Get Out, Widows, & IGOR

Get Out – Jordan Peele’s first film I had avoided because I was afraid. I am really disappointed that I did, as this film is not focused on being scary. Rather it is focused on its social commentary, a welcome relief. The beginning build up is slow but incredibly well done, as it keeps us engaged with what will happen next. The finale is a bit over the top, and the story itself goes a bit overboard. That does not take away from what this film accomplishes, as it manages to be a fun and engaging horror with commentary to make it unique. Jordan Peele is a man of the pop culture moment, and it is understandable why this film elevated his status. 7.5/10

Widows – This was a film I wanted to see last year but unfortunately was unable to. This movie does a terrific job at being tight and ratcheting up emotion without using too much dialogue. It is also a unique Heist movie, as it forces characters into a heist rather than make them willful participants. It gives a heist film plenty of emotional weight, making it that much more rewarding than I expected. It also tells an incredibly complex story, but one that is deeply satisfying. My biggest complaint is that its tightness works against the film, as it is simply too complicated to compress. Complicated plots lead to subplots which lead to more subplots. I wish there were more time to really explore this but it simply runs out of time. This would have made for a terrific TV miniseries, but instead it is a very good movie, one still worth seeing even if it can be a bit confusing. 8/10

This album is so pretty, confident, and considered that you wonder why he named it IGOR. Tyler, the Creator’s not a freak or a goblin or a monster anymore.

I love Tyler, The Creator and with his release of his new album IGOR he begins to reshape his style after coming out of the closet on Flower Boy. His maturity is beginning to show, which is a much appreciated step since his days with Odd Future. One of my favorite parts of this album is how he plays with different gender roles, and attempts to craft a new persona. Particularly the music video for the song “Earfquake,” shows him playing with stereotypes and ideas that are brilliant.

However, I still wish he had an edge, and I miss it on this album. It is still a great project full of terrific songs, but it is about their artistic quality and less about Tyler’s emotions. Tyler’s emotions are what I find the most captivating, and that is sorely lacking on IGOR Part of what attracted me to Tyler was his deep-seated anger, and how he dealt with it.  In my favorite album of his, Wolf, he brilliantly fluctuated between anger and appreciation, struggling to put his feelings into music.  This album feels earned after the success and sincerity of Flower Boy, and I am glad that he has begun to figure out how to be happiest. I just miss some of the edge that got him famous in the first place, and I wish it was more present here.  

Lollapalooza Takeaways

Yesterday, I went to Lollapalooza in Chicago, my very first music festival. It was terrific and here are my main takeaways.

  1. I used to be scared of going to festivals like this because of the potential for mosh pits and awkward interactions. I now realize that concert festivals are better for this anxiety as it allows for more open space and more improvisation. It creates a fun atmosphere where you can still feel spread out.
  2. If you must choose between eight concerts and one concert festival, go to the concert festival. The diversity of acts and artists create an experience worth more than eight concerts, and gives listeners a chance to discover new artists and experience the location your festival is in. Whether it is through local food joints, or just walking around in the city it helps give you a connection to a city you otherwise would not be completely familiar with.
  3. If you are going to a concert festival to only see artists you are already know than you are wasting your time. The less you know the better, as it allows you to not only experience different genres and artists you would not otherwise listen to, but also truly focus on the performance itself not so much a specific song. I went on a day where I knew almost none of the artists and the artists I did know I generally did not want to see (Jack White being the exception). However, I found artists and bands I loved watching, and seeing them as performers helped me appreciate their talents. One of the great things about a concert festival is you can go to a stage and if you realize you do not like the artist, you can simply leave and go to another stage. Take advantage of this and use it to discover new artists.
  4. Manchester Orchestra and Durand Jones & The Indications are two great bands I discovered through this improvisation, and both are wonderful. They are exceptionally different in style, but that is a good thing and goes to show the benefit of a concert festival. If you have not listened to either I highly recommend both bands.
  5. Jack White is a rockstar and I had no idea how great of an artist he is until I watched him live. I have a new appreciation for rock and roll as well, as it is a thrilling and pure form of music. It can spiral into genuine craziness and absurdity, or step back into grounded solitude. It is a fascinating genre that I hope to dedicate more time to in the future.
  6. If you go to a concert to film it, you should stay at home. The purpose of a concert is for you to interact with the performance, not for you phone to do that for you.

If you ever get the chance go to a concert festival, regardless of the name or the artists listed. You will be guaranteed to have a good time and discover one or two artists you had no knowledge of before.