Another One Bites the Dust: Letting Charles Manson’s Celebrity Die

Despite being the cause of at least five deaths, Charlie Manson is considered to be one of the most popular killers in culture today. A part of me desperately wishes that serial killer popularity wasn’t a thing, but here we are in 2017 with fan clubs for convicted serial killers, rapists and cult leaders, or men like Manson, who happen to be all three.  In what is only going to be sudden spike in Manson popularity, I think people forget that this was exactly what Manson wanted from the beginning.  The whole world to look at him as someone special and as we continue to feed into the criminal turned celebrity, I think it’s important to take a moment and reflect on a society that worships people like him. Continue reading


Charles Manson-Lie (The Love and Terror Cult)

The human fascination with death and murder takes us all down strange rabbit holes.  It’s hard for some people to resist watching Law & Order, some of us have libraries with Helter Skelter or Zodiac, and some of us spend most of our work day listening to murder podcasts.  With a demographic that can sometimes skew down the darker path of life, it’s not difficult to see an audience for Charles Manson’s Lie album.  Manson’s relationship with music is one of the largest parts of his legacy that will surely be discussed for years to come. Continue reading

Sigmund’s Pretzels-New York


Continuing our exploration of Bryant Park’s Winter Village…

When you think New York street food, you think hot dogs, but the closest runner up (and arguably, the underrated superior street food) is the big pretzel.  More often than not, these pretzels are a little dry, overly salted, and occasionally much heartier than you’d expect, but when you get a good pretzel, you know you’ve got a good one.  The truffle-cheddar pretzel that I tried from Sigmund’s Pretzels was a pretty damn good one. Continue reading

Spit Some Blood at the Camera: the Mountain Goats-Brooklyn Steel, NY 11/12/17

I never expected to ever hear John Darnielle play a guitar solo, and perhaps, Darnielle isn’t the type of frontman that should take a solo.  Still, when there’s an excellent show with powerful emotions all around, sometimes you just need to take a solo, and your audience will eat it up with pleasure.  The Mountain Goats’ Brooklyn Steel show on Sunday night was a mutually cathartic experience with occasional fist-pounding admiration and some well-earned John Darnielle shredding. Continue reading

Hanif Abdurraqib-They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Hanif Abdurraqib is one of the most unique voices in modern journalism and poetry.  His 2016 poetry collection The Crown Ain’t Worth Much was a standout last year, and his often calm delivery of poetry is hypnotic.  Like Crown, this essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us is a beautiful meditation on pop culture, race, personal history, and the places where those conversations meet.   Abdurraqib sculpts his prose in a conversationally engaging but also comforting tone. Continue reading

The Truffleist-Bryant Park,NY


Continuing our exploration of Bryant Park’s Winter Village.

Cheesesteaks are a reliable food.  They’re easy to do fine, but they’re difficult to make more interesting or better than they typically are.  Also, most people are sure to be more dismissive of cheesesteaks from outside of Philadelphia.  There’s no real reason for this, because you can get a solid cheesesteak pretty much anywhere.  Most are passable.  That being said, the truffle cheesesteak from Cheesesteaks by The Truffleist are excellent and a must-have from Bryant Park’s winter village. Continue reading

Happy Death Day (Dir. Christopher B. Landon)

I can’t say Happy Death Day is particularly frightening, nor is it particularly funny. The plot twist is pretty contrived, it gets frustratingly repetitive and there are moments that just don’t make sense even within its own fantasy universe. So why did I enjoy this so much? This is a case in which so many of the moving parts are messy and dysfunctional but they inexplicably come together as a cohesive whole. It’s like being on one of those giant carnival slides over and over again, or watching a fidget spinner. Continue reading

Doughnuttery-Bryant Park, NY


Who doesn’t love a good doughnut?  Generally, doughnuts are a failsafe food.  Whether you’re grabbing a quick glazed donut from Dunkin’ Donuts or a vegan, apple, chocolate frosted with candy corn doughnut from your latest hipster coffee shop, you’re probably going to be satisfied.  Still, there’s a fine line between satisfied and happy.  That glazed from Dunkin’ is probably going to satiate, but that franken-doughnut sounds pretty damn good.  I was totally satisfied with my six mini-donuts from Doughnuttery, but I wouldn’t say I was really happy. Continue reading

Jetty Bones-Old Women

I hate to make the easy comparison, but this sounds like early Paramore in the best possible way.  The band’s sole consistent member and frontwoman Kelc Galluzzo commands a stage and has a voice that rivals Hayley Williams’.  While 2017 has been a great year for female-fronted bands, most tend to lean towards a punkier or more emo sound, and Jetty Bones are unafraid to embrace a sense of mid-2000’s pop-punk.  The pop embrace is in full effect on the band’s second EP, Old Women. Continue reading

Slaughter Beach, Dog-Birdie

It’s not really shocking to find that Jake Ewald is a massive fan of the Mountain Goats and The Weakerthans.  His Modern Baseball songs were always incredibly descriptive and made mundane events seem much more fascinating with his lyrics.  It’s unsurprising that his second album from his Slaughter Beach, Dog outfit bares a strong resemblance to The Weakerthans’ John K. Samson’s recent solo effort.  Birdie is also much more of a jangle-pop effort than even last year’s WelcomeBirdie seems to be truer to Ewald’s life than the first Slaughter Beach, Dog album in a too sweet for its own good way. Continue reading