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Popular culture. Music. Sports. Television. Good Times

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So Whatcha Want: Every Beastie Boys Album Ranked

So Whatcha Want: Every Beastie Boys Album Ranked

I’m jealous of people out there who have yet to experience the Beastie Boys, to be able to take a fresh-faced dive into their discography and fully appreciate all of its splendor for the first time. Listening to the Beastie Boys for the first time is like thumbing your nose at gravity or any number of other tenets of polite society. It’s an unforgettable experience. For folks of a certain age (i.e. those getting a little long in the tooth,) we were blessed to be in the catbird seat as the group
The Best Dave Matthews Band Songs Ranked

The Best Dave Matthews Band Songs Ranked

Let’s start here: The Dave Matthews Band are not a jam band. Maybe they once were, back in the day when they were traveling up and down the east coast in the early to mid-90s, cruising in the same circles as bands like Blues Traveler, Phish, and Widespread Panic. But at some point along the way, things changed. They went from a jam band to a great live band. It’s not a knock against them and certainly isn’t any kind of slight. It’s really just a minor change in distinction; a clerical matter.
Press Space Bar To Continue

Press Space Bar To Continue

There is today, a today where computers are not only everywhere, but borderline mandatory. And today, these computers are capable of amazing things. Things like Facebook and watching Netflix and designing Power Point presentations and watching YouTube. These computers I’m assuming have games on them, or the ability to have games loaded onto them. I only say assume because I don’t play computer games. I don’t consider taking a Buzzfeed quiz to determine which character from Dazed and Confused I a
The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

Editor's note: This column was written at the beginning of the month. Guess what I forgot to do? It’s May 4th. In some corners of the world, this is a big day known as Star Wars Day. You know, may the fourth be with you. It makes sense that we have a Star Wars Day given its cultural impact. I mean, have you noticed some of the other “days” we have? At least Star Wars Day is something worth celebrating. Now, because it’s Star Wars Day and because again, some corners of the world are sup

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Pearl Jam Albums Ranked

Pearl Jam Albums Ranked

This was easily one of the most agonizing things I’ve ever done. I consulted with experts (my brother-in-law, a diehard Pearl Jam fan.) I did hours of research. I asked the family of rabbits who live behind our shed for advice. I covered a corkboard in Polaroids, string, and index cards to such a degree that it would make Carrie Mathison jealous. In the end, I believe I reached a conclusion I can live with. Well, at least for now. The task was to rank Pearl Jam’s studio a

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Phantom Of The Opera Is Kind Of A Jerk

The Phantom Of The Opera Is Kind Of A Jerk

This piece was originally published in 2014.  The Phantom of the Opera is currently the longest running show on Broadway. Without looking it up, I’m pretty sure it claimed that title once Cats retired. A fun fact about the connection between the two is that both musicals were composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber…actually Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. I think he’s been knighted. Since seeing Phantom this past weekend, there’s a been a few things that have stuck with me; a few things I needed to g

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Five New Rules For Biopics Of Musicians

Five New Rules For Biopics Of Musicians

Last week I watched Elvis. No, let me rephrase that. Last week I tried to watch Elvis but had to bail after the first fifteen minutes, which is a long fifteen minutes. It’s an exhausting stretch that ping pongs around a handful of key moments in Presley’s life with wild, reckless abandon, complete with swirling visual flourishes and jolting musical ques. I was on a plane. I was tired. It was frankly, too much to handle. And I felt compelled to leave it at that. I had tried and that felt lik

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

A Ranking Of All Things Dave Grohl

A Ranking Of All Things Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl has always been a busy man; a whirling dervish of hard rock and loud noises. Since the age of 17 when he was hired to play drums in Scream, Grohl’s life has had him ping-ponging from one gig to the next, sometimes with multiple gigs at a time. And while he’s gone from rock solid, heavy-hitting drummer to rock steady, arena-entertaining, frontman, the fact that he is such a great drummer has helped keep him busy whenever the Foo Fighters have had some downtime. The world will always ne

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Best Songs Of 2022

The Best Songs Of 2022

Another year coming to an end means a few things but most importantly it means it’s time to take stock of the year that was. And the only way to take stock is in list form. Rank ’em if you must but if there’s not a list involved, it doesn’t count. Those are the rules. When it comes to the year in music, 2022 brought out the heavy hitters. Beyonce and Taylor Swift both released monster albums as did Kendrick Lamar. The Red Hot Chili Peppers returned, Spoon continued to do Spoon things (i.e. 

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Eight Major Issues With The "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" Movie That Continue To Bug Me To This Day

Eight Major Issues With The "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" Movie That Continue To Bug Me To This Day

With another Christmas season very suddenly upon us, we’re met with the return of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special once again. Now, I’ve seen the 1964 movie countless times, but in recent years, I’ve found myself more and more baffled and perplexed by the beloved holiday classic.  Simply put, Rudolph has just not aged well. Watching it now, it’s obvious that it has some issues and that it has enough of those issues for the special to now be seen as both problematic and

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Trying To Understand Those Two Years I Was A Fan Of Barenaked Ladies

Trying To Understand Those Two Years I Was A Fan Of Barenaked Ladies

My high school sat in the middle of sunny Portland, Maine and was a long, large building that from a distance looked more like a prison than a high school. But it was an old high school, one of the oldest, and it was only a block or so from the unofficial center of town, Monument Square. Off to one side of the square was One City Center. In One City Center were a couple radio stations, one of which was the local alternative station and that station used an outside area on what was probably the t

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

A List Of Band Names That Are Actually Good

A List Of Band Names That Are Actually Good

Band names are a slippery slope. Coming up with a quality band name is damn near impossible. Few have done it, thousands have tried. You want to sound cool, which is a tall task. But you don’t want to sound like you’re trying to be cool. Ultimately, you want something that will look good on a club’s marque, looks dope as a sticker and isn’t super regrettable down the road. Well, if you’re band makes it that far, which is also damn near impossible. My cousin was in a band once that was calle

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Ten Best Moments From "Game Of Thrones"

The Ten Best Moments From "Game Of Thrones"

Editor's note: This article was originally published in August 2022   As we sit here, over ten years removed from the premiere of Game of Thrones, three years since the show ended, and now on the cusp of the premiere of House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel, it can challenging to take stock of the show’s legacy. On the one hand, there were the massive set pieces and battles, shocking deaths, and breath-taking episodes, i.e. the stuff you are likely to remember fondly. On the o

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Lessons Learned After One Year Of Fatherhood

Lessons Learned After One Year Of Fatherhood

Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2016 As hard as it is to believe and as cliched as it is to say, I can’t believe I have been a father for almost a year now. Pretty much everything that has been said, everything written in parenting books, everything used anecdotally by celebrities in regards to fatherhood is spot on. It’s a trip, a never-ending logistical operation filled with highs, lows, exhaustion, delirium, more highs, fewer lows and much more. It’s easy to

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

A Baltimore Story: Cinco De Mayo, Chris Cornell's Father, & A College Band Making Moves

A Baltimore Story: Cinco De Mayo, Chris Cornell's Father, & A College Band Making Moves

When it comes to the late Chris Cornell, the voice of Soundgarden and Audioslave, there are two things I know about him that most people might not. I know he had a brother named Peter and I know that Chris and Peter’s father passed away on May 5, 2000. Now the only reason I know these two particular facts is because the passing of the Cornells’ father led to Peter, who is also a musician, having to cancel a show he had scheduled for that night at the 8×10 club in Baltimore. Peter Cornell’

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

The Time Is Right For A Cantina Band Series

It’s May 4th. In some corners of the world, this is a big day known as Star Wars Day. You know, may the fourth be with you. It makes sense that we have a Star Wars Day given its cultural impact. I mean, have you noticed some of the other “days” we have? At least Star Wars Day is something worth celebrating. Now, because it’s Star Wars Day and because again, some corners of the world are super pumped about it, Star Wars related-content is out there, making the rounds, including a trailer for

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Five Best Movies About Taxes

The Five Best Movies About Taxes

Ah, yes, another Tax Day is upon us. I hope that you’ve either A) finished and completed your taxes or B) have found a way to lie low for a while if you’ve decided not to do your taxes this year. It’s only a matter of time before the cops come calling, kid. Ultimately there is nothing entertaining, fun, or enjoyable about taxes. Tax returns are kind of cool. However, they are slightly less cool if you remember that tax returns are essentially the government returning some of the money you’v

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Ten Best Things About "Peaky Blinders"

The Ten Best Things About "Peaky Blinders"

Peaky Blinders is not a great show. On average, I’d say it’s a good show. It has its moments where it flirts with maybe not greatness, but being very good, but there are also some not-so-good parts of the show. So I think that when all is said and done and the dust settles, declaring Peaky Blinders a good show feels right. As the show heads into its final season, it’s become somewhat predictable, but no less entertaining. Each season follows something of a similar cycle, complete with the i

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Should Phish Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

Should Phish Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

On Tuesday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced nominees for the class of 2022, a list of acts highlighted by Rage Against the Machine, Beck, Eminem, A Tribe Called Quest, and Dolly Parton. Yes, Dolly Parton is not in the Hall of Fame. Neither is Lionel Richie (as a solo artist) nor Pat Benatar. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like most Hall of Fames (and awards in general) doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Now, for the most part, the general consensus is that this crew of nominees i

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Don't Expect To See A Rock Band Play The Super Bowl Half Time Show Anytime Soon

Don't Expect To See A Rock Band Play The Super Bowl Half Time Show Anytime Soon

The halftime show of the 2022 Super Bowl is not messing around. In the first Super Bowl held at the brand spanking new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, hometown boy Dr. Dre is taking the helm, captaining a ship that includes Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige. You could make an argument that two of those performers (Kendrick and Eminem) could probably headline the show on their own. But Dre has assembled them like Infinity Stones and much like Thanos is set to do some damage.

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Don't Think About That Snow, Think About This Snow

Don't Think About That Snow, Think About This Snow

It’s going to snow, kids! Well, maybe. Reports as of Thursday afternoon are a little scattered if you will. For instance, I look at AccuWeather and it says we’ll either get one to three inches or at least a foot. Middle ground? There is no middle ground. This storm, Winter Storm Kenan, is as divided as our gosh darn political system in this country, am I right? But yes, Winter Storm Kenan. It could be a doozy. If there weren’t more pressing matters right now like Joe Rogan explaining w

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Best Things I Saw On Television In 2021

The Best Things I Saw On Television In 2021

2021 was the year TV reminded us that yes, there’s a lot of it. 2020 was understandably quieter on the small screen front because of the pandemic-induced shutdowns but once the creative types figured out how to work under strict and constantly changing COVID guidelines, it seems like the flood gates opened and it was all systems go. Yet even with things getting somewhat back to normal, you could still feel the presence of COVID even if it wasn’t as direct as actors wearing masks on screen. HBO’s

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

The Best Songs Of 2021

The Best Songs Of 2021

Ah yes, 2021: a year that began with an attack on the capital and just kept getting weirder from there. The pandemic sadly never left but at least Adele came back. Adele not being able to stop the pandemic might literally be the only thing she can’t do and if she could work on that, it’d be great. In addition to Adele returning, Taylor Swift set out to rerecord her old songs, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak teamed up, the Foo Fighters continued to be as reliable as duct tape and St. Vincent o

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

Banana Bread Dreams & Egg Nog With Rum Wishes: Looking Back At Christmas Memories

Banana Bread Dreams & Egg Nog With Rum Wishes: Looking Back At Christmas Memories

Christmas memories are like episodes of Madmen– face it, they’re all awesome, just in their own unique ways. There was one lovely Christmas in Maine when I was working at Bay Lines and pulled the Downbay PM shift, which in the days leading up to Christmas looked like one of the more desire able shifts, given its 13:45 report time. It left you plenty of time to do presents and then lunch before throwing on the steel toes and heading out. Working on Christmas sucks, no matter how you slice it

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

25 Questions About "Christmas With The Kranks"

25 Questions About "Christmas With The Kranks"

We’ll start here: Christmas With the Kranks is a terrible movie. It’s bad, really bad. As a movie, it should be relieved that it’s a Christmas movie because that’s the only reason why people continue to watch it. Well, unless you’re a hardcore Tim Allen head or you gear your movie-watching towards those that only include a scene in which Jamie Lee Curtis barely has any clothes on. I mean if that’s the case, you’re basically watching Christmas With the Kranks and True Lies on a loop. That’s

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell

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