Endless Loop: Something Happened to Me Yesterday

rollingstonesHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Something Happened to Me Yesterday” by The Rolling Stones On April 11th, my dad will have been dead for ten years.  That’s a really odd thing to consider, as it feels so long ago, but also like this ever-present thing, an event I’d rather not have define my life, yet one that holds a permanent position within my psyche nonetheless.  It’s like it’s always just on the periphery.  And there are a million different things that can make me think of him every single day. That’s a good thing though.  I love to remember my dad, and I treasure each and every memory I have of [more]

Endless Loop: Video Games

lanadelreyHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey Nostalgia.  I write about it in some form or another a lot here on Joup, as do our other contributors.  It’s this ever-present thing, a constant hum in our pop culture that surfaces in the music we listen to, the TV and movies we watch, and the books we read.  It’s in our advertising, our fashion, our cuisine, forever coloring our senses and perceptions in that rose-tinted fuzz of fond memories.  For better or worse, nostalgia is everywhere. I don’t think it was always that way, or at least if it was, it was more subtly so.  But for [more]

Album Review: The Thirsty Crows – Hangman’s Noose

The Thirsty Crows Hangman's NooseHere’s the thing with genre – there are tropes and trappings that can create an ‘easy peasy, check the boxes platform where the quality of the work suffers. Perfect example: Steampunk. There came a point in the 00s where a lot of books were coming out as Steampunk simply by following a checklist. Victorian England? Check. Dirigibles? Check. Cumbersome names for modern technology? Check. Follow that formula and wha-lah! You just wrote a Steampunk novel, buddy. But, that does not have to be the case with genre work. Many people play within the familiar confines of a genre, but bring enough original content, unique voice and overall chuzphah to the work that it transcends the genre, raises the bar. For a super universal example, think about what Watchmen did for Superhero stories. I’m talking a lot about literature in [more]

Endless Loop: Femme Fatale

velvetundergroundHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Femme Fatale” by The Velvet Underground And so, here we are at the end of another year.  It feels so different.  It all feels the same.  And it seems that I’ve ranted on for long enough.  I’ve been writing this column for a long time now (190 entries!), and I can feel it winding down.  I’ve got 10 left in me I think.  After that I’ll be taking a leave of absence from Joup for a while, not going away entirely, but certainly not showing up on a weekly basis anymore either.  I’m about to turn 40, and I feel like there’s a whole [more]

Running Down a YouTube Rabbit Hole: 10 Old Songs that Made Tommy’s 2018 Brighter

joup2018So.  2018, right?  I just don’t know any more you guys.  I mean yeah, we got a ton of great music released this year, some great books, great comics, great television, and it was an absurdly good year for film too.  But as we hurdle closer and closer to a worldwide authoritarian state and the impending hellscape that awaits us from climate change inaction, it all just feels like one big distraction.  Don’t get me wrong, some distraction is good now and then.  It keeps us sane.  Speaking of which, here’s a bunch of year-end lists I made over the last couple weeks (here, here, here, here, here, and here).  And I guess I’m going to keep on distracting, at least for the amount of time it takes you to read this article, another year-end [more]

Shawn’s Favorite Albums of 2018

Fav albums Thumb 2018Once again we come to that time of year when all the people who love and listen to music foist their opinions on anyone who will listen. And yes, dear reader, I openly admit that I am no different. If I hear something that I like I want to spread the word to the world; I love when people recommend albums, books, movies, comics, podcasts, and anything else they think I might enjoy, so I try to return the favor. I stopped calling this a ‘best of’ list a few years ago, simply because these are my favorites, and while I think I have pretty good taste, taking on a wider view, I can’t argue that anyone can or even should agree. So bearing that in mind, and the fact that every year as soon as I post this list [more]

Endless Loop: Mindray

luskHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Mindray” by Lusk My parents were still living in Midland, Texas when I was in college, and I spent many a Friday or Sunday evening, especially around the holidays, driving between Austin and home.  A lot of the time, I wouldn’t even get on the road until after 7PM, putting me in the West Texas berg sometime between midnight and one in the morning.  And out there on the highway, after the sun had gone down, it’d just be me, the moon and the road, and my case full of CDs to play me into the darkening horizon.  [more]

Endless Loop: Forever

charlatansHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Forever” by The Charlatans UK I used to never get sick. Oh sure, I’d catch a little bug every now and then, but usually only once every couple of years, and I’d always recover quickly, some 24-48 hours later the last remnants of cold or flu or whatever just fading away.  I didn’t miss school.  I didn’t miss work.  Hell, when I was smoking, I didn’t even stop doing that, switching over to Menthols like a good little idiot who thought he’d live forever. But now? Now I catch something every single year, often more than once.  I get laid out.  I [more]

Endless Loop: An Ending (Ascent)

brianenoHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “An Ending (Ascent)” by Brian Eno Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent),” from 1983’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, is easily one of my favorite pieces of music of all time, probably top five even.  It’s just so wonderfully moving, a haunting and beautiful instrumental that could score just about any moment in time, from bittersweet elation to quiet despair.  It can bring tears just sounding as it does without any discernable context whatsoever, just the notes, the melody, the sound.  And I love it for that.  That feeling is about as close to god as I’m ever likely to feel. I [more]


Living Nudes – My World Exploded

Joup’s Very own Thomas H. Williams
new album is out!