brendan halpin

Review

Kind of a twist on the found footage genre, since it’s ostensibly a “lost” tape of the last broadcast (see what I did there?) of a national late night TV show.

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I was looking over my recent Bandcamp purchases and noticed that most of them happen to be bands with women singers. I didn’t set out to do this as some kind of project—it just so happened that these were the bands I was most interested in supporting. Maybe because women have been historically represented not only in the genres I like most (punk, power pop, garage rock, metal) but also in my own music collection? In any case, it makes a nice theme to tie together a post about some great music I’ve bought on Bandcamp! Buy tomorrow, May 3, and the artists will get an even bigger cut of the purchase price!

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Whilst I was sick, I decided I would watch an anthology horror movie because if I fell asleep partway through it would be easy to pick up later. So I started Satanic Hispanics prepared to nod off (especially since it’s 2 hours long, which feels like a lot when you’re exhausted from being sick) and wound up watching the whole thing!

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Watched this 3-season Spanish series on Amazon Prime, and I am baffled as to why this hasn’t become a bigger deal. I suppose it’s down to the fact that it’s subtitled, but this show has it all: Atmosphere! Sex! Violence! Betrayal! More Betrayal! Catacombs! More heel turns and face turns than a season of pro wrestling! In the name of God, what do you want from television if this isn’t it?

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I’m home sick (pro tip—if anyone ever offers you norovirus, say no), and I needed something that would be easy to watch. So I put on The Greatest Night in Pop, the documentary about the making of We Are the World.

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I went to my first metal show last night! Well, I guess it was the second if you count that year that Ozzfest was free.

I grew up listening to punk, which is sort of metal-adjacent, but the mainstream conquered punk in 1991, whereas the more extreme versions of metal remain pretty stubbornly un-commercial. I mean, I assume some of these bands make a living making their art, but nobody’s getting rich making black metal.

I’m drawn to art that gathers in misfits, as punk did when I was a kid, and so I have been slowly working my way into metal. I like the theatricality and the musicianship, but I’d still consider myself an outsider to the scene. (I mean, also I’m old as fuck, so). So this is pretty much going to be an outsider’s view of a metal show. Which means I don’t know all the proper names of the sub-sub-sub genres, for one thing, so don’t yell at me about that. Okay, off we go!

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As a former theater kid, I have a lifelong love of the theater and a sense of ongoing sadness that most theater is inaccessible to most people. I mean, yeah, there are often cheap student tickets available (but, of course, 50% of people in the USA don’t attend 4-year colleges), and if you jump on something quickly, you can sometimes find a ticket for 30 or 40 bucks, but for most professional performances in the Boston area, anyway, you’re looking at between 75 and 150 bucks per ticket.

So I’m always interested in efforts to make theater more accessible. I recently saw The Interrobangers, by M. Sloth Levine at the Boston Public Library. Tickets were pay-what-you-want, and, as a result of this (as well as the subject matter, probably), the crowd skewed much younger than a typical theater performance.

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I had never seen any of the previous seasons before watching season one, so instead of measuring season 4 against season 1, I’m going to do the opposite.

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Maps! Secret rooms! Forbidden knowledge! Libraries! This book checked a lot of boxes for me, and it’s definitely a fun, engaging read. Most of the big reveals were telegraphed pretty early on, so I can’t say anything that happened was terribly surprising, but still, I enjoyed the ride.

But of course I have some quibbles. Read on only if you’ve read the book—there are major spoilers ahead.

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Ah, Christmastime! Santa! Reindeer! People bleeding out in the snow!

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