Endless Loop: Freedom! ’90

georgemichaelHave 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. “Freedom! ‘90” by George Michael I think for a lot of folks my age (nearing 40), George Michael played a significant, or at least a partial roll in our collective sexual awakening, be it the young girls who thought he was hot, the young, gay boys who felt the same way, along with a kinship they may or may not have only subconsciously been aware of, and the kids like me who liked to ogle the supermodels the artist frequently had star in his music videos.  It didn’t matter who or what you were, straight, gay, or bisexual, male or female, [more]

Endless Loop: Midnight Cowboy

midnightcowboyHave 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. “Midnight Cowboy” by John Barry This week’s tune for my soon to be concluding column is “Midnight Cowboy,” John Barry’s theme song from John Schlesinger’s 1969 film.  The following story has absolutely nothing to do with it. Weddings and funerals.  We only see each other at weddings and funerals.  And we tell each other the same old stories we’ve relived a thousand times together, warm and familiar blankets to wrap ourselves up in, memories and comforting thoughts.  We’ve done this all before.  It’s something that keeps us close.  And sometimes we don’t even realize a whole new story to tell is unfolding [more]

Endless Loop: Four Hearts in a Can

smogHave 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. “Four Hearts in a Can” by Smog Do you have that part of you that just wants to get lost?  To get in your car, to go out for milk or cigarettes, and to never return?  To pull off of the freeway and turn onto a lonely road that leads to…somewhere?  Or nowhere.  There’s this little piece of me that wants to drive into the desert, a beautiful, serene sunset to one side of me and an ominous, terrifying stormfront to the other.  Nothing in front of me but road.  And nothing behind me but dust and more road.  I’m not [more]

Endless Loop: To the End

blurHave 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. “To The End” by Blur My wife and I got married over 10 years ago in an outdoor service cheekily dubbed the “Lakeside Inferno” by one of my groomsmen, a party held on a 90+ degree day in September by a lakeside vista to cap off about 9 years of dating, which is a kind of surreal thing for me to think about.  So much has happened since then.  But you should have seen us.  Younger.  Skinnier.  Me with a stupid haircut.  We had it all.  And now we’re fast approaching two whole decades of being together, and if there’s been [more]

Endless Loop: Atomic

blondieHave 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. “Atomic” by Blondie Like a whole lot of folks I know, I used to be in a band.  I think we were pretty good too, not world shattering by any means, but we were definitely getting better before things went south and we imploded.  We played some shows, recorded an album, and filled our rehearsal space with so much cigarette smoke, it makes my lungs wheeze just thinking about it.  But one of the things we never did, and I’m regretful for it to this day, was become part of a larger scene.  We neglected to join a likeminded group of peers, freaks, and musicians with [more]

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]


Living Nudes – My World Exploded

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