Anyone still awake? Probably not. Oh well. We’re still going to put this brand new Jukebox up right now!
This will be our last regularly scheduled playlist of the year. We’re going to take a few weeks off until the very end of the year, when we will be publishing a special Top 50 Songs of 2017 Jukebox, along with our respective Top 10 Albums of 2017 lists. So be sure to check back in then for more lists featuring great music!
For now, though, Jake and I have 20 new tracks for y’all to try out, including new tracks from BROCKHAMPTON, MGMT, Charli XCX, and Sufjan Stevens.
Random fact: This is the only band that I know of who has undergone a major name change successfully. The band JR JR — formerly known as “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.” — released their single, “Control (Secretly Sorry),” earlier this year in October. They’ve just come off their nationwide fall tour, and the indie-pop band now gets to celebrate the widespread success of the song.
As the title insinuates, the song demands attention and takes control of the listeners immediately with loud, fast, and upbeat electronic music. Everything about this song is directly in-your-face. They do not hold back on the ‘kitchen sink’ use of what I’m assuming was every instrument they had available to them.
Over the course of two weeks in the summer of 2003, an indie film called The Room made an almost nonexistent splash when it screened at only two theaters in the heart of Los Angeles, returning a mere $1,800 on an apparent $6 million budget. The film should have likely disappeared from the annals of pop culture altogether, but The Room is one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of movies — one commonly (and deservedly) referred to as the greatest worst movie of all time. Its destiny would be to soon become a beloved cult-classic of larger-than-life proportions, with many of its biggest proprietors among Hollywood’s most well-known stars — one of which is James Franco, whose latest endeavor is based on the film’s ludicrous production.
Directly inspired by a 2013 novel of the same name and written by The Room co-star Greg Sestero, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is Ed Wood for the millennial generation. Like the infamous film it is based on, James Franco directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, and is unbelievably brilliant in his portrayal of the film’s notorious creator, Tommy Wiseau. Franco absolutely nails every aspect of the man from his accent to his mannerisms — almost to the point that it seems he was quite obsessed with Wiseau. His co-stars are similarly wonderful, with his A-list friends and frequent collaborators making up many of the supporting roles (including Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, and Josh Hutcherson).
“My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, place in a certain order and projected onto a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.”
— Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer
The 1959 film directed by Robert Bresson, Pickpocket, is a mosaic of human complexity as much as it is a defiance of morality through a character that is uncertain of life. The film is incredibly literary in its executions — being heavily inspired by Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment —with a director puppeteering his actors to escape his opinion of superficiality and including a main character that narrates throughout. Relating to my previous post on the auteur theory, Bresson was one of the directors that these theorists actually admired. He has a distinct presentation of his philosophy in his films, making him a quintessential image of an auteur. Pickpocket is no exception.
The Bressonian style emerges with its presentation of lifestyle, specifically one of a person who identifies with the profession of a pickpocket. The image of this specific pickpocket is what Bresson and his cinematographer, Léonce-Henri Burel, present through exceptional camerawork, which consists of tightly framed close-ups that make the viewer pay witness to these crimes. The camera also places no negative opinion on these crimes, being indifferent to these sequences and allowing the audience to create a positive or negative judgement.
This is the fourth year I’ve published a top records of the year list. And honestly, making this one was maybe the hardest. I’ve never had a year where my choices have flip-flopped as much as they have here. Even in years prior, my number one was always a clear choice, but this time around it balanced between a solid five records that I would interchange to potentially be deemed my favorite.
I think that stands as a major testament to how good music really was this year (or perhaps how big of a nerd I am). The best part about making this year’s list was how much of a challenge it was, and I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who had the audacity to pursue a life in music. From the struggling local act to the stadium fillers, thank you for making life so much sweeter for what you do.
I always say personal taste is like D.N.A., in that it’s all reactionary and a reflection of who you are; mirroring what you believe in. One type is never the same as another’s, and what works for one doesn’t apply to everyone, because it makes you who you are.
Great news, everyone! Spotify has released its personalized statistics that, if you have an account, give you a look at your year in listening. This is one of my favorite times of the year, because I get to find out how I listened to 32 days-worth of music these last 365 days. You can find yours at 2017wrapped.com
Anyways, this week on the Jukebox we have a great number of new artists highlighted within the 20 tracks included. Look out for songs by Daniel Caesar, Diet Cig, Sigrid, Kim Petras, and more!
Below is a review of the recently-released Thor: Ragnarok, written by Lewis University student Jerry Langosch.
Since 2008 with the release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios have been, like clockwork, pumping out energetic, focused films in their Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). They tell the tales of their plethora of superheroes and villains to the tune of millions of dollars in production costs, but billions in return from the box office, with 2012’s The Avengers being the shining star (making $1.5 billion on a $220 million budget). The Thor franchise, though, sticks out from the most from the bunch, as it is rooted in real Norse mythology. And though it is a tall order to hand over such material so heavily-rooted in mythology to any filmmaker, Marvel’s decision to put New Zealand’s Taika Waititi behind the third entry in this series is, astonishingly, the best move that the company has made in tapping directorial talent to date.