Tagged: music reviews

Review of This Is America, by Childish Gambino (Using One Scene from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Black Arrow)

While I have your attention, do be sure to read Stevenson’s Kidnapped. Alan Breck may just be my favorite character ever.

Okay, here’s how this review works. I describe the opening of the video, then I use a few lines from The Black Arrow to express my critical thoughts.

The video opens with a shirtless man whose immediate sex appeal rivals young Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, and Elvis Presley. Then we see him reach for his gun. And you know the rest.


The Good Hope was, at that moment, trembling on the summit of a swell. She subsided, with sickening velocity, upon the farther side. A wave, like a great black bulwark, hove immediately in front of her; and, with a staggering blow, she plunged headforemost through that liquid hill. The green water passed right over her from stem to stern, as high as a man’s knees; the sprays ran higher than the mast; and she rose again upon the other side, with an appalling, tremulous indecision, like a beast that has been deadly wounded… 

“Bootless, my master, bootless,” said the steersman, peering forward through the dark. “We come every moment somewhat clearer of these sandbanks; with every moment, then, the sea packeth upon us heavier, and for all these whimperers they will presently be on their backs. For, my master, ’tis a right mystery, but true, there never yet was a bad man that was a good shipman. None but the honest and the bold can endure me this tossing of a ship.”


Review of Whiplash, By Damien Chazelle

I don’t care if any of you watch WhiplashI care if filmmakers do.

Sure, it could’ve been better. I have no context for jazz music. I want to like it and know why I like it, but I don’t. Adding a few scenes which dropped subtle hints that answered “why jazz?” would’ve only made it better. But when I grin like a fool, shake my head in disbelief, write when it is past my bedtime, and what’s more, when I only gave half my attention to the film’s last forty minutes because the other half was busy re-budgeting my time and money towards future music instruction, I know someone just made an effing fantastic movie.

Review of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Timeless and universal.

I have a rule.  Well, Ecclesiastes has a rule that I believe is true.  It goes like this:  “There is nothing new under the sun.”  When it comes to “get rich quick” or “relationship” books, it is impossible for me to not use this standard.  If a book claims that it has come up with a new way to make money or keep a relationship strong, then, generally, I discard it promptly.  I just simply refuse to believe that mankind’s soul has changed in any appreciable way in our existence.  That being said, Chapman’s The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate is nothing new.  And that is good.

The book’s largest flaw is that it is a book.  It really could have been a flyer; I’m picturing a large picture representing perfect bliss overlayed by a few sentences at the bottom.  The sentences being something like this:

People express and feel love in different ways.  It seems that there are five ways.  They include physical touch, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation.  Try to speak your partner’s language(s).

Really, though, I’m proud to say that there is an even more fun way to help you figure out your love language(s).  How I like to think about these five languages is via one language:  song.  Want to know which language is yours using songs?  Then continue reading.

To start, if you think Kevin Costner defeats Errol Flynn in the battle of Robin Hood’s, we all know the only reason this happened is because Errol didn’t have Bryan Adams’ classic ballad “Everything I Do (I do it for you)” to accompany his swashbuckling sword fights.  And your choosing Kevin means that your language is likely “Acts of Service.”

On the other hand, if everyone in the room but you noticed that you sat up during Moulin Rouge as Ewan McGregor belted out “My gift is my saw-ong…” in tribute to Elton John’s unforgettable “Your Song“, your language might just be “Words of Affirmation”.

If it is impossible not to feel warm all over when somebody tells a story about the summer of 1991, the summer during which you recall hearing Extreme’s “More Than Words” on every radio station across the nation as you drove to the west coast to greet Gulf War One’s returning victors, then you’re only hurting yourself if you don’t own up to “Physical Touch” being your love language.

Next, and admittedly a bit of a stretch (but then again, it isn’t my language, so I wouldn’t identify with it.  Am I right Gary?), but if the only time you feel like someone really gets you is each year at Christmastime, specifically each time Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” is played, then your love language is “Gifts”.

Lastly, if you  can finish, “Eeeiiff eye-ee-eye-ee-eye (breath) shu-uld stay…” without hesitation, there can only be one conclusion.  Your love language is “Quality Time”.   (That Costner is receiving two shout-outs is beyond me.  By the way Ma, he’s looking great once again in an upcoming action flick “3 Days to Kill”.  Check out the trailer by clicking here.)

In the end, the book only takes a night to read.  Not that you need to anymore.  You’re welcome.


*Chapman, Gary D. The Five Love Languages. Chicago: Northfield Pub., 1992. Print.