The Joup Friday Album: Broken Social Scene – ‘You Forgot it in People’

Broken Social Scene's You Forgot it in People

Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot it in People

Nature is reclaiming my elderly neighbour’s house. Really rubbing his nose in it. Recently I’ve been walking around all my former haunts, and this album has been accompanying me. Of course, there’s nothing like the olfactory and auditory to fast-track you to your memory banks, but this is nostalgia illegitimately invoked since this is an album as new to me as the year. Ordinarily I try to unearth an album to share with you that I’ve lived with for a long time, but strangely, this is an album that takes me to the era it was made without me having heard it before.

2017…Meh: Looking Ahead to 2018

2018So, 2017 huh?  Look, I’ll be honest with you, I’ve really been struggling to come up with some kind of year-end list of pop culture phenomena and detritus that were special to me or that made the year great or whatever, and I just don’t think I can do it.  I’ll always have “Twin Peaks,” and this new cinematic Stephen King Renaissance has been pretty cool to watch take off, as well as all the other films I enjoyed (which you can read about here) this year.  And sure, I’ve got my albums and songs that I dug on a whole bunch just as I do every year (which you can also read about here, here, and here respectively), but I just can’t summon the power or the energy to write a recap that won’t sound like I’m repeating myself…or that will make up for the general, overwhelming hopelessness and despair that 2017 has been wrought with.

The Joup Friday Album: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Into the Great Wide Open”

Tom PettyOur family was middle class, blue collar, Polish and suburban. If you look at the average income of all the Chicago suburbs, Palos Hills falls literally right in the middle. Whatever “middle class” is these days, but in 1991 there was still a middle class and my brother and I grew up in it. As such we generally took one family trip a year, that is if my parents could afford it and get off of work. In the summer of 1991 we traveled west for not one but two weeks! I think my father’s rationalizing was we hadn’t taken a trip the previous year, and odds on after I graduated high school would not take another one as the four of us. This was “the last big family adventure!”
In late July we pilled into our tan Chevrolet four-door Suburban (the SUV before SUVs) and headed west on I-80. I will hand it to my parents, it was an epic trip and more then likely spawned my travel bug for years to come. We made stops at Pike’s Peak, the Grand Canyon, four corners, Las Vegas, The Great Salt Lake, Yellowstone National Park and The Devil’s tower. I’m sure there were a few kitch stops as well knowing my mother.
Appropriately enough, I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy during that two weeks. I had a black Sony Walkman and I loved that machine. I played so much music through that contraption in the four years between sophomore year in high school and freshman year at the university. On this trip it was REM’s Out of Time, Sting’s The Soul Cages and of course Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Into the Great Wide Open…today’s Friday album.

Quick Thought: Battle of the Continents

 

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Joup Friday Album: Washed Out “Life of Leisure”

Washed Out - Life of Leisure The first time I heard “Feel it All Around” was watching Portlandia last summer. If you’ve seen or know the show, the tune acts as the opening theme song. And upon hearing it I had to know who, what, where and how. What I came up with initially was a group (which I would later find out was just Ernest Greene) called Washed Out. I put it on the back burner for some reason until recently and then it just hit me like a wonderful hazy memory…and that Portlandia show is terrific as well. Fred Armisen cracks me up, but that is another topic for another day.

5 Things that Made 2016 a Little Less Shitty

yearendlist

Bettman/CORBIS

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked.  A bunch of really cool people died.  A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth.  Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe.  And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.

People are scared.  I’m scared.  And we should be.

It’s Come to This: An Op-Ed Political Essay

getty images

getty images

I’m just one more voice screaming into the abyss.

Some days, I’ll be scanning through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, and as the constant and seemingly endless stream of status updates and selfies and shared articles and political rhetoric, the likes and dislikes and misinformation and click bait stack up like garbage piles infinitum on my eyes and brain, I’ll come to the gradual realization that I hate everybody I know. Or, more to the point, I abhor their online presence. I tire of all the “Look at me!” posts and the “Can you believe?” links, the mundane and asinine as glorified by characters and pixels. But I particularly loathe all of the political screeds and the trash spam articles masquerading as news. And I hate all of the condescension and contempt that harbors within me towards these people I normally have love and respect for in the non-digital world…the real world? And goddamnit, it always gets so much worse during an election year.

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