Music

Logan Square: Pessimism & Satire

Michael Metivier

Same old heartbreak song and dance, done yet again.


Logan Square

Pessimism & Satire

Label: Fearless
US Release Date: 2006-06-06
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

Ah yes, Pessimism and Satire, once twin pillars of '90s modern rock and punk, now two withering equine bones that countless bands refuse to stop kicking. With their best steel-toed Doc Martens on comes Chicagoland's Logan Square, and their debut disc under that moniker makes damn sure that it's got the right angle and velocity to make dust out of yesterday's race winner. Let's see, sickly green saturated buzz bin artwork depicting dank hospital corridors and x-rays? Check. Middle-school grade lyrics tarted up in junior college pop punk gloss? Check. Why do I have the feeling I've written this entire review before? Because too many bands with undeniable musical and vocal chops utterly waste their talents with embarrassing album-length screeds about some girl who had the good sense and taste to dump the lyricist's ass. "Buried" is a prime example: "I wasted so much time with you my dear / While you masquerade and tell us both ten thousand lies" frontman Brad Chagedes emotes, seconds before admitting "I can't pretend that I don't miss you". Brad! It's not that I don't sympathize, buddy, because I do. Breakups suck. But they don't get better by writing confused (read: not "complex" or "deep") schlock that is the fuel for so many Dr. Phils and Judge Judys. When you start "I'm So Sorry" by giving the finger to some girl who left you and moved on, and end it by telling her that when her heart is eventually broken by another guy you'll "lick her face and get a taste of all the tears [she] should have cried before", I have to root for the girl. As much as I enjoy a good face-licking, it's not nice to gloat. And though, on the surface, a stated goal like "We tried to make it so anyone with a day-to-day problem could find at least one song that tackles what they're going through," sounds respectable and populist and all that, day-to-day problems are called such because they're mundane, and are not the type that wallowing in Hyperbole and Immaturity helps any.

2

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image