Terrence Malick, Ranked (Happy Birthday!)

November 30, 2015 Leave a comment

Happy 72nd birthday, Mr. Malick! One of the great visual storytellers of the last half-century, Malick’s films are more-or-less love it or hate it. I generally fall on the love side, though I admit he’s made some clunkers. Here’s how I would rank his films. What are your favorites?

6. To The Wonder

5. The New World

4. The Thin Red Line

3. Badlands

2. Tree Of Life

1. Days Of Heaven

Best Films 2010-2015

November 27, 2015 Leave a comment


I saw AV Club had just done this and I hated some of the films on their list, so I made my own.

50. Contagion

49. Ted

48. Love Is Strange

47. Take This Waltz

46. Ida

45. The Town

44. Kings Of Summer
43. Sleepwalk With Me

42. Lore

41. Rush

40. 20 Feet From Stardom

39. Nebraska

38. Into The Abyss

37. In A World…

36. Big Hero 6

35. Gravity

34. The Babadook

33. Looper

32. Short Term 12

31. Philomena

30. 21 Jump Street

29. Midnight In Paris

28. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

27. The Act Of Killing

26. Wreck-It Ralph

25. Holy Motors

24. Mistaken For Strangers

23. Obvious Child

22. Begin Again

21. Source Code
20. Skyfall

19. The One I Love

18. Nightcrawler

17. The Tree Of Life

16. Django Unchained

15. Grand Budapest Hotel

14. Force Majeure

13. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

12. Inception

11. Upstream Color

10. Her

9. Whiplash

8. Birdman

7. Inside Out

6. Beasts Of The Southern Wild

5. We Need To Talk About Kevin

4. The Wolf Of Wall Street

3. Moonrise Kingdom

2. The Master

1.The Place Beyond The Pines

Moon Taxi at Thalia Hall 11/22/2015

November 27, 2015 Leave a comment


I was unable to attend this show, but Kari went and took pictures while I was doing the same at Reptar. Thanks to Donnie for inviting us out.

A Day Of Thanks (Which Is Tomorrow But We’ll All Be Busy)

November 25, 2015 1 comment

2015 has been a weird year. Despite  hearing what I think is a lot of music, there have been huge gaps where I can’t listen to anything new that have lasted a few days to a few weeks. Either due to personal stuff or work, it’s meant way fewer posts and for that I apologize. On our national day of thanks, please know that I will be forever grateful for everyone who has ever checked out this site or muttered a half-assed compliment about it. 

The main purpose of this site is to keep myself entertained. If I weren’t writing about music here I’d be scribbling it in notebooks until someone committed me. If you read my reviews or appreciate my opinion, thank you. It’s nice to know that I’m providing some service. I’ve made a lot of friends through this endeavor, got to meet some amazing musicians, hung out in a recording studio and watched magic happen…so many things that would have never happened otherwise. I’m a lucky human and it’s because of all of you.

I think this year I’ve come a long way with my concert photography. I have to thank Kari for that. Basically she figures out how to do things and then dumbs it down so a five-year old can understand it and then after a month or so I finally get it. Her pictures are always better than mine, but at least in her absence I can produce something acceptable. My pictures from Pitchfork (especially of Chance The Rapper) came out really good and are easily my best work yet.


So thanks for reading. If you like my stuff, amd I hope you do, be sure to check out the social media outlets. I try to post different things to each one so you don’t just see the same thing 3 or 4 times. @music_defined on twitter and instagram. Facebook link is on this page.

Thanks! Have a great day with your family/friends/volunteering at a soup kitchen/alone watching Netflix. 
Here are a few random things I’m thankful for this year:


Indoor plumbing

Dave Grohl gifs

Sea salt caramel Bailey’s and Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix

Ezra Furman

Dr Pepper

Sweet Mandy B’s cupcakes

IPod classic still going strong after 7 years

Reptar at Beat Kitchen 11/22/2015

November 23, 2015 Leave a comment


Tommy Pickles and Chuckie were nowhere to be found, but Reptar was in full effect last night at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. Touring behind their new record Lurid Glow, the band worked the crowd into a tizzy playing new stuff and some of their better-known hits like “Houseboat Babies.” It was the coldest night of the year in the Windy City, but the dancefloor was heating up all night.

This was a new-look Reptar for the evening. Frontman Graham Ulicny was joined by fellow Georgians, opening act Breathers members T Lee Gunselman on keys/synths, Jake Thomson on drums, and Mike Netland on an odd snare/cymbal samples setup that got a lot of great use. I believe bassist Ryan Engelberger was also up there with them. This new lineup sounded great, but this was my first Reptar show, so I have nothing with which to compare.

The night belonged to Ulicny anyway, with everyone a distant second. Whether he was shredding a massive riff or jumping into the audience to dance with fans, his performance set the tone and kept everyone grooving. On his second trip into the crowd he asked everyone to get close, stating “I ain’t Bono. I don’t need a big walkway.”

Allie X at Double Door 11/19/2015

November 20, 2015 Leave a comment


I don’t go to (m)any pop shows. Don’t get me wrong, I love pop music just like everyone else, but I’d rather hit a rock show. It’s just the way I am. Something about the enigmatic Allie X caught my interest, though, and I had a good time finding out what she’s all about.

It was an early show so I had to hustle over to Double Door after work, but I got a decent spot for pictures since the crowd was a little smaller than I had imagined. Lots of very young peopl, wearing Lady Gaga jackets and shirts. Gaga is obviously a big influence on Allie, with a lot of music publications referring to her as “the new Lady Gaga.” That’s lazy writing, but I get what they’re saying.

For my money, Allie X is a bit more fun than Gaga. They talk about some similar things like identity and sexuality, but the electro-pop jams Allie X kicks out are more interesting and less boring top 40-style.

The performance duration was about as scant as Allie’s barely-bottom-covering feather dress. At around 30 minutes she was already announcing her final song. She only has a 7-song EP out so far, called CollXion-1. She did the whole thing and the crowd ate it up.

Her onstage persona is a cool femme fatale. She never smiles. The people in the front row got a great experience as Allie got right into their faces as she knelt on the floor. Her backing band was fine, but she could’ve been playing to a recording and I don’t think anyone would have noticed.

It was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed seeing her perform “Bitch,” which I think is easily her best song. Highly recommended if you like dancing. She only has one more show lined up (out in LA), but check her website for upcoming dates.

The Great American Canyon Band-Crash EP

November 18, 2015 Leave a comment

Great American Canyon Band

I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to new stuff the past couple weeks, so thank goodness for The Great American Canyon Band for putting out an EP with a couple songs I already know and love. They were going to put out an LP a long while back, but that didn’t work out and they ended up putting out another EP called Lost At Sea that didn’t sound like the other songs I’d heard. Now Six Degrees Records is putting out their LP, with Crash as a 5-song reintroduction to the group.

The three older songs, “Lost At Sea,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Young Lady,” still sound great. I actually have a playlist on my iPod at work that has a couple TGACB tunes on it, so even though I haven’t heard anything new til now, I’ve been keeping their voices near to me. “Tumbleweed” is particularly mesmerizing.

The new stuff finds Paul and Krystal Masson falling right back into that hauntingly beautiful harmony that endeared me to them a few years ago. The title track “Crash” gets into a kind of Beach House-y vibe right off the bat. There’s some very restrained drumming and streaks of bright guitar flashes throughout.

Crash is out now for you to purchase on iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp. The band kicks off a short tour tonight in Knoxville, TN at the Preservation Pub. November 20 they’ll be at Double Wide in Dallas, TX, November 21 in Austin, TX at Empire Patio and finally November 23 at Foo Bar in Nashville, TN.


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