A Negative Review of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (dir. Martin McDonagh)

It didn’t have to be this way. In the hands of a better director or a better screenwriter, this could have been a really poignant story about grief and redemption. Instead it’s a melodramatic, sloppy, grim and empty husk of a movie with absolutely no idea what its thesis statement was. This has the stench of an Oscar-bait movie written on a time constraint, with some of the most awkwardly stilted dialogue, the most contrived coincidences and one of the most abrupt endings of 2017.

Spoilers:
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Frightened Rabbit-Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, 2/24/18

“You all seem to be very happy to be listening to such sad music,” Scott Hutchinson, the lead singer of Frightened Rabbit mentions to the crowd around half way through their live journey through The Midnight Organ Fight. The band has been around for fifteen years, yet this album just reached its ten year mark. Like a lot of 2000’s indie bands, Frightened Rabbit is taking the full album on tour with every date completely sold out. I got to see them at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on their second night in NYC by a strange streak of luck and the kindness of a stranger. I ended up walking into the venue as Frightened Rabbit took the stage. Continue reading

Franz Ferdinand-Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand’s latest album Always Ascending has a great recipe to become a fan favorite. Franz Ferdinand has been on the scene for over 15 years since their creation back in 2002 and their first self-titled album in 2004. In classic Franz Ferdinand fashion, they made fans wait for this album. It’s been a long five years (sans a Sparks collaboration), but it was well worth the wait. Continue reading

Brian Fallon-Sleepwalkers

Where Painkillers served to bridge the gap from the crumbling Gaslight Anthem’s worst album to Brian Fallon’s solo career, Sleepwalkers sees Fallon comfortable in a singer-songwriter role.  His sophomore solo effort marks a massive step up from the previous album.  Fallon leans on the nostalgia that made him a punk celebrity, and the album is a good supplement to The Gaslight Anthem reunion this summer. Continue reading

The Wombats-Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

I’m standing in the Subway station waiting for the uptown train and racing to connect to the free WiFi before my train comes so I can download the first single off of the new Wombats album. It downloads as the train is pulling in and I find my seat. I always take a moment right before listening to new music from a favorite band or artist; I want to remember where I first heard a particular song or album in case it becomes of great importance to my life. I take in the blue seats and the fairly empty train car and press play. Continue reading

Kendrick Lamar (& Various Artists)-The Black Panther (Music from and Inspired by the Film)

Prepare for the Black Panther to be your new favorite Avenger.  Not only is the film opening to rave reviews, the excellent Ta-Nehisi Coates now writes the comics, and we’ve been granted worthy enough to receive this incredible soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar, featuring a who’s who of hip hop.  Kendrick is the reigning king of rap, and his production and choices have made this the most fun rap album to come in a long time. Continue reading

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction-Barack Obama

David Letterman takes the stage of the Amsterdam Campus of the City College of New York in My Next Guest Needs No Introduction looking more biblical than his CBS days.  Letterman comfortably sits opposite President Barack Obama. In a format more intimate than Late Night, Letterman seems at ease in this new role. Still, some things feel familiar from his light comedic tone to bringing on Paul Shaffer as the composer of this series. Continue reading

Fred Armisen-Standup For Drummers

Fred Armisen’s Standup For Drummers is the personification of your hometown “DRUMMERS IN THE [Area code]” without all the ads for local gigs or bands in need of a gig.  Armisen isn’t particularly funny; it seems like his only knowledge of standup comedy comes from movies and TV.  He isn’t really interesting or funny.  It’s full of in-jokes that can’t really provoke laughter.  The boneheaded drummer who’s unintentionally funny is one of the easiest tropes, but Fred Armisen is the hyper intelligent who can’t come up with a decent joke. Continue reading

Justin Timberlake-Man of the Woods

 

              This is not the folktronica reinvention we were promised.  Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods was hyped to sound like it was his 22, A Million.  To be fair, this was all speculation; all we had confirmed was that this was going to be a return to Timberlake’s Tennessee roots.  In a sense, it succeeds. JT has gone bro-country; save for some of the extra synth’s thrown in.  Man of the Woods is an earnest attempt at artistry, but it sees Timberlake slouching into his iconic status. Continue reading