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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2019)

The 2019-20 TV season is around the corner, so here is Deadline’s annual rundown of fall premiere dates for new and returning series. The list covers more than 300 broadcast, cable and streaming shows bowing between September 1 and December 31 and some high-profile one-off programs.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 03, 2019 at 07:54 AM | 360 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   201. Lassus Posted: September 23, 2019 at 08:38 AM (#5882099)
BTW, The Museum of Sex in NYC was a sad, massive disappointment, I'd avoid. Just go to the Folsom Street Fair instead, it's a better snapshot of cultural and historical sexuality. And as long as I'm being a negative Nancy, the Tenement Museum was also just too brief and too lame, similarly bummed out when finished with that one.

For National Parks, god, there are so many. I'll certainly put my vote in for the one I could hit with a rock from where I'm sitting, the Adirondacks in Central/Northern NY.

For sheer, massive "this is a batshit alien terraforming accident" scope, I'd hit the Badlands in South Dakota and the Great Salt Lake and accompanying flats in Utah.
   202. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 23, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5882100)
London has a lot of good museums (Tate is good, in addition to British).


It absolutely does. I was unemployed for 4 months about 5 years ago, and tried to go to at least 3 museums or galleries or similar per week (more specifically, to walk to them regardless of where they were in town from my flat in Greenwich.) I missed out plenty, but the Jewish Museum, the Horniman, the Wellcome Collection, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery were all highlights. I haven't been to the Cartoon Museum since it moved within Soho. The RAF Museum at Colindale seemed to have experienced better days, but hard to beat the sheer variety of planes.

I also stopped in the "People's Palace" and the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. It feels like, geographically, they should be the other way around - the Gallery of Modern Art is in the heart of the city and accessible from everywhere; the Palace is not that far away, but it's off on the Glasgow Green. Which does allow for the Queen Victoria fountain to be quite pleasantly situated, but I think the Palace exhibits would have a much wider appeal.

EDIT: Oh, almost forgot: stopped in the Luxembourg Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean to get out of the rain and kill an hour earlier this year. Most of the art left me cold, but the space itself was wonderful. I assume it's been used in movies and TV shows. The Trakai History Museum near Vilnius was also surprisingly absorbing, thanks in part to the stained-glass windows and some interesting artifacts, and the National Museum of Lithuania was also very good, though it felt a little repetitive. "Then we allied with Poland. Then we fought Poland. Then we fought with Poland against Russia. Then Russia fought Poland on our behalf. Then we allied with Poland again."
   203. manchestermets Posted: September 23, 2019 at 08:47 AM (#5882101)
I enjoyed the Escher gallery/museum in Den Bosch


As mentioned in 197, the Escher museum is Den Haag, not Den Bosch. I agree that it's good though, not least because it affords the opportunity to make silly jokes about going up the stairs and ending up in the basement. Den Bosch, of course, has the Hieronymous Bosch museum, with no originals but reproductions of all his paintings, and a spectacular astronomical clock. Den Bosch also has the Bossche Bol, which is a huge profiterole, and is generally a charming little city of the type that is plentiful in the Netherlands.

The Tate Modern is absolutely awful, it's Poe's Law in Art Museum form.


This is a very silly thing to say, and makes you seem like Murray Chass.
   204. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 23, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5882102)
As mentioned in 197, the Escher museum is Den Haag, not Den Bosch.


Sorry, quite right. Got mixed up - I was in Den Bosch for work, and took a day out in Den Haag.
   205. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 23, 2019 at 08:52 AM (#5882103)
I'm going to be in New Orleans before the end of the year. How's their World War 2 Museum? I can't divine from the online reviews whether the writers who like it were hell-bent and predisposed to do so, no matter what.
   206. BrianBrianson Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5882107)
I've been to a lot of museums, in a lot of places. I quite like museums. Badmouthing the Tate Modern is a hill I'd be thrilled to die on. It's absolutely awful. Either it's a meta-gag, or it's gone completely in on the "everything is art, therefor we can't judge art and should just display whatever".

And I'm really not an old timey art was better guy. I quite dislike art museums that're nothing but portraits of Jesus (or whoever). The Musée d'Arte Moderne ain't bad. My wife and I went to the Museum of Inuit Art in Toronto on our first date. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh on our Honeymoon. Both pretty good. Tate Modern is a shithole and should die in a fire.
   207. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5882109)
Badmouthing the Tate Modern is a hill I'd be thrilled to die on. It's absolutely awful. Either it's a meta-gag, or it's gone completely in on the "everything is art, therefor we can't judge art and should just display whatever".


I think the Tate Modern has played into the 'casual tourists can wander in off the South Bank and see the Engine Hall and be wowed, and that will secure our status as a London landmark regardless' strategy. It's worked very well. But I walked around for two hours trying hard to feel something in reaction to the exhibits - this would have been late 2014/early 2015 - and completely failed, so perhaps I am just not cut out for conceptual art. Plus I keep thinking of David Walliams' character from Spaced.
   208. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5882114)
I like universal museums of course, but they can be overwhelming. And if I'm in Paris, I'd usually rather look at French #### than ancient Egyptian ####.

So I also like more focused museums. One of my favorites I've been to is the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The entire museum is dedicated to a single boat, an extremely well-preserved and immense 17th century warship. This ship was the aircraft carrier of its day, a floating city almost, and easily rewarded a few hours of careful study.

Likewise, the Rothko Chapel is in its own way more endearing than cruising through a large gallery where you spend 4 minutes on some Warhols, 3 minutes on a Liechtenstein, 8 minutes on some Rauschenbergs, 10 minutes on a Jackson Pollack room, etc.
   209. Lassus Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5882118)
This is why I was so disappointed in the Tenement Museum. I expected a far more immersive, detailed, lengthy study.
   210. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5882120)
So I also like more focused museums. One of my favorites I've been to is the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The entire museum is dedicated to a single boat, an extremely well-preserved and immense 17th century warship.


It is also a fine representation of one man's hubris:

The ship was built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus as part of the military expansion he initiated in a war with Poland-Lithuania (1621–1629). .... However, Vasa was dangerously unstable, with too much weight in the upper structure of the hull. Despite this lack of stability, it was ordered to sea and foundered only a few minutes after encountering a wind stronger than a breeze.
   211. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5882122)
What's your favorite outdoors/nature spot in the US? National parks, camping, etc.
What's your favorite non-US city that you've visited? What was particularly great about it?
Best museum you've ever visited?

1. Glacier, with the (huge) caveat that I haven't been to any of the big California parks with the exception of the Muir Woods. 2nd the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, though, that's an amazing place.

Favorite non-park spot is downeast Maine, specifically Eastport, where my parents grew up and where I have a lifetime attachment.

2. I'm an American cliche here: it's Paris for me. First city outside of the US/Canada I visited, and did so late (30ish), so I had a lifetime of build-up to that point. It's since also become the first place we took the kids outside the US, so I'll have that attached to it.

3. Agree on the British Museum, so I'll use this to plug some unmentioned ones in the US: the Phillips Collection in DC is probably the best art museum in DC. It's not free and is relatively far from the rest of the touristy stuff so goes unnoticed by most visitors. The Hirshhorn is also great.

Minneapolis punches above its weight: the MIA is great (and free!), and the Walker, though not generally my taste, is one of the big 5 or 6 modern art museums in the country. Presumably all that lumber/railroad wealth from the turn of the 19th/20th century gets the credit.
   212. BrianBrianson Posted: September 23, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5882130)
But I walked around for two hours trying hard to feel something in reaction to the exhibits - this would have been late 2014/early 2015 - and completely failed, so perhaps I am just not cut out for conceptual art.


I felt boredom. And irritation that I'd gone so far to be bored by art the creators had clearly put no thought or effort into (this isn't wholly fair - there were a couple of pieces I thought were good. But it was the case of the 99% spoiling the bunch. After walking through three rooms, I remarked to one of the women I'd went there with I'd only seen one piece that was any good, and she knew exactly which one it was).

I think it's true that if I'm travelling, I'd usually go for something more specialised/regional than if I'm being served locally. So, when I visited Paris, yeah, I wanted museums with a lot of French stuff. Now that I live here - I want something broader. But - yeah, when I went to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and saw a few generic mummies ... that wasn't very interesting. The stuff on the history of Birmingham's industrial development was much more interesting. But the Brummies probably felt the exact opposite. And while I quite liked the Brussels' Comic Strip Museum - I don't think I'd find it as repeatable as the Field Museum probably is (I mean, I've been there once, but I liked it). Of course, every time I drive the Loyalist Parkway and see the sign that says "Bath Museum" I get really excited. Until I realise it's a museum about the history of Bath, Ontario.
   213. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5882151)
I'm really not understanding the hate for the Tate Modern. It's a great building, great views from the observation deck outside of the cafe at the top, and there are plenty of works in the collection from various great artists. I was just there in April and, while it was not my favorite museum experience of all time, I enjoyed it just fine.
   214. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5882158)
I found the Museum des Arts et Metiers in Paris really, really exciting. It is devoted to old scientific instruments and other technical devices. Early typewriters, mechanical calculators, surgeon's tools,, etc. Flying machines. What I found remarkable was the sheer craftsmanship that went into these things. We continue to venerate old great paintings and sculptures, but have largely forgotten about the extraordinary amount of skill that people used to need to do things like grind lenses and fabricate tools. I think that the expertise that went into creating this astrolabe easily matches what you see in an art museum.
   215. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5882160)
The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., is pretty cool, or at least it was in 1/93. It was pretty much across the street from the sessions I attended as a participant in the Poynter Institute's "New Leaders in the Newsroom" seminar (I'd actually been an editor for 2 years & a month, but had only just been named night city editor), the journey to which & where also marked my first plane ride ever at age 33. (I've made a whopping 4 more since then.)
   216. Davo Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5882168)
Director: “Just sit in the chair like a normal human being.”

Sam Neill: ....
   217. BrianBrianson Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5882170)
That the Tate Modern is a great building in a great location just makes me hate it more for wasting a great building in a great location.
   218. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5882180)
Favorite by no means connotes best:

What's your favorite outdoors/nature spot in the US? National parks, camping, etc.
A waterfall in Hanging Rock State Park (NC) where I made out with someone early in our relationship. Less about the place than the moment, one of those when you feel like nothing else exists. Transcendence is powerful stuff, man.
Least favorite: any swamp. F swamps.

What's your favorite non-US city that you've visited? What was particularly great about it?
Montreal is my favorite city. I also have spent only a few hours outside of the US and Canada so...

Best museum you've ever visited?
Best? Man, I dunno. Not helped here by a long history of going to the "wrong" ones - like hitting the Museum of Contemporary Art but not the Art Institute in Chicago.
It's not the best by any means, but I always look forward to the Freer when in DC... Guggenheim NYC was the most disappointing.

---
I was walking to the MIA when I got texted to help someone whilst there for a few days this summer; sounds like I missed out. (Did do the Walker's sculpture garden, where I was briefly curious about a piece that turned out to be a trash can.)
   219. Lassus Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5882184)
Least favorite: any swamp. F swamps.

As a habitat I know the Everglades need to remain the Everglades. As a tourist attraction, ugh.
   220. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5882188)
Lassus gets it.
   221. Nasty Nate Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5882192)
I like swamps, bayous, and marshes. I'd go back to the Everglades.
   222. Lassus Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5882197)
What's your favorite non-US city that you've visited?

Hanoi. I love Vietnam, although I've only been there once. In my fantasyland, that's where I retire to (Not the city, the coast). If, you know, I'd ever be capable of actually retiring. HAR!

   223. Baldrick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5882204)
So many great recs here. I think folks have hit all of my personal favorites. The Louvre is the 'best' museum IMO (with the Uffizi and National Gallery not far behind), but the slightly more specific ones are a bit more exciting to talk about. My personal pitch is for the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Highly curated, which makes it possible to legitimately see every piece there in the two-hour window that you get to visit. They do wonderful special exhibits, too.

I'm a big fan of the Tate Modern, not necessarily for the long-term stuff (which is good but not really any better than some of the other big modern art museums), but they generally have at least one installation piece that absolutely knocks my socks off. I've been five times, and on four occasions there's been something wonderful.

For parks and things, you really can't go wrong with the inner circle cliche stuff (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Niagara, etc.). But probably my favorite place is the Badlands. I'm also a huge fan of the northern Michigan lakeshore (the UP, the Sleeping Bear Dunes). Acadia is wonderful, too. And I grew up in the northwest, so the Cascade mountains and Mt. Baker have a dear place in my heart - especially for the opportunity to find wild huckleberries.
   224. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5882205)
I was in the Everglades last winter, and was surprised to learn that in the dry season it's more of a grassland than a swamp (also, no flamingos. WTF?!). Anyhow, we read about the canoeing you can do there, camping on little platforms over the water, and I'd like to do that some day.
   225. Baldrick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5882206)
So I also like more focused museums. One of my favorites I've been to is the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The entire museum is dedicated to a single boat, an extremely well-preserved and immense 17th century warship. This ship was the aircraft carrier of its day, a floating city almost, and easily rewarded a few hours of careful study.

I was in Stockholm in February and everyone told us to go to this. I was a little skeptical, but figured we had to give it a shot. It was obviously great, and my skepticism was totally unfounded.
   226. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5882214)
(with the Uffizi and National Gallery not far behind), but the slightly more specific ones are a bit more exciting to talk about. My personal pitch is for the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Highly curated, which makes it possible to legitimately see every piece there in the two-hour window that you get to visit.

Oh definitely, strong agree on both of those.
   227. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5882215)
Anyhow, we read about the canoeing you can do there, camping on little platforms over the water, and I'd like to do that some day.
Say what now?

"Yessir, this here is a 100% guaranteed alligator-proof canoe! Double your money back!"
   228. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5882217)
That's part of the fun of it.
   229. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5882220)
The Guggenheim NYC is IMHO more an exhibition space than a museum: if they have a good special exhibit, it's a great visit. (We've only been there a few times.) I had a great time there with older son when he was a wee prat (pre-school age) back in the mid 80s. Work by Richard Long, a British artist who takes walks, collecting sticks, rocks, mud, and documenting with photos. It was an oddly compelling experience, all this stuff winding up the Guggy's spiral.

Two years ago while we were in Inverness we spent a day over in Elgin. Great 13th century cathedral, which had to be rebuilt after the local nobleman got pissed off at the bishop for not paying his protection money (seriously!). Climbed the tower and were trapped there for about 15 minutes while a busload of Spanish tourists came up the stairs. Then we went to the town museum, which had been started by interested local amateurs in the mid-19th century, and is still staffed mostly (if not entirely) by volunteers. Fascinating collection of household items from the last century and a half of British life, as well as older artifacts such as Pictish carvings. Lovely time, and of course it's free (but you're welcome to leave a donation, hint hint). Which you should.

We'd actually gone to the town to visit the distillery (Glen Moray) but didn't want to start on the whisky at 10 AM. Very nice distillery tour, very nice whisky, and they were very generous with the samples. Running for the bus afterwards was pretty hilarious.
   230. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5882223)
Oh, the Viking ship museum in Oslo is really cool too.
   231. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 23, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5882242)
Not my favorite city in Europe, but Stockholm is pretty nice. The whole harbor and islands are great. The Vasa is worth the visit. However, I would recommend a summer visit. It can be pretty damn cold in winter.
   232. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 23, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5882252)
We're planning a trip to Gotheburg in a month or two, in point of fact, as we're looking at Sweden as possibly a place to buy a house and settle down for a while in a couple of years. We're targeting Uddevalla/Trollhatten region. I've spent a few days in Stockholm and Malmo and I've been up to Sundsvall a couple of times. I'm trying to set my wife's expectations that November is likely to be miserable, but if she likes Sweden in winter, I guess we're pretty much all set.

Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge was fun, actually. I had forgotten about that one.
   233. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5882288)
My fiancee and I are getting married next winter. We're currently debating whether or not to go to Vienna and other parts of Austria (and possibly Munich and/or other nearby cities). Has anyone here explored Austria in the winter? Are we stupid for going during the winter? Or will we be able to avoid some of the crowds and enjoy the coffee houses, museums, and everything else indoors? Neither one of us is a great skier, but we're interested in skiing as well.
   234. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5882290)
as we're looking at Sweden as possibly a place to buy a house and settle down for a while in a couple of years


Are you old, or independently wealthy, or digital nomads, or other?
   235. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5882294)
Considering the amount & distance of traveling they do, I assume that just about everyone else here is independently wealthy.
   236. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5882298)
as we're looking at Sweden as possibly a place to buy a house and settle down for a while in a couple of years


Are you old, or independently wealthy, or digital nomads, or other?


I have heard good things about reindeer herding.
   237. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5882302)
My fiancee and I are getting married next winter. We're currently debating whether or not to go to Vienna and other parts of Austria (and possibly Munich and/or other nearby cities). Has anyone here explored Austria in the winter? Are we stupid for going during the winter? Or will we be able to avoid some of the crowds and enjoy the coffee houses, museums, and everything else indoors? Neither one of us is a great skier, but we're interested in skiing as well.

Vienna is wonderful. If you stay in the central city (inside the "Ring"), most of the sites should be walk-able, even in winter. If you want to, you can easily spend 5 or 6 days there.

Vienna-Venice would be a pretty cool honeymoon combo. Say 5 days and 4 days.
   238. manchestermets Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5882303)
I've only been to Vienna in the summer, but it strikes me as the kind of place that would look very pretty with Christmas lights all over it - there will probably be a big Christmas market as well.

Not been anywhere else in Austria since a school trip 30+ years ago, so can't really remember much from that trip.
   239. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5882306)
I've only been to Vienna in the summer, but it strikes me as the kind of place that would look very pretty with Christmas lights all over it - there will probably be a big Christmas market as well.

Can confirm. I was there in late November, Christmas season was in full swing, and it was great. Cold, sure, but still really walkable and their transit system is easy and accessible.

Presumably February is colder and less charming without the Christmas stuff, so I guess it would depend on the timing.
   240. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5882314)
Considering the amount & distance of traveling they do, I assume that just about everyone else here is independently wealthy.


Can't respond, busy planning a weekend jaunt to Zanzibar. It's just a quick hop from my pied-à-terre in Monaco.
   241. Baldrick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5882333)
Not my favorite city in Europe, but Stockholm is pretty nice. The whole harbor and islands are great. The Vasa is worth the visit. However, I would recommend a summer visit. It can be pretty damn cold in winter.

I'm going back in December!

But then hopefully again in June. My wife is working with a team at Uppsala and I'm coming along while she's there. Definitely looking forward to the June trip more than the winter one. Though it's always amazing to spend time in different places.
   242. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 24, 2019 at 03:01 AM (#5882485)
Are you old, or independently wealthy, or digital nomads, or other?


Depends how you count it! Just turned 40, almost certainly not, to a large extent 'yes', and absolutely. It would be our first purchase.

Housing in Sweden definitely isn't the cheapest overall, but when you look outside Stockholm/Uppsala/Gotheburg, things get a lot more realistic. Part of the reason that Uddevalla was one of the first places we looked was a property that just sold in that area, which ticked an awful lot of boxes and was, by the standards of having lived in SE London for a decade, deeply affordable.

I have heard good things about reindeer herding.


It's the wolverine wrangling that attracts me.


Can confirm. I was there in late November, Christmas season was in full swing, and it was great. Cold, sure, but still really walkable and their transit system is easy and accessible.


I had been hoping for the same in Berlin a few years back, but we visited just after New Year and the cold was excruciating. Partly self-inflicted because I always want to walk everywhere, but still, it was punishing. Hoping to get down to the Cologne Christmas markets this year, as the Dusseldorf offerings are a little disappointing.
   243. BrianBrianson Posted: September 24, 2019 at 03:11 AM (#5882487)
Considering the amount & distance of traveling they do, I assume that just about everyone else here is independently wealthy.


No, I'm an academic. Almost all my travelling is work related, or pretty local but I've had to move from Canada to the UK to the US to France to stay employed. I think I've taken three personal vacations by airplane in my life, and they were London->Paris, London->Dublin, and London->Corfu, all Ryanair, so maybe €50/pop.
   244. Davo Posted: September 24, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5882501)
The UNCUT GEMS trailer is out. The newest film from the Safdie Brothers, starring Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett.
   245. Davo Posted: September 24, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5882682)
it also has Idina Menzel and Mike Francesca and The Weeknd.
   246. Howie Menckel Posted: September 24, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5882684)
Mike tosses an F-bomb in a cameo, no kidding
   247. phredbird Posted: September 24, 2019 at 05:53 PM (#5882709)

I'm going to be in New Orleans before the end of the year. How's their World War 2 Museum?


when? i will be there in october.

the WWII museum was pretty impressive when i went years ago, they've since expanded exponentially so that now it takes up a couple of blocks in the old warehouse district. when i went, i was impressed and overwhelmed by all the stuff and info they had crammed into the original space.

so, either the expansion has allowed them to spread it out a little and make it easier to see what you want to see, or it's even more of too much of a good thing.
   248. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5882986)
The first major label single from my current favorite band. I'm a bit hesitant to call anyone my favorite band after having my (then) favorite band break up two years in a row, but someone has to wear the mantle.

It seems that all the indie bands I like are either breaking up or signing with major labels. This is Regal Lily's "Hana Hikari", their first single on Ki-Oon after three indie EPs. They seem to have made the transition while keeping to their strengths, a seemingly fragile sound that masks their toughness, and a willingness to throw discordant bits into their songs, while keeping an inherent gift for melody. It don't think it's a co-incidence that they signed with chatmonchy's former label. I like this song a lot; the one thing that bothers me about the single is that the b-side is "Witch", a remake of a (very good) song from their first EP. I'd assume that it's an attempt to have it heard by a wider audience, but for a long-time fan, it seems unnecessary. I'd rather have heard another new song.
   249. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5883046)
Great topic. Who is your current favorite band? (I assume we're talking about bands that are at least still releasing stuff, and are preferably even in their prime)
   250. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5883052)
I think mine might be Unknown Mortal Orchestra, which has kind of a lo-fi bedroom psychedelic sound, that has lately incorporated more soulful funky Stevie Wonder / Prince influences.

So Good at Being in Trouble
   251. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5883056)
Vortex, do you have a feeling for how popular your excellent punchy guitar-driven Japanese chick rock is in Japan itself? We had a depressing talk in another thread recently about the apparent slow death of rock n roll in mainstream America... it would be nice to think that there's a solid bastion of creative rock somewhere out there.
   252. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5883092)
Vortex, do you have a feeling for how popular your excellent punchy guitar-driven Japanese chick rock is in Japan itself? We had a depressing talk in another thread recently about the apparent slow death of rock n roll in mainstream America... it would be nice to think that there's a solid bastion of creative rock somewhere out there.


I'd be lying if I said it was hugely popular - it's a niche, but one that does intersect the mainstream from time to time. The most popular of the bands that fit that description is probably SCANDAL - they've never had an album hit #1, but they've hit #2 and #3 on three occasions each (which must have been a bit frustrating). They've played multiple arena tours, and regularly sell out 10,000 seat halls. Chatmonchy had three albums hit #2 (do I sense a theme here?) and had multiple Top-20 hit singles - they sold out the Budokan in Tokyo (the Madison Square Garden of Japan) for their farewell gig. So while most bands of the genre as a whole aren't hugely popular, the more commercially successful ones have had an impact. And as I noted above, the major labels in Japan have been signing many of the bands in the genre over the past couple of years, so they must think that someone is interested in buying their music. And the sheer number of new such bands in the genre is a sign that the scene is very healthy, even if it is a niche.

As for Japanese music as a whole, the charts are dominated by pop music, and especially idol groups. But rock seems to still have more of a place in the overall music scene there than it does in the US - in Japan, rock bands still have hit singles. For example, DIR EN GREY, a hard rock band that's been around since the late 1990s, have a song at #8 on this week's singles chart, which would be unlikely for a similar band here.
   253. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2019 at 07:02 PM (#5883095)
Jason Isbell is my favorite current artist. Just such a fantastic songwriter. If it has to be bands, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit.
   254. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2019 at 07:08 PM (#5883096)
Vortex, you definitely have a "type" as far as bands go - have I asked you what it was that got you into Japanese rock bands, and particularly female-fronted Japanese rock bands, in the first place? Also what it is about that particular type of band that is consistently more appealing than other types. I'm curious.
   255. The Rare Albino Shrieking Goat of Guatemala. Posted: September 25, 2019 at 07:24 PM (#5883098)
How's their World War 2 Museum?


Recommended.
   256. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: September 25, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5883104)
Favorite band in their prime is probably Parquet Courts. Nothing revolutionary, just versatile rock music, strongly influenced by early punk, and done very well, IMO.

Seeing them next month at a beer/music festival. Looking forward to it.
   257. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 25, 2019 at 08:20 PM (#5883109)
Ginger Baker's family is reporting that he is critically ill.

https://twitter.com/GingerBDrums/status/1176944810986549248
   258. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:34 PM (#5883161)
Vortex, you definitely have a "type" as far as bands go - have I asked you what it was that got you into Japanese rock bands, and particularly female-fronted Japanese rock bands, in the first place? Also what it is about that particular type of band that is consistently more appealing than other types. I'm curious.


Ichiro. Seriously. Ichiro indirectly had a huge influence on my life which had little to do with baseball. I'd always casually admired Japanese culture, but my interest in the country exploded after Ichiro came to Seattle. As he became my favorite player, I wanted to learn more about Japan, and fell in love with its culture. The more I explored Japanese popular culture - J-rock, anime, manga, film - the more I found that I loved it and identified with it, to the point where most of the music, TV shows, and movies I listen to and watch these days is Japanese.

As far as music goes, my local library system has a decent collection of Japanese language music CDs, and that provided the gateway. I checked out PUFFY’s album “Honeycreeper”, pretty much at random, put it on and within 30 seconds of the opening notes of "Oriental Diamond", I was hooked. I was absolutely gobsmacked. A guitar riff swiped from the Beatles’ “Revolution”, an insistently catchy keyboard riff, and two female singers singing in close harmony. It was fun, it rocked, and I’d never heard anything quite like it. There was a palpable joy that permeated the song that’s missing from so much Western rock. I felt like that was the sound I’d been looking for all of my life. I immediately started tracking down their other albums, and investigating other Japanese acts. From there, it snowballed. The existence of the Internet, and places like YouTube, made finding information much easier than it would have been in the pre-Internet era.

I’ve always loved music. I spent 25 years from the early ‘80s to the mid-2000s writing about music professionally, from indie rock to folk. So I’ve always been open to listening to new things. And being a music writer probably explains why I like to try to get to people to listen to music I enjoy. Japan has the second largest music industry in the world. Much of the music there is terrible, as with any other country. But much of it is really good. And I suddenly found myself being exposed to dozens of acts whom I’d never heard before, that I discovered I liked. It was like being a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t believe that all of these songs existed without me having any previous idea that they were there. And the first Japanese acts I learned to love were PUFFY, YUI, Ringo Shiina (whose songs Ichiro used as walk-up music with the Mariners) and the brilliant green – all of whom have female singers. There’s just something about the sound of the Japanese language that I love – it sounds beautiful, even if I can’t understand the meaning of the words. And I prefer the female singing voice over the male. I’ve always taken Sandy Denny over Paul McCartney.

It didn’t take long when investigating Japanese music to learn that the all-female band genre is much more prominent there than in the West- Shonen Knife, for example, is one of the few Japanese bands whose name Westerners recognize. And I’d always liked Western bands in the genre, from Fanny, to the Slits, to the Go-Gos and Bangles, to Sleater-Kinney, to the Donnas. I mentioned in my post above that it’s a niche in Japan. It is, but it’s a huge niche when compared with its prominence in Western rock. The sheer number of good all-female bands in Japan is staggering. There’s a web site that lists bands in the genre – last time I looked, they had about 700 entries. That dwarfs the amount of prominent bands in the genre in the west. And there’s a lot of variety, from punk to pop to heavy metal. NEGOTO sounds nothing like BAND-MAID. There’s also a lot of songwriting talent there.

And that’s just the all-female bands. Add female-fronted bands, and female solo artists, and the number becomes exponentially more. Basically, I fell down the rabbit hole, like Alice did in Wonderland. I tend to be someone who goes all-in when I discover something I like, whether baseball history, model aircraft, or music. And I discovered that a) I loved the music, and b) I’d only just discovered the tip of the iceberg. I’m still falling, and I’m still learning.

I don’t want to make it sound like I only listen to female-fronted bands. There are lots of Japanese bands led by males I like – ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, indigo la End, the Yoshida Yohei Group, RADWIMPS, etc. And there are still western acts I love. But the vast majority of acts that I want to share with people are the female-fronted and all-female Japanese acts. I feel as if I don’t do it, most people will probably never hear these bands. I fully realize that most people won’t love them as much as I do. But every time that someone says, “Thanks - I liked that song”, it makes me feel like I’ve provided a useful service.
   259. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:55 PM (#5883165)
Good call on Parquet Courts. Even my 10/8 year old girls like it when I play it, not sure if I should have revealed that. I think they are on a limited tour lately, and no record in a couple years, but I love Alvvays. Soft spot for female leads. Sunflower Bean is strong too.
   260. Baldrick Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5883172)
My current favorite band had been Frightened Rabbit for pretty much the whole last decade. Very sad.

So with Scott Hutchison's death, the title probably passed to Japandroids. If she counts as a 'band' it might be Grimes. The War on Drugs are another competitor.
   261. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:26 PM (#5883173)
Ichiro. Seriously. Ichiro indirectly had a huge influence on my life which had little to do with baseball.
Of course. He could have a huge influence on anyone's life if he wanted to.

That's a great "origin story," and your passion for discovery really comes through. I was very much the same way as a kid as far as going all-in on hobbies and interests. Unfortunately I haven't felt that drive in a while, through probably some combination of the realities of adult life and also just losing some of that "spark." Your post makes me miss it. Thank you for sharing.
   262. Baldrick Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5883174)
Jason Isbell is my favorite current artist. Just such a fantastic songwriter. If it has to be bands, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit.

Southeastern is one of my albums of the decade. Haven't loved everything since then, but he's definitely still on the shortlist of my favorites. Kacey Musgraves would be another.
   263. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2019 at 11:55 PM (#5883178)
Isbell is right in the sweet spot for country/rock for me. I call it the "Isbell Line" - artists who go much further onto the country side tend to lose me. Sturgill Simpson, for example, is juuuust on the wrong side of the Isbell Line. I like a lot of what I've heard from Kacey Musgraves, but some of her stuff is also just a bit over the Isbell Line. Are you familiar with her husband, Ruston Kelly? I'm a big fan. He's also right in the sweet spot.
   264. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:02 AM (#5883179)
Thank you for sharing.


You're welcome. And I agree that Jason Isbell is an excellent songwriter.
   265. jmurph Posted: September 26, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5883235)
Hard to pinpoint a favorite current band, but my snap go-tos for this question have been Wilco and Bruce Springsteen for practically 20 years, one of whom is still releasing great music, one of whom is still releasing...music (hey, he's earned it, I'm not judging).

But the current band I most anticipate new stuff from has probably been Spoon for a while now.

I will say I've come across, or been made aware of, some new (to me) stuff lately that's been exciting. As a nearly 40 year old dad with very little personal time, that's kind of hard, and I know many of you can relate to that. Some stuff I've been into lately:

Future Teens (Reminds me of lots of stuff I listened to in 1999, helped by the fact that they're from Boston- "Frequent Crier" basically puts me back in my dorm room.)
Slaughter Beach, Dog
pronoun
   266. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5883241)
I mean Radiohead is probably still my favorite band, and I thought their last album was very good, but they seem to have passed into a kind of different category by now, a "respected Gods of rock" kind of category, and I consider them separate from the youngier/hungrier/busier bands that are releasing their best work right now. There are other 90's bands I'm still into that keep releasing good new material - like Yo La Tengo every once in a while, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre is actually still very prolific - but still they seem to have passed into a rocker emeritus status.
   267. Lassus Posted: September 26, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5883247)
I'm actually going to see my favorite band in a couple of weeks. Redd Kross is opening for the Melvins on Oct. 7 in Syracuse. Which is going to be weird as shit, but. I'll probably leave before or in the first 15 minutes of the Melvins, who never really interested me.
   268. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 26, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5883252)
Favorite band? Has to be Wire, who about 15 years ago picked up where they'd left off in the late '70s & the mid-to-late '80s without missing a beat, IMHO.

Otherwise, the Old 97's & KMFDM (new CD due to arrive in my mailbox tomorrow) have been remarkably steady performers for the last 2.5 (97's) to 3 (KMFDM) decades.

The Mekons remain huge favorites, but they've been pretty uneven the last 20-odd years, IMHO.
   269. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 26, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5883260)
My current favorite band is Vampire Weekend. I went and saw them a couple weeks back. There current album (Father of the Bride) is not my favorite, but still good.

I also really like St. Motel.
   270. Lassus Posted: September 26, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5883264)
Redd Kross is an OLD band. I feel guilty for not having a favorite band that's newer.
   271. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5883281)
Bleachers, although only 2 albums. And not really sure if they're a band or just a Jack Antonoff project.
   272. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5883282)
I'd probably go with Shearwater at the moment. Most of my favorite new recordings are individual artists, though.
   273. Baldrick Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5883284)
I mean, what's a band, really?
   274. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 26, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5883289)
War of Drugs, that's a good band. Pixies and Interpol still put out good R&R.
   275. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5883292)
Yeah, I usually don't see a good reason to distinguish between band and individual artist.
   276. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5883296)
I mean, what's a band, really?

Yeah, I usually don't see a good reason to distinguish between band and individual artist.

In my case, it's not really whether it's a band or an artist. It's more that I have no idea whether he's going to keep making albums. Fun. was big (they won best new artist) and then they broke up. Antonoff has been doing a ton of other stuff so I don't know if making new albums under his own name or band is a priority for him.
   277. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5883297)
a Jack Antonoff project
How does Anton feel about that?
   278. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5883299)
Wire


Redd Kross


You two are no longer allowed to criticize anyone for talking about classic rock.
   279. Lassus Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5883303)
Fair point, although it's somewhat more about the endless, constant, 40 years of radio airplay.

But I'll repeat: fair point.
   280. Srul Itza Posted: September 26, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5883455)
For sheer, massive "this is a batshit alien terraforming accident" scope, I'd hit the Badlands in South Dakota and the Great Salt Lake and accompanying flats in Utah.


I felt that way in southern Utah, particularly parts of Zion, and Bryce Canyon
   281. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2019 at 08:11 PM (#5883480)
I finally saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which I found fairly meh. It felt like Tarantino had a setting - a vibe - a few characters - but no plot. Many parts of the movie were obvious excuses to shoot films-within-a-film in different styles (50s television, commercials, variety show, spaghetti western, etc), or just to litter the movie with 60s pop-culture. It felt like he just really wanted to make a movie about the clash of the 50s and the 60s and didn't spend much time on the details. His narratives are always disjointed, but usually in a challenging way. In this one, it's disjointed but he keeps using lame narrative techniques, like a voiceover narrator that says obvious things at unnecessary times, or, in one scene, a ridiculous-looking Steve McQueen who gives about a minute of exposition and serves no other purpose.

I liked Pitt especially, and there are some warm moments in the film. Maybe it'll be more enjoyable upon further viewing.

A few weeks ago there was some chatter that died out because of spoiler concerns. I say, at this point, have at it.
   282. Howie Menckel Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:21 AM (#5883541)
for the Ric Ocasek crowd, a Vanity Fair piece
"It was a large studio with a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass window that overlooked gardens and the ground-floor terrace that Ric shared with his girlfriend, the unspeakably beautiful model Paulina Porizkova.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple more in love than those two. They hung on each other’s words and laughed uproariously over things an outsider couldn’t possibly understand. They spoke a language all their own that made you feel like you were eavesdropping on dolphins."
   283. BrianBrianson Posted: September 27, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5883584)
My favourite is, and always has been, and always will be, the Barenaked Ladies. It is what it is.

But, as an attempt to get my ear working for the French now that I'm living in Paris, I've been listening to a lot of Réveil and Cayouche. I never claimed to be highbrow (or smart, really, since that's like moving to Seattle and trying to practice your ear for English by listening to Frankie Boyle do standup).
   284. chisoxcollector Posted: September 27, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5883795)
Well, in pop culture adjacent news, about an hour ago Robert Irvine made me get in front of a crowd of people and do my best impression of an ape. It... didn’t go well!
   285. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 27, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5883797)
Fair point, although it's somewhat more about the endless, constant, 40 years of radio airplay.


Of course. Does anyone really think of, say, the Velvet Underground or the Stooges or the New York Dolls or -- at least in the U.S., where they were one-hit wonders -- T. Rex as "classic rock"? Hardly.
   286. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 27, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5883799)
I thought the VU were classic rock when I'd hear their hit on the classic rock station back in the 80s? So, yes.
   287. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 27, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5883801)
Well, in pop culture adjacent news, about an hour ago Robert Irvine made me get in front of a crowd of people and do my best impression of an ape. It... didn’t go well!
I'm thinking there may be a story behind this.
   288. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 27, 2019 at 08:17 PM (#5883853)
I thought the VU were classic rock when I'd hear their hit on the classic rock station back in the 80s? So, yes.


What hit was that? If they had one, it's news to me &, I suspect, everyone who pays attention to such things.

(I did hear Rock'n'Roll in Starbucks last week. I've certainly never heard it on a classic rock station.)
   289. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2019 at 08:57 PM (#5883860)
He's probably thinking of 'Walk on the Wild Side.'

gef, I wasn't saying that you listen to classic rock. What I was remembering was a thread where we were talking about Beatles vs Stones (or something like that) where you and Lassus complained about how old everyone here sounded. Well, who sounds old now?
   290. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5883866)
I've certainly heard songs like 'Sweet Jane' around, here and there - VU cannot be considered obscure - but no, never played on classic rock radio, certainly not in regular rotation.
   291. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 27, 2019 at 09:19 PM (#5883867)
Oops, yes - PF got it.
   292. Bote Man sez Deivi is MoY Posted: September 28, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5883955)
Just dropping in to drop a link to an outfit that is showing "classic" movies on the big screen so you can get the fix that you missed 20, 30, 40 years ago.

Fathom Events

I don't know who or what Fathom Events is, but I actually enjoyed watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture on a real, live big-a$$ movie theater screen a couple weeks ago for its 40th anniversary (which really doesn't come until Pearl Harbor Day). I just walked up to the box office and bought a ticket the old-fashioned way since my schedule was uncertain, so that's an option. You might have to drive a distance since they only show at a very limited number of theaters.

They also have Ghostbusters coming up in a week or so and some other stuff possibly of interest listed on their web site.

It takes a lot to motivate me to go to a movie theater to pay a healthy sum to watch any movie, but I found this experience to be enjoyable. The hidden bonus is that you won't find throngs of people (kids) filling the theater so you should have your pick of seats and no distractions. (Although there was a couple way up front who brought their very young daughter to ST:TMP, which was curious; I guess they couldn't find a babysitter or maybe nobody trusts babysitters any more??)
   293. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 28, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5883972)
Walk on the Wild Side is Lou Reed, not the Velvets. That's sort of like asserting that Tubthumping's popularity back in the day meant the Passion Killers had achieved mainstream success.
   294. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 28, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5883974)
As for listening to classic rock, I love tons of oldies, as my record and CD collection attest. CCR remains an abiding favorite (true also for Repoz, oddly enough). If that were most of all that I listen to, though, I'd consider myself a candidate for a nursing home.

Sort of like the gent whose comics histories I copy edit. He noted a couple of days ago on FB that his fave LP, Abbey Road, had just turned 50. Also a big Eagles fan. All one can do is shake one's head. It's sort of like that Primate who asserted a few years ago that his favorite restaurant is KFC. Jesus.
   295. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5883979)
If that were most of all that I listen to, though, I'd consider myself a candidate for a nursing home.

Old punks go to nursing homes too.
   296. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: September 28, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5883980)
Now get off my lawn while I listen to the new KMFDM, who've been together (minus a brief hiatus following major lineup changes circa 2000) only 32 or so years.
   297. Omineca Greg Posted: September 28, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5883981)
Get your healing from a song
Just when everything goes wrong
Play it right
Through the night
Till morning brings you light
And if some folk laugh at you
Let 'em all laugh they never knew
Oh all those scenes, to me it seems
Some folk never dream
(??), I feel a force
Rebel with some other cause
Old records never die

Hunter
   298. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: September 28, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5883984)
It's sort of like that Primate who asserted a few years ago that his favorite restaurant is KFC. Jesus.
You mean the home of the culinary end times known as the [https://twitter.com/Kate_H_Taylor/status/1173950116291653633]fried chicken and donut sandwich[/url]?
   299. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 28, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5884002)
I don't know who or what Fathom Events is


The majority of films I see in a theater are presented by Fathom Events; they show a lot of anime, both classic ones by Miyazaki and Kon, for example, and the newest ones from Japan that are worthy of a one-night showing in the US, but wouldn't be financially viable for a regular release. I put a link to their site in last month's thread when they were showing Kon's "Millennium Actress".
   300. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 28, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5884005)
Nothing wrong with having Abbey Road be your favorite album. It's a fantastic record.
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