All posts tagged: Brian Boone

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17 Things You Can (and Cannot) Do With These Isotoner Neo-Noir Gloves They Sent Me To Review for Our Holiday Gift Guide

Give them as a gift to someone who has as many as two hands, and/or up to 10 fingers. Give them as a gift to a person, literally any person, whose hands get cold in the Wintertime, which is everybody. Keep them on while you tap on your smartphone device, which is both awesome and creepy. Put them in a stocking, if you are rich, because these gloves aren’t exactly cheap, and Rich People give each other expensive stocking stuffers. That’s not to say these gloves are prohibitively expensive, either, but they are a bit too high-end to just be an afterthought, to go into a fancy sock with an orange and some candy canes. They’re a perfect thing to bring to your office’s annual Glove Exchange Party. Win a Heisman Trophy for your superior running back performance at USC. (Ugh, we get it. Funny?) Kill two people and get away with it. (Those were Aris Lights, not Isotoners.) Unsuccessfully try them on in a Los Angeles courtroom in 1995. (Come on, we told you. …

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Ol’ John Cougar’s Holiday Gift Guide

If’n y’all ain’t familiar with what ol’ John Cougar does round here these parts, go back and read some of my col-umms what with to familiarize yourself with the fact that ol’ John Cougar is a good old fashioned down home country boy from a small town making real music for real Americans, but that your boy John Cougar is also an immortal shapeshifting werewolf what can control the Indy 500 pace car with his mind. It’s your good ol’ buddy John Cougar. Now I know I what usually give you advise on your personal problems and sitch-you-ayshuns, but right now I’m here to give you the real whatfor on what sundries and embodiments to get for y’alls progeny and whatnot on yer holiday list. Because be it for such pagan-like festivities like Christmas or Hanakah or Kwanzaa, or if’n yer like ol’ John Cougar and recognize the truth and beauty of the holiday we call Alazkazakz, or “The Great Reckoning,” or “The Final Ascendance of Yr,” y’alls got to buy gifts to show the …

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Review: Cheap Trick – The Classic Albums 1977-1979

Record Store Day isn’t just in the spring anymore. The annual tradition now happens twice a year, once in the spring, and once on Black Friday. Since you’re already out spending enormous amounts of money on enormous electronic devices, seek out your local independent record store and buy some gifts for the music geek, or, let’s be honest, buy it for yourself. Because a box set is the greatest gift in the world. The record labels have put together some impressive, huge, and gift-worthy sets specifically for “Back to Black Friday” (November 29th) this year, including this lovely, limited edition, individually numbered box set featuring Cheap Trick’s first five albums remastered and pressed onto that ultra-thick, luxuriant 180-gram vinyl. (Thank you, Legacy Recordings.) Cheap Trick’s tight pop-meets monstrous rock finally sounds as important as it ought to be in the greater rock pantheon. Cheap Trick’s first five albums, in original packaging, are accounted for: the self-titled, In Color, Heaven Tonight, Dream Police, and, of course, the classic live album At Budokan. Consider for a moment that this band …

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You’re Dead to Us…The Miniseries

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads. “This week our regular programming will be pre-empted so that we may bring you a special television event.” Such was how you knew you were in for something big in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s – a sweeping epic harkening back to the days of grand movie experiences like Gone With the Wind or Doctor Zhivago, except even longer, and on your TV screen, but for free, and with way, way higher production values, budgets, and star power than the usual fare of CHiPs and One Day at a Time. And you simply had to tune in, because it was event television, and events happen and then fade into history and you can’t catch them again because VCRs weren’t invented yet (or they cost $2,000, same difference) and everyone at work would be talking about it, and maybe even at school, because …

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10 Movies…That Are, Surprisingly, Based on True Stories (Like ‘The Conjuring’)

This week the “found footage”-style horror movie fades briefly and unexpectedly into oblivion like a spooky ghost girl in favor of The Conjuring, a horror movie with a traditional narrative form. Those found footage movies work so well because they introduce an extra, meta level of fear – this shit isn’t a movie…it’s real! And it looks real, because it looks like home video footage. The Conjuring, while a regular narrative-style film with a high budget and known actors like Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor, also boasts that real-life fear factor, as it is based on the accounts of the Peron family, who hired paranormal investigators to check out their supposedly haunted Rhode Island farmhouse. Believe of that what you will. But here are 10 other movies that, believe it or not, are also based on true stories…extensive artistic license notwithstanding. Up Close and Personal Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, of all people, wrote the screenplay, using as their source the book Golden Girl, the sad and salacious biography of NBC News anchor Jessica …

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10 Movies…With a Replacement Actor in the Sequel (Like ‘Grown Ups 2’)

The big news surrounding Grown Ups 2, other than the fact that it’s yet another cynically-conceived way for Adam Sandler to hang out with his friends at a waterpark for two months, is that Sandler crony Rob Schneider is not returning from the first film. Replacing Schneider, who reportedly wanted more money, is Sandler crony Nick Swardson, who gets a bigger role than he usually does. Here are ten other movie sequels that Darrin Stevensed us and replaced an actor with another actor and hoped we wouldn’t notice. Iron Man 2 Evidently Terrence Howard was the first major actor to sign on for the first Iron Man, before it was a known entity as a franchise, and as such was the highest paid actor. In negotiating for the sequel, his pay was cut, Howard’s agents said no, and Don Cheadle was cast as Rhodey. The Dark Knight With her long courtship, marriage, and be-childing with couch-jumping Tom Cruise generating a certain amount of unwelcome tabloid attention happening in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, …

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You’re Dead to Us…Blockbuster Greatest Hits Albums

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, the singles market and the albums market were two separate entities and rarely did they meet. Logically, singles (or 45s) were cheap, and directed at teenagers, because teenagers don’t have much money. Albums cost more, and directed at adults. That’s why Elvis Presley had #1 hit after #1 hit, while Harry Belafonte and Broadway cast albums dominated the album chart. Today, singles essentially serve as a taste of an album – they’re promotional tools. Like the single you heard on the radio, or YouTube, or Spotify? Then you’ll love the rest of the album, which will have that leadoff single on it. That wasn’t a universal in the middle of the 20th century. An artist released singles, and then they released albums of completely different material. In 1958, some evil genius at Columbia Records had a brilliant …

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You’re Dead to Us…Hit Songs By Older Adults, Made for Older Adults

A new series in which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads. My first memories of pop music are around 1981, 1982, age three or so. That dovetailed with the time my parents’ reached that point that most parents reach—when they stop actively paying attention to and keeping up with current pop music. Thus, American pop music began with “Islands in the Stream” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” for me, and ended with “Islands in the Stream” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” for my parents. Since then it’s been nothing but The Big Chill soundtrack and church music. This conscious shift into ignorance or semi-ignorance of current chart hits has happened to me, too. I’ve got a kid and a job and a novel I’m never going to finish to tackle, so there’s less time for music. Every day for a few hours while I work I take some time to listen …

Advice From Circa-1982 “John Cougar”: Your Valentine’s Day Problems Solved!

A special Valentine’s Day edition of our ongoing advice column in which readers ask Circa 1982 “John Cougar,” a pop singer, good ol’ boy, and immortal shapeshifting demigod for help in solving their romantic quandaries and peccadilloes.  (Previous columns here and here.) Dear John Cougar: I want to make a grand romantic gesture for my boyfriend for Valentines Day, but I live in a small town and there aren’t a lot of options here. Any ideas? I got a real, real original type idea. First, ol’ John Cougar, who is from a small town if you didn’t know that, thinks you should go up to that water tower you got in that town, cause you live in a small town, and it sure as stink got itself a water tower. Then you paint your special lady’s name up on that water tower in that dang ol’ small town, as there is no bigger thing of romanticalizin’ then somethin’ that has never been done before, which ain’t no small feat in Pudwater, Indiana, which is where …

Book Review: Gary K. Wolf’s “Typical Day”

So I’ve read a lot of articles over the last three years or so about the exciting, brave new world of e-book publishing, almost all of which used the term “brave new world.” But like any new, yet-to-be-tapped technology (read: monetized) it took a while before anybody could really figure out what to do with e-books. It’s now becoming clear: they aren’t replacing print books, nor is Amazon replacing bookstores. E-books are supplementing mainstream publishing and book retailing. That’s fantastic. For while e-books are a remarkably cheap and easy way for writers to get their stuff out there via indy or self publishing, it’s also a way to get product out there from niche and cult authors. I’d been wanting to read Gary K. Wolf’s Who Censored Roger Rabbit? for years. For while I liked the kiddie movie they made out of it, it’s heard the original novel, released years earlier, was way different, a darkly comic novel that was both an homage to and a perfect example of classic hardboiled detective novels. It’s been …

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Book Review: “Profiles in Courageousness” by Rep. Jack Kimble

Political satire is usually pretty lead-footed. It’s hard to do well, with the result usually falling into the realm of smug, obvious, and overwhelmingly direct (Capitol Steps), or fear-mongering and overwrought (Bob Roberts). It also has a limited shelf life, because politics also have an innate sense of urgency. (If I’m even three days late on an SNL episode, I’ll skip the political cold open because it’s no longer relevant and/or the jokes are so obvious.) This is why Rep. Jack Kimble, R-California, 54th District is so wonderful. He’s a self-made Internet star with a YouTube channel and Twitter account, both of which he uses to parody the medium-specific ephemera of the 24-hour/online news-cycle and political ramblings of self-proclaimed political crusaders and moronic idealists with too much power. And now he’s released the e-book Profiles in Courageousness, a fake political memoir. It’s the kind of flag-waving, values-praising, extremely carefully worded, praising-a-past-that-never-was, written-by-committee “autobiography” ever candidate has ghostwritten for them 11 months before the first primary. (Kimble, of course, isn’t real. California doesn’t have 54 districts; he’s a …

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Fight Courtney, F*** Winona, Be the Biggest Rock Star of All Time: A Scientific Analysis

Hole founder, rumored songwriter behind Live Through This, and all around difficult human being Courtney Love once remarked that, “you’re nobody in rock unless you’ve fought me and fucked Winona Ryder.” Love has always been funny and pretty on-point with a lot of her musings; that one is the most coherent thing to come out of her if you don’t count Frances Bean. Love indeed always seems to always be fighting with some celebrity or another, more often than not an emerging alt-rock icon; Ryder, meanwhile is less famous for Heathers and shoplifting than she is for dating cute, dirty-haired indie rocker boys. But what if she’s right? I mean, you look at the lists of the recipients of Love’s vitriol, and Winona Ryder’s What’s Your Number list-meets-the Wikipedia entry for Sassy’s “Cute Band Alert,” and you’ve got some real contenders for Biggest Rock Star in the World (or at least you would circa 1996). So then if you compare the lists, and use math – the associative property, the transitive property, looking at things …

More Advice From 1982’s “John Cougar”

 Circa-1982 “John Cougar” once again be takin’ your advice queries on matters of flesh, personal relationships, career, and metaphysics. (Read the first installment here.) Dear John Cougar: My best friend pranked me really good. I want to get him back. Any fun—but harmless—suggestions? Is your best friend Bob Seger? The John Cougar of Michigan? (He is also from a small town called Detroit, which used to have people in it, but is now made up entirely of used truck parts, feral dogs, and Bob Seger’s illegitimate grandbabies.) Because I tell you what. I know how to get your best friend back real good, if’n he is Bob Seger. Here’s what you do. Step one: find yourself a hooker. A real dirty one is best. Dirty meaning grimy and covered in filth, which is to say nothing of her bill of goods. Okay, you got that hooker. Now what you wanna do is murder that hooker. Then you take that dead hooker and you put her on the strip of concrete what lies in front of …

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Book Review: The World Almanac Book of Facts 2013

Are almanacs still necessary? Yeah, I think they are. Even though you can find exactly the thing you  need on the Internet instantly, on your goddamn phone with Bing and Hotbot, an almanac is still an authoritative source of information, if not one of the definitive books of record. For my generation, and the ones before me, if something was in a book, it was true, and especially if it was in an annual, super-thick reference book with tiny type in multiple columns, like the encyclopedia, or The World Almanac and Book of Facts. The 2013 edition is now available, and it’s still such a lot of fun to flip through the nation stats, sports records, Oscar winners, election results, and dead celebrities. I loved getting the new one of these every year, or really, when the library did, because there was no way my parents were gonna buy me one of these behemoths each year; not that we were poor or they were cheap, but because I was still pouring over my brother’s Book of Lists …

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TV on DVD: GCB – The Complete First Season

I don’t quite understand what happened with GCB. There was a ton of preseason buzz and preseason advertising, as ABC was clearly positioning it as the heir apparent to the finishing-up Desperate Housewives and its bitchy-comic soap opera crown. But then they didn’t air it in the fall, they aired it amidst a crowded, murky, midseason, then threw it on late Sunday nights and didn’t advertise it much. I like to think that the title change from the pithy, pitch-perfect, show defining Good Christian Bitches to the safer and nonsensical GCB.  This is all a shame, because GCB won’t be returning, and it was a very entertaining show, the entirety of which is now available on DVD. Unlike the other soap-inspired dramedies of recent years, GCB is actually funny. And it’s pretty biting satire, skewering the horrible rich people, hypocrites, and women-who-backstab-other-women that seem to run the world these days. The premise is simple, relatable, and honest: a now disgraced and widowed former high school mean girl named Amanda (Leslie Bibb) returns home to Dallas …

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Book Review: Big Day Coming – Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock

As a rock snot, music writer, and Young White Male, you’re kind of supposed to already know everything there is to know about Yo La Tengo. It’s like that list of books they give you in high school to familiarize yourself with, because some college professor might drop a reference to Winesburg, Ohio, and you gotta know what he’s talking about. Such is the case with YLT—you’re expected to know every album, song, B-side, and legend. That’s kind of true of any indie band, that cliquish mentality, but to get up to speed or fill in the holes, where do you go? Fortunately, we’ve now reached the point where the influential indie rock bands of the ’80s and ’90s are getting the Extremely Long and Detailed Biography treatment once reserved solely for boomer bands with godlike lead singers. Leading the pack is Jesse Jarnow’s remarkable Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock. The story of Yo La Tengo is the lost entry of Our Band Could Be Your Life. But …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Burden Brothers’ “Beautiful Night” (2003)

Of all of the at least pretty good, moderately successful alt rock bands of the mid-‘90s, the one that everybody in my high school loved was the Toadies. The Dallas band of “Possum Kingdom,” “Away,” and “Tyler” were insanely popular in suburban Portland. Many debates were held as to the real meaning behind their songs (was “Possum Kingdom” about vampires or murderers?) and videos were dissected in groups at length. When they toured with the massive Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1996, the talk of the town was whether or not you were going to the Toadies concert, not the Peppers. (I went. It was awesome.) The only other band to enjoy this sort of obsession in Portland at the time was Everclear, but that band was from Portland. Other than the Toadies being really good, and way better than Everclear, I can’t pinpoint a reason as to the inexplicable regional popularity. So perhaps because of this strange Toadies bubble, I overstate the pent-up desire for a Toadies comeback. Still, “Possum Kingdom” was a top …

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The Popdose 100: The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

Much like our 100 Greatest Covers post last year, this was a collaborative effort for the Popdose staff.  Although our list of nominees was a bit smaller – only 300 songs – the voting was every bit as competitive, with our #7 and #8 songs being separated by just one tenth of a point.  As a collective, we wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, whether you’re a member of a Bizarre Love Triangle, a pair of Two Hearts, or even if you’re a member of the Lonely Hearts Club.  Love to all. — Zack Dennis If you’re listening on Spotify, you can find a link to versions of all of the songs here. 100. “You Belong to Me” – Bob Dylan. Of all the things that can cause friction in a relationship, physical distance can be one of the hardest to endure. It softens a couple’s strengths, and makes every single problem – even the smallest ones – harder to address. Without a definitive end in sight, very few long-distance relationships survive. And yet, almost …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Cher with Beavis and Butt-head, “I Got You Babe” (1993)

Beavis and Butt-head had their cultural moment in 1993. All of 1993. Their cartoon was the #1 show on MTV (even after they couldn’t say “fire” anymore because some kid burned down his house). Bands they approved of in the music video-commentary segment of their show made bands into stars (e.g. White Zombie), and tons of merch flowed, such as books, talking keychains, T-shirts, and of course, an album. The Beavis and Butt-head Experience is a throwaway collection for the most part, consisting primarily of unused tracks from bands Beavis and Butt-head said were “cool,” such as Anthrax, Megadeth, Jackyl, and Run-D.M.C. The Red Hot Chili Peppers contributed a lazy cover of Iggy Pop’s “Search and Destroy”; Aerosmith’s “Deuces are Wild” was just a demo, and it went to #1 on the rock chart. Primus, to its credit, wrote and performed an original song about Beavis and Butt-head called “Poetry and Prose.” The album went platinum, such was the draw of anything with the words “Beavis” and/or “Butt-head” on it in 1993. Beavis and Bitt-head …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Cypress Hill’s “(Rock) Superstar” and “(Rap) Superstar” (2000)

This is one of those songs that wasn’t a hit that I’m surprised wasn’t a hit. Even today, you hear it all the time, predominantly in commercials for things like energy drinks and as bumper music on sports talk radio programs. When it came out, it was one of the signature songs of the era, combining rock and rap, which was a thing professional musicians that looked like creeps were doing at the time. This song was everywhere in 2000, or maybe that’s just to me, because I lived in Eugene, Oregon, at the time, and Eugene and Cypress Hill famously have a common interest. Multi-format songs were a moderately popular experiment in music at the turn of the century, pioneered by Shania Twain, with her poppified/de-countrified singles doing well at pop and AC radio. Except Cypress Hill did more than change a token twangy guitar riff to a token keyboard riff—they subbed out the spoken-word part done by rapper-turned-folk rocker Everlast on “(Rock) Superstar” with one by Eminem, at the time the biggest rapper …

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Popdose Winter 2012 TV Preview: “Napoleon Dynamite”

Napoleon Dynamite is back, but this time he’s got his own TV Series. How does it hold up against the beloved cult film? Brian Boone is here tell you, my friends. Read on! Napoleon Dynamite- Sundays, 8:30 PM, FOX The 2004 Napoleon Dynamite was a refreshingly original movie, a confident mix of bizarre even otherworldly characters in a dreary small town running around for an hour and a half doing nothing in particular. It was a series of deliberately chosen, almost arbitrary quirks, catchphrases, and episodic moments, but in the end, so warm and warmly hilarious. It would have and should have made a great TV series. It didn’t. The whole thing is wildly wrong in its tone, approach, and faithfulness to the mild but beloved cultural phenomenon of eight years ago. The original, live-action movie already was a cartoon, as it was both familiar and surreal (and infinitely quotable). The cartoon completely abandons the movie’s quiet, random tone for crass and formulaic plots, sitcomy jokes, and insult humor. Oh, and none of the characters make any sense vs. their movie counterparts. All …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Porcelain Black’s “This Is What Rock n’ Roll Looks Like” (2011)

Being influenced by and being extremely similar to are two different things, separated by a thin line. The biggest musical success of the last few years has been Lady Gaga. While her music is mostly well-made albeit familiar dance pop, what made her enormously successful was her persona and look. She made being really stagey and fabulous and over the top not only okay for modern female pop singers, but required. Katy Perry didn’t have blue hair and sundae boobs before Lady Gaga. Rihanna was a pop diva before her gagafication into a Mardis Gras dominatrix. Britney Spears successfully sold a circus-themed act for a while. Nicki Minaj has pink hair, which is totally crazy, you guys. And then there’s the fine pop tradition of ripoffery. Some acts are blatant ripoffs of other, more successful acts, while others got a chance to rise to prominence doing something they’ve been doing for years because somebody who did something similar to their thing got big doing it, and then everybody just thinks the former is a ripoffer. …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Richard Carpenter and Dusty Springfield’s “Something In Your Eyes” (1987)

When duos split up, there’s usually only one breakout star who goes on to any semblance of a successful solo career, with the public casting its vote with its dollars and chart showings, making it clear to the duo who the real star of there little group was. Hall vs. Oates, SImon vs. Garfunkel, Michael vs. Ridgeley, Bill Medley vs. Jim Righteous, etc. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that the biggest talent in Carpenters (no definite article, it’s just Carpenters, which was intended to sound cool, not silly and pretentious) wasn’t Karen Carpenter, whose voice was evanescently beautiful and heartbreaking even before she tragically died while recovering from anorexia at age 32 in 1983. But with her unable to go on to an ’80s soft rock solo career—she was working on a solo album just before she died and she would have been a huge star, at least on adult contemporary radio—you’d think the public might give her goofy, piano-playing brother Richard Carpenter a respectful shot. He probably shouldn’t have waited four …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Nerf Herder’s “Van Halen” (1996)

In 1996, after a decade and a half of high but rapidly diminishing record sales and influence, Van Halen was suddenly a hot band again, and it was because of, and this almost never happens, a greatest hits compilation. It’s tough business, and usually involves aggressive, embarrassing levels of PR, to get fans of a popular band to repurchase songs they already own. That’s why greatest hits albums have those requisite, and usually mediocre “two new tracks” added on to the end. These new tracks were what got Van Halen into a lot of trouble and media attention. A brief primer on the Van Halen scandal: David Lee Roth left the band in 1985 for a solo career that only briefly materialized. The band then got Sammy Hagar, a great rock singer, but not quite as edgy or hard as Roth had been at the band’s peak. Van Halen sold more albums with Hagar than they ever did with Roth, but there was always an open nostalgia among fans for Roth. In 1996, Eddie Van …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Peter Bjorn and John’s “Second Chance” (2011)

Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” is the most indie rock indie rock song of all time. They’ve got all the checklist items covered: odd band name, maudlin lyrics about youth, catchy hook, sleepy melody, whistling,  and twee lady guest vocalist. When advertisers try to market to “hipsters,” they are thinking of this song and the people who like this song. This song smells like Williamsburg. Which is precisely why it became such a big hit, hitting in 2006 at a time when Brooklyn-flavored indie rock was starting to get a lot of mainstream attention as the Next Big Thing or The Music Of Our TImes. In the way that “Anarchy in the UK” was a representative of all punk, or “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was all of grunge, “Young Folks” is the larger world’s introduction to hipsters and their native song. The band is so associated with hipsters that the big network media machine knew enough to use one of Peter Bjorn and John’s songs as the theme song/incidental music for a show about …

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Greatest Un-Hits: Paul McCartney’s “Young Boy” (1997)

The Beatles are kind of always in the not-distant background, as they are the goddamn Beatles. But every five years or so, there’s a major resurgence in Beatles interest, popularity, and nostalgia. It generally revolves around a new reissue (the 1 collection), reworking (Let It Be…Naked), documentary (George Harrison: Living in the Material World), or tangential player (the brief popularity of Julian Lennon). But the biggest Beatles surge in recent memory has to be ABC’s Beatles Anthology documentary series, and the accompanying set of three double-disc Anthology albums of rare Beatles cuts, demos, and early stuff. All three albums hit #1. The documentary topped the ratings. The thing was parodied on The Dana Carvey Show. 

But the most exciting thing about this Beatles rehash, unlike all the other Beatles rehashes, was that it actually contained real, actual, new Beatles music. Using very (very) rough unfinished John Lennon solo demos, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and the other one, Robert something, convened and recorded full instrumental and backing vocal tracks …