Latest Blog Posts

by Anthony Merino

29 Jul 2015

Despite a few  Scooby Doo level of conveyance, writer/ creator Nic Pizzolatto finally starts giving the audience the kind of chemistry they expect.

I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man.
—Vince Vaughn as Trent, Swingers, 1996

It took until the sixth episode, but True Detective’s writer and creator, Nic Pizzolatto finally got around to giving his audience the single thing that engaged his viewers in season one; strong chemistry between two of the lead characters. The thing that drove season one was the complex relationship between Matthew McConaughey’s detective Rust Cohle and Woody Harrelson’s detective Marty Hart. With the exception of Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro and Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon, this lack of chemistry is, in part, due to none of the characters knowing each other prior to the beginning of the series. Additionally, Pizzolatto concentration on the character’s backstories has limited the amount of time for them to bond. While there were a few moments that popped, the exchange between Velcoro and Rachel McAdam’s Detective Ani Bezzerides at the start of the episode finally indicated that these three had a little bit of chemistry, but there were just as many moments that did not ring true. In episode four, Velcoro gives an existential angst-filled pep-talk to Taylor Kitsch’s Officer Paul Woodrugh, in which he comes off sounding like a self-important stepdad trying to cheer up his stepson after a little league loss.

by Adrien Begrand

29 Jul 2015

Classic gothic rock meets indie pop on this new band's debut single.

Plumbing the depths of early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Joy Division, Olympia, Washington band Dark Palms bring a welcome gothic tinge to indie pop, a little garish darkness to an often rigid style of music. Not too shabby for a band that only formed earlier this year.

by Greg M. Schwartz

29 Jul 2015

Veruca Salt is  back and ready to kick ass and it feels so good.

Photo: Tommy Cahill

It was not just another Wednesday night at the Soda Bar, a dive with a tiny stage that rarely hosts a band with platinum album sales. Veruca Salt was launching their first tour with their original lineup since the 20th century, a cross-country trek that will take them to a number of more venerable venues. But San Diegans were thrilled to have a chance to help the band kick off the tour and word even had it that some hardcore fans had traveled many a mile to witness the tour opener.

by Adrien Begrand

29 Jul 2015

Straddling multiple rock  genres at the same time, the Boston band's shimmering new single is bolstered by a gorgeous video.

Boston band the Shills have created an interesting hybrid of sounds on their latest album Keep Your Hands Busy, Vol. 2, enough to frustrate any critic from making quick reference points for readers. There’s a touch of the angularity of post-hardcore, the effervescence of indie pop, the abstract nature of psychedelic rock, and the technical proficiency of progressive rock. A great example is the album’s first track “Oh, This Devilish Place”, a glossy, shimmering ear worm of a track that wriggles its way into your head with its sunny melodies and harmonies, not to mention some fantastic hand-claps at one point.

by Sloane Spencer

29 Jul 2015

Social Distortion launches  a 25th anniversary tour this week, playing their 1990 self-titled album in its entirety -- the album that introduced me to country music.

I did not grow up with country music. The first time I heard “Ring of Fire”, it was on a Social Distortion album. So for me, twang comes from a punk source as logically as it does anywhere else, and Southern California has a distinct take with music that I love. One of the first bands we ever featured on Country Fried Rock was former Agent Orange musician, Steve Soto, with his two “country” records, with the Twisted Hearts. So, hearing that Jonny 2 Bags of Social Distortion has a solo country album ran right up my alley.

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Sex, Drugs and Alternative Folk: 'True Detective' - Episode 6 - "Church in Ruins"

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"Despite a few Scooby Doo level of conveyance, writer/ creator Nic Pizzolatto finally starts giving the audience the kind of chemistry they expect.

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