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

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Top 10 Albums of 2017

There’s never really a bad year for music.  There are always going to be great albums from popstars like Lorde or underground masterpieces like Mount Eerie’s new album.  When it comes to deciding a personal top ten, it becomes a mix of what releases seemed most significant and what I returned to the most.  Where there were excellent albums from Kendrick, Japandroids, and Kesha, these were the albums that defined my year.  Also, shoutout to Run the Jewels.  RTJ 3 would’ve made the list, but they leaked it Christmas Day 2016, so too bad.

 

  1.  The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die-Always Foreign

TWIABP continue to carry the torch they helped ignite in the emo revival.  Always Foreign sees the band inching forward where Harmlessness left off.  It’s the band’s most politically-minded release-to-date.  “Marine Tigers” and “Fuzz Minor” are scathing social commentaries delivered by an impassioned David F. Bello.  The band also doesn’t shy away from creating indie-rock with a sense of grandeur, as “Infinite Steve” and “Faker” see the band embracing post-rock the size of which the band hasn’t grown to before.  With the songs “The Future” and “Dillon and Her Son,” TWIABP don’t shy away from Blink-182 style pop-punk, making this the most diverse set of songs TWIABP have ever released.

Continue reading

Top 10 Podcasts from 2017

It almost feels like every day someone tells me that they want to start listening to podcasts, and since it’s become a regular medium, you can find podcasts about literally anything.  I’ve listened to podcasts about everything from tech to crying.  There really is a podcast for everyone, whether you need information, a laugh, or an emotional reaction.  Here are some of the best new podcasts and veterans that have kept up the good work:

 

  1. Swipe Out

Alix McAlpine’s podcast is simple enough on the surface, and it’s certainly not the first dating podcast.  The premise is Alix goes on first dates, then discusses them with her friend, while creating a list of qualities she’d like her ideal partner to have.  Occasionally, it’s funny, but McAlpine is doing more than just gossiping about her dates.  She’s really exploring what it’s like navigating the dating world, as a millennial, with dating apps, and as a young adult.  It’s a mostly transparent look into the dating world, and it provides so much insight to those single among us.

Standout episode: Connor/Slim Thicc 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

Waxahatchee-Out In The Storm

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John Darnielle made a name for himself recording simple songs into a boombox, mostly by himself, some people say that the Mountain Goats lost their touch once Darnielle brought in the rest of the band and began recording more polished albums.  Any good Mountain Goats fan knows that the band has only improved as they’ve gotten older, then why did I apply the former philosophy to Waxahatchee?  Katie Crutchfield’s debut album American Weekend was such a masterpiece that I ignored the following two albums, until Out In The Storm, which captures the lyrical essence of Waxahatchee, with wider, warmer production. Continue reading

Captain, We’re Sinking-The King of No Man

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There are plenty of pop-punk bands.  Had I been maybe 10 years younger, I’d probably adore Knuckle Puck, Real Friends, or Neck Deep, but I’m a cynical 23 year old.  My pop-punk requires a little more substance.  Bands like The Menzingers, The Wonder Years, or Modern Baseball are all able to provide this to me.  There are unique aspects to the brands of pop-punk that each of these bands provide, where the first three all sort of blend together.  Maybe it’s just the Barnett connection to the Menzingers, but my better senses tell me that Captain, We’re Sinking’s The King of No Man really shouldn’t be a record that I love as much as I do. Continue reading

The 11 Best Two-Piece Rock Bands

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There are plenty of duos that may as well stand for the whole band: Lennon & McCartney, Page & Plant, Axl & Slash, the lineage goes on.  Even though these pairs tend to overshadow their rhythm sections, with few exceptions, people rarely consider these pairs to be the complete band.  Of the Beatles, Zeppelin, and Guns N’ Roses, Guns is probably the only act you struggled to name all the members because there are 5, not 4.  Of course, the power duos never stopped existing.  Marilyn Manson, Fall Out Boy, and Modern Baseball are all bands that have two distinctive figureheads for their bands.

Even though each of those bands are special and have aspects that make them stand out, there’s a certain credibility to bands that cut the size of those lineups in half.  Two pieces aren’t exactly new to rock music, but since the early 2000’s, a band can pull the simple trick of consisting of only two members, and critics are bound to have some sense of respect for it.  Now, we can sit here and argue the merits of abandoning a bassist, but the fact of the matter is: most two pieces are pretty good.  Here’s a list of the essential two pieces throughout rock history. Continue reading

25 Christmas Songs for People Who Hate Christmas Songs

I don’t remember when I started to hate Christmas music, but if I had to guess, it probably started when I first heard the broken skis variation on “Dashing Through the Snow.”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Scrooge.  I adore the holiday, the Christmas specials, and everything it means, but I turn into a real Grinch, if you ask me to sing “Jingle Bells.”  Even though there’s nothing more that I’d love than to chuck the copies of Sounds of the Season: NBC Holiday Edition or  Michael Bublé’s Christmas from my parents’ CD collection, there are a handful of Christmas songs I like, albeit most of them humorous or less traditional tracks.  Therefore, I opted to find 25 Christmas songs that I actually enjoy.  Here are the definitive BurgerADay Christmas jams.

  1. The Mountain Goats-“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”


If you’re like me, you’re of the opinion that everything John Darnielle touches turns to gold, and the Mountain Goats could even make a Christmas song bearable.  I only like this song when the Mountain Goats are playing it. Continue reading

Monday Mixtape: Halloween (The Misfits, Marilyn Manson, Run the Jewels)

The Misfits-“Teenagers from Mars”


Today’s Monday Mixtape lands on All Hallow’s Eve, thus we’ll be giving you a number of Halloween songs to begin with.  What’s a better Halloween band than The Misfits?  While just about any Misfits song could have worked, “Teenagers from Mars” feels like a cheap B-Movie, in the best way.  Crappy horror films are what Halloween is made of, and this is one of The Misfits’ best songs.

Real Friends-“Mess”


I was lucky enough to catch Real Friends on their current tour with The Wonder Years.  “Mess” is one of the best songs on The Home Inside My Head, and it has a pretty great Halloween-themed video.

 

Helloween-“Halloween”


Is there anything more Halloween than a German, power-metal outfit called Helloween playing a song called “Halloween”

 

Marilyn Manson-“Man That You Fear”


Marilyn Manson is still one of the kings of Halloween, and this Antichrist Superstar number is an eerie ballad, perfect for a sad Halloween.

Avenged Sevenfold-“Bat Country”


A7X just released a surprise album, but their early work remain to be metalcore staples.  “Bat Country” is just most fitting for Halloween. Continue reading