Basement Dwelling: “SATURATION” by BROCKHAMPTON

http://bit.ly/2rY0D48

“I want Brockhampton to be something that lasts beyond me. Yeah, that’s the goal.” – Kevin Abstract, founding member of BROCKHAMPTON.

The story of L.A.-based hip-hop outfit BROCKHAMPTON is a bit of an unconventional one, especially in the world of hip hop. The group formed after Kevin Abstract (real name Ian Simpson) made a post on a Kanye West fan forum looking for artists to collaborate and make music, following him being disowned by his family after coming out as gay (a main topic of his last project under the Kevin Abstract moniker, called American Boyfriend). He and the others that responded then relocated to a house in L.A., where each member resides and creates music together. Kevin just turned 20 a couple weeks ago, and the other members of the group are around the same age. Yes, that really is the story behind this group; material that I don’t think even some of the most skilled storyteller could come up with easily.

BROCKHAMPTON has been gaining traction steadily ever since their formation, with a healthy dose of singles and a scatterbrained, albeit super enjoyable mixtape with 2015’s All American Trash, which showed a great deal of promise and great tracks to match. Don’t begin to think that this level of heart and ambition doesn’t shine through on their new album, SATURATION (BROCKHAMPTON’s first proper LP), because that feeling permeates and consumes this project wholly.

Continue reading

Basement Dwelling: The Top 15 Albums of 2017 (So Far)

It’s been a year in which a week can feel like a year within itself, given the crazy-ass state of our world right now. But we’ve made it to June, and so we are at the midpoint of the year. You know what that means…LISTS! And you’re probably saying to yourself, “But Dan, it’s not the end of the year yet?” Yeah, I know, but why not talk about some of the best album releases so far.

In a year that’s been rife with amazing records, these are my top 15 albums released from January to May. My hope is that a lot of these choices flew under your radar, and that I can do my job properly by presenting you with new music. But if not, then hey, weren’t these records great? I also like the prospect of doing a list like this, simply because it will be interesting to see how drastically this list will change by December. It’s sure to be affected both by upcoming releases and the chance to dive deeper into some albums I previously missed.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, here are a few honorable mentions for y’all:

Continue reading

A Girl Walks Around In The Desert: A Review of “The Bad Batch”

http://bit.ly/2rNbaNB

One of my absolute favorite indie films of the past five years is Ana Lily Amirpour’s stylish vampire-noir, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. It tells a subdued, atmospheric tale of romance and horror while approaching genre conventions with a feminist take, all the while treating its viewers with striking visuals and an unforgettable soundtrack. It’s a film I love, and a debut that presented Amirpour as a visionary in the indie filmmaking scene; the film garnering an almost exclusively positive reaction from the larger film community including critics and fans alike.

Although Girl is her debut film, Amirpour’s expert work on the film gives the impression that she’s a veteran filmmaker; the film is just that impressively well-realized and notable. Which is why it’s surprising that her new film, The Bad Batch, comes off as amateurish by comparison. Amirpour serves as both the film’s writer and director (as she did on her first feature), and while her incredible aural and visual sensibilities translate over from Girl, it’s her writing that stumbles, lacking meaningful character development or a storyline worth investing in.

Continue reading

Interview with Janice Tuck Lively

Janice Tuck Lively

This interview with Janice Tuck Lively was conducted during the Spring of 2017 by Jet Fuel Review Editor Bree Scott. 

Janice Tuck Lively was a visiting author at Lewis University in March 2017, alongside poet Elizabeth Powell. She read an excerpt from a story she had been working on at the time, including an emotionally intense passage about a mother supporting her child through childbirth.

I had the chance to catch up with Lively after the reading — I took a class of hers for one semester at Elmhurst College before transferring to Lewis University. To say that she had a hand increasing my interest in micro-fiction is an understatement, as I had strictly been a poet before meeting her for the first time.

Continue reading

Editor’s Notes #192

Image source: http://editorialiste.blogspot.com

Good evening, blog readers! I hope you’ve been enjoying this weekend. It’s time for another round-up of our recent blog posts. But first, I have some very exciting news!

The latest issue of the Jet Fuel Review — issue #13 — is now available! We are very excited to present this new issue, with beautiful cover art from Damon Locks, a Chicago-based visual artist and musician. Be sure to check out this new issue because it contains work from some truly amazing writers, including a group of high school students from across the world in our special dossier.

On the blog, we have some new tunes for you to jam out to! Be sure to check out this post from a few weeks ago, as well as our recent late night edition of the Jet Fuel Jukebox.

As always, we have some stellar media reviews here on the blog. In her Book Corner, Sabrina recently reviewed My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Quinn Stratton, our comics blogger, wrote a post about Dan O’Bannon’s The Long TomorrowAnd finally, music blogger Dan Fiorio wrote a review of Gorillaz’ latest albumHumanz.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed our recent posts on the blog. Be sure to check out issue #13 of the Jet Fuel Review!

— Blog Editor, Mary Egan

 

Basement Dwelling: “Humanz” by Gorillaz

http://apple.co/2p2Sw2V

It’s bothersome to hear people talk about Gorillaz. Sure, Gorillaz are a widely loved and celebrated act, and they have been for nearly 20 years now. But one of their greatest strengths is also one of their biggest setbacks.

It’s idiotic to me that the animated world of Gorillaz, co-created by legendary underground comic artist Jamie Hewlett, and which serves as the stylistic umbrella for a global and multigenerational collaborative music project, proves to be such a turnoff for people.

I often hear, “I’m not in the mood to listen to a new Gorillaz record.” Or, “I haven’t listened to Gorillaz in years,” said with an uppity, I-have-no-time-for-this-kids-crap kind of pretension. I hear it all the time. But the worst is when I simply hear someone say, “I hate them.”

These all translate to, “I don’t want to listen to something that my anime-watching, comic-reading coworker listens to.” It’s bullshit and it totally exists — don’t deny it. It’s a very lazy argument, and I’d say that even without my personal bias. Gorillaz is a project that represents artistic unity and bridging gaps to deliver a message that we as a people desperately need, especially in our current turbulent dystopia. This is the point of Humanz’ entire existence.

Continue reading

Words an’ Pictures: I Need Your Magic – A Slice of 1970s Science Fiction

Over the years, there have been countless examples of fantastic science fiction depicted in the comics medium. This last week I was reminded of one of my absolute favorites, The Long Tomorrow.

http://bit.ly/2qCzI8Q

Written by Dan O’Bannon (perhaps best known as one of the screenwriters for Ridley Scott’s Alien) and drawn by Jean Giraud (perhaps better known by his pseudonym Moebius) in 1975 while the two were working on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s tragically unrealized film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, The Long Tomorrow has an impressive science fiction pedigree — one that it more than lives up to.

Continue reading