Here’s what the Heave staff has been into this week!
The big media thing that occurred this week in the life of Matthew Archibald Brassil (not my middle name) was my picking up of House of Cards again. I saw again because, although I was anticipating the series greatly, I stopped after episode 4. The justification I had in mind was a stand against the oversaturation of dark characters. No one seems to have a code, or even a line, that they draw anymore. So when Frank Underwood entered the picture, the thought was maybe this Congressman would have a code, albeit a dark one. For the first four hours of Cards, Frank seems to have a line with his wife. He will say what he has to everyone but her, and so now it is clearer why episode 4’s finale of infidelity was an issue for me. Time passed, Don Draper and Walter White have since turned over new leaves, and the mood felt right again. In just a few hours, there was a complete turnaround. Frank and Claire’s relationship became clearer, and their rules were not at all as they had portrayed. I forgave. I am not 100% behind Frank, but I am certainly reinvested in the drama.
I totally couldn’t get my act together to submit for the year-end lists and such (for which I am deeply regretful!), but I have been obsessing over Ty Segall’s newest album Sleeper pretty much nonstop over the past week. Whereas his past albums have been very loud and vicious surf punk, Sleeper sounds like something that came out of the minds of some alternate universe’s nega-Beatles in the mid sixties—all very dark, droning acoustic guitar with very little accompaniment. In particular, “Queen Lullabye” just floors me every time I hear it with how immense and empty it is, and it’s been a long time since a song has done that to me.
One of my favorite shows as a kid was Batman: The Animated Series, a staple of the Fox Kids’ afternoon lineup in the earlier ’90s. Recently, there was some Batman graffiti, some in the Bruce Timm B:TAS style, discovered in an abandoned building in Belgium. Beautiful. I’d buy that for a dollar!
Now that the exhausting gauntlet of year-end lists has concluded itself, I’m able to slow down and listen to music that I’m not feeling forced to hear by one site or another. When I was younger (read: high school), one of my favorite albums was a compilation record called A Santa Cause, and it combined my two favorite things: acoustic balladry about being single at the holidays, and TRUE PUNK ROCK as I interpreted it at the time. Granted, that basically meant MxPx and New Found Glory, but whatever, I was 13 and I had a lot of feels. One of the songs from that record that I still really enjoy to this day is The A.K.A.s’ cover of Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” known to most as that hip-hop Christmas song at the beginning of Die Hard and to me as one of the best holiday songs ever recorded.