Comedy can often feel like you’re fraying at the seams. Those moments can be painfully awkward, but they can also be the most rewarding. This ranges from the masochistic joy that comics take from seeing their peers struggle to get an audience back, or it can be engaging to see someone having a mental breakdown onstage, in the same way that it’s exciting to watch a car-wreck. Most comics will tell you that despite the hard times, it’s usually a matter of actually getting up there and running material that helps keep you sane. It’s in all of these spaces that Bo Burnham’s Inside lives.Continue reading
Bruce Springsteen—Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
I’ve been thinking about starting a series called “Blogging the Boss” where I listen to every Springsteen album and write about it. Should I do that? Anyway, here’s something I wrote about Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.
It’s almost fascinating how lively Bruce Springsteen’s first album is. The record doesn’t open with a declarative statement as Born in the U.S.A. does. Nor does it open with a cinematic scene that almost feels like a novel adaptation that the author had the perfect amount of control on as is Born to Run (“Thunder Road”). Still Greetings from Asbury Park is cinematic in its own way, especially at its open. “Blinded by the Light” may as well set the tone for arriving at the boardwalk1 (or carnival or backyard birthday party or barbecue) about five minutes after its gotten dark out. The opener is practically in medias res for a slice-of-life from someone who was about to become America’s favorite guitar-slinging storyteller.Continue reading
The 20 Best Albums of 2020
All we have now is music right? In a year where it felt like the world was falling apart, there was so much to take hope in (even songs that were written and recorded long before things started going to shit). A number of artists created work that both reflected the current moment inadvertently (Punisher, RTJ4) and very intentionally (Taylor Swift, Charli XCX). These are my top albums of the year:Continue reading
Queer People Have The Right to Participate in Trash.
(A spoiler-free reflection on Are You The One Season 8)
Every time I see two girls fight over a guy or two guys fight over a girl on this type of show, I always joke about seeing more sexual tension between the two jealous parties than with the person they’re fighting over. That actually happens on Are You The One, for real, and it’s life affirming. It’s like the MTV gods heard me praying at night. Continue reading
Aziz Ansari-Right Now
Swallow (dir. Carlo Mirabella-Davis)
Comparisons will be drawn between Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow and the films of Yorgos Lanthimos and Todd Solondz, with its showcasing of the most grotesque and depraved parts of humanity using very clean-cut, sanitized and symmetrical imagery. But apart from some absurd and darkly comic dialogue, at no point does this film become untethered from reality, and perhaps that is what makes the viewing experience of Swallow so stressful. Lanthimos and Solondz might push the limits of horror, absurdity, and magical realism for the sake of satire, but Mirabella-Davis tip toes right up against the line. Exaggerated, sure, but never unbelievable. Continue reading
Andre the Giant (dir. Jason Hehir)
My knowledge of pro-wrestling for the most part starts and ends with the Mountain Goats’ 2015 album Beat the Champ[i]. Prior to that album, it seemed like big guys performing a high energy stage show for an audience of drunk idiots. What John Darnielle does so well is showing that limited and first impressions are very often wrong. Beat the Champ is an album that really humanizes so many different aspects of wrestling: the matches, the fans, and the wrestlers. Like the Mountain Goats album, Andre the Giant was a similar experience. It educated me on something I thought would just be a weird anomaly. HBO’s Andre the Giant sheds light on the mythic Andre Roussimoff that is engaging for both fans and casual viewers. Continue reading
Podcast: Pulp Fiction
James Crowley and Marisa Winckowski discuss Pulp Fiction this week. They touch on everything from Tarantino’s gratuitous profanity, the dope soundtrack, and other Tarantino masterpieces. Go listen to the Burger-A-Day Podcast on Apple podcasts now! Check out our sponsor: The Good Taste Podcast
Thoroughbreds (dir. Cory Finley)
Thoroughbreds is only a mildly exaggerated representation of the elite of suburban Connecticut, or Westchester, New York. Greenwich is filled with beautiful yoga moms and their children dressed in matching blazers, designer-bred show dogs and cars worth more than your house. This is an expose of the young and privileged, who both comfortably occupy the bubble they’ve grown up in and desperately long for freedom from it. They’ve grown up financially secure but emotionally neglected. Privilege is a necessity and empathy is a weakness. Continue reading
This week, Burger-A-Day writers James and Marisa discuss the teen comedy Juno. They dive into teen pregnancy, The Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson, Diablo Cody, and teen pregnancy. Subscribe on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/burger-a-day-podcast/id1347757542?mt=2
Check out our sponsor: the Good Taste Podcast