Category Archives: Reviews

I Wanna Be An Alien: Finding a Place in Dead Sara’s New EP

Dead Sara occupies a strange space in music right now, at least for me.

I have never heard them on the radio, and when they venture to the east coast from their L.A. home, it always seems to be in smaller venues.

But I have trouble thinking of a band that more poignantly encapsulates my general sense of the world as a 29-year-old American. Their first two albums, 2012’s Dead Sara and 2015’s Pleasure to Meet You, provide nostalgia and newness in their sounds simultaneously.

Their new EP, Temporary Things Taking Up Space, has achieved the same.

Continue reading I Wanna Be An Alien: Finding a Place in Dead Sara’s New EP

Saturday of Book Reviewing – Six Questions Of Socrates

To quote: “Socrates believed that virtue was not to be unearthed primarily in past teaching, but rather was something that always could be more fully discovered; and that one of the best ways to go about doing this was to hold dialogues with one’s peers.” – pg. 253

Written in 2004 by Christopher Phillips, author of similarly themed ‘Socrates Cafe’, this collection of sit-down discussions takes place among a diverse sampling of the human race, all of whom share one key characteristic in common: a willingness to be honest and open in the pursuit of truth.
Continue reading Saturday of Book Reviewing – Six Questions Of Socrates

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