Howdy, folks, and welcome to a new week. It was a huge weekend for the →
KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
This article was co-compiled and co-written by Richmond Bramblet & Matthew Mahone
Get ready to lay down some fresh vinyl, as the 10th Annual Record Store Day takes place this Saturday, April 22nd. Record Store Day, while a day for new albums to be dropped into the hands of awaiting music enthusiasts, is really about the record stores, who have been carrying the torch of keeping vinyl alive.
There are some incredible albums that are being released on Record Store Day. There will be two David Bowie albums released: Cracked Actor (Live, Los Angeles, ’74) and BOWPROMO, a reproduction of one of Bowie’s earliest demo promos. There will be multiple special 12″ Maxi-Singles from Prince, as well as a 7″ picture disc of Little Red Corvette. There will also be a release of “Like A Drunk In A Midnight Choir – Record Store Day Celebrates The Music Of Leonard Cohen,” a tribute album that has a host of artists covering Cohen’s best, with proceeds going to Pablove, which strives to fight childhood cancer. This is just a taste of some of the Record Store Day exclusives, with many other special albums being released from store to store.
We have compiled a list of local record stores in Kentucky and Cincinnati, as well as the great events that they will have going on to celebrate this awesome day of music.
UK’s flagship public radio station is hosting their 5th Annual Vintage Vinyl Sale at the Lexington Habitat for Humanity ReStore located at 451 Southland Drive. Admission is free and open to the public open on Saturday from 10am – 7pm. Sales benefit the station, so why not pick up some vinyl and write it off on your taxes.
Lexington’s oldest independently owned record store, CD Central has been serving Central KY, and me, for over 22 years. Located in the heart of UK’s campus at 377 S. Limestone, Steve and his crew stock new and used vinyl and CDs for commercial and local artists, as well as new record players and vintage audio equipment. They’ll be celebrating their 10th Annual Record Store Day and they usually go all out, complete with door prizes, special releases, live performances, and also food—this year courtesy of The Gastro Gnomes Food Truck. Buy local! Hours are from 9am – 8pm, but get there early.
Whatever it is, there’s a good chance POPS Resale has what you’re looking for. Since 1996 POPS has carried a massive collection of new and used vinyl, audio equipment and various stereoania, as well as vintage clothes and random oddities. Break your stylus? POPS probably has the replacement. Don’t be deceived though, what appears as a small storefront, is actually 6000 sq. ft. of stuff. POPS will have tons of releases and sales during Record Store Day. Located at 1423 Leestown Road (Suite B) POPS will open an hour early at 10am on Record Store Day, with the first 10 people through the door earning a free POPS tote.
The Album is Lexington’s only hip-hop record store, which has been serving the Lexington area for over 11 years. Opening at 8am on Record Store Day, The Album will have all of your needs for your record-buying fix, not only with hip-hop, but all other genres and all the limited releases you could ask for.
HopCat-Lexington, located on Short and Broadway is a woodwork filled pub that boasts Kentucky’s largest craft beer selection on 100 taps. They also have their local 20 taps which features some of the best beer that Kentucky has to offer. For Record Store Day 2017, HopCat is going to reward you for going to your local record store and making a purchase. If you go to any local record store on Saturday and buy something, go to HopCat-Lexington and show your receipt to earn yourself a free order of Crack Fries (named one of the top-10 fries in the US by Food Network Magazine).
If you find yourself in Louisville and you’re in need of a vinyl fix, Matt Anthony’s might be your new favorite place. While the selection is sometimes limited, they carry a lot of 45’s, including new and collectible vinyl. It’s a gem of a store, quaint and welcoming. Matt Anthony’s is located at 2354 Frankfort Ave and will be open from 12pm – 7pm on Record Store Day. From 4-7 Matt Anthony’s Record Shop will be hosting a Record Store Day Block Party, with all of the exclusive releases and special offers that you would expect on RSD, but also you can party outside with a host of local vinyl DJ’s. The DJs include Matt Anthony, JP Source, John Penn Browning, Woody, and Kim Sorise. Also, there’s a chance to win tickets to the Thunder Lounge at Thunder over Louisville.
A Louisville institution since 1982. Better Days has two brick and mortars, one located in the Highlands at 1765 Bardstown Rd and the other at 2600 W. Broadway. The death of ear–X–tacy left a big void in the record store world, but Better Days continues to carry the torch with helpful customer service, paired with a tremendous selection of new and used music in all genres, as well as new and used stereo/audio equipment. Better Days will be open from 8am-10pm for Record Store Day. As in years past, the vaults will be opened and private goodies from The Benman’s stash will be for sale, including LPs, 45s, 12″ singles, cassettes and CDs, all lovingly prepared just for you.
Everybody’s Records is located at 6106 Montgomery Road, in the Pleasant Ridge/Norwood area of Cincinnati. The store has a large selection of both new and used vinyl as well as CDs. Everybody’s Records will be open 11-9 on Saturday, with some of Cincinnati’s most reputable musicians playing at the store including Lemon Sky, Go Go Buffalo, Dead Man String Band, and Xzela. Everybody’s Records will also be raffling off a new Audio-Technica turntable, which you can only enter to win at the store on Saturday.
Shake It Records is located in Northside, and has a huge blowout planned for Record Store Day 2017. The store will be open from 8am-11 pm, with 400 new releases coming out that day. One of the highlights of the day will be Rhinegeist brewery’s limited release, Slow Jam being on tap in the store. This is Rhinegeist’s third collaboration brew with Shake It, which will be available at other locations in Northside after its release at the store. Shake it will also have exclusive vinyl releases from Wussy and The Tillers & Frontier Folk Nebraska. At 7pm, there will be free in-store performances by Frontier Folk Nebraska and Dawg Yawp. You’ll also receive 10% off with a donation of any canned good.
Sugarcube Records is located at 422 West 6th Street in Covington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, Sugarcube is closing its doors this summer, but until that happens, owner Craig Baker is going to keep buying and selling vinyl for all the lovers of music in the Northern Kentucky area. While Sugarcube won’t have any of the Record Store Day titles, they will be having special deals including: $4 off All new LPs, $10 Shirts, $3 Used Single CDs, and the usual $1-$3 discount vinyl will be 4 for $1.
If you are a record store in Kentucky or in the NKY/Cincinnati area and are holding a Record Store Day event, please contact us on Twitter or Facebook and we would be happy to add you to the above list!
By Josh Corman on ©April 20th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Podcasts are taking over the world. Not only does it seem like everybody has a podcast of their own (I mean, even I have a podcast), but it also feels like everybody has 10 podcasts they just can’t wait to recommend to you. Of course, this absurd level of ubiquity doesn’t mean that the podcast train is likely to slow down anytime soon, so I might as well join the fray. A while back, I recommended the fantastic Song Exploder to you fine folks, and I mentioned that it’s host, Hrishikesh Hirway, hosts The West Wing Weekly, a show dedicated to episode-by-episode recaps of one of my favorite TV programs of all-time, complete with interviews with the cast and the people who held the characters’ real-life jobs at one point or another.
I love the recap/discussion format because it feels interactive, even though it’s not. I’m rewatching The West Wing with my wife (it’s my third time through the series), and so I get to follow along with the show’s discussions having freshly watched the episodes and spending time with characters I know and love. It’s great.
But sometime soon, my rewatch will conclude, and when it does, I’m gonna need something to pick me up. Here are a few ideas for other recap podcasts that I would listen to, especially if the cast/crew/creators were involved.
Author’s note: I did absolutely no research into whether or not some version of these shows already exists. On the one hand, you could call that laziness, but on the other hand, you could say it was me preserving the ideal version of my list without interference from reality. I don’t want just any recap podcasts, I want the Platonic ideal of recap podcasts.
#1: The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years was probably the first show I fell in love with. Kevin Arnold was just as hapless and earnest as I was, and his life had a killer soundtrack. But I’ve only seen the show once through, via old Nick-at-Night reruns, and I’d love to take a stroll back through the suburban 60s of Kevin’s youth, guided by those who made it so awesome in the first place. If Daniel Stern could host, that would be awesome, since, as the show’s narrator, he’d be removed enough from the main cast’s performances and the story that he could provide some authentic insights from a viewer’s perspective and a cast members.
#2: The Simpsons
This would be an absolutely gigantic undertaking, but there’s perhaps never been a show (maybe SNL) in TV history that has as much to mine from minute scrutiny as The Simpsons. It’s staggering just to think about the number of superstar writers, comedians, and guest stars who’ve been apart of this show over the last 30-plus years. Bringing even a fraction of those people on to discuss the show’s 600-plus episodes would make the whole thing worth it. A rotating cast of hosts including people like Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer (a pipedream, I know) would make it appointment listening without a doubt.
#3: Sports Night
People always bring up Arrested Development (which would make a worthy addition to this list), when they mention shows that got cancelled to early, but I would argue that Sports Night is the best TV comedy never to get to five seasons. It’s another Aaron Sorkin project, which means it’s full of work-obsessed, hyper-literate people quipping their way through walk-n-talks galore. But this one’s about sports and the ways in which they can give us identity and bring us together and mean more than what the box score says. And since it only survived two seasons, the hosts (Josh Malina from The West Wing Weekly could transition seamlessly to this one) could knock the whole show out in less than a year.
#4: The Wire
Ok, so I’m almost 100% certain that this one has to exist, but I’m also pretty sure that the real life one couldn’t possibly compare to the idealized version that I have in my head. Here’s how it would go. Like with The West Wing Weekly, they should only have David Simon on at the ends of seasons to talk about the show’s overall creative arc and how that particular season fits his vision. For all other episodes, they should have (A) an actor from the episode, (B) the episode’s writer, and (C) a person from Baltimore who does (or did) the real-life job of the character played by the actor from that episode. Everyone (correctly) talks about how Baltimore is really the main character of The Wire, so any discussion of the show has to include the perspectives of the police, residents, teachers, leaders, and journalists from the city. As the seasons change, so would the lens through which we view the city. The Wire is the best TV show ever, and it deserves the best possible version of a podcast about itself.
Stuff in Kentucky You Should Know About but Probably Don’t: White Reaper’s “The World’s Best American Band”
By Barrett Lindsey on ©April 19th, 2017 @ 6:30pm
Kentucky has much more to offer than just thoroughbreds, bourbon, and basketball. This state is filled with multitudes of great things that are flying just below the radar. In the upcoming weeks, I hope to expose some of the little known treasures our state has to offer in a very originally named series called Stuff In Kentucky You Should Know About but Probably Don’t. Today is episode one.
Things that are great deserve to be recognized and the Louisville based band, White Reaper, is great, actually they’re the best. No literally, the name of their latest album is The World’s Best American Band. Certainly, a bold claim to make and while they’re definitely opening themselves up to scrutiny with such a daring title, I love their fire. I also love their music.
Before I begin, I’ll start by saying I got paid $0 to write this article, their new album was so good I felt obligated to share it on this platform.
After listening to The World’s Best American Band in its entirety I was confounded on how to describe the band’s sound. This album is retro. It grabs all the best parts of music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and combines them with bands own unique modern flair. I think it’s generally unfair to describe a new band by comparing their sound to an older, more well known, band’s sound but it’s fun so I’m going to do it anyway.
This album sounds like Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Queen, Electric Light Orchestra, The Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy and AC/DC all chopped up in a soup with a nice modern punk rock stock. It is seriously awesome. The track list is as follows:
- The World’s Best American Band
- Judy French
- Eagle Beach
- Little Silver Cross
- The Stack
- Party Next Door
- Cyrstal Pistol
- Tell Me
- Another Day
I highly recommend checking this album out along with the rest of White Reaper’s music. You can find them on all of the major music platforms (iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc). They are a prime example of the great, young musical talent Kentucky has been producing for quite some time now. Nowhere do they display this talent more than with their new album The Next Great American Band.
They also just recently released their tour dates in case you’re in town for a show.
If you’re interested in the Kentucky music scene, then this band is a great place to start. They’re unique and raw sound is a refreshing break from the over produced radio garbage we’ve become so accustomed to. They just flat out rock, man. They’ll make you one proud Kentuckian, without a doubt.
By Megan Suttles on ©April 19th, 2017 @ 9:00am
HGTV’s Flip or Flop is getting a big makeover. The original Flip or Flop starred Tarek and Christina El Moussa as they renovated houses in California neighborhoods. Their divorce put a major change in the show’s chemistry and after taping only five episodes of their seventh season, HGTV is offering another Flip or Flop option. Flip or Flop Vegas is now the newly renovated version of Flip or Flop, the original. Flip or Flop 2.0 has all the same notes, but with Aubrey Marunde playing the part of Christina and Bristol as the new wide-shouldered handy man. Translation: It is literally the same, one top-heavy blonde and one slightly too aggressive man.
There’s not much difference between the OG Flip or Flop and Flip or Flop Vegas. As it turns out, the same things that are frustrating on the west coast are still frustrating in the desert. Bristol, the burly Mr. Fixit, also enjoys demo day. (He’s stealing Chip’s Fixer Upper catchphrase and that’s not OK.) As a MMA fighter, Bristol gets lots of screen time as he kicks through doors, windows and walls. Bristol makes me uncomfortable. He’s just too jacked up all the time. At one point, he explains, “Since Aubrey is a realtor, we can legally enter as long as it doesn’t have a condemned sign posted.” Bristol is constantly ready to enter homes and demolish them immediately.
Bristol Marunde is the HGTV version of the Kool-aid man.
Also, the HGTV-ness of the whole show is painful. Aubrey and Bristol are extremely guilty of generating random estimates for the price of renovations. More than any other show, their guesstimations seems more flippant and uninformed. Oh a new garage door, that’s $1,000. A new kitchen is $8,500. I’m not sure where they are getting these prices. It’s like me guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar. I don’t know, but I’m pretty confident in my estimation.
Another trope is the way hosts describe the houses. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough when they describe rooms as having a “cottage glam” feel or trying to achieve a “woodsy elegance” look. Although I speak fluent HGTV, I’m aware of how obnoxious it sounds. I’m convinced that there is no rhyme or reason to how they create their design inspiration catchphrases. I think they use the buyer’s birthdays and plug them into the chart below to generate their design aesthetic.
Flip or Flop Vegas has it’s own little hook. Bristol and Aubrey are wild. As they walk through the house to make random cost estimates, they mark walls with a can of spray paint. This seems pretty reckless. Instead of a modern, glass board like Joanna Gaines or a computer generated image of the space (complete with couches spinning into place) like the Property Brothers, the Marundes tag the place like a bunch of vagrants. The pink aerosol cans are excessive. Hopefully, the future season’s budget will allow for them to have more than $3.99 (I made that amount up!) for their “design plan segment.” Their walls are starting to look like the sides of a passing train.
Graffiti wall aside, their finished product is a solid B-. Shiplap doesn’t belong on houses in Vegas, but I’ll let it slide just this one time. Viewers watch to see the transformation. Viewers don’t watch for the tips. And thankfully so, here are some of the gems that Bristol and Aubrey share:
-Tip: Have an expert look at broken items in your home
-Tip: Purchase items on clearance to keep your budget low
-Tip: When staging a home spend most of your time fluffing the pillows
Overall, Flip or Flop Vegas achieves what it sets out to do: provide mindless entertainment for people who enjoy looking at houses. Regardless of Aubrey’s shifty eyes or Bristol’s Maserati, there’s still a lot to enjoy. There’s nothing like watching someone shop via face time or create a “Vegas Farmhouse” feel that makes you feel content with your own shabby chic ranch on the corner.
S-Town, the latest binge-worthy podcast, presented by the creators of This American Life and Serial is spreading across the nation like kudzu. Today our panel examines the emotionally earnest, yet bizarrely mesmerizing series.
—What initially sucked everyone into the series? An emoji? Really?
—That voice sounds strangely familiar! Get acquainted with the eccentric John B. McLemore, who’s at the center of it all.
—Question marks the spot. Just where’s all buried treasure?
—How does one pay for a Coke with a gold bar exactly?
—Lying, tattooing, and nipple-piercings, oh my!
—Who do you trust?
—An ethical and moral dilemma about the series.
Guests include: Matthew Mahone, Chris Tomlin, Richmond Bramblet, Megan Suttles, and Brad Morris.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
(The following is written by Funkhouser contributor Brad Morris)
Welcome to another Media Weekend Forecast. I’m your mediaologist Brad Morris. While this weekend looks to be amazing weather wise, some of you will be unfortunately stuck inside for various reasons. Young ones need to be bottle fed, people have to work from home, so why not try out some of the options in the media forecast.
This week we look at a series that is coming to an end, a series that has miraculously returned because of a passionate fan base, and the start to two of the four major professional sports leagues playoffs. So no matter who you root for (Let’s Go Rangers!) or what your tv pleasures are, I believe I’ve found enough material for you to devour this weekend.
Netflix: Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)
Why To Watch: For anyone that stayed up late during weekend nights in the 1990’s, mostly late teens and early twenty something’s, MST3K was a great way to get through a night of studying while watching the old Comedy Channel. The premise of the show was an evil scientist has trapped a test subject onto the “Spaceship of Love” trying to find his breaking point by forcing him to watch awful movies. While being forced to watch, the subject has robot friends to help him watch, Crow, Gypsy, and Tom Servo. I got hooked on the original show when the subject was forced to watch “Manos Hands of Fate”.
Look, the premise is silly enough for school children, but the adult style humor is a great escape. Watching these people rail against these movies are the things we’ve all done with our own friends while watching an equally horrible movie, or maybe even a good one. So pop some kernels of corn and make fun of the movie with the new host Jonah and his robot friends.
Why Not To Watch: You yourself are Kinga Forrestter, master of Moon Base 13, or her dim witted sidekick Max. You enjoy trying to see what Jonah will do when his mind reaches his breaking point. And you hate bubbles.
Hulu: Black Sails Seasons 1-3
Why To Watch: For those of us that don’t have a subscription to the Starz network, this show has been unavailable to us. Now that the show has entered its fourth, and final, season Hulu has brought us the first three seasons to watch. A prequel to the book by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. Set on the island of New Providence, this tale of the high seas follows Captain Flint and his crew of pirates, the daughter of the islands leader Eleanor Guthrie, and John Silver (before he added the Long). I’m only two episodes in and this is strangely similar in its early tones to Game of Thrones. That guy dies a bloody death, boobs, a good guy tries to get away with doing a bad thing, more boobs, we see evil people that we strangely like, and more boobs. I’ll stay for the action and plot for at least the first season, waiting to see how all the moving parts fit together before leading into “Treasure Island”.
Why Not To Watch: You read that awful book in high school and didn’t like it after you were forced to read it for junior English class. The blood and graphic nudity is to much to handle for the faint of heart. You hate pirates and water.
Network TV: Saturday Night Live
Why To Watch: This week’s host is none other than SNL alum Jimmy Fallon, with musical guest Harry Styles. The ratings boom SNL has enjoyed the last few weeks has been mostly due to Alec Baldwin’s spot on impersonation of Donald Trump, but just as funny has been Melissa McCarthy’s spot impersonation of Sean Spicer. With Spicer’s poor choice of words this week, Trump dropping the MOAB, and Jimmy Fallon’s fantastic track record of shows he hosts, this should be a highlight of the season. Whether Harry Styles does anything for you or not, a late night snack will be in order, and a box of tissues ready in case you laugh until you cry.
Why Not To Watch: You stopped watching SNL when Bill Murray left the show. Or Mike Myers. Or Will Ferrell. Or Kristen Wiig. Or ………….
Why To Watch: I could have told you the most obvious movie to go see, Fate of The Furious, but I don’t see the point of that style of movie except to get cars going fast and doing ridiculous stunts. Gifted on the other hand looks to be a sweet story that people can actually feel something. It revolves around 7 year old Mary, who on the first day of school shows a genius level mind when it comes to math. Her uncle Frank has been caring for her since she was 6 months old after her mothers death and doesn’t want Mary to have anything more than a normal upbringing and childhood. Mary’s grandmother has other plans when she learns of Mary’s gift and fights Frank for custody of the child, and to also force her into a life of mathematics even at her early age. So fast cars vs. a sweet and smart little girl at the center of a custody battle. I would stick with the genius level Mary.
Why Not To Watch: You Want Fast Cars!!!! And Explosions!!!! And Dwayne Johnson Saying Something Cool!!!! And Jason Statham Saying Something Badass Back At Him!!!!!
Sports: NHL and NBA Playoffs
Why To Watch: The regular seasons are over with and it’s time for the big boys to make their money. On the hardwood, we have the Warriors trying to take back what should have been theirs last year, and the Cavs trying to repeat. Standing in the way are 14 other teams, with the Spurs and Rockets threats in the West, and the Celtics and Raptors beasts in the East. One thing to remember about Lebron’s Cavs is that every time his team has been a number 2 seed, they’ve reached the NBA Finals. So don’t count on the Cavs recent struggles to take them down.
In the NHL, usual suspects are betting threats to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Blackhawks, Penguins, Capitals, and Ducks hope to return to the finals. Strong teams like the Blue Jackets, Wild, Predators, and Rangers (LGR!), look to crash the party. I will say this, nothing beats when a team wins the Cup and skates around the ice, holding it above their heads with every last bit of strength they have after such a grueling and long regular season and playoffs.
Why Not To Watch: Let’s face it, your going to watch at least one of these games this weekend. You won’t be able to go to a restaurant without seeing a game on. And they’ll be waiting for you after you mow the yard and want to kick back and drink a cold one.
That about sums up the Media Weekend Forecast. Last weekend I hope you enjoyed the start of Spring viewings that have been offered, and I feel that this weekend is even better. So get the popcorn ready, ice down that six pack of PBR, and claim your spot on the couch. Until next week, I’m your Mediaologist Brad Morris.
Each week KSR’s Funkhouser features the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.
Apple Park — Tech giant Apple plans to start moving employees into its new “Apple Park” in Cupertino this week, which has remained somewhat mysterious until this Minecraft expert got a hold of some footage and rebuilt the facility in the program. It’s pretty impressive, and should be noted that while the developer has put 413 hours of work into the project, he’s still put zero hours into having a girlfriend.
Link: As We Wait for Apple to Finish the Real Thing, Here’s a Minecraft Video of Apple Park
Bathing Suit, Bring Your — Don’t look now, but Holland just upped the ante for American bottom-feeding with a new reality show entitled “Bring Your Bathing Suit,” which sees Dutch semi-celebrities trying to guess whether displayed women contestants have real or fake breasts, and which are pregnant with child or simply slightly overweight. The program is expected to test through the roofs with the coveted “awful people” demographic.
Link: Dutch TV Channel Makes Game Out of Asking Women if They’re “Fat or Pregnant.”
Ludacris — Rapper Ludacris baited critics this week with his new video for the tune “Vitamin D,” which features the hip-hopper sporting ridiculous CGI abs. Much has been made, with no true conclusion, but The Verge maintains this is sort of Ludacris’ thing, and he knows exactly what he’s doing. Thoughts?
Link: Ludacris’ CGI Abs are a Joke the Rapper Has Been Making for Over a Decade
Pratt, Spencer — Ex-The Hills stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt announced to the press that they’re expecting their first child, due sometime this fall. “I was going to wait and surprise him,” said Montag, “but I knew when he saw the locust plague and the rivers turning to blood he’d know right away.”
Link: Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag Expecting Their First Baby
Murphy, Charlie — Reliable Chappelle’s Show player Charlie Murphy succumbed to leukemia earlier this week, prompting tributes to him from news outlets and celebrities far and near — including former boss and friend Dave Chappelle, who joined singer John Mayer (who also once appeared on Chappelle’s program) to talk about the actor.
Link: Dave Chappelle and John Mayer Pay Tribute to Charlie Murphy
O’Reilly, Bill — Fox News Anchor Bill O’Reilly, who just happens to be facing many allegations of sexual harassment, told viewers this week that he’d be taking some time off for a “pre-planned vacation” for some “R&R.” He added, “It’s so nice of my employer to be sending me away on what promises to be a great holiday, and though I don’t know where I’m going yet, they told me to pack a warm coat. Also, I don’t know when my plane ticket back is. They haven’t sent me that yet, weirdly.”
Link: Bill O’Reilly Announces He’s Taking a Vacation Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal
Perry, Katy — Grammy-nominated singer Katy Perry, featured in this month’s Vogue magazine, openly discusses her conservative Christian upbringing, her family and her thoughts on the past election. Perry also states she “came out of the womb asking questions,” understandably the first being OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS THING I JUST CAME OUT OF.
Link: Katy Perry Says She Came Out of the Womb Asking Questions
By Josh Corman on ©April 13th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Kendrick Lamar is a musical artist who, when he releases a new record, stops my musical world from spinning. He just steps in and Zack Morris-es everything and forces my whole attention to remain on him until he’s said his piece. Then, he graciously allows me to resume my life, although by that point I have musical Stockholm Syndrome and can’t stop listening anyway, even though I’m theoretically free to.
But since I’ve still got about 24 hours before I stuff his newest album, DAMN., into my earholes, I figure I should try to pass the time productively. In this case, that means pontificating about what I (and you, if you know what’s good for you) will experience when I press play tomorrow morning.
Fearless Prediction #1: DAMN. will be great…
This is easy. Vegas wouldn’t take bets on this one, or if they did, it would be like a UConn Women’s Basketball bet where you have to wager $25,000 dollars to win a nickel or something. How do I know it’ll be so good? Well, there are the two tracks Kendrick has released in the last two weeks: “The Heart Part 4” and “HUMBLE.” Though I prefer the latter (which won’t be on the album), both are proof that the trajectory set by 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly and last year’s Untitled Unmastered isn’t changing directions.
Fearless Prediction #2: … but it will be seen as a step down from TPAB.
Las Vegas would also not allow bets on this one. Listen, anytime an artist releases a stone-cold classic like To Pimp a Butterfly, expectations soar and level-headedness goes out the window. As a result, whatever comes next, even if excellent in its own right, generally doesn’t get the credit it really deserves in the moment. TPAB has a couple of things working against it on this front: not only was it capital-G Great, but it was captial-I Important, too. When you’ve channeled the anger and fear and pride of an entire social movement (Black Lives Matter), taken the leap into critical sainthood, maintained your rep among purists as the best writer in rap, and done it while also racking up awards and selling a ton of records, it’s hard for people to not want to bring you down a peg. TPAB ended up with a 96 on Metacritic in 2015. My guess is DAMN. settles somewhere in the mid-80s, and you hear a lot of “still excellent, but doesn’t hit the heights of its predecessor” kinds of reviews.
Fearless Prediction #3: No fewer than three rappers will change their names and move to other countries after hearing DAMN. for the first time.
Kendrick’s first album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, took stock of his relationship to his hometown and the family and friends who populated it. To Pimp a Butterfly took stock of the world (or at least the America) surrounding it. My guess is that DAMN. will touch on some of the same themes that those albums addressed, but if “The Heart Part 4” and “HUMBLE” are any indication, this one’s gonna take aim at Kendrick’s profession, with the express purpose of putting the title of “Greatest Rapper Alive” (which Kendrick already holds) so far beyond the reach of his contemporaries that all they can do is tip their caps and go back to whatever life awaits them on the other side of the Kendrick-pocalypse. Part of claiming that crown, though, is by using your work to knock your closest competitors down a peg. It’s not enough to just get good reviews and win awards, you have to assert dominance in your verses. If there was any doubt before DAMN., there won’t be afterward.
Fearless Prediction #4: The U2 feature won’t suck as much as my gut is telling me it will.
Listen, I love Joshua Tree. And War and Achtung, Baby and even All That You Can’t Leave Behind. But let’s be honest: U2’s best work is behind them, probably by about 15 years. So needless to say, when I saw that they’d be one of just two features (along with Rihanna) on the entire album, I was surprised. And kind of bummed. One of the reasons I enjoy Kendrick’s work so much is because he doesn’t stuff his albums full of guest spots from other artists. It’s his vision, front to back, and I don’t want a U2 feature to distract from what we’re all tuning in to hear. But you know what? I have faith that Kendrick knows what he’s doing, and I have to believe that he’s going to use U2’s contribution only insofar as it makes the music better. And who knows, maybe Bono and co. will get reinvigorated by working with K-dot (as the kids say). We can hope, right?
Fearless Prediction #5: A UK basketball player will get a mention at some point.
OK, so this is by far the riskiest of my fearless predictions, but fortune favors the bold, so, you know, I’m rolling with it. Kendrick is a basketball fan, and he name-checked Russell Westbrook in “The Heart Part 4,” so the possibility that one of BBN’s own ends up on a track isn’t that far-fetched. Smart money is on John Wall, but don’t sleep on Boogie Cousins. Devin Booker is a sneaky dark horse. Skal is 5000 to 1.
By Megan Suttles on ©April 12th, 2017 @ 9:00am
The novel 13 Reasons Why will always have a special place in my heart. It is the only book that I can consistently get teenagers to read. I was worried that when Netflix paired with Selena Gomez to make a series based off of the novel by Jay Asher, that it would have an afternoon-special-kind-of-feel. Luckily, the adaptation wasn’t cheesy. If anything, it was way too real. From the book, I will always remember the awkward hot tub scene and my eternal hatred for Bryce Walker. The Netflix series will be just as memorable, but for 13 different reasons.
Reason #1: It’s Darker Than The Book
Q: What’s darker than a book about teen suicide. A: A Netflix series about teen suicide. The movie takes what is already a tangled plot and makes it even more convoluted and dark. Now, there is a lawsuit, gun violence and more graphic scenes of sexual abuse. 13 Reasons Why, the series, will automatically conjure up a bigger sense of sadness than the book ever did.
Reason #2: Jeff Atkins Deserved Better
I feel strongly about a lot of things in 13 Reasons Why, but the one that I feel the most strongly about is that Jeff Atkins Deserved Better. Jeff’s role is more prominent in the series. He helps Clay find the confidence to talk to Hannah. He is the only person that seems to standup to peer pressure and he has goals! Jeff planned on taking his baseball talents and two big earrings to college. His death had me shook. I literally yelled, “Not Hot Jeff” when it was revealed. Jeff Atkins deserved better, but 13 Reasons reminds us that it is not about what you deserve, it is all about what you are dealt.
Reason #3: The Music
When TV shows deem songs “good” they are usually garbage. “The Night We Met” is the exception that proves the rule. Lord Huron’s ballad will always take me back to the blue-lit gym when Clay and Hannah dance for the first time. The song is haunting. It has the perfect rhythm for a slow dance. The odd cadence of the lyrics when he sings, “I’ve had all and then most of you/Some and now none of you” fits Clay’s situation perfectly. The breakup song will help heartbroken teens heal for years to come.
Reason #4: THOSE BANDAIDS
The only way to differentiate between flashbacks and the present is by using Clay’s ever-changing bandages as a guidepost. At one point, I feared that his sore would ooze like the egg in the Geico commercials. Between Clay’s wounds and Hannah’s haircut, the audience had many identifiers to help them navigate the plot.
Reason #5: WHO LET SHERRI IN? (And other inconsistencies with the novel)
In the book, Sherri is actually named Jenny. For some reason, this change bothers me more than any of the other inconsistencies. At some point during the beginning of the series, I just quit comparing the book to the series. It is its own entity. There were just some things that bothered me more than others. Tyler’s secret weapons stash and the new FML motto were a few of the other changes that were hard to stomach, but renaming Jenny was the most baffling.
Reason #6: Skye looks 30
She’s a 25 year old playing a high school student. Skye is played by Sosie Bacon, the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. It’s weird. Having twenty year olds play high schoolers isn’t anything new, but Skye’s maturity just seems egregious.
Reason #7. Stay Golden Tony-boy
Tony is everywhere. He’s beating people up under bridges. He’s stopping by Clay’s for breakfast. He is at Hannah’s parent’s store. He is a stage five clinger and it’s annoying. I will always remember Tony, looking like an Outsider and fear that he is watching me outside my window right now.
Reason #8. Kate Walsh’s Tears
In case you didn’t know Kate Walsh is the GOAT at crying. Her eyes spent most of the series lined with red, watery smudges. Walsh has also mastered the art of sitting and looking sad. Her training as Dr. Addison Montgomery was exactly what she needed to play the weepy, determined mother of Hannah Baker.
Reason #9: The New Clay Jensen
In the novel, Clay is too good. He is characterized as being the guy that always does the right thing. The series makes an intentional choice to have Clay screw up. Clay loses all of his innocence when he turns on Tyler Down. Also, Clay becomes more assertive when he tapes Bryce’s confession. There is even more of a change from Clay in the beginning of the book to the end. The Netflix Clay seems more believable and real than the paperback version of Clay.
Reason #10: Nail Polish
Blue nail polish will always remind me of Hannah Baker and everything she went through.
Reason #11: This Was A Binging Marathon
Binging a series is meant to be like a light snack. There is nothing light and snackable about 13 Reasons Why. The content is heavy and the story is expanded. At times, it was frustrating to watch Clay floundering about trying to understand what Hannah was going through when he literally had the answers waiting on him in her tapes. Netflix tends to let its creators expand and elaborate, therefore the finished product wasn’t a small bite-sized piece of pop culture to digest.
Reason #12: Hannah’s Bathtub scene
The series made the choice to change the way Hannah kills herself. In the book she “took a bunch of pills.” In the series, viewers actually see her cut herself with a razor taken from her father’s store. The scene is brutal. It made my heart ache for all of the people who struggle with self harm. I’m embarrassed to say how ignorant I was of how violent this act of self-harm is. 13 Reasons gave me a visual that will help me understand the impulses people who self harm have.
Reason #13: 2nd season?
Even though the first season was so long, there are still a few stories that need closure. I look forward to finding out if Bryce goes to jail for his crimes. I want Tyler to get help. I want to know why Justin has to have Vodka to travel. I want Alex to be ok. Usually, I am a big proponent of stories with defined endings, but this might be the exception that proves the rule. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll have 13 more reasons to remember from season two of this memorable show.
By KSR on ©April 11th, 2017 @ 5:10pm
By Matthew Mahone on ©April 10th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Simply labeling Legion as merely another comicbook turned television program would not only be oversimplifying the series, but also doing it a great disservice. Yet it’s that very same misnomer that served as the underlying reason I had out-and-out forsaken the show—until now.
When the series premiered on FX in February, admittedly I was apprehensive about binging on yet another comic-to-tv show only to be disappointed. Honestly, too many superhero shows are unwatchable and downright daft. Therefore, Legion was temporarily shelved to “fritter and waste the hours in another off-hand way.” I’m not a comic wonk, so I knew little to nothing about the character, but it was obvious that the show had connections to the Marvel multiverse—as evidenced by the not-so-subtle addition of the X-Men “Ⓧ” within the title. Despite the malaise of skepticism, I finally watched the series last week. Within the first moments, it was abundantly clear that Legion had less in common with its superhero series contemporaries and more so with Pink Floyd’s progressive-rock album The Dark Side of the Moon and the surreal drama Twin Peaks.
Legion wastes no time introducing us to our charming, but troubled protagonist David Haller, played by Dan Stevens. Through a series of layered flashbacks, viewers witness firsthand David’s earliest memories, including the moment he began hearing the voices inside his head. Eventually David—diagnosed with what is believed to be dissociative identity disorder—is hospitalized in a psychiatric facility where he is visited by his sister. After a bizarre encounter with an ethereal young woman suffering from haphephobia, David learns that he may not be schizophrenic after all, but rather a mutant with powerful and uncanny psychic abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy—like his father, Charles Xavier, aka Professor X. Now wait, is that true? Unfortunately, David (among others) proves to be an unreliable narrator throughout the series, making Legion a mind-bending, time-traveling, non-linear, prism-like narrative that will have audiences questioning what’s reality and what’s simply psychosis.
There’s many reasons why Dark Side of the Moon, a nearly 45 year old artifact, remains influential, but for me it comes down to this—it’s a beautifully dreamlike album, that’s open to interpretation. Its sum is greater than its parts and each time I encounter it, I discover new and subtle, oftentimes previously unheard nuances, that makes it even more enjoyable. Legion is like that. They’re both monumental endeavors, conceptual and heady, yet spellbinding. Taking participants on a dizzying ride, which at times feels like an out-of-body-experience, and just when you believe you’re on to something, an unexpected turn, an abrupt drop, and then—it’s over. Each explores a new layer in the dawning awareness, the heartbeat, the tolling bells and bellowing sounds of mental illness, featured throughout its characters—possibly multiple inside one—who, just like in the real world, are often scared themselves, and misunderstood, maligned and marginalized by society. Mental illness, once, and probably still considered taboo, especially on tv, is at the forefront of the show and it’s depicted in a way that’s not only empathetic and genuine, but also relatable—a looking glass into the mind and a reflection of human nature. Surfacing all the internal conflicts and personal struggles, the incessant an opposing voices clambering for our attention—the anxieties, pleasure, guilt, insecurities, sadness, mania, fears, vulnerabilities and doubts—we all experience to some degree. To whom should we/do we listen to? So, is David/Legion an all-powerful mutant, one who can use multiple personalities to warp reality as we know it? Or simply a guy who’s suffering some form of mental illness and in need of his medication? Perhaps they’re one in the same. Are there actually nefarious and shadowy forces out to get him, or is David’s biggest enemy himself and his own internal demons? Is any of this even really happening?
Legion is arresting in another way—it’s aesthetically gorgeous: Kubrickian in its cinematography, and calculating and fervent in its attention to detail. Characters are juxtaposed against environments that reflect their reality, such as: long and empty labyrinthian interiors, or lush and dense forests, confined spaces, or celestial, out-of-this-world ones. Similarly, settings are often divided somehow, reflecting the schisms mirroring David’s bifurcated mind. Likewise, the series relies heavily on color theory, using warm colors (red, orange, yellow) to communicate the physiological reactions to anger, fear and impending hostility, and cool colors (blues and greens) evoking more relaxed and safe feelings of human consciousness. It’s Lynchian and surreal during some of the most mundane moments.
Finally, the series features a stellar cast including Stevens, but also great performances from: Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Lenny Busker, Katie Aselton (The League) as Amy Heller, Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) as Oliver Bird, and Rachel Keller (Fargo) as Syd Barrett. That last name should ring a bell if you’ve been following along. Writer Noah Hawley is often lauded for turning Fargo, the 1996 Coen brothers classic and brilliant film in its own right, into an award-winning television series. He’s done the same for Legion, receiving high praise for making David/Legion not only a compelling character and series as a whole, but also one that stands out in a well-established and highly successful Marvel franchise. Legion is a groundbreaking series. Yin yang, trippy television at its best, and certainly a difficult act to follow.
If you want to have your mind-blown, after you’ve finished watching Legion in its entirety, do the following:
Start Legion: Chapter 1, without any commercial interruptions.
Mute the sound.
Once the title screen of LEGIⓍN appears, shortly before it fades to black. (Timing is everything)
Begin playing Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.
“Breathe” should sync up with the rain/voices scene in the early montage, and “Money” later on when David is with his doctor. (Watch his eyes and mannerisms)
Now, I’m not suggesting that any of this actually works, but I’m not going to say that it doesn’t either. You’ll have to experience it for yourself.
Legion is rated TV-MA
Welcome to the first edition of the Funkhouser Media Weekend Forecast. I am you mediaologist, Bradley Morris. In this weekly update, we’ll discuss all things media related that you can sink your ears and eyes into during a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with all the popcorn and soda drinks you can stuff your face with.
Every Friday we’ll look at what to watch for across Netflix, Hulu, Movies in theaters, Major Sporting events, anything and everything of interest. Some of these may not even be new, however what was old is made new again. Speaking of something old being made new again, let us start off with our Netflix selection.
Netflix: Dave Chappelle
Why to watch: If you haven’t seen Dave Chappelle do stand up comedy before, and have only seen episodes of the Chappelle Show, then you haven’t seen the eccentric comedian at his best. Chris Rock and Kevin Hart both say that Dave is the best in the business today. When your peers say that about you, then you must respect the opinion. The first new material from Chappelle in over ten years is fresh, controversial, and just plain funny. Comedians are taught not to laugh at their own material, that it somehow breaks the illusion that they’re doing a job and not just having fun with an audience. Dave breaks this rule and it works for him and his audience. There are two episodes to watch, one filmed in L.A. and the other in Austin, TX. While the L.A. special is the newest, I felt it was almost too scripted. The other episode in Austin was filmed a year ago, and the material you can tell is aged a bit to the time. However it comes across as comedy gold that Dave has made a full return to the business he was born to do. I’m happy he has resumed his standup and can’t wait for more.
Why not to watch: You have no sense of humor. You have your Brandy and cigar in the billiards room after a proper dinner and can’t be bother with this poppycock. Also your funny bone was surgically removed at birth.
Hulu: Preacher Season 1
Why to watch: So many shows to choose from, so little time during the week to watch. I only like to binge watch a series if they are in the sweet spot of 6 to 14 episodes. That way I can spend a day or two on them, get everything watched, and not miss anything. Preacher is right in the sweet spot at 10 episodes. There are three main characters. Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a small Texas town preacher who is on his own personal mission to find God after a lifetime of sin. Ruth Negga as Tulip O’Hare, Jesse’s ex girlfriend and still in the lifetime of sinful behavior Jesse is trying to escape. Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, a centuries old vampire who has seemed to found his place in the new world after spending a lifetime in the old world. This series isn’t for everyone I’ll admit. Dark humor, some violent images, and some not very nice people are involved here. But there is also a kindness found in some of the characters as well. Definitely different and worth your time to give it a chance.
Why not to watch: You love cows, hate vampires, don’t like seeing God being made fun of, and think this is a total waste of time. And you don’t like laughing at other people’s misery, which happens quite a bit on Preacher.
TV ABC: Match Game 9:00 pm Sunday Night
Why to watch: Sometimes the old shows are the best shows. And some remakes of those shows bomb spectacularly. That isn’t the case with Match Game. Led by Alec Baldwin, this remake of the classic game show still has B-list stars boozing it up and making fools of themselves, Alec Baldwin, and the players themselves. If you crave old fashion fun, this is right up your alley.
Why not to watch: You are a TV purist. If it was made in the 70’s it should stay in the 70’s. You have no time for that liberal Baldwin fellow. And who really knows anything about that Titus Burgis dude anyway?
Why to watch: Anne Hathaway has had a strange career lately. Since she started out, people loved her bubbly personality and feel good movies. However the last few have bombed at the box office. With Colossal she has the perfect medium to show her talents because this isn’t a huge movie to begin with (pun intended). More of an independent film with a pure heart. Hathaway’s character is some how connected to a huge monster that is destroying a city on the other side of the world. What that connection says about us being to connected to an opposite, hidden side of ourselves is explored through humor and heartbreak.
Why not to watch: Anne Hathaway movies make your skin crawl. Her acting is the equivalent of finger nails on a chalk board. Monsters aren’t real. Monsters scare you. Anne Hathaway dancing scares you.
Sports: The Masters on CBS
Why to watch: It’s the Super Bowl for golf. All of the best players compete for the elusive green jacket. J.B. Holmes is representing UK with huge drives. Hearing Verne Lundquist whisper is a great way to fall asleep on a calm afternoon. And of course, its a tradition unlike any other.
Why not to watch: It’s golf on TV. Equally as bad as NASCAR, Baseball, and Criminal Minds. These events aren’t meant to be watched on TV, you need to be there to experience it for yourself.
That’s it for the weekend forecast from April 7th to 10th. Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of popcorn and drink of your choice for the couch marathons of your choosing. We’ll be back next week for your local and national forecast.
Tomorrow, singer/songwriter and former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman will release his third solo album under the name Father John Misty. I’m sure that I’ll like it. Like, it’s almost certain that I’ll really, really enjoy the album, which is called Pure Comedy. This kind of sucks. Why? Because Josh Tillman is the worst.
Seriously. The absolute worst.
He’s a pretentious blowhard who, every time he opens his mouth, finds a way to insult:
- People who don’t like his music (“People who want to see things in… stark dualities are not going go get much out of my music,” he recently told a Guardian reporter).
- People who do like his music (He lectured a recent audience for not being sad enough that they legitimately enjoyed mainstream entertainment, including, apparently his own music. Their enjoyment of things meant for their enjoyment is, apparently, a bridge too far).
- Himself, but not in the kind of self-deprecating way that can make famous people seem endearing (from that same Guardian interview: “I’m not bamboozled by the fact that people are disgusted by me. I’m not my biggest fan either.” Also, “I get sick pleasure out of going on the internet and reading about how much people hate me. That’s the very dark underbelly of what people see as my fanciful social media presence.”).
And yes, other entertainers have made a living by creating incredible art and simultaneously being total douche canoes (Kanye West is maybe the best recent example), but I don’t think I’ve ever loathed an artist’s public personality (which, by the way, he swears is the same as his actual personality) and loved their work more than Josh Tillman. Because here’s the thing: his music is great. It’s smart and cutting and inventively arranged and stylishly produced. It’s lyrically dense and challenging and really, really funny.
It would be so much better if Tillman made crappy music that I could dismiss along with his self-important ramblings, but here we are.
Now, I could always refuse to listen to any more of Father John Misty’s music on principal. After all, isn’t listening to Father John Misty just reinforcing Tillman’s bad behavior (it’s telling that this makes him sound like a disobedient child)? Couldn’t I just take the approach that there’s plenty of great music in the world made by people who don’t take every opportunity to bemoan the stupidity of the very audience who makes their careers possible and don’t paint themselves as artistic martyrs who live in a world incapable of grasping their brilliance? Couldn’t I just listen to that instead?
I could, yes. But.
If I do that, aren’t I just denying myself something enjoyable for the sake of a person whom I’ll never meet and who will not be affected in any real way by my choice to stop listening to his music?
(If anyone ever tells you that you overthink things, remember the last few paragraphs and ignore that person.)
If you’ve made it this far, it’s likely that you either (A) also find Josh Tillman exhausting or (B) think he’s just too real for a feeble-minded idiot like me and just have to know how stupid my criticisms are going to get before I call it a day. It’s possible, however, that you’re simply waiting for me to explain exactly why it’s such a big deal that this guy is a jerk. Perhaps the words “who cares?” have come to mind at some point in the last few minutes.
Not to be too obvious, but I care. I do. Call me crazy, but I want to actually like, or at least not actively hate, people who make art that resonates with me. Because if the art resonates with me, and the person who made is someone who I wouldn’t even want to have a conversation with, what does that say about me?
It’s easy to say that the two things have nothing in common, and maybe they don’t, but I think that question has something to do with the level of conflict I feel regarding Father John Misty. I read his dismissive, self-important comments to reporters, and I want to punch him in the face. Then I listen to his records and hope he keeps making music forever. Sigh.
But tomorrow? Tomorrow, I’ll probably listen to Pure Comedy. Here’s hoping it’s terrible.
(It’s not going to be terrible. Damn it.)
By C.M. Tomlin on ©April 05th, 2017 @ 4:58pm
(The following recap is guest written by Brad Morris for Funkhouser)
Well… this is the post I’ve been dreading all season. The post to end season 7 of The Walking Dead. I’ve now rewatched it twice for you dear reader, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I also went to the source code, reading the comic issues that most reflected the events that took place on “The First Day of the Rest Of Your Life”. This post will be a hodgepodge of thoughts, so bear with me. Lots of moments and characters to get through. That happens with a 90 season finale. First let’s touch on the characters and groups.
And Abraham!!! I know Josh and I have been down on Sasha this season, mainly due to her storyline repeatedly going through the same motions, but I think some of that was redeemed last night. Love Bob? He dies and you get suicidal. Love your brother Tyreese? He dies and you get suicidal. Love Abraham? I think I see a pattern here. The writers did have to be delicate in their delivery because there are viewers who do enjoy her character. So how best to execute it? Although he was trying not to put his new boss Negan in harms way, Eugene did just that by giving Sasha a suicide pill. She had begged for a weapon to use against Negan, and become a weapon herself she did. Taking the pill and killing herself while trapped in a coffin made her the distraction that saved, for the moment, Rick and the gang.
The flashback scenes with Abraham, harking back to the day they all left for the Hilltop for Maggie, was sweet and made me miss Abraham as a character. And that’s something TWD has done well over the seasons. Take a character already gone and bring them back to help usher off another that they had been close with. That being said, I’m glad this story arc with Sasha is over and done with. Good luck to Sonequa Martin-Green, as she travels to the new edition of Star Trek on CBS.
I said last week that the final scene needed to play out before I commented on it, and I’m glad I did. Dwight is extremely pivotal to Rick’s group going forward and that first meet up was well done. Dwight has nothing left except revenge against Negan. He’s lost Sherry, he’s lost his pretty face, and he’s lost pride. Going to Alexandria was a huge risk on his part, but the rewards I feel will come much further down the road. His first bit of info was left in the form of a little action figure found by Daryl at the end of the episode that simply said “didn’t know”. He had to be referring to the Scavenger group being a part of Negan’s plans. Obviously if he had known that it would’ve been the first thing he told Rick. His story arc in the comics was a joy to read, and we’re off to a great start with Dwight undermining the Saviors.
The Battle For Alexandria
This was what the entire second half of the season had been building up to. The pulse of a true battle ebbs and flows, like the tide. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re on your knees again. Although Rick thought they had prepared well for this, the Scavenger’s double cross threw a big ole wrench into the best laid plans. The saddest point in the battle of Alexandria wasn’t Rick and Carl on their knees. It wasn’t Walker Sasha being revealed. No the saddest moment was when Rick looked at Eugene and decided he could no longer be counted on. Looking at Rosita and telling her to blow the explosives was Rick showing he was willing to end Eugene’s life for the greater good. Of course this didn’t happen.
Negan gave a great speech as always, and even told Rick this was going to hurt. Walker Sasha gave the gang time to act. Carl didn’t hesitate, taking out 3 or 4 Scavengers like they were target practice. The fight Michonne had on the rooftop was brutal to watch. Walker Sasha didn’t get Negan, but she did munch on a couple of Saviors. How important was she? The Talking Dead pointed out that this was only the second episode in the series to have only 1 walker, the other being Season 2 when Dale was killed by 1.
When Rick and Carl are on their knees (again), Rick doesn’t back down from Negan this time. He doubles down on his promise to kill him showing no fear. And then the highlight of the season. As Carl is about to be batting practice, Shiva saves the day! Was it telegraphed and obvious? Yeah. Was it fracking cool? Hells yes! The Hilltop and the Kingdom save Alexandria in an epic gun battle. Morgan and Carol have returned to fighting form. Maggie leads the Hilltop with Jesus’s blessing. Seeing Shiva in action was spine tingling. Great CGI this time makes up for the deer a few episodes ago.
Seeing King Ezekiel lead his people into battle was very Braveheart. I’d also like to thank Greg Nicotero for a nod to “Escape From New York”. After Shiva’s arrival, Negan picks up a gun that looks just like Snake Pliskin’s. And I’d like to ask what kind of Call of Duty gun was Daryl using near the end? I could go on and on and on about what happened in this battle, but what’s the point? You watched it!!!
I 100% predicted Negan’s last words for the season, “We’re going to war.” Negan flipping everyone off as he left in a truck was priceless. But now we’ve fully set up what next season is going to be about. None of this whining about getting stuff for Negan, its time to take him out. My prediction is next seasons promotional theme will be “All Out War”. Now will it fully follow the comic? Of course not. Eugene being a Savior now is something I didn’t see coming. But the seeds have been planted for a great season. Scott M Gimple, the main show running, said that the first 4 episodes of next season are 🦇 💩 crazy. Does this mean next season will be the last? I’m not sure. Josh and I will have a huge podcast to talk about that very thing later this week.
I’d also like to point out a couple of highlights from the Robert Kirkman Q and A that took place last week at EKU. I was able to ask a couple of questions and I’ll have the extended answers on the Deadcast. But something of note that I think you, the viewer, would be interested in is his answers about Negan. He didn’t flat out say it, but heavily hinted that 1 episode next season would deal solely with Negan’s backstory. That is something that was only recently dealt with in a short comic series, and if they stick to its script, Jeffery Dean Morgan will eat that up. Another funny answer he gave was who he sees playing every character he writes about, and that is Ed O’Neil. Someone asked who he sees playing Mark from Invincible in a movie, and his answer was Ed O’Neil. He doesn’t like to say who he sees as a particular character, because if that person doesn’t get the role they might be pissed, and the fans might not like who they do cast. Great answer.
Whew! That was a ton of stuff to get through. I can’t wait to tape the Deadcast with Josh this week. So many topics to go over and chew on. I am sad that this is my last post for the season. For those of you that have followed along, I thank you. For those of you that have just come on board, I thank you. My first endeavor into writing has been a joy to do and I can’t wait to continue on this summer with other pop culture articles. 1 thing I will tell you I’m doing, just for you fans, is I’m attending Walker Stalker, a TWD convention in Nashville this June. It should lead to several interviews and podcasts that can get us through to next 6 months until TWD returns. Once again, thanks for reading, and until we meet again, ta ta.