Category Archives: Reviews

Quick Rip: New Dead Sara = My New Favorite Music

Welp, this summer should be awesome. Dead Sara dropped this single in early May with the announcement that they’ll be releasing a new EP, Temporary Things Taking Up Space, on June 8.

There’s been a bit of a lull in Dead Sara’s music releases ever since bassist Chris Null left the band in 2017. I had assumed that their next single would feature a new bassist with largely the same overall sound.

Wrong and wrong.

“Unamerican” comes as a three-piece where the lack of a bass guitar is never felt.

Emily Armstrong’s wailing combined with Siouxsie Medley’s distortion-laden riff achieves the same overwhelming feeling as their older songs.

Sean Friday continues his run as my favorite drummer with his energetic playing.

I don’t know if Temporary Things Taking Up Space  will include any bassist, even as a studio performer. I hope not. I want to see what they do with the pieces they have.

Judging from “Unamerican” and “Heaven’s Got a Back Door”, Dead Sara will get on just fine.

Steve D

Quick Rip: Bad Wolves’ Tribute to Dolores O’Riordan

I might be late to the party on this one, since the video was published on YouTube over a month ago. However, I just heard this cover of The Cranberries’ classic on the radio, and felt compelled to share it. Watching Bad Wolves’ powerful video only heightened this need. Continue reading Quick Rip: Bad Wolves’ Tribute to Dolores O’Riordan

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Voltaire’s Candide

My first impression of this classic novel was, embarrassingly enough: “How the heck do I say the title??” I hadn’t even opened the book yet, and already I had questions. Seems like a fantastic start if you ask me.

Now possible options were two – I was fairly certain the title would either be pronounced like ‘Candid’ as in to speak the truth frankly OR like ‘Candied’ as in sugar coated and delicious. After all, Voltaire was French, I needed to mind my American vowel sound bias here. As I read through the novel, I rapidly come to the conclusion that either would be perfectly suitable for our protagonist. For those of you immediately calling in to question the accuracy of dubbing a grown man ‘candied’, please allow me to elaborate. Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Voltaire’s Candide

Saturday Of Book Reviewing – Albom’s tuesdays with Morrie

I’ve seen this book many a time on ‘inspirational and uplifting’ book lists, but had never considered that my wheelhouse, and thus had never before bothered to try to mine the wisdom from its pages. I can honestly say, post reading of Mitch Albom’s tribute to his former mentor and friend, that this was mildly inspirational, but heart-soaring-ly uplifting. You can tell I’m serious when I start making up words. So let us begin on this 1997 hit. It’s mini throwback time. Continue reading Saturday Of Book Reviewing – Albom’s tuesdays with Morrie

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

This is the first review, in possibly ever, where I won’t be quoting directly from the source material to convey thoughts evoked by parts of a novel. Here, it seems more fitting to discuss the overarching themes themselves. Themes like ‘art as a revelation of soul’ or ‘when culture creates a complacency amongst the mistreated’ and even ‘the ethics of rising technologies’. Specifically in that last? Some Orphan Blackesque predicaments. Warning readers: massive spoilers ahoy. Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold

Awkward article heading aside, this book was all kinds of messed up. Robert A. Heinlein was from a ‘different’ time blah blah blah. His writing is straight up hard to digest; it’s hard to delve into and invest in a work so littered with racism and sexism. His female characters are flawed, often two dimensional, and his portrayal of minorities is downright insulting sometimes. These are major problems, however, the reality is, that if we got rid of and erased any and all books with these issues, I’m not sure we’d be able to read much from the past. And to be clear, the themes and ideas that Heinlein depicts in his novels are thought provoking and worth considering.
Saturdays are alllllll about the thinking and considering. Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Burnham’s Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone

Written by Bo Burnham and illustrated by Chance Bone, Egghead was published in 2013. I was familiar with Burnham’s stand up, and really, that’s why I first purchased the book.

Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Burnham’s Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems

This isn’t so much a review as it is an admittance of inadequacy: I do not possess the proper background to get the most out of these poems. Howl, the piece from which this book takes its name, was first published in 1956, a post WWII masterpiece. I’ve heard amazing things about Ginsberg’s work ‘defining a generation’ and you know what? I guess on a surface level I get that… but not to the depths. Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June

This is a play! Which is both new and exciting coming from Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant, beautiful library. It was, however, also very strange. It was funny, as all his work is, but since it was dialogue driven I almost couldn’t tell he had written it. There’s still his distinct humanist positivity going on, but without his elaborate descriptions and carefully chosen details, I will say it fell a little short for me. This play was really a serious bout of ‘buts’ for me. It was entertaining, but I expected more. The characters were interesting, but they didn’t make me think the way his previous protagonists have. This wasn’t my favorite, but Kurt Vonnegut is still KING. Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June

Saturday Of Book Reviewing – Green’s Looking For Alaska

I imagine many have read this book before myself. Since it’s so well known, I rather think I’ll ‘review’ it by continuing a trend I started with BJ Novak’s novel: answering John Green’s discussion questions at the end! There are a few, so bear with me folks, along this journey of general thought over specific details.

Some Intentionally Vague and Broad Discussion Questions Continue reading Saturday Of Book Reviewing – Green’s Looking For Alaska