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Sigrid- Sucker Punch

Sigrid- Sucker Punch
Genre: Electro pop
Released: 2018

Norwegian singer, Sigrid (full name Sigrid Solbakk Raabe) doesn’t pull any punches (no pun intended) when it comes to delivering a passionate debut with Sucker Punch. This 11 track, 43 minute album dives deep into the issues of growing up and relationships with ease and maturity as Sigrid’s luscious voice along with a nice pop beat and some guitars along the way give this dynamic album the fuel it needs. The opener, Sucker Punch delivers a small taste of how the rest of this album goes. Mine Right Now gives nice electro pop beats while telling about the struggles of not having the person you want forever but still being with them in that moment. The production and Sigrid’s voice all work together with everything on this album and it could be a contender for AOTY.

8.5/10

Beat Happening- Beat Happening

Beat Happening- Beat Happening (S/T)
Genre: Lo-fi indie pop

Released: 1985

The self-titled debut from Olympia, Washington indie pop trio, Beat Happening doesn’t skip a beat (pun intended) when it comes to its light heartenedness and fun they have with this album. Despite the group not having much musical experience at all and the lo-fi production, you feel like you’re at the beach as a teenager with your friends again in summer. The overall vibe from start to finish isn’t going to leave you disappointed with its care free attitude. A personal favorite of mine from the album is Fourteen, mainly because it’s a cute song about having a close platonic relationship with someone in your life and feeling warm inside whenever you’re around them. Down The Stairs is also a nice track about being really socially awkward and that type of feeling. The added live performances of this adds such a feeling of realness to this beautiful assortment of catchy and loveable tracks.

9.5/10

The Strokes- Is This It

The Strokes- Is This It?
Genre: Indie rock
Year released: 2001

If I could even think of a perfect album, The Strokes’ debut album, Is This It would be one of them. Julian Casablancas and other band members coming to New York City around 2000 to work on the album, while they all had part time jobs and a small recording space proved how passionate these guys were about this. The lo-fit level production along with catchy classic guitar riffs, nice drums and Casablancas voice that sounds like it’s coming straight from a snowy filter gives this album a relaxed, mellow atmosphere. Unlike some other indie rock albums, Is This It knows how to keep you intrigued and on your feet from start to finish.
9.5/10

Slint- Spiderland

Slint- Spiderland
Genre: Math rock
Released: 1991

Holy shit…if you want an album that’s anxiety provoking and can tug at every fiber of your being in almost 40 minutes, then Spiderland by Slint is for you. Brian McMahan and Britt Walford’s spoken word lyrics that eventually build up into aggressive and loud as the album reaches the end are really impressive. The recording process for the whole Spiderland album was tedious and took a lot of time for these guys to complete. From Breadcrumb Trail referring to having met a fortune teller at an amusement park to have a fortune read, the guitar riffs in Nosferatu Man, the ominous feeling when Don, Aman ripples through your body and ears. This whole album is just a trip and isn’t for everyone, which I can understand. Even drummer and vocalist, Britt Walford had a mental breakdown and had to go to a mental hospital after the album was finished (according to the Slint documentary I’ve seen on YouTube) most likely due to the stress recording this put him under. I can understand the memes from this album but I can get why Spiderland has become such a cult classic over the years.
9/10

Lightning Bolt, Aaron Dilloway and Beans concert 3/29/18

Last night, I went to The Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights, OH to see a show there. It featured noise rock band, Lightning Bolt, noise artist Aaron Dilloway and rapper Beans. When I got to the venue, I was 30 minutes early so I waited at a Chipotle indoors since it was raining out. They wouldn’t allow people into the venue until 20-25 minutes after the doors were supposed to open at 8PM. The first act, Beans who is a New York rapper was pretty good. I haven’t heard anything from him and some people seemed to enjoy him in the crowd. Aaron Dilloway, a noise artist from Michigan and now residing in Oberlin, OH uses 8-track tape loops to make his music. His performance was pretty good and I’ve heard his latest 2017 album titled The Gag File. Noise rock group, Lightning Bolt were the last act and the energy that the venue had was immense. Drummer and vocalist, Brian Chippendale’s performance was incredible and that has been the best drumming that I’ve seen live.

Overall it was a really great night and it reminded me of how great live music and concerts can be.

Love, Simon movie review

Love, Simon is about a normal high school guy named Simon Spier (played by Nick Robinson). The only thing is that he has a little secret…he’s gay. Simon’s parents, played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel don’t have any clue that Simon is gay and met each other in high school. Simon has a few supportive friends and begins emailing this guy, who’s also gay from a blog posting website and they start to develop a close relationship together. This guy, who sees Simon’s emails on the school computer threatens to black mail him by trying to get him to hook him up with one of his friends, who isn’t interested in him at all. Love, Simon displays through comedy by having people ‘come out’ as straight, to see how laughable it is and to realize that it’s hard for gay people to come out to their family members.

Love, Simon does a great job of not having the audience feel sorry for Simon just because he’s gay, but to see him as just another human being. This movie doesn’t go into gay stereotypes and it’s a great love story that’ll make you happy.

Paramore- After Laughter

Paramore released their 7th studio album, After Laughter May 12th, 2017 through the record label Fueled By Ramen. In this album, Paramore displays an array of 80’s new wave and synth pop, which gives it a groovy feeling yet the lyrics aren’t ones to feel happy to. The chorus to the opening track, Hard Times goes as follows:
(Hard times) Gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) Gonna take you down and laugh when you cry

This shows that no matter how rough things go in Hayley’s life, she tries her best to overcome it and deal with it. In the next song, Rose-Colored Boy Hayley goes into detail about a happy, go lucky guy (the rose-colored boy in this case) and explains that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, when you can’t force yourself to be happy.

(Rose-Colored Boy chorus)

Just let me cry a little bit longer
I ain’t gon’ smile if I don’t want to
Hey man, we all can’t be like you
I wish we were all rose-colored too
My rose-colored boy

This album helps me understand Hayley’s frustration with her mental health and that it’s not easy to just overcome like that. I highly suggest giving this a listen.