I’m sitting at home with a pounding headache and the lack of any drive to venture outside. I’ve felt like this for a little over a week now, though now a lot less physically ill (despite the headache). This should hopefully pass by tomorrow, but because of my sickness, I’ve missed the chance to see Yuck, U.S. Girls, Yo La Tengo, and Lee Renaldo live and for free. To kill time, I’ve worked, caught up on True Detective, spent hours listening to Apple Music mixes, and read a book that I would have been a lot better off skipping.
Nonetheless, I’ve still remained fairly active in terms of reading what’s going on in the world, listening to new albums, and trying to catch up on what’s in theaters, which is something I rarely do.
The new Titus Andronicus album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, is both an evolution for the band and a return to form. The group’s last album is pretty forgettable and throwaway, while this 27-track “punk opera” makes sense, with little filler and a variety of styles covered over the course of 90 minutes. I went into the album expecting to hate it, which is something I rarely do with music. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by new additions to the band’s sound (they finally have a rack tom!), along with guest vocals and string arrangements that should be superfluous, but aren’t. I only listened to the album a few times, so I can’t give it a proper review, and I don’t have much time to listen to a double-album several times over. Still, it’s worth a listen if you’re a fan of punk, Jersey-tinged Americana, indie rock, and a variety of subgeneres that are often done wrong elsewhere but given adequate attention on this record.
Though not news, per se, I recently read a few features about the death of Kitty Genovese, which occurred 50 years from last year. Though I knew the “37 witnesses” deal was partially fabricated by the newspapers, I didn’t know just how much actually happened that wasn’t accounted for in the press. For instance, one witness sacrificed her safety to actually comfort and spend time with Genovese at the crime scene, while several others placed calls as the attack happened. CityLab has a really good article about the myths and mistruths surrounding the case.
Another article that made the rounds in the last couple of weeks was the amazing New York magazine feature on Bill Cosby’s victims. Personally, I look forward to when Cosby has to testify again in court, as it hopefully sheds more light on these cases — more than the recently-unearthed deposition discovered by the Times.
I actually went to the movies in the last few weeks to see Ant-Man. If memory serves me correctly, it was the first time I went to the theaters in 2015. Though the movie was just okay, the experience was pretty amazing. It was my first time at Bay Ridge’s Alpine Cinema, and it quickly became my go-to theater. It’s clean, quiet, 13 minutes by bike, and relatively inexpensive. Plus, they show movies releasing on Friday the day before for $7. This discovery might actually inspire me to go to the movies more often, especially if popcorn and a drink come out to less than the cost of a ticket.
My girlfriend, a friend, and I are going to the Barclays Center later this month for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. As I’ve mentioned before, NXT is the “minor leagues” to the WWE, but it’s much more impressive and gives every performer a fair shot. For example, the brand does not lump all minorities together on some sort of stereotypical gimmick, nor does it display women as sex objects who sometimes engage in a catfight. It is pro wrestling if it finally (finally!) grew up and was made available to an audience of millions. WWE the brand can barely claim any of these achievements, but it’s getting there.
Takeover: Brooklyn is special for a few reasons. One, it’s the first wrestling show I’ve seen live in over a decade, as well as my girlfriend’s first show ever. (I had to kind of coax her into going with the offer of ample booze and vegan snacks). Also, the Barclays Center holds tens of thousands of fans, which would make this the best attended NXT event so far. WWE’s marquee event, Summerslam, will be held in the same arena the next night, but I’m predicting that Takeover will completely
take over overshadow its big brother show. Regardless, it’s bound to be a fun weekend in Brooklyn for all local wrestling fans, especially since rival promotion Ring Of Honor is hosting an event in Coney Island on the same Saturday night as Takeover.
Try watching this trailer and taking Destiny seriously. If you can, I have a bridge to sell you.