Since 2008, I’ve participated in a game of hearing as many albums released in that year as possible, and I’ve incorporated my own stipulations: no greatest hits albums with an unreleased song, no archival releases by posthumous musicians, and re-releases of albums officially released in another year don’t count. The complete list of the 104 albums I heard is over at my RateYourMusic account.
While studio albums should be the benchmark for a band’s sound, they can also be deceptive because studio producers can meticulously edit and readjust the recordings to sound impossibly perfect. Though listening to live recordings can help gauge how well they’ll perform live, and by now The Pretty Reckless have recorded three good hard rock albums, sometimes you just have to gamble and see a band live.
Shouldn’t seeing the same band twice in two years at the same venue yield similar results? I was really impressed last year with the energy and composition that Аркона (Arkona) brought while touring with fellow folk metal band Heidevolk, so it was safe to assume that another year of development now supporting symphonic metal band Epica could be even better, right?
Parks and Recreation awkwardly follows government employee Leslie Knope as she suffocates this series with cringe comedy. Leslie is delusional in the face of adversity, which would be inspiring, if not for her accidentally manipulative tactics. The complete lack of situational awareness is so unbearable that even likeable characters like deadpan April Ludgate and snarky Ron Swanson cannot redeem this trainwreck. Halfway into episode three “The Reporter,” I had to stop watching, because I realized this show is the television equivalent of my least favorite movie, the intellectually offensive I Heart Huckabee. Parks and Recreation is painful to watch.
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ [0/5]
Writing last week about (working title) The Story helped me focus on brainstorming new ideas. Maybe I’ll turn this into a weekly feature? There is the problem that once you write an idea, it may be pinned down to that iteration rather than given a chance to fully develop, so there is the balance between spending years coming up with fully developed ideas like I have been doing and just saying “here are some rough drafts, and they’ll probably change once I’m ready.”
Re:Zero asks if a social recluse could become a hero. We’re dropped along with Subaru into a fantasy world that quickly rejects him. After being saved by a heroic dream girl, our budding hero learns to survive, while yielding a curse superpower that revives him after making grave mistakes.
As a fan of behind the scenes material included with most movies and the occasional album, I wanted to share the “day map” idea I made yesterday for a glimpse into some developing content. Starting at 9:30AM, I listed each intended project, marking each hour of the day with a different color, then digitally painted a big dot next to the title if I worked on it that hour. (Also had fun practicing oekaki techniques I’d learned years ago on a now defunct GroupBoard.)
NOFX haven’t been in town for years. Some bands are always on tour and will reliably be in town every year at around the same time. (Metal band Korpiklaani even performed on the same date for two consecutive years.) Not being able to see a band for years can lead to a certain sense of longing and inflating anticipation, especially after hearing their live material. Do they suck live?
After re-kindling my efforts toward writing The Story, I’ve been using idle time to brainstorm ideas about character and plot. I came up with their names in high school: John and Trisha. John is intentionally like John Doe. Trisha’s name isn’t set yet because her character has been becoming much more complex over the years, including what I’ll cover below.