard disbanded after their self-titled album, I didn’t think that would be the end of making music for everyone in the band. William Ryan Key proved me right by releasing Thirteen. While I will always miss the combination of his voice with Sean Mackin on violin, this EP helps to fill the void that was left when Yellowcard ended.
Hidden Hospitals have cemented themselves as one of my favorite current rock bands. As I was listening through Liars, I was taken back to what got me into the band in the first place. Their 2015 album, Surface Tension, was a breath of fresh air. They didn’t sound like anything on the radio. They aren’t afraid to try new things when it comes to their music and with Liars they encapsulate rock ‘n roll in their own way.
Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock by Steven Hyden is just the journey I was looking for. In the day and age of staring at screens most of the day, reading a physical book was a great way to unplug. I read this book over three days and enjoyed every bit of it. The book is formatted as a double LP. Sides A-D contain tracks that denote each chapter. It’s a clever way to present the book and it’s little things like that which just add a little extra to the reading experience.
This book covers all walks of classic rock. Hyden talks about Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and Bruce Springsteen, among many others. He touches on crucial points, too, including the fact that the white men in classic rock pulled influence from artists of color who never received the same kind of recognition.
Gleemer’s Anymore would be a great album to listen to even if they just had straight guitar, bass, and drums playing. However, the music is so much deeper than that. There’s an atmospheric sound in the background that sweeps through the entire record. “Basketball Casino” sets the tone for what to expect musically.
The band itself grew from a solo project that guitarist and vocalist Corey Coffman was working on. From there, he made a strong connection with Charlie O’Neil and that’s when Anymore really came into formation. The duo did everything out of a home studio, and this album sounds far from being just some DIY project someone recorded at home. These guys know what they’re doing when it comes to making a record sound good. The band’s lineup includes Nick and Joey, as well.
Sammi Lanzetta is undoubtedly a new, and welcome face in the rock scene. Her first song showed up on Bandcamp in May of 2016. “House Plants” instantly shows off what kind of artist she is, with a sound best described as “anxiety rock.” On her new EP, For Avery, we get a better exploration of this sound. The EP consists of four songs none run over two and a half minutes. Lanzetta gets right to the point and that gives the EP has a great flow.
“Circles” pulls no punches with its biting opening line: “Why are you such a misogynist? I would rather slit my throat than be stuck in a house with you.” Now, if that doesn’t tell you exactly what you’re diving into with For Avery, then I don’t know what would. While the lyrics bare it all, the music is painfully real as well. She sings about her fears, anxiety, and many more emotions in the relatively short amount of time of just four songs. “Anxiety Olympics” is completely upfront about being around other people her age and how she may pale in comparison. She wants to be better, but also doesn’t want it to feel like a competition. That just might be something we can all relate to, even for those of us who are competitive.
Slaughter Beach, Dog is back with Motorcycle.jpg. While Modern Baseball is on a bit of a break, Jake Ewald is taking some time to work on his solo project more. It’s the third release from him since the project debuted in 2015. Last year we received a full-length out of the project and this new EP is a great extension.
Swordfish have started to garner a lot of attention with their new album Rodia. Washed Up Emo streamed it prior to its release and Ian Cohen wrote about “Ghost Song” over at Pitchfork. However, neither of these things determined whether or not I’d listen to the band. I listened because I trust Take This To Heart Records to consistently release music that I enjoy. I had never heard about Swordfish before they signed to the label, and I bet this won’t remotely be the last I hear of them.
Chuck Klosterman is the only writer where I’ve stockpiled the complete collection of his books. With X he’s on his tenth book, which is a feat in itself for any author to have ten books. That said, I have yet to read all ten, but this one called to me as an immediate read when it arrived in my mailbox. As someone who has similar interests in general with Klosterman, his writing always intrigues me.
This book is a collection of Klosterman’s writing over the years. Some were familiar, namely his GQ interview (or lack thereof) with Tom Brady while the whole “Deflategate” situation was going on. And despite having already read it, I read it again anyway. In a way, I would like my writing to grow to be what his is, but still something that’s my own. Hopefully that makes sense to someone other than myself. Klosterman covers sports and music in a way that many writers in those areas probably wish they could. He has access that not just anyone gets. His interview with Kobe Bryant is fantastic, and the Lakers fan in me is beyond jealous.
Super American return with their new album, Disposable. The songs are jams through and through. “Sloppy Jazz” opens the album with a high energy. The EP contains seven songs and each of them offers something to catch your ear. Whether it’s the melody or lyrics, Super American has it covered. You’ll be wanting to sing along to these songs after the first listen. And the lyrics are simple, but still thoughtful, enough to quickly learn them.
Jesse Cannon’s latest book takes a look at the creative process and how to get results that you’re happy with. While it focuses largely on music, it can easily apply to so much more than that. Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices And Habits Used To Make Music You’re Happy With isn’t a behemoth of a book like Get More Fans, but it’s equally as effective. The book takes you through the motions of finding who is a best fit to work with, how to make music you’re happy with, and so much more.